Teachers at two charter schools in Roxbury are joining the Boston Teachers Union. It’s the first time the union, which is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, will have charter school staff in their ranks.
Officials with BTU say City on a Hill staff from the Circuit Street and Dudley Square schools reached out to them over the summer to discuss their concerns.
“After years of decisions that affect teachers and students at City on a Hill being made without teachers’ input, we need a union to ensure our voices are heard,” City on a Hill Circuit Street history teacher Donald “Max” McCullough III said in a written statement.
Organizing staff at the schools said their priorities include equitable pay, more budget transparency, teacher retention and more opportunities for teacher leadership. They are also requesting collective bargaining negotiations by March.
The staff made their commitment to the union official on Wednesday by presenting school administrators with petitions showing a majority of teachers and staff wanted to unionize.
Leaders with the two schools did not immediately return a request for comment.
BTU president Jessica Tang says there was no pushback from current union members to the addition of charter school staff, adding the organization is proud to welcome them into the union.
“At the end of the day, teachers, we have a lot of common bonds,” said Tang. “And whether we work in district or charter schools, we all want to see our students thrive.”
The decision is part of a growing movement across the country. According to Education Week, about 1 in 10 charter schools nationally have organized unions.