CWA Local 1037 workers at La Casa De Don Pedro have officially ratified two new union contracts. Workers at two divisions – Early Childhood Education Division and Youth & Family Services Division – overwhelmingly voted yes to their contracts.
“This contract is amazing, I’m really happy with it,” says Mayuly Rosario, a Family Worker at La Casa.
Reaching this milestone had been an ongoing journey as these workers have been in contract negotiations for over a year. Workers won many demands, including economic wins such as a new pay scale which includes increases in each year of the contract. It also includes promotional rules for workers to have an opportunity to fill open positions.
The contract also includes improved health and safety language, a minimum of 15 holidays per year, and rollover paid leave, amongst other wins.
“I’m so excited about the contract. Especially the part about how they have to notify you 30 days before a shift change,” says Jennifer Pillajo, a Data Coordinator at La Casa De Don Pedro. “They used to let me know last minute the day of. This is great.”
CWA Local 1037 childcare workers had mobilized for months with rallies and pickets demanding fair pay for the important services they provide their communities. Childcare workers, who are primarily women and people of color, are vastly underpaid. Multiple campaigns to bring awareness to the childcare crisis have been ongoing for years, but this new contract is proof that when childcare workers unite, they can win.
La Casa is the first of three community-based childcare centers in Newark represented by CWA Local 1037 that are anticipated to ratify union contracts this year. Workers at The Leaguers, Inc and at the Unified Vailsburg Services Organization (UVSO) are currently in bargaining for their union contracts.
This milestone was achieved because of the dedicated support from community organizers at NJ Communities United and the community-labor partnership we have built with them, WECAN (Workers in Early Childhood Education Network). WECAN is committed to developing worker leaders in the childcare industry to be agents of change who are leading efforts to uplift the childcare and early childhood education industry by improving working conditions and expanding access to quality childcare for New Jersey’s working class families.