The following statement has been issued by President Jessica Tang, Boston Teachers Union, on College Bound Dorchester’s decision to lay off eight of their employees:
On June 12, College Bound Dorchester/Boston Uncornered, a non-profit that aims to “end systemic generational urban poverty and violence” through college mentorship and financial support, laid off eight employees, almost a third of its staff, in the wake of the staff’s June 2 announcement to unionize in affiliation with SEIU Local 888. They were given no advance notice and were terminated immediately.
As a union that works in the same communities and for the same young people College Bound Dorchester exists to serve, we are dismayed at this retaliation against workers pursuing their right to unionize. As educators, we know how valuable community organizations can be in helping our students navigate college socially, financially, and academically. However, the recent actions by CEO Mark Culliton reveal a disconnect between management and workers and a betrayal of College Bound Dorchester’s mission.
College Bound terminated the very teachers and advisors who serve as the direct support systems for students, many of them Boston Public Schools graduates. This is not social justice. This is not ending generational urban poverty. For an organization that prides itself on supporting the most marginalized of Boston’s youth, its disrespect towards staff, which largely come from the same communities, speaks volumes. This type of union-busting should have no place in an organization that claims the mantle of social justice.
We, the Boston Teachers Union, AFT Local 66, stand in solidarity with the workers of College Bound Dorchester, and call upon Mark Culliton to immediately reinstate the eight terminated workers and voluntarily recognize the Uncornered United union affiliated with SEIU Local 888.