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    • How to talk turkey about teaching at the Thanksgiving table

      Ah, Thanksgiving, that time of year when family gathers around the table and that one uncle starts bashing unions, while your annoying cousin complains teachers are paid too much.

      Sure, you can scream silently while you pick at your stuffing.

      But here are a few comebacks you can try when you're hit with those crazy comments about unions and education.


      Q: The problem with unions is they make it impossible to get rid of bad teachers. They have a job for life!

      A: You’re talking about tenure, right? It’s been part of state law for 100 years, and it doesn’t mean a job for life. In fact, it doesn’t protect bad teachers. Tenure — which teachers have to earn, by the way — simply means a teacher can’t be terminated without just cause and a fair hearing.


      Q: Why do teachers always complain about test scores? Shouldn’t they be judged on the performance of their students?

      A: Teachers teach because they want students to grow. But using a score from a single state test to determine a teacher’s job performance is as crazy as it is unfair. Why should a teacher in the Bronx be judged the same way as a teacher in Scarsdale or Saranac Lake? Their students face completely different challenges. Teachers should be judged on multiple measures determined at the local level — not by some random state test.


      Q: The taxes in this state are crazy, high teacher salaries are big reason why!

      A: High? The average teacher salary in this state is $66,000 — even though teachers are among the most educated professionals in today’s workforce. Their job requires a master’s degree, passage of state exams and continual training just to keep their licenses. The fact is the average teacher salary is far below what the corporate world pays for jobs requiring the same, or less, professional training. By the way, teachers are taxpayers too. But we know that strong teachers mean strong schools, which is good for the whole community.


      Q: Must be nice to get paid for doing nothing all summer!

      A: The only ones who have summers off are students. Teachers spend their summers working second jobs, teaching summer school, and attending training programs to remain certified or advance their careers. They also spend summer writing new curriculum, mentoring new teachers in their district and attending meetings at their schools. That’s all work, by the way, they are basically doing for free since teachers are only paid for the days they are contracted to work during the school year. That’s hardly having the summer off.

    • Holiday shopping and unionism aren’t mutually exclusive

      While shopping for that perfect gift, you can still do your part to support the nation’s labor movement by buying American-manufactured, union-made products.

      The AFL-CIO’s Union Label & Service Trades Department is a good place to start.

      Just go to www.unionlabel.org for a wide range of union-made gifts.

      Other sites to visit include madeinusaforever.com and stillmadeinusa.com.

      You can also find gifts that not only reflect your values when it comes to unionism, but social justice as well by purchasing Fair Trade products at www.fairtradefederation.org.

      When you buy gifts that bear the union label, you not help keep America’s economy growing; you ensure the nation’s labor movement stays strong and vital.

      holiday shopping

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need







    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




    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




    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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