Three hundred educators at the Mexican-American Opportunity Fund are gearing up to improve early care and education for working families in Los Angeles. As child care center teachers, nutritional aides, and assistants we provide our communities across Los Angeles with essential early care and education at MAOF centers. Studies show a child’s brain has the most significant amount of development from the ages of 0-5. Our fight is to ensure working families have access to reliable, high-quality child care from experienced education workers like ourselves.
MAOF currently spends about $2 million dollars a year on substitutes and there are 28 vacancies posts for staff. We believe improving wages and creating a reliable substitute pool will help retain dedicated child care professionals at MAOF. When early educators have living wages, we can create lasting relationships with the community. We can also improve the quality of services we offer for the children and families we serve.
Our contract expired October 2 and we are currently in negotiations for 2019-2022. On October 5, there was standing room only at our SEIU Local 99 Lynwood office to hear our bargaining committee’s report. During our first session we brought several proposal regarding wages, paid time off, and an innovate idea for an in-house substitute pool system. MAOF was not prepared to provide counter proposals and we scheduled a follow-up negotiation session for October 17. Since then, MAOF has canceled two of our scheduled bargaining sessions. We came together again on October 19 to discuss new strategies and decided to begin our outreach to parents about how our fight is to improve the quality of early education at MAOF. We learned how to sign parents onto a petition showing their support for MAOF early educators. We also encourage all MAOF members to continue wearing our SEIU lanyards as a show union strengthen while we continue negotiations.
We have scheduled a meeting for Thursday, Novemeber 7 (Location to be determined). Please contact Jorge Roman, [email protected], if you can attend.
Your SEIU Local 99 – MAOF Bargaining Committee
Amelia Soto, Ana Pimentel, Zarina Yescas, Jaime Avila, Maria Alvarez, and Maria Tovar