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March 1, 2022 | Around the NASRCC

NASRCC Carpenters are virtual guests ahead of Biden’s first State of the Union Tonight

Christina Morris (Carpenters Local 327) and mother of four is calling on Congress and the President to act on the child care crisis; and Ernest Pagan (Local 326) discusses how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will boost Connecticut’s economy and create good-paying jobs.

Congress, Rep. Pressley is inviting Christina Morris, a union carpenter, Hyde Park resident, and mother of four, as her virtual guest to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address tonight, to continue making the case for strong investments in childcare and other critical investments to support workers and families during the pandemic and beyond.

Morris, a 15-year member of Carpenters Local 327, has struggled to find affordable childcare that works for her family and advocates for affordable childcare so working parents like herself can make ends meet and take care of their families.

“For my family and I, life during the pandemic has been unpredictable and challenging. As a working mom, and a union carpenter, access to the childcare my family needs would make a huge difference,” said Christina Morris. “I know my story is one of many – not only for families in Massachusetts but across the country.”

Christina and her boyfriend start their days at 4 a.m. to ensure that their four children — aged 11, 9, 5, and 3 — are ready to be cared for by their grandparents. She says it takes a village to help her and her partner so that they can simply go to work every day.

Christina, is currently utilizing a 3-year construction-hour childcare pilot in greater Boston, cofounded by unions and community groups, including the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. The program includes childcare providers in 11 locations across greater Boston, Somerville and Randolph that open at 5 or 5:30am. It is part of a larger effort to expand access to childcare for all working people, as well as creating awareness regarding the importance of affordable accessible childcare and to increase wages for providers.

Morris’s story is one that U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley hopes to highlight as Americans tune in to Biden’s first State of the Union address tonight. Hers is also a story Pressley hopes will persuade her colleagues in Congress to prioritize benefits for families.

“We keep talking about all the things the pandemic made plain,” Pressley told the Boston Globe. “We had a childcare crisis in this country pre-pandemic. Families like Christina’s were already struggling to get the care they needed. . .. I refuse to let up; we have to renew this critical benefit.”

U.S Representative DeLauro of Connecticut hosted Ernest Pagan, a Local 326 member and New Haven resident at an afternoon press conference to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will boost Connecticut’s economy and create good-paying jobs. Pagan joined the union in 2004 as an apprentice and has worked as a journeyman carpenter, a union steward, and a foreman before being hired as a business representative for Carpenters Local 326, representing union carpenters in Connecticut. He is also an elected member of the NASRCC Executive Board.