PSEA members march in Pittsburgh Labor Day parade
Despite a rainy, dreary Labor Day on Sept. 7, PSEA members proudly participated in a celebration of American labor. PSEA Vice President Mike Crossey led a group of PSEA members and their families wearing black and gold "UNION STRONG" T-shirts to march in the 25th Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh.
The parade is one of the largest in the country, with more than 175 unions, marching bands, drill teams, dance teams, floats, buses, and trailers, along with elected officials and celebrities. Crossey walked the parade route, greeting spectators as PSEA members approached the viewing stand.
"Weather not withstanding, what a glorious day for labor and for PSEA," said Crossey. "To be part of this celebration makes one truly realize the power of labor in helping American workers. PSEA members are a vital part of the labor movement, delivering the power of a great education to Pennsylvania."
A number of PSEA leaders participated in this year’s parade, including PSEA Western Region President and senior member of the PSEA Board of Directors, Marylou Stefanko, along with Western Region Vice President Debbie Turici, Southwestern Region President Fred Berestecky, Southwestern Region Vice President Don Grenaldo, and NEA Directors Valerie Brown, Susan Dillon; and Sam Talarico, who traveled from Erie to be part of the festivities.
More than 90 PSEA members, staff and families from 27 local associations marched in this year’s parade, traveling to Pittsburgh from Northwestern, Southwestern and Western Regions.
Members from PSEA's newest local, PALO (Pennsylvania Learners On Line), also marched in this year’s parade. PALO recently voted to organize with PSEA receiving national attention as the first cyber charter in the country voting to organize.
A rally featuring Vice President Joe Biden and US Senator Arlen Specter started off the day.. Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and NFL Hall of Famer Franco Harris stopped by to share some of their time with PSEA members.
"It rained before and after the parade but when PSEA marched, the rains stopped," said Debbie Turici, one of the original organizers of PSEA's participation in the annual event.
Assisting Turici with details this year were Western Region Communication co-chairs Amber Jackson of the Moon Education Association and Craig Gunn of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Education Association.