Power Through Collective Action: Members Organize Around Construction Delays

PAT successfully bargained new contract language requiring that members "have access to their worksites to unpack and organize their rooms as soon as possible but, at a minimum, one week prior to their first work day". When Chapman reps discovered their school would not be ready in time, they contacted PAT before the start of the school year. This added attention helped speed up the construction timelines. In response to their safety concerns, Lewis Elementary School members pressured PPS to release lead and asbestos test results to the staff and school community prior to their scheduled report date.

At Beverly Cleary, construction problems were more extreme, and unhealthy. Many members had no access to their rooms, and the staff contended with construction noise, fumes, and dust as they tried to prepare for the first day with students.  Many members contacted PAT. Members gathered stories of construction problems, and decided on a joint strategy: to present a letter to administration and to contact parents and the media through their union. The Superintendent and two School Board members visited the building and delayed the start of school. PAT will follow up with a grievance regarding these three buildings to establish protocols when the District schedules construction in other buildings in the future.