MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) — Employees at Easterseals Academy, which serves children with developmental disabilities, vote to form a union.
About 65 employees at the Machesney Park academy voted “resoundingly” to form a union with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, according to the union.
The new union members include paraprofessionals and other employees who assist children with developmental disabilities, teaching life skills and providing behavioral consultation.
“We’re coming together as a union to have a real voice for our students and a safe working environment with fair treatment for ourselves,” said Angie Lewis, a vocational paraprofessional who has worked at Easterseals Academy for six years.
AFSCME Council 31 is Illinois’ largest union of public service workers.
“We’re happy to include Easterseals Academy employees in our growing union family,” AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “The whole community benefits when workers join together in a union to speak up for themselves and the kids and families they serve.”