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(Brookline, MA) On August 8th, early childhood educators at Boston University Children’s Center voted unanimously for their union and to unite in SEIU Local 888. BUCC teachers joined the ranks of workers all over the country who have decided to make positive change at their workplace by coming together to organize their union.
BUCC teachers organized to address understaffing, low pay, and to achieve a voice on the job in order to provide the highest quality care for the children they care for and educate.
“The work of an Early Childhood Education professional is inherently communal, collaborative, and cooperative. So it is only natural that we should hold hands to support each other in making a better workplace for ourselves and a better learning environment for the children we educate.” said BUCC Teachers Union member, Wheeler DeAngelis. “The role we play in fostering children's growth and development in the early years is a critical one for the functioning of a healthy society.”
Throughout the pandemic, early childhood educators across the country have been on the frontlines doing the essential work of caring for infants and young children. They have gone above and beyond while remaining underappreciated, understaffed, and underpaid. An industry wide crisis has created a cyclical problem for families in need of care and educators who are no longer willing or able to accept low wages.
“Having worked in early childhood for decades now, I’ve cared for other people's children and loved them as my own. But I haven’t been able to afford to have my own children due to the low wages in the industry” says Kendra Bucklin who is a life long early childhood educator and has worked at BUCC for over two years.
“This victory lets us work together with directors, parents, and other stakeholders to create a system that works for us all. I hope our victory is part of a larger trend of childcare professionals joining together in service of children, families, and ourselves. This is important work and I want committed, passionate educators like myself and my coworkers to be able to remain in the field while also caring for our own families.”
About SEIU Local 888:
SEIU Local 888 unites more than 8,000 public service, education and not-for-profit workers throughout Massachusetts. Learn more at www.seiu888.org.