SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh released the following statement on education workers’ sponsorship of Southern California Special Olympics’ Plane Pull Event:
“The education workers of SEIU Local 99, including the thousands of Special Education Assistants who provide personal and caring support to students learning in LAUSD classrooms, are proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Special Olympics Plane Pull event.
“This annual event challenges us to do the impossible: move a jet airliner by our own strength! We can only do it if we all work together and coordinate our efforts. And it’s the same with our schools. It takes an entire community joining together to accomplish a great goal: ensuring that our schools meet the needs of the whole child. SEIU Local 99 members are proud to be part of that community of support for our special needs students. Every day, special education assistants ride the bus with students, provide one-on-one and group tutoring, and help foster inclusion and understanding in our schools.
“We share in Special Olympics’ mission of helping children and adults develop their full skills and abilities. Through our work in schools, we know the courage that it takes, the hard work, and the joy of achievement for students who face many challenges in their lives.
“Our partnership with Special Olympics is a natural extension of our union’s own mission. We believe that we are all responsible for building stronger communities. And when we work together at the local level we, ultimately, help build a better world.”
SEIU Local 99 represents nearly 45,000 employees in public and non-public organizations in early education, child care, K-12, and community college levels, including 30,000 Teacher’s Assistants, Playground Workers, Special Education Aides, Bus Drivers, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers and others providing essential student services at schools.