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.
That’s why, here at CEA, 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.
Today’s featured building rep is Wendy Adamczyk, a Haddam-Killingworth High School math teacher who has taught for 28 years and been a building rep for five years.
Adamczyk say she enjoys being a building rep because it’s nice to be able to be the person others can come to for help getting the answers they’re looking for. She describes her role as a conduit for information, an ear to listen, and a guide to help members.
“A building rep is the person members can come to when they have questions about their contract, the person who helps members with how to handle questions about maternity or family leave. I serve on the negotiations team, so I also communicate with the members about what’s happening with negotiations,” says Adamczyk.
“During my years as a building rep, I’ve learned ways to diffuse situations through conversation and through listening, and I’ve learned which issues have to go forward,” Adamczyk adds. “For the most part administration is pretty fair, but when they’re not I can tap into other supports. Our local president and UniServ Rep are always there to help out.”
Asked why being engaged with the union is important, Adamczyk responds, “The union is a way for teachers to support each other, support their careers, and support their students. Being involved with the union is a way to support education at large and elevate our whole profession, which helps to increase respect for teachers. You never know when you might need your union’s support.”