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    • Summer school's in session for new union leaders

      At the end of the week, Port Washington teacher Regina McLean is finally taking the vacation she’s been waiting for all summer. This brand new local union president has been immersing herself in learning about all things union at the NYSUT Leadership Institute, an American Federation of Teachers convention, the NYSUT endorsement conference, and, this week, the NYSUT New Local Presidents Conference.

      Why is she spending hot, humid summer days in conference centers? She’s part of a movement of veteran and new leaders tracking the attacks on the labor movement by those who want to see less for the workers and more for themselves.

      “There is a new reality here,” NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale told the new local presidents gathered for a three-day conference. “It’s a post-Janus world…We need to engage members on the importance of the labor movement.”

      “My vision really is to get more members involved; to show them it’s not the union, it’s their union,” said McLean, who just took office of her Nassau County local union on July 1.

      After her vacation, there will be more learning experiences at regional conferences hosted by NYSUT.

      Unions have been in full gear hosting educational programs, training, and going door-to-door to have members sign cards and recommit to their unions.

      “We’re a very strong, very caring, fighting union,” Andy Pallotta, NYSUT president, promised the new local union presidents. He told the leaders how, at NYSUT’s endorsement conference earlier in the week, the union withheld endorsements from every state senator who voted for more charter schools and against reforms to the state’s broken testing and evaluation system. He said NYSUT activists will work hard to elect the dozens of other candidates for state and federal office who have earned the union’s endorsement

      NYSUT Political Director Melinda Person showed the new presidents the routes that big money campaigns are taking to detract from the labor movement, including email, advertisements, direct mail and canvassing roll-outs from organizations such as Mackinac, New Choice and Freedom Foundation — all backed by wealthy billionaires such as the Walton Family and the Koch brothers.

      “The labor movement is the last line of defense between them completely controlling the economy,” Person said. “They need to see that being part of the union is being part of something bigger.”

      At NYSUT headquarters for the first time, math teacher Cynthia Klein was elected president of the 240-member Cornwall Central Teachers Association last year after serving four years as treasurer.

      “I’m always looking for ways to improve solidarity and to show the importance of the union,” she said.

      Greece TA President Brian Ebertz, who now leads 1,050 members, took over his new role in March, following stints as a building representative and serving on negotiations.

      “We’re a strong, united local,” he said. “We have motivated people and shared leadership.”

      Ebertz attended both the endorsement conference and the event for new local presidents.

      “We want to be assets to our members in all kinds of ways,” he said.

      While many of this summer’s conferences are regularly hosted by NYSUT, there is more emphasis this year on member engagement in light of the recent Janus case.

      At this week’s New Local Presidents conference, shiny new union presidents are being taught about all the ways that NYSUT can support them through technical services, communications, membership benefits, legal aid and more. Political action is a separate arm of the union funded through voluntary contributions made to VOTE-COPE. Political funds do not come out of union dues, Pecorale stressed.

      “We have a tremendous cast of characters to move the labor movement forward,” Pecorale said of NYSUT staff.

    • NYSUT issues endorsements; holds senators accountable for votes on teacher evaluations

      ALBANY, N.Y. Aug. 8, 2018— New York State United Teachers today withheld endorsements from every state senator who voted for more charter schools and against reforms to the state’s broken testing and evaluation system in the waning hours of the legislative session, but backed dozens of other candidates for state and federal office.

      At its three-day meeting, NYSUT enthusiastically backed state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for re-election; endorsed 37 state Senate candidates; supported 136 candidates for state Assembly; and recommended to its national affiliates the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and some two dozen members of Congress. The union also backed Letitia James for attorney general.

      “In endorsing for state Senate, we are standing with those who have stood consistently with us,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “We made clear to the entire Senate and its leaders that Senate Bill 8992 carried serious consequences. Those senators who turned their backs on teachers and public education — and held students and educators hostage in hopes of dealing for more charter schools — are now being held accountable for their vote.”

      Pallotta said candidates who earned NYSUT’s endorsement all “showed through their advocacy, their accessibility and their strong pro-education, pro-labor voting records that they are true friends of public education, organized labor and working people. They have demonstrated a willingness to stand shoulder to shoulder with educators to fight for better public schools, colleges and hospitals. We are proud to support them and will work hard to get them elected.”

      Pallotta noted that NYSUT’s endorsement means “an army of members will be knocking on doors, handing out campaign literature and making tens of thousands of personal phone calls on behalf of favored candidates.” He added, “Candidates know that a NYSUT endorsement means ‘feet on the street’ — the energy of passionate and enthusiastic volunteers who know the issues, vote in every election and get their friends and colleagues out to vote as well.”

      New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.

     

    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)

     

    Member Alert Program

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    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)

     

    Nysut Action Center Mobile App

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    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.



    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

     
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