Stamford BOE Parent Facilitators Join the UPSEU Family
Posted On: Jun 09, 2022
The labor movement continues to be alive and strong in Connecticut and perhaps there is no better example of this than UPSEU’s recent organization of twenty-two Parent Facilitators, employed by the Stamford Board of Education. The Parent Facilitators play a critical role in the public-school setting, acting as the liaison between parents, who are not English speaking or face other barriers, and the school district to help foster communication and understanding in order to ensure all of the students and their families are being served properly. Despite this important role in the Stamford School District’s education system, the Parent Facilitators have faced mistreatment by their employer and other hurdles, such as, but not limited to, being hired at a certain rate, only to have it then reduced by more than $5,000. It was this treatment that convinced the Parent Facilitators to explore union representation. With the Stamford BOE Paraeducators and the BOE Security Guards, respectively, organizing with UPSEU over the past three (3) years, the Parent Facilitators reached out to request to meet with UPSEU, as well. Upon hearing their issues and concerns and the unfair treatment they have endured, UPSEU welcomed the opportunity to start the organizing process by filing a petition with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations on their behalf and getting an election scheduled. The secret ballot election took place on April 20, 2022, at which time the Parent Facilitators voted unanimously to be represented by UPSEU.
This is the first time these employees will have the security and protection of union representation and their enthusiasm as they came to vote was palpable. They are now eager for the negotiation of their first collective bargaining agreement to begin and are excited at the idea of seeing language in print that will cover job security and fringe benefits, which they never had and were not sure they would ever see.
The Parent Facilitators Unit President, Ximena Iparraguirre, stated “This is my first experience with a union, and while it always sounded a little intimidating to me, I can only say positive things about UPSEU. We have received the utmost professional advice and guidance, with a very quick response. We are looking forward to having UPSEU represent us in our first contract and for many years to follow."
UPSEU Labor Relations Representative Nephty Cruz is thrilled to have organized this bargaining unit and looks forward to representing them. “This is a great group of individuals, who love their jobs and are dedicated employees, but were just being taken advantage by the school district. It is an honor that they chose to be part of the UPSEU family and UPSEU looks forward to getting to the table with the BOE and getting these professional, hardworking individuals a fair contract.”