Soledad Arrigo

Occupation: 
Teacher

I was an early childhood educator in Lima, Peru for 7 years before moving to the United States. In Peru, early educators must have a Master's Degree, but we were also paid higher than any other public school teachers.

Our higher education made it easier for us to fight for higher pay and respect with the government. But it was also a long fight by the unions to get higher pay for us because we are building the foundation of children's education. The teachers union also kept us informed about issues affecting us, and made sure we knew our rights in the workplace.

I was in the union in Peru (and a leader in my center there) because I wanted to be treated as a professional. I am involved in MECEU here for the same reason. I think we need to fight for more access to education for teachers in Massachusetts, so early educators can then win more pay and respect as professionals.