ACES Building Rep Goes the Distance to Communicate With Members
“I’ve always been a big advocate for educators,” says ACES teacher Salman Hamid—and now he’s formally representing teachers in his union as a building rep.
Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.
The Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School sixth grade teacher tells his fellow educators, “It’s absolutely key we get involved in our union and become active and proactive. Decisions made at the local, state, and national can have a big impact on our classrooms, our salaries, and our retirement.”
ACES—which stands for Area Cooperative Educational Services—is a diverse district that operates eight schools spread out across New Haven County. This could be a problem for the ACES Education Association when it comes to staying in touch with members, but the local has found ways to surmount that hurdle.
Because members are so spread out, Hamid says it can be difficult to meet in person, however, “All of our ACES Education Association reps are good about having our phone numbers accessible. We reach out to members via phone conferences, video conferences, and email to make sure we hear their concerns. We want to hear about any issue that affects members, from a change in their paycheck to state and national issues.”
Hamid adds, “We’ve been very proactive about contacting members regularly, at a minimum of once a month, to find out what their issues and concerns are. We want to be able to advocate effectively on behalf of members to our administration and communicate members’ needs accurately to CEA and NEA.”
Do you know a great building rep who deserves to be recognized? Let us know and we could feature him/her in our next story.