People are busier than ever. Loa Noyd, a music teacher and member of the Hancock Teachers Association, and I have spent weeks trying to find 30 uninterrupted minutes for an interview about her students performing at Carnegie Hall. Thank goodness for a school holiday, so now the plan is to talk Monday morning.
Dozens of NYSUT members are coming to the union’s Latham headquarters to meet tonight and tomorrow to plan political action efforts. Yes, during a holiday weekend.
On the holiday to observe the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, a group of Olean educators and community activists will honor the civil rights leader with a non-violent march to the offices of their state lawmakers, where they will ask them to fund their schools. Led by Olean Teachers Association President David Lasky, the group will talk about the impact of state funding cuts to Olean schools of $6.9 million since the 2008-09 school year. That has meant art, music and reading programs are gone, as are services to students with special needs. If you’re in the Olean area, try to stop in at any of these places:
- Olean High School from 10 to 11 a.m.,
- 700 West State Street at 11 a.m. and then after that they will march to
- the Lincoln Park gazebo, at the corner of State and Union streets.
It’s not news that people are carving out time nights, weekends and holidays to get stuff done. NYSUT has done something about that by creating a Member Action Center (MAC) app for smartphones. You can find out more by clicking here. Since I have an iPhone, I can tell you that you have to update to operating system 5 to install. That took awhile on my phone because I had not backed it up in some time. (You will lose all photos and videos on your phone, so you have to save them somewhere else if you want to keep them.)
But it’s well worth it. It’s so easy to just check your phone while you’re waiting in line for something. The action items come right up. Select which item you want to do, like demand reform of the tax cap, or ask lawmakers to support SUNY hospitals, or support increasing the minimum wage. Touch Take Action and it’s done. Of course the Member Action Center is still available through the computer to those without smart phones.
If anyone has any tips to share on downloading the Android or iPod touch app, please do.
And keep up the fight!