Local teachers union Arlington Education Association is vying to become the exclusive collective bargaining representative for public school staff.
Arlington Public Schools educators, led by AEA, will hold an election to certify AEA as the official union for teachers and support staff. Currently, the membership-based organization advocates for employees but cannot guarantee benefits through legally binding contracts.
The forthcoming election would reinstate collective bargaining after more than 40 years without it, according to a press release from the AEA sent yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
“The time has come,” said AEA president June Prakash in a statement. “No more decisions about us, without us.”
The Arlington School Board unanimously approved collective bargaining last May, becoming the second school system in Virginia, behind Richmond, to do so. The Virginia General Assembly repealed a ban on unionizing in 2020.
The road since has been rocky. Last fall, some AEA members said they were taking more time to review language in the resolution and were stymied by a communication breakdown between staff and administrators. At the time, only school administrators had elected a bargaining unit.
The next step forward for AEA will be providing APS with its 20-day notice for a union election.
In a statement, AEA Collective Bargaining Committee Chair Juan Andres Otal said collective bargaining will make a positive difference for students and employees of APS.
“Collective bargaining is our opportunity to have a voice in improving our working conditions, compensation, and benefits. We can’t wait any longer for more planning time,” Otal said. “We can’t wait for a wage that keeps up with the cost of living.”
AEA said in its release that it is grateful to the educators and community leaders who “show up and fight for” school employees and students.
“While there is still much work to do before securing a contract, educators acknowledge and celebrate this achievement for the historic moment it is,” the union said.
The statement added:
We know we will ultimately prevail with your ongoing support, leadership, and commitment to what is right. Our schools must acknowledge that to recruit and retain the best, the division must offer better conditions to all employees. We will continue to press forward and ensure our schools remain strong for our community, our educators, and most importantly, our students.
AEA is itself recovering from recent controversies. Earlier this year, former president Ingrid Gant was arrested for embezzling approximately $400,000 in funds from the organization she led for six years, before she and her executive board were ousted. AEA’s national affiliate, the National Education Association, temporarily took the helm.
Prakash became president last year after working as a kindergarten teacher in APS for six years. Since then, she has advocated for better pay and working conditions for employees and more respect from the School Board.
Earlier this month, she called out APS for telling bus drivers to pick up trash. She has also advocated for more equality in raises in the proposed 2023-24 schools operating budget.
“Two things can be true: We can love our jobs and our students, but also, we can demand to be paid what we’re worth,” Prakash said at the March 2 School Board meeting.
A large fire department and police response is on scene at a fatal house fire in McLean, near the Arlington border. The fire was reported around 9:15 a.m. on the…
Last week ARLnow received an interesting reader email. The writer’s suggestion: we should beautify Arlington County by encouraging those with inflatable holiday decorations to keep them inflated at all times,…
Palestine Rally in Pentagon City — On Saturday afternoon: “Palestine rally at S. Hayes + Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City. Expect delays.” [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter] VHC Details New Facility…
A woman was shot this afternoon in the Green Valley neighborhood. The shooting happened around 1 p.m., reportedly near the intersection of S. Kemper Road and S. Oxford Street. Photos…
About Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT): Latinas Leading Tomorrow is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young Latina women through education, mentorship, and leadership development. We are committed to fostering a community of future leaders who will make a significant impact to the community.
Job Description: We are seeking a passionate and dedicated Part-time Executive Director to lead our organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The ideal candidate will be a visionary leader who can oversee day-to-day operations, drive fundraising efforts, and cultivate relationships with stakeholders. This is a 1099 position; Remote position with ability to attend DMV events; 8-10 hours a week; $35-40/per hour.
Oversee program operations, including educational and community initiatives.
Ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, maintaining trust and accountability.
Develop and execute a strategic vision aligned with our mission and values.
Lead fundraising efforts in partnership with the Board Members.
Cultivate relationships with community partners, schools, educators, and donors.
Demonstrate strong leadership skills, fostering a positive organizational culture.
Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and make compelling public presentations.
Promote inclusivity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
Standup Comedy Starring Casey James Salengo (Comedy Central, Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Friday, December 29
Headliner: Casey James Salengo
Casey James Salengo is a NYC-based comedian who’s been featured on Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel Live, This Week at the Cellar,
Menorah Lighting – Met Park at Amazon HQ2
Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9-foot Menorah