Early Childhood Staff Union fights for first contract

The Early Childhood Staff Union, which represents about 350 workers at 19 Head Start and Early Head Start sites across Erie County, are waging a fight to secure union members their first contract.

The ECSU represents teachers and substitute teachers, family partners, home visitors, nutrition associates and maintenance personnel who are employees of the Community Action Organization of Erie County Inc.

Union members held a picket during the CAO’s board meeting Monday night in Buffalo.

The workers voted to unionize a year ago and are now a NYSUT affiliate.

ESCU leaders say their members are not making a living wage and many are forced to work second jobs to get by.

“Many of my peers are single, and a lot of them work more than one job, and if they were paid properly, they would not have to take on a second job, and it’s very hard because a lot of them have families,” said Malikah Ramadan told Time Warner Cable News in Buffalo. Ramadan was a member of the union’s organizing team.

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