HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A little under 1,500 Huntsville area educators and school employees depend on the Alabama Education Association to help them be heard. But recently, they unexpectedly lost their union representative.
“I’ve already started handling members’ cases, and issues and working things with the district,” explained William Tunnell, Manager of UniServ organizing.
Tunnell said he is temporarily filling the vacancy and has been gathering questions and concerns from educators.
“We’re hearing a lot of the same things that we’re hearing in other districts. Whether it be concerns about COVID-19, how the workload is being disseminated to different employees,” he explained. “There are a lot of things different in public education that we’ve just never done before.”
Tunnell said a big part of a union representative’s job is establishing relationships and trust amongst the membership.
“Long term our goal will be to have a UniServ director in the area working, that the members will get to know and work and be there for a very long time.”
In the meantime, Tunnell said he’s on-site and communicating with Huntsville City Schools on behalf of the members of UniServ District 2 until the vacancy is filled.
“Huntsville’s got its very good parts and it’s got some problems, so we’ve been communicating those with administration,” Tunnell added. “They have been very open so far to all of the things we’ve talked about, which we appreciate very much. We’re just trying to address the needs of our employees here because these are the very people that are supplying education to our children in the community.”