Building reps are often a teacher’s first point of contact when questions arise—ranging from practical matters to sensitive subjects. They are their colleagues’ contract enforcer, organizer, and spokesperson.
A building rep’s job is vital, but it’s time-consuming, and often receives little thanks.
That’s why we’re recognizing building reps around the state for their dedication to their colleagues and their willingness to devote time out of their busy schedules to this important job.
Building Rep Matt Taber has been a science teacher at Coginchaug Regional High School in Durham for nine years, and is in his second year as a building rep.
“I was recruited by teachers at my school, and I wanted to get more involved,” Taber says about his decision to become a building rep.” There were some issues around the school that I felt could use some addressing.”
While he had anticipated his building rep responsibilities would be more of a constant, Taber says he has instead found that there are lulls punctuated by periods where he’s constantly busy supporting other teachers.
“I’ve found there are a lot of different ways to help the teachers I work with,’ Taber says. “As a union we cover everything from personnel issues to the school budget and policy issues. There’s always a lot to do.”
Taber’s colleagues are happy to have him there for support when they need it, and to have a consistent voice advocating on their behalf.
After seeing how it’s opened his own eyes on a variety of issues, Taber thinks all teachers should get more involved with their union.
“Now that I’m active in my union I see how important it is to be involved with issues happening in my school, my town, and at the state level,” he says.