The group of paraprofessionals began organizing for a union in January. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing schools to close, they communicated via digital means and continued encouraging colleagues to sign cards indicating support for collective bargaining rights.

“I am so excited that we, as Ledyard paraprofessionals, can feel like part of a team instead of feeling separated.” said Denise Dittrich, one of the recently unionized paraprofessionals. “It is not one school that did this – it is a whole group of people. Everybody worked together.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Ledyard school paraprofessionals into our AFSCME union family,” said Jody Barr, Council 4’s executive director and an AFSCME vice president. “They are standing for a real voice on the job at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic threatens vital public services that keep our communities strong.”

Read more about the Ledyard paraprofessionals recent alliance with AFSCME here.