Home Fairfax County school employees explore union: ‘No decisions about us, without us’
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Fairfax County school employees explore union: ‘No decisions about us, without us’

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(© EduLife Photos – stock.adobe.com)

Fairfax County school employees are embracing the idea of collective bargaining, overwhelmingly signing union authorization cards and a petition, according to the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers.

A union election should be next for the ninth largest school district in the county with more than 27,000 workers.

Fairfax Education Unions, an alliance between Fairfax County’s two preeminent education unions, Fairfax Education Association and Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, filed for two bargaining unit elections and demanded recognition from Fairfax County Public Schools on Thursday.

“Today is a day of triumph for Fairfax County educators, a day where our unity roars like thunder, powered by an unyielding passion and an ironclad determination. Together, we stand shoulder to shoulder, a formidable force, committed to amplifying the voices of every single champion tirelessly advocating for the success of our students,” said FEA President Leslie Houston said Thursday.

“From the devoted teachers who mold young minds with care to the vigilant school bus drivers who ensure safe passage, from the nurturing cafeteria workers who fuel bodies and minds to the custodians who maintain our sanctuaries of learning, and to the warehouse drivers and workers who tirelessly supply the lifeblood of resources to our schools—each of us is a vital thread in the fabric of education, weaving a tapestry of opportunity and empowerment for our students,” Houston said. “Today, we say, ‘no decisions about us, without us.’”

David Walrod, President of FCFT, said they are proud to announce the decision to file for a union election.

“This pivotal step reaffirms our unwavering commitment to advocate for the rights and well-being of all FCPS staff. For too long, we haven’t had a seat at the table. But now we are empowered to stand together, speak up, and shape FCPS for the better. This initiative marks a significant milestone in our journey towards the bargaining table,” said Walrod. “Collective bargaining is here — and it’s here to stay. We’re eager to win our election and sit down at the table, when our voices will be heard and we can begin to transform FCPS into a world-class school system.

“Our families deserve it, our students deserve it, and our communities deserve it. Together, we will forge a stronger, more unified front to champion the rights of workers, students and parents.”

FEU is an alliance between FEA and FCFT, who both represent all non-administrative certified and classified FCPS employees. FEA and FCFT members are teachers, counselors, librarians, teaching assistants, clerical employees, bus drivers, custodians, food service and other staff.

More information about FEU and collective bargaining at FCPS can be found at www.fairfaxeducationunions.org.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.