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Portland Rising, a committee of Portland Jobs with Justice, and the Portland Association of Teachers are excited to announce a special talk on July 23, by Nicole McCormick, a West Virginia teacher and one of the leaders of the state-wide West Virginia teachers’ strike that took place in February of 2018.

When teachers and other education workers went on strike in West Virginia, they shut down every public school in the state. Thousands of workers and supportive parents protested at the state capital. Nine school days later, they declared victory.

Their commitment and solidarity won a significant raise for all public sector workers, a government promise to convene a task force to find ways to reign-in rising worker health care costs, and forced the withdrawal of bills that would have expanded charter schools and eliminated teacher seniority. Their victory inspired teacher strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona.

What challenges did teachers face in West Virginia? How did they succeed in building worker unity and a state-wide strike? How did they succeed in building wide-spread popular support?

Nicole McCormick will talk about how the strike was organized and won, and lessons to be learned. She is a middle school music teacher, a key leader in the state-wide WV strike, and president-elect of the Mercer County Education Association.

Donations will be requested; no one turned away for lack of funds.