Local News

Durham YMCA Teachers Holding Out for Reinstatement of Fired Director

Posted March 24, 2000

— Some teachers in Durham say they will not go back to work unless the director of their day care center gets her job back.

Theteachers walked out of the Durham YMCAin protest on Friday. They are angry about the firing of Karenne Berry, director of the Durham YMCA's Early Learning Center.

Saturday, teachers told CEO David Byrd what it will take to bring them back.

"If Karen is reinstated, a formal apology is put out. He's had this in the media so he needs to apologize in the media now, and he needs to resign," says Heather Clumpner, a YMCA teacher.

Byrd cannot talk about why Berry was terminated, but says she is in talks with YMCA leaders about returning to the job.

If an agreement is not reached and teachers refuse to work, the center's doors may not open Monday morning, leaving dozens of parents without day care.

"We would not open the center without staff and without quality service. That could potentially mean the center not opening," says Byrd.

"We've got to figure out what else we can do because we don't have family in the area, we don't have any fallback, and getting day care in North Carolina is difficult," says parent Steve Wells.

YMCA leaders do not just have parents and teachers to answer to. The Durham chapter of the NAACP also wants to know why Berry lost her job. They wrote a letter to Byrd asking for an explanation. WRAL was unable to reach Karenne Berry for comment.

The YMCA has set up a phone recording to update parents and teachers about the status of the center. They can call(919) 403-9622, extension127.


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