Stephanie Wiley is a child care attendant in Ohio. Each day, she wakes up before the sun rises to help children with special needs ride the bus to school. For over 25 years, she has been helping to care for children in her community to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and happy.
In the video above, Stephanie talks about the importance of her work and the importance of her union. Strong unions like OAPSE are critical as public employees battle back against groups that push anti-worker agendas and court cases (such as the Friedrichs case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court) that strip collective bargaining rights and threaten strong contracts.
Stephanie is just one of thousands of hard working Ohioans represented by OAPSE/AFSCME. You can find our members all over the state in:
Hours before the school day begins, OAPSE members are on the job – at the bus garage, providing maintenance and upkeep on the buses and preparing to safely transport students. On the corner, waiting for the first children to appear so they can be safely crossed on busy streets. And in our schools, where students will encounter OAPSE members all day long. As bus drivers and mechanics, crossing guards, clerical workers, custodians, educational aides, special education aides, library aides, food service workers, health aides and security officers, OAPSE members make our schools run. We provide key administrative assistance to students and staff, assist students in the classroom, help special education students during every step of their day, make sure students get the nutrition they need, assist them with research and technology in the library, keep every building and campus clean and in working order, and ensure a safe environment in which to learn. Then it’s back on the bus, where an OAPSE member gets them safely home, or to the corner, where they are safely delivered by an OAPSE crossing guard to their neighborhood street.
OAPSE members are proud of the role they play in educating Ohio’s most valuable resource – our children.
Everyone knows that a library card can open up an entire new world to children and adults alike. Books, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and the Internet are the key to learning, and OAPSE members are the key to connecting people with all of these resources. At libraries throughout Ohio, OAPSE members work as librarians, technical assistants and clerks to check-out customer books and audio visual materials. We provide computer research assistance and help with homework. We act as art gallery curators. We keep library buildings and grounds clean and trim, and in some cases, we even drive the BookMobile! As librarians, clerks, custodians, technical assistants, and maintenance workers, we make Ohio libraries easy to access and easy to use.
Libraries are often the center of our communities. And OAPSE members and the services they provide are at the center of our libraries.
Every child deserves a quality education – and that education begins well before their first day in elementary school. At Head Start agencies across the state, OAPSE members are on the job every day to provide early childhood development programs to low-income children aged three to five. We safely transport the students. We focus on school readiness and cognitive development. We provide quality nutrition and health services. And we reach out to the families of our students to provide social and mental health services and link them to continuous, accessible care to meet their basic health needs. In some cases, we even provide home-based education to those with special needs.
OAPSE members know education is a life-long process. And we’re committed to making the first step a successful one for thousands of Ohio’s children.
OAPSE members work with our most vulnerable citizens – children and adults with mental and developmental disabilities – to help them learn and grow and to help their families get the resources they need. Buses driven by OAPSE members transport children and adults to schools and workshops across Ohio. Our members provide administrative, maintenance and custodial assistance in classrooms and workshops. Teachers and aides focus on individual learning in DD classrooms; while in the workshops, OAPSE members teach clients to perform jobs, so they can be as independent as possible. Our nurses look after the health needs of children and adults, while other members focus on everything from early intervention to language, recreation, fitness, music therapy and vocational placement.
OAPSE members make it possible for developmentally disabled children and adults to go to school and learn how to work. And they give families confidence that their loved ones are being well taken care of away from home.
Across Ohio, adults with developmental disabilities rely on OAPSE members to serve as parent, friend, supervisor, coach, banker, chef, taxi driver – and more. Residential specialists live and work with groups of men and women in neighborhood homes throughout the state. Our role with each client depends upon the level of disability, and can include everything from helping them get dressed and fixing their hair to doing laundry, cooking, cleaning up, taking them to medical appointments and helping them care for their belongings. OAPSE members transport their clients, help them with banking, budgets and paychecks, assist with grocery shopping and keep meticulous records. We reach out to the communities in which we live to be good neighbors, and we work closely with parents and family members to make sure their sons and daughters achieve success.
OAPSE members work every day – and night – to help adults with developmental disabilities live and work to their fullest potential.
Community and technical colleges are the perfect fit for students who are right out of high school, back in the job market after an absence or a job loss or just trying to add some skills to their resumes. But even small, commuter campuses can be overwhelming. So it’s good to know that community and technical college students can rely on OAPSE members to help them out on campus, in the dining hall and student union, at the bookstore and even when they pay their bills at the cashier’s office. OAPSE members work in campus classrooms, libraries, financial aid offices and the print shop. They keep buildings spotless, provide critical maintenance and repairs and keep landscaping trim and attractive.
OAPSE members make community colleges work – from the loading docks, where textbooks and supplies are delivered to the registrar’s office, where final transcripts can be picked up for graduation.