ASPIRA Voces

We are a group of charter school educators who aim to develop and nurture a positive learning and working environment by uniting to form a union at ASPIRA.
Recent Tweets @PhillyACTS

workingamerica:

American workers deserve better. Time to Raise The Minimum Wage.

Click here to send a message to Speaker John Boehner: http://bit.ly/1lR7inJ http://ift.tt/1rDyliU

image

Leading up to the June 4th rally where ASPIRA teachers and staff marched up 5th Street to call for union recognition, businesses along the 5th Street business corridor and beyond signed petitions and hung up posters in support of the ASPIRA union.

23 business owners signed the petition after ASPIRA staff hand-delivered a letter explaining the improvements they know a union will bring to the school and some of the challenges they’re experiencing as they organize for union recognition from ASPIRA.

Many business owners are also parents of students at ASPIRA campuses and support the union effort to reduce staff turnover and increase staff input in decisions made at ASPIRA’s 4 campuses.  

A notable signer Pastor Miguel Martinez, who is the leader of Iglesia Nueva Vida in North Philly and president of the Association of Dominican Business Owners of Pennsylvania. The ADBOP also endorsed the ASPIRA union effort at their monthly meeting in May. 

image

image

Hello Supporter,

My Name is Maria Cruz, and I am the President of the School Advisory Council at Luis Muñoz Marín Elementary school in North Philadelphia.  As you may already know, our neighborhood school was targeted by Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite and the School reform Commission last month as a “turnaround” school, subject to a takeover by the private charter operator, ASPIRA o f Pennsylvania, which has a recent history of suspicious financial practices, missing money, and union-busting.  

Please sign our online petition asking that our school be given the resources it needs to be successful, without the false choice of a hasty charter takeover.

In a fast-tracked process orchestrated by the school district, Muñoz Marín parents and the School Advisory Council were offered an opportunity to vote on the ASPIRA of PA takeover.  But as it became apparent that parents and the community were deeply opposed to the move, our district’s leadership— with the endorsement of 7th District City Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez— changed the rules and pushed the vote back another month to give ASPIRA of PA time to campaign.

Now, Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez is also saying that parents may be “misinformed” and thus unable to make a “correct” decision about their school.

Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez has close ties to ASPIRA of PA— she was executive director of the organization for four years. Now, instead of advocating for high-performing neighborhood schools for all students, she is lobbying on behalf of the charter operator.

I am writing to invite you to join Muñoz Marín educators, parents and community supporters in signing a petition to ask Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez to stand by her constituents. Our appeal to her: Take action to make all our neighborhood schools great. Don’t declare our schools a failure and turn them over to an unaccountable private operator.

Please sign our petition to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez today.

Sincerely, 

Maria Cruz

President, Luis Muñoz Marín School Advisory Council

Will a popular neighborhood school be forced into a charter “transformation”? Parents at Munoz-Marin Elementary School are asking hard questions. The school is the anchor of their community. Public meetings have not been pretty and the community was ready to vote today. It looked like a big “No!” to the charter makeover.

But now the vote has been pushed towards the lazy days of summer…after a phone call from the charter operator, ASPIRA, to buddies in school district management.

"It’s a trick!" say neighborhood activists. 

Last month, we wrote to you about new Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges that we filed with the National Labor Relations Board against ASPIRA of PA for its new restrictive and discriminatory policies on  discipline and social media. We are jubilant to announce that we have reached a settlement with ASPIRA of PA on all outstanding cases.

This is huge victory for our campaign. ASPIRA of PA knows it is being watched and it cannot continue to foster an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in our schools. This is a step in the right direction.   However, we must also continue to keep up the pressure. Let’s keep on signing the petition to let ASPIRA of PA know it needs to do the right thing and respect its staff’s right to form their union.

My colleagues and I appreciate your continued support on our campaign. Your advocacy tells ASPIRA that we cannot be ignored and we are not alone. We will not be silenced at a time when Philadelphia’s school children and educators must be heard. We are that voice.

Remember to visit our Tumblr blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter (#ASPIRAvoces #phled).  If you haven’t yet shared this petition in support of our campaign, please use this link to sign and share now.  With you, our voice is amplified. 

In Solidarity,

Chris Bishop, Math Teacher, ASPIRA Olney High School

image

What’s a better alternative to haranguing your critics in a Twitter tirade? How about working with your teachers and negotiating a union neutrality agreement?