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WDKX.com » Blog » ABC Head Start Workers Rally Against Sequestration Cuts
May 23rd 2013 6:11 am
ABC Head Start Workers Rally Against Sequestration Cuts

Sequester cuts have been the source of frustration for a lot of federal programs. This time, it came knocking on the doors of Rochester's Action for a Better Community's Head Start program.
"Because of sequestration Head Starts across the nation had to take a five percent cut from our budget, which came out to be $700,000 from our budget," said Henderson Davis.

Workers like Davis say to make up for the loss, management is targeting them by giving more than 200 employees extended layoffs for five or more weeks of the school year starting this fall.

"Head Start is such a foundation in this community. There's so many people, so many success stories, and it's just unconscionable to think you're going to shut down the program for five weeks," said Charline Smikle, SEIU Local 200 United rep.

A few dozen SEIU Local 200 United workers picketed on East Avenue outside of an annual ABC event. They were joined by community members, even parents like Claudia Flowers Rice who came to support her son's Head Start teacher.

"She and the other two teachers have done a lot. I do think it is appreciative. I think you can show them in one way that you're thankful for the stuff they did," said Flowers-Rice.

Union workers say they hope that this demonstration will cause ABC administrators to go back to the table and cut somewhere else.

"What we are asking them is to come to the table not to surface bargain but to come to the table and honestly sit down and take a realistic look at this,"said Smikle.

No one from the ABC event would comment on the protest.