OLNEY CHARTER HIGH School staffers will cast ballots today in a union election, and it appears that their organizing efforts have paved the way for another ASPIRA-run school to seek to unionize.
Employees from the John B. Stetson Charter School, on B Street near Ontario in Kensington, filed a petition Monday with the National Labor Relations Board asking the agency to hold a union vote at the school.
"Like the teachers at Olney, the Stetson staff wants a protected voice in laying the groundwork for the future of our schools," said Stetson teacher Jaimie Stevenson.
The new union would be part of the Alliance of Charter School Employees, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. It's the same union that Olney staffers would join if they vote yes.
The Alliance of Charter School Employees has requested that the vote be held May 12, according to the petition. The NLRB still hasn't set a date.
Teachers want a say at Stetson, a fifth-through-eighth-grade school.
"Having a union will ensure that teacher voice will be a significant part of decision-making at our school and we believe that teacher voice - in collaboration with counselors, nurses and other support staff - will strengthen our school both for our students and for ourselves," said Stevenson, a seventh-grade English-arts teacher.
E.J. Grossman, an eighth- grade teacher of literacy and English as a second language at Stetson, said it would be "great if staff could collaborate more" with the school administration.
"There are limitations [to] what we can do," Grossman said.
ASPIRA Chief Operations Officer Thomas Darden did not respond to request for comment.