Support Staff in Southern Tioga Public Schools Vote to Join PSEA
Southern Tioga school employees, including secretaries, paraprofessionals, nurse aides, cafeteria workers, and custodial and maintenance workers voted on October 29 to unionize with PSEA.
The new local association, the Southern Tioga Education Support Professional Association, will represent 115 workers in the Southern Tioga public schools. The Southern Tioga teachers have been represented by the Southern Tioga Education Association- PSEA for more than 35 years.
The election on Thursday was conducted by secret ballot mailing by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The Association will now elect officers and begin work on a new constitution.
“We are very pleased to have this association with us. They are dedicated and committed workers who deserve respect at the bargaining table,” said John Robinson, PSEA Representative, who will work with the new union to negotiate a first contract. “PSEA will ensure that these workers are fairly represented and that their needs are addressed.”
Southern Tioga support staff workers said they decided to join PSEA because they wanted a voice in decisions that impact their working conditions.
“I see PSEA as our vehicle to make our voices heard,” said Sandy Worden, a paraprofessional in the Southern Tioga School District. “In this ever-changing work environment, we feel we need an organization that knows public education sector jobs. We want to be respected for the work that we do. There are so many dedicated support staff workers here and we want to make sure they are treated well and will stay here."
Robinson said that by forming an association that includes all of the support staff workers, the union will be stronger and better able to represent the views of all of the school workers.
PSEA Central Division Education Support Professional President Pat Weaver said she is pleased that the Southern Tioga support staff will have PSEA representation.
"We know it will take a while to get that first contract settled, but the new association will have a lot of support from PSEA staff and local association leaders," said Pat Weaver, President of the State College Educational Support Personnel Association. "It is a big decision to unionize, but I know from experience that it will be worth it for the members."
If you work in an educational or health care setting in Pennsylvania and you are not represented by a union, contact PSEA's organizing team to learn more about PSEA membership.