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    • Community college faculty convene around ‘union moments’

      Almara Khan, a database administrator at the Fashion Institute of Technology, shared with her United College Employees colleagues her “union moment.” Prior to starting work at the New York City college, she weighed two job offers. She accepted the FIT offer, even though the salary was initially less, because she did not want to work in a stressful environment. She has since been promoted, and says “I am a wife of a very caring husband and a mother of two lovely children. Thanks to the UCE of FIT-negotiated benefits and services, I am able to balance life between my career and family, giving me peace of mind.”

      The UCE publishes a “union moment” each week in its online union newsletter, which keeps members up to date on changes in work, contracts, union solidarity building, social justice activities and other union events. The community college union also recently worked with NYSUT to conduct a survey to discern adjunct faculty issues and problems.  Members are also being encouraged to post “I’m sticking with our union” in workspaces around FIT.

      “Every time a UCE officer comes across a workspace that is declaring the employee is a proud union member, we're going to take a picture and post the photo in this newsletter. Just identify the workspace as yours, and we'll come down with a “Union Strong” gift for you,” said Roberta Elins, president of the UCE, sharing several ways to gain traction with union identification.

      “We are all better off if we are union strong,” said Kevin Peterman, president of the Faculty Association of Suffolk Community College. “The only way to advocate and negotiate is to show your local is union strong.”

      Ideas on building solidarity, union strength and continuing to push back from anti-union forces will be key motivators in this weekend’s 40th annual NYSUT Community College Conference. Union leaders are charging into the event with enough union-strengthening tools to stock solidarity hardware stores across the state.

      Among them: how to better serve adjuncts; how to address women’s issues in the union; how to reclaim the promise of racial equity in education and in the community; members rights and responsibilities in Title VII and IX; how to strengthen local unions with member surveys; and how to collaborate for LGBQT solidarity.

      In the last decade, there has been a shift to hire more and more adjuncts, said Peterman, who believes it is because of continued underfunding of public higher education.  “Unions have made it a top priority to highlight the plight of adjuncts and negotiate better pay, better job security and better working conditions,” he said.

      The NYSUT conference will feature many sessions dealing with adjunct issues. The conference, conceived by the late Lou Stollar, former president of the UCE of the Fashion Institute of Technology, is a place for community college union leaders to learn, recharge and share strategies on topics ranging from contracts to speaking with faculty about why it’s worth being a union member.

      “The first thing is to listen to members,” Peterman said. “Communication, collaboration and commitment are very important as well. Face-to-face conversations are they key, and union leadership needs to reach out and not overwhelm potential advocates.”

      The FA has 100 percent of full-time faculty as members.

      “We have some faculty who taught at other higher ed institutions in non-union states and they know first hand the benefits of having a union,” Peterman said. “We tell new faculty that they are lucky to be in New York because it is a pro labor state.”

      Of the 1,475 adjuncts, 86 percent are members and Peterman said the local union is in the process of visiting the nonmembers to discuss the importance of membership.

      Nonmembers will not have the protections to which members are entitled, including legal defense and representation services, assistance with discrimination claims, unemployment appeals, workers compensation claims, etc.  Also, they will not have advice and representation when questioned by an administrator will not be able to vote in union elections nor the rights to purchase or maintain endorsed member benefit products and services.

    • Fired up yet? Volunteer to phone bank!

      Volunteer to phone bank with your NYSUT colleagues to support pro-education and pro-labor candidates!

      Download the schedule and find a location near you!

      Now we know what Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan really thinks.

      In a recent radio interview, Senator Flanagan complained about NYSUT's efforts to fight to defend educators, saying we're one of the “forces of evil” fighting for reform in Albany. That's right: he thinks we're evil. That must be why he and his colleagues chose to turn their backs on educators so they could cozy up to Wall Street billionaires and the charter industry.

      DOWNLOAD THE SCHEDULE (PDF) and take action to volunteer for NYSUT phone banks... and help RETIRE John Flanagan as Senate Majority Leader!

      Senator John Flanagan has consistently opposed and blocked key initiatives and investments that could have helped strengthen public schools, while at the same time working to undermine and threaten the rights and financial security of working people.

      Now, by grossly insulting hard-working, dedicated educators all across the state, Senator Flanagan has made it clear that as long as he remains the Senate Majority Leader, educators and working people will never get a fair shake. But you and I can do something about that.

      DOWNLOAD THE SCHEDULE (PDF) and take action to volunteer for NYSUT phone banks... and help RETIRE John Flanagan as Senate Majority Leader!

      We are now just weeks away from the November election, and we can be the difference in the outcome! Will you help?

      In solidarity.

      Andrew Pallotta
      NYSUT President

    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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