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Season 4, Episode 28

Child Care deserts proving to be a tough issue in Connecticut



Guest Name:

Travis Woodward

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Travis Woodward, President of Civil Service Employees Association Service Employees International Union Local 2001, joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss a childcare crisis in Connecticut and the need to pay childcare providers a livable wage and good benefits.

Woodward explained that over half of Connecticut workers live in a childcare desert, which is defined as an area where there are either no licensed childcare providers available or more than three times the number of children than the total capacity of the providers. 

In Connecticut, there is a governmental childcare program, which helps alleviate some childcare deserts. However, he said most of the childcare providers earn approximately $8.50 per hour with no health insurance. While the program is helpful, Woodward acknowledged the reason why there is a childcare desert is due to poor wages and lack of benefits. Local 2001 is currently in negotiations to try and fix the problem. 

Woodward then discussed the privatization of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Private companies from outside Connecticut are currently taking the jobs that cannot be performed due to a lack of trained engineers employed by CTDOT. Local Union members, he said, are being passed over for these jobs, which are going to outside contractors.

Finally, he shared the need for paraeducators, or teacher assistants, to be integrated into the educational system. He spoke about proposed legislation a coalition of organized labor, working in conjunction with the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council, is pushing state legislators to pass. The legislation seeks to improve the pay and benefits of paraeducators, and most importantly, fully integrate them into the educational system.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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