How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers


Tells how activists transformed their union and gave members hope. Readers will learn how to run for office, work with their communities, build a stewards network, train new leaders, run a contract campaign, and strike.

By Alexandra Bradbury, Mark Brenner, Jenny Brown, Jane Slaughter, and Samantha Winslow. 232 pages.

How to Jump-Start Your Union should be a beacon to all rank-and-file members on how to bring democracy to their locals. It’s a toolkit that shows how good old-fashioned hard work and faith in the membership can empower every frontline worker.”
—KAREN LEWIS, President, Chicago Teachers Union

“Labor Notes has done it again! Every unionist should read this book that chronicles how the new leaders of the Chicago Teachers Union organized their members, built strong support with the community, and waged a strike against formidable adversaries. But this book is more—it’s a manual on how all unions can revamp to win justice, with lessons that every union can apply to their own situation.”
—STEVEN ASHBY, Professor of Labor Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“This play-by-play account of one of the most successful strikes in modern U.S. history documents what it takes to level the playing field against corporate masters and politicians. The lessons put forth by Labor Notes should serve as ‘common core standards’ for unionists who seek to re-energize their own organizations.”
—ED SADLOWSKI, JR., Council 31 AFSCME, Illinois

“The power of public sector unionism stems from our ability to be the voice that advocates directly both for democracy and for the consumers of services. In this book we learn how grassroots organizers used this singular role to revolutionize their own union.”
—HETTY ROSENSTEIN, New Jersey State Director, Communications Workers