COLUMBUS – January 19, 2016 – In ballots counted today by the State Employment Relations Board, more than 200 custodians, aides, paraprofessionals, secretaries, food service workers, and other education support professionals in the Perry Local School District voted overwhelmingly to form a union affiliated with the Ohio Education Association (OEA).
“We organized our union to gain a voice, respect, job security, and solidarity,” said Cindy Savage, an accounting secretary at Perry High School who graduated from Perry Local Schools and has been employed by the district for 25 years. “Most importantly, we now have one unified voice to advocate on behalf of the students we serve.”
The vote was the culmination of a yearlong organizing campaign and a two-week mail-balloting period. During the campaign, the district respected the employees’ right to organize and allowed staff to decide freely whether or not to form a union. The new union, the Perry Association of Support Staff OEA/NEA, now begins the process of negotiating its first contract.
“We are looking forward to building a mutually respectful relationship with the district as we bargain a strong first union contract,” said Melody Woodson, a 14-year district employee who works as an elementary library clerk at Genoa Elementary School.
The Perry Association of Support Staff OEA/NEA members join approximately 300 teachers and other certified staff in the Perry Local School District who are also affiliated with the OEA as members of the Perry Classroom Teachers Association.
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities