Archive for April, 2012

Building an ABE union in Massachusetts: Yes We Can!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

We had a great meeting last Friday and are moving forward in trying to organize the field!

Where we stand right now, we are researching the best model for organizing our field. 


We need to know what our bargaining unit would look like. That is, we need to build a list of the names and contact information of everyone working in ABE programs.

You can help by:

Learning more about the steps to forming a non-traditional union by looking at the MECEU Candyland flyer. These steps would be the same for ABE as for Early Childhood educators.
Gathering the names and home contact information (e-mail, address and phone) of the people in your adult education program (whether or not they are currently interested in the union*). (Print this sheet and pass it around at your next staff meeting. Follow this link to enter your information!)
Talking to your coworkers about this non-traditional union and organizing effort. Share this informational flyer and MECEU Candyland.
Talking to your contacts at other ABE programs and getting them involved!
• Coming to the next Organizing Committee meeting: Friday, May 4 at 10 a.m. at the Jamaica Plain Library (12 Sedgewick St., Boston 02130)
• Organizing your own local meeting to discuss this unionizing model.
Read our previous posts on organizing the ABE field:
Early Educators’ Union a Model for Adult Ed? (4/13/12)
Can ABE Piggyback off Early Childhood Ed. Unionization? (12/1/11)


*We need to talk to people to find out their interest. Down the road, when we have a better idea of the size of our bargaining unit and are expanding our campaign, we will start signing union authorization cards giving our union the ability to bargain a contract for ABE workers.


Early Educators’ Union a Model for Adult Ed?

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Early childhood educators in Massachusetts are organizing a radical new kind of union. The MECEU (Mass. Early Childhood Educators Union) would bargain directly with the Commonwealth, rather than with each individual employer. Our field of ABE has a similar profile: hundreds of programs, some private, some based at community-based organizations, many with only a handful of employees. Could we look to the early educators’ union as a model for organizing adult educators?

How would it work?

  • Early childhood educators under the MECEU would bargain directly with the Commonwealth rather than individual employers.
  • In early education, directors are also teachers, so directors would be included in the bargaining unit.
  • Since this is so different from a traditional union, MECEU is seeking legislation to allow this new structure.*
  • (more…)