February 11, 2021

Robert C. Parker School educators vote to unionize, join NYSUT

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
parker school
Caption: Photo by Jim MacFawn.

ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 11, 2021 — Teachers, teaching assistants and clerical staff at the Robert C. Parker School in Wynantskill have voted to unionize and affiliate with New York State United Teachers. Their vote to form the Robert C. Parker School Professional Staff Association (RCPSPSA) follows a successful organizing campaign that began last summer as staff sought to strengthen their voice in the workplace during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Providing an equal voice in the workplace for educators and school staff is at the core of what NYSUT does, and that voice has been especially important during a pandemic that demands a collaborative effort from administrators, educators and parents alike to promote the safest, most equitable environment for every student,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “We’re thrilled that the Robert C. Parker staff will now have a seat at the table and welcome them to our union family.”

The unionization vote was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board and conducted by secret mail-in ballot. “Our mission is to give voice to faculty ideas and concerns in all decisions that shape the academic life at the school,” RCPSPSA member Sarah Notaro said. “As a union, we will provide staff the collective opportunity to further serve the best interests of students, their families and the broader Robert C. Parker community.”

“When we enrolled our son at Parker, our hope was the school would reflect the best progressive elements in pioneering education, highlighting equitable decision-making and mutual respect among the school community,” said Nathan Meltz, a Parker parent who supports RCPSPSA’s organizing efforts. “What better way to showcase a progressive education environment than administrators recognizing RCPSPSA’s role in advocating for a better environment for both students and staff alike.”

The Robert C. Parker School is an independent private school serving students in grades pre-K-8.

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.

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