A group of people stood outside the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Administration Building last week, holding up signs that read, “We demand justice” and “Living wage for school workers.”
The ECISD transportation workers united at last week’s school board meeting to speak out against ongoing charges of harassment, retaliation and sexual harassment. The Southwest Workers’ Union represented the group.
Anayanse Garza, of the Southwest Worker’s Union, says there has been a pattern at ECISD for several years, and the school district has not taken the issues of harassment seriously.
“We have been told not to believe workers that came up with grievances, if this is what the director of transportation is saying,” she said. “How can we believe that he is going to conduct a proper investigation when it comes to something as serious as sexual harassment?”
Camilo Garza, union labor organizer from the Southwest Worker’s Union, said the biggest issues occurring are favoritism and harassment. Since coming to the Edinburg area in February, SWU has had several grievances brought up. “We are not fighting the small issues, we are fighting the big issues that have a logical solution that has never been applied,” he said.
Garza said the goal of Southwest Workers’ Union is to raise awareness of the types of issues happening in the work place.
The group of transportation department employees contends they have not been fairly represented by the director of transportation, Rudy Zamora.
“Zamora should be helping them solve their issues…we are trying to bypass that hurtle, and go directly to the board. They are our last resort, issues should be resolved in the lowest level but they are not,” Garza said.
“A healthy school district response quickly to address the wound before it affects the rest of the body,” said Garza, “that’s why we need to hold the school board members accountable to finding a solution.”