- On privacy: Call your lawmakers in their district offices and tell them how the privacy rights of principals and teachers with respect to their personnel records need to be protected. We all saw the media exploitation of teacher evaluations by the New York City tabloids. Legislation should keep the media and general public from having access to teacher and principal evaluations and other personnel information. Publicizing internal evaluations destroys employee morale, disrupts the operation of public schools and distracts from the real work of education.
- On the tax cap: Call your lawmakers and tell them how the current property tax cap law fails to allow for many expenses that are outside the control of the school district — like weather-related costs, huge swings in energy costs, payments to charter schools and even changes in student enrollment. Tell them the law must be amended to remove from a school budget those costs that are outside of district control and to ensure that the cap is adjusted for growth in student enrollment. The current law is also unfair because it requires a 60% supermajority vote when a community might want to invest more in education.
- On patient ratios: Call your lawmakers in their home offices to tell them the state Department of Health should establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratio plans in acute and long-term care facilities. It’s amazing that, right now, there is no such recognized safe standard provision required by law for these institutions. In fact, staffing in many of our hospitals and health facilities has been cut to dangerously low levels. There is a clear connection between nurse staffing hours and the quality of patient care. The mortality rate in acute and long-term care settings decrease when the number of registered nurses-to-patients increases. The same is true for injury and infection rates.
From The Blog
Fight Back Friday: privacy, ratios, caps & more
Hundreds of NYSUT members will lobby their lawmakers Tuesday. At 11:30 a.m., many of them will join a nurses effort to call for safe staffing and a safe patient handling task force. You can help support their efforts by joining them for a rally at the Capitol in Albany.
But the advocacy will go beyond the rally:
If you’d rather contact your lawmakers by computer, here’s an easy way through the Member Action Center.
Anything you do starting today and through next week will help support the volunteer lobbyists who make up the Committee of 100. Remember they will also ask state lawmakers to speak up for SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the residents of central Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s 2.5 million residents by keeping the hospital open and public.
(The Committee of 1oo is a group of 600 or more of educators, support staff and retirees from schools, colleges and health care. They are either released for their jobs or they take personal days to come to Albany to advocate.)