A day for pink

NYSUT officers and staff at the union’s headquarters in Latham showed their heartfelt support for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer efforts by wearing pink to work. The special dress down day and a raffle on Wednesday raised more than $1,000 for breast cancer research.

Many staff members are themselves cancer survivors or have family members and friends who are bravely combating the disease. NYSUT officers and staff also remembered the legacy of labor leader and educator Sandy Feldman, who succeeded Al Shanker as president of the UFT and then as president of the AFT. Feldman died of breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 65.

“A scrappy fighter who rarely minced words, the Brooklyn-born Ms. Feldman took on mayors, school chancellors and American presidents,”  The New York Times wrote in her obituary. “She battled chancellors and mayors for significantly higher pay and improved working conditions for her members.” Added education scholar Diane Ravitch:  “Having lived through the contentious teachers’ strikes of the late 1960’s, she was wary of any effort to remove due process protections from her membership.”

A gazebo outside headquarters named in Feldman’s honor was draped in pink on Wednesday.

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