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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

DC 37 News

DOE marks 20 year milestone for 1,000 school staffers


Back in 1998 rent was $600. A dozen eggs cost 88 cents. Titanic was a box office hit. And two computer geeks launched an algorithm named Google.

Fast forward 20 years and the Dept. of Education celebrated a milestone for more than 1,000 employees in a dozen DC 37 locals with 20 years of public service. The agency recognized its dedicated public employees at a Quality of Work Life ceremony at union headquarters on Nov. 14.

“A child will remember your smile, your words of encouragement, and the kindness you show. That interaction may be the only positive adult interaction some children have,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “You really care about the children, our schools and our city. Gracias! Thank you for a job well done!”

The QWL ceremony coincided with National Education Support Professionals Day and honored school workers in DC 37 Locals 154, 372, 375, 376, 924, 983, 1062, 1087, 1251, 1407, 1597, 2627, and other unions.

They are school accountants, bookkeepers, clerical workers, crossing guards, school lunchroom employees, SAPIS counselors, cooks, school aides, food delivery drivers, laborers, translators, and construction project managers who make sure the city’s 1,800 public schools operate efficiently every day.

“It feels great to be acknowledged by the Schools Chancellor for the work we do for the city, and school children and their families,” said Robin St. Clair, a Local 372 grievance rep and QWL committee member who worked in the Office of School Food and Nutritional Services for 24 years. “We selflessly take care of and nurture other people’s kids every day. Today we celebrate ourselves!”

“They say ‘It takes a village’,” said Shaun D. Francois I, president of Board of Education Employees Local 372. “You are that village.”

“You see the problems before they start. As caring and dedicated workers you are vital in the village that educates and supports students, families, and communities,” he said. “You impact the lives of generations of New Yorkers. Thank you for doing the important job of being a strong foundation of support for kids!”