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Albemarle Education Association takes step toward formalizing union for school employees

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The Albemarle Education Association has requested a certification election this fall, a big step toward formalizing the union for Albemarle County public-school employees.

“We have worked hard to educate, advocate for, and earn the trust of ACPS employees, and I know that will be reflected in this election,” said Mary McIntyre, who will be taking over as the president of the AEA on July 1.

“It’s exciting to think that by this October, we could finally be working toward what employees have been telling the school division they want for years – a fair contract and a stronger ACPS where employee voices are a part of the solution,” McIntyre said.

The AEA’s current president, Vernon Liechti, delivered the request for the certification election to the Albemarle County School Board at its meeting last week.

The request seeks to advance the next step in the process of naming the AEA as the exclusive bargaining agent for two employee groups – licensed professionals and education support professionals (or classified staff).

The AEA seeks to have an online election this fall to allow employees to choose their bargaining agent to represent them in the negotiation of the first ever negotiated contract with the school division.

The school board passed a resolution making this possible at a meeting in April.

The resolution required current documentation of support from a majority of employees from each bargaining unit. A team of more than 50 AEA building representatives and volunteers collected authorization cards and records of support from more than 1,800 employees in the division – representing the support of more than 59 percent of all education support professionals and 81% of all licensed professionals.

The level of support from employees surpassed the level achieved in 2022, when the AEA first petitioned the school board for a resolution.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].