By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The staff at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf votes today on whether they should be represented by a union.

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Staffers at the school will cast secret ballots to decide whether to be represented by the American Federation of Teachers. The private school in Germantown gets state money to teach deaf students.

AFT-Pennsylvania President Ted Kirsch says the 150 teachers and support staff wanted more of a say over working conditions:

“They have a view that they can help make it a better place, and they didn’t have that opportunity. And that’s why I believe they have turned to us to help give them back their voice.”

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A simple majority is needed, and Kirsch believes members will vote for union representation:

“I am confident that the vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of the union. And then we will proceed to give the employees a voice at the table.”

The Head of School said in a statement that the school recognizes its employees’ legal right to unionize, and that it will continue to focus on student success whichever way the vote turns out.

The National Labor Relations Board is overseeing the vote.

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