ALBANY, N.Y. October 24, 2007 - New York State United Teachers today celebrated a decision by 28,000 New York City day care workers to join the statewide union as part of their effort to earn respect and better working conditions.
In an election overseen by the New York State Employment Relations Board, the day care providers voted by an overwhelming margin to be represented by the United Federation of Teachers, NYSUT's affiliate representing New York City public school employees. UFT had conducted a two-year campaign to help the providers win the right to unionize - the largest union organizing campaign in New York City since the 1960s.
UFT President Randi Weingarten applauds the day care providers.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said that, through their new union, the day care providers will be able to negotiate improvements to salaries, benefits and working conditions The day care providers, who are employed by the city to care for low-income children, typically earn approximately $19,000 a year and have no health insurance, paid sick days or retirement security. Their decision to join UFT makes them part of NYSUT, New York's largest labor union and the largest statewide education union in the country.
"The vote was clear, and so was the message," Iannuzzi said. "New York City day care workers deserve pay and respect that recognizes their important work. It is critical that day care workers have the resources they need to provide safe, nurturing environments for our children."
NYSUT represents 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers; National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.