As education workers, parents and members of the communities that we serve, we know that for people of color and children living in poverty, education is the pathway to opportunity in this country. But for far too long, inequities in our educational system have shortchanged our Black, Brown and immigrant children of an excellent public education. And the contributions of essential school workers, a majority of us women and people of color, have not been valued.
As we prepare to return to school – whether online or on campus – we must take this opportunity not just to recover from the COVID-19 crisis but to reset the course for our students and communities. We must begin to tear-down the systemic racism that denies all children a quality education and make fundamental changes to ensure all students and employees can learn and work in safe, clean, and supportive schools – now and into the future.
SEIU Local 99 is in negotiations with employers to ensure the new school year is safe and equitable for students and staff. Our negotiations are being guided by these principles: