Don't forget to vote in the staff room on Wednesday 11:00-3:00.
Glenn Stockton says:
"$2625 is the final amount collected during the conference day for the Food Bank."
Committee of 100 activists press lawmakers for funding
NYSUT Communications - March 21, 2012
More than 600 NYSUT education advocates, from pre-K through post-grad, told lawmakers Tuesday to make a real difference for schools across the state.
During the statewide union's Committee of 100 lobby day, the advocates asked state representatives to reject competitive grants for schools and colleges and fund teacher centers and SUNY hospitals. [View photos.]
Also, in meeting after meeting, the grassroots lobbyists thanked those lawmakers who stood with labor in voting against pension reform - and expressed deep disappointment to those who voted for creating a Tier VI for new hires. [Find out how your representative voted on Tier 6.]
"You know I'm with you that Tier VI is not an answer," Assemblyman Sam Roberts, D-Syracuse, told a central New York contingent of members from the United University Professions chapter at the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, Syracuse Teachers Association, East Syracuse-Minoa, North Syracuse Education Association and the Westhill District Education Association. "In fact, we ought to be giving more, not taking away, to make sure we get the best workers in public service."
"You're preaching to the choir, but I'm so glad you came," Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Pearl River, told first a Rockland county contingent and then a Professional Staff Congress group. Jaffee also voted against pension reform and agrees with increasing funds for community colleges and teacher centers.
Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Johnstown, listened to the litany of layoffs in the Fulton, Herkimer and Otsego counties he represents. Butler said the $200 million in competitive grants will go back into state aid because education funding should not be based on competitive grants. When Stacey Caruso-Sharpe of the Amsterdam Teachers Association and Matt Kirwan of the Scotia-Glenville Teachers Association talked about how aid formulas that distribute school aid unfairly are exacerbated by the revenue-limiting tax cap, he agreed that school funding still needs a lot of work.
Tuesday's lobbying effort was the first of NYSUT's two Committee of 100 events for the 2012 legislative session, and is just the latest in a series of events that started on Leap Day in February and continue through the month of March to press for state funding for K-12 schools, BOCES, and SUNY, CUNY and the community colleges.
New York's public colleges and universities have lost $1.7 billion in funding since 2008. UUP activists spoke of the need to rebuild SUNY academic departments by adding $25 million to the SUNY budget and restore the Health Science Centers and University Hospitals by adding $68 million to funding. UUP and Professional Staff Congress members also spoke of the need to increase funding for community colleges.
PSC President Barbara Bowen was among a number of speakers at a noon rally that decried the attacks against public education and public workers.
Yesterday (Tuesday, March 20), I was with NYSUT members from throughout the state of New York lobbying our representatives in Albany. We spoke to Senators and members of the Assembly about school aid, teacher centers, the protection of teachers' privacy, funding for higher education, and much more. I, along with retirees Jeff Zuckerman and Clare Gorman, spoke to Assemblymen Robert Castelli, Tom Abinanti, and George Latimer, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and representatives from the offices of Amy Paulin and Jeff Klein.
We also participated in a rally in Albany in which we expressed our dissatisfaction with the passage of Tier 6.
There is another Committee of 100 event in May. Let me know if you'd like to represent the BTA at that event. It's a fascinating day of political action.
Do you know people to whom this applies? Make certain they get into the system, now!
Message from Dick Iannuzzi, NYSUT president:
Now that the Legislature has acted to create a Tier 6 pension level effective
April 1, 2012, employees who are not registered with a retirement system but are
eligible to do so because they are working in a system-eligible job have until
midnight March 31, 2012, to fulfill the requirements to lock into Tier 5. This
includes filing the necessary enrollment information through their employer and
working at least one day in a system-eligible job before the end of March. This
applies primarily to substitutes, temporary and part-time workers.
See Mandy's email for details about BTA elections.
There are a couple of executive council positions which will be vacant because of members not running for reelection. Please consider joining the executive council. Also, consider becoming an officer (secretary or vice president), member of the negotiation team, representative to NYSTRS, or representative to NYSUT.
We need YOUR donations for our upcoming Tag Sale (Habitat and Environmental Clubs)-- please donate:
- cars (that's right, your used car!)
- sports equipment
- gently used games. (No stuffed animals, dolls, etc.)
- wheels: bikes, scooters, skates, skateboards,
I'm headed to Albany Monday afternoon for Tuesday's lobbying day in Albany. I'll be talking to our legislators about APPR and the executive budget.
Please let me know of important happenings in the lives of BTA members, so that I can print them in the BTA NEWS from time to time.