KIM MEDINA: Revels in hard-fought victory.

Head Start Teachers and other staff members have ratified a contract that boosts their pay by almost $13,000 and allows certified day-care Teachers to earn the same starting salary as those who work for the Department of Education.

District Council 37 announced Nov. 4 that 162 Local 95 members voted in favor of the contract, while 26 opposed it. The deal, which was disclosed early last month, will allow Head Start Teachers with a bachelor’s degree to make $61,070 by Oct. 21, 2021, $12,838 more than what they are currently paid. Those with a master’s degree will get a $15,517 bump in pay, earning $68,652.

Predicts National Impact

Kim Medina, special assistant to the Executive Director, said that the union’s members who work across 200 centers that receive Federal Head Start funds “not only provide our children with excellent early childhood education, but also help stabilize the entire family with their work on outreach programs and resources. They do so on a daily basis without asking for recognition.”

“I believe this deal will have a resounding impact on other Head Start child-care workers across the country,” she added.

The ratification brings the union one step closer to the goal of ending the decades-long wage gap. The majority of Local 95’s 2,650 members are non-certified Teachers and non-teaching staff, who will receive a retroactive cost-of-living adjustment of 1.77 percent as of Feb. 19, as well as a $1,000 ratification bonus.

The Head Start pact is similar to the deal reached in July by District Council 1707, the Day Care Council of New York and the de Blasio administration that ended the pay gap for more than 300 certified Teachers who work at community-based day-care centers and provided raises for 3,900 other employees.

Prior to joining DC 37, District Council 1707 aggressively campaigned for parity, authorizing a strike that was set to take place in May but was called off when the city ramped up negotiations.

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