Teachers Union to Celebrate New Office; AFT Plans Ribbon-Cutting, Open House

St. Thomas-St. John American Federation of Teachers

The St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers Local 1825 will officially open its new office on Tuesday, April 20.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. and be followed by an open house at the new office, located at No. 26 10th St. in Estate Thomas. Union and community members will be able to participate either in-person or virtually via video streaming.

All former Local 1825 presidents have been invited, and Glen J. Smith, past president, will give the opening remarks. “President Smith always believed that our union should have its own home and had initially purchased a lot in this general area,” said current President Carol Callwood, “so it is fitting for him to lead this welcoming ceremony. This is a culmination of a goal he set many decades ago.”

After the ceremony, guests will be able to take a quick tour of the new office space following social distancing protocols. Because large gatherings are not yet permitted, a virtual tour is planned for most union members. Callwood said planning is in the works for a larger in-person celebration when the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Finding a suitable location for the union headquarters has been a challenge over the years because federation leaders have always stressed that the office must be accessible to both those with or without personal transportation, according to Callwood.

“Finding a building that was move-in ready was extremely difficult in the years since hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the islands,” said Callwood. “We have been blessed to have been able to secure this location.”

The St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers will now join many other American Federation of Teachers affiliates as the owner of its office headquarters.