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Home Child Care Providers Vote Yes, Join the UFT

The ballots for the home child care providers union election have been counted. After two years of hard work and a month-long get out the vote campaign, here are the results:

Yes to joining the UFT: 8,382 votes
No: 96

Providers celebrate the victory at UFT headquarters

With this vote, the UFT gains 28,000 new members – making this the largest labor organizing drive that New York City has seen since 45,000 teachers joined the UFT in 1960.

New York City’s 28,000 home child care providers care for over 100,000 kids. Providers are the first educators for these kids, helping them with their reading and homework. And in return, their average salary is $19,000 a year with no pension, health insurance or paid sick days. That makes home child care providers among the lowest-paid workers in the region.

That’s why home child care providers voted overwhelmingly to join the UFT, as provider Tammie Miller explains:

Unionizing is the only hope that we have as child care providers to make our voices heard and to get the respect we deserve. We were totally isolated. We were being ignored by city and state agencies.

Provider Luz Alvarez tells her story:

Thank Heaven we finally have a union. I’ve been a provider for eight years and in that time I’ve had one vacation, which was to attend my daughter’s wedding. The union can help us go in and negotiate a salary and other benefits so we can take a vacation once a year or take a sick day without losing pay.

Here’s more about today’s victory and the key roles played by ACORN and Governor Spitzer [article no longer available].

The AFT, AFL-CIO and Quick and the Ed have more, with more to come. along with more pictures:

And here are even more pictures.