GOSHEN, N.Y. Feb. 21, 2019 — Inspire Staff United announced today that staff at Inspire Kids in Orange County plans to go on strike Friday, Feb. 22, to protest management’s disregard for fair contract provisions that would allow the network of schools to better serve pre-school children with intensive education needs.
Members of Inspire Staff United — the union representing teachers, assistants, aides, therapists and other school employees at Inspire Kids — plan to picket outside Inspire’s Goshen preschool at 2 Fletcher St. from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Inspire Staff United organized in 2015 to seek better working conditions at Inspire’s schools, which serve children with developmental disabilities from across Orange County. Negotiations with Inspire’s administration on a first contract began in January 2016, but more than three years later, negotiations still have not led to a fair agreement that would provide for a better learning environment for these children. Inspire Staff United has articulated numerous concerns, including:
- short staffing due to high staff turnover, which contributes to high caseloads that take away from staff’s ability to serve every child;
- insufficient pay, which has contributed to difficulties in filling vacant positions and exacerbates issues stemming from high caseloads;
- and poor communication from the administration to staff, which has led to a stressful environment.
The one-day strike will draw attention to the need to address these serious issues in order to better serve the unique needs of the young children from across Orange County who attend Inspire’s schools.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.