Time to turn the page

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Two decades of working for NYSUT members ended today. Actually, there will still be one more blog post from me. I’m finishing up the story of Adam Osterweil, a Springs TA member, that should be ready to publish as many of our members head back to school next week. Working for NYSUT has meant telling [...]

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Feel Good Friday: end of legislative session

School might be over but lawmakers are still in session. At least for a few more hours. Need proof that your advocacy makes a difference? There will now be a Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment increase on the direct costs associated with 853 and Special Act schools for the 2013-14 school year. These schools had not had an increase [...]

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Fight Back Friday: Where do we go from here?

Brendansreason for attending

Emerson’s definition of success is taped on my wall. You know, the one that starts with To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; and then ends with to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Thanks [...]

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SUNY Downstate needs your help now!

It’s been months of work to help the Brooklyn community services by keeping SUNY Downstate Medical Center open. Here’s a link to one local report that says “any action taken toward downsizing or closure would have a damaging impact upon the available health care to many in the surrounding community.” Time is running out. The [...]

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Nurses play it straight

It was Carol Braund’s last NYSUT Health Care volunteer lobby day as a nurse from SUNY Upstate Medical Center. And it was the first volunteer lobby day for Augustine Balaram, an RN from Visiting Nurse Service in Manhattan. Despite the difference in years of their careers, they have a lot in common. Like the other [...]

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Fight Back Friday: Contact your state lawmakers next week

For 32 school districts across the state, painful decisions must be made by Monday. In North Syracuse, which saw its budget “fail” with a 54 percent “yes” vote, the board will cut $1.4 million to get under the tax cap and thus hopefully “pass” its budget with a simple majority. You can help right this [...]

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Fight Back: Testing, tax cap and more

Hundreds and, possibly, thousands of your NYSUT brothers and sisters are lobbying their lawmakers in their home district offices. Above are photos from a group of southern tier activists who met with Assemblyman Chris Friend, R-Big Flats yesterday. Bonnie Strope teaches second grade in Odessa-Montour schools. She spoke against high-stakes standardized tests for students in kindergarten, [...]

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These are the times that test our souls

This will be one tough week for New York’s third-through-eighth-graders. Here’s a link to a New York Times article that sums up the test anxiety, with several heart-breaking examples. That news article, like others, gives short shrift to the issue that students should not be tested on what they have not been taught. It quotes [...]

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Fight Back Friday

Today is the third anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 coal workers in West Virginia. That tragedy resonates with many of us still. Here’s Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, talking about the mine disaster at a NYSUT Representative Assembly barely one month later. What resonates [...]

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Fight Back Friday: State and federal budgets

There is still haggling to do over the state budget. This Albany Times Union editorial points out a number of problems. Lots of voices are urging lawmakers to take care of their issues. Keep up your good work. Go to NYSUT’s Member Action Center. Tell your lawmaker to fund K-12 schools, colleges and universities, save [...]

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