Pre-K Parity Partly Achieved

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Building minds is one of the most important jobs there is, especially in early education.

In a perfect world those working the same job would get paid the same. A more perfect world is on its way to those who work in non-profit run early childhood education centers. Teachers who worked for a community based organization (CBO) facility had been earning anywhere from 30%–45% less than teachers who worked for the city’s Dept. of Education (DOE).  On July 9th the NYC Council and Mayor de Blasio arrived at an agreement on how to establish salary parity in this field.

“There are few things as valuable as early childhood education and our youngest New Yorkers deserve the very best,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With this agreement, we’re ensuring whether you’re in one of our schools or teaching in a community based organization, you get the same starting salary. That means our kids and parents can rest assured that they’ll always have our best teachers in the classroom, helping our future leaders develop the skills they need to succeed.”

“This deal ensures that certified teachers who work in community based organizations will earn the same starting salary as their DOE colleagues. More importantly, this deal enhances the educational opportunity of our City’s students by helping to provide stability in their classrooms, instead of losing effective teachers due to the lack of pay parity. All NYC teachers deserve the same pay, the same benefits and the same respect, and when we provide pay parity in education, we provide better educational opportunities for our students,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

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Small World Early Childhood teacher teaching elements of the calendar, “How many days in a week?” Small World is run by non-profit St. Nicks Alliance, who for five years has fought for wage parity for their teachers.

United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) has been advocating for parity for several years. In 2016 they issued two reports that demonstrated the high performance of CBO run education centers.  “As a leader of Campaign for Children, a coalition of over 150 organizations, we know that today’s announcement is a product of years of advocating for high quality early childhood education,” said Susan Stamler, executive director of United Neighborhood Houses.

“St. Nicks Alliance is committed to pay parity and has advocated for five years for the fairness in salaries. We are proud to be members of United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) and support the efforts to get funding in this year’s city budget!” said Michael Rochford, St. Nicks Alliance Executive Director.

Some educators are in limbo as far as pay parity goes. There are 1500 non-unionized teachers with matching credentials who are waiting to see if their pay will also increase.  City officials commented that the recent deal with DC 1707′s Local 205  would create a “pathway” to raising the salaries of those not in a union. As of yet it is unknown how solid that pathway will be.

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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