Tim Collins has been the president of Springfield’s teachers’ union for so long, and so visibly, that it’s easy to forget that it’s an elected seat, not one he holds by birthright. But next week, he’ll face a challenger for the position, which he’s held for 16 years.
His competition, as the Republican’s Jack Flynn reports: Sharon Nieves, a business information management instructor at Putnam High.
Nieves comes to the race with a good pedigree: her mother, Antonette Pepe, served for years as president of the city schools’ paraprofessional union, before her election to the School Committee. (Her father, Russell Pepe, is a former sheet metal worker who’s also been active in the local labor movement.)
That connection—the head of the teachers’ union being related to a member of the School Committee—might seem a bit sticky, although it’s nothing new; Collins’ brother, Chris, is also a longtime member of the Committee.
The election takes place May 6 and 7.