By almost a 2-1 ratio, paraprofessionals in the Timberlane Regional School District voted in September to form a new AFT affiliate, the Timberlane Support Staff Union, AFT Local 6530. This huge win for the paras came during a heat wave of 96 degrees in the usually cool climate of New Hampshire, in which a solid turnout over two days created the unit representing nearly 150 school support staff who now can stand together with their colleagues from the classroom to the state federation.
The victory was a direct result of para-teacher collaboration, says Terri Donovan of AFT New Hampshire. The Timberlane teachers have been represented by the AFT for decades, and the paraprofessionals are now taking their place in a district with a long history of unionism.
PRESIDENT Lisa Cartwright
TREASURER Jennifer Raymond
SECRETARY Susan Leblanc