More than 300 chanting, marching NYSUT members and community and labor supporters flooded the street outside the Wyandanch district offices on a cold afternoon in late November.
Members from more than two dozen Nassau and Suffolk local unions rallied and raised their voices on behalf of their Wyandanch colleagues, the lowest-paid teachers on Long Island.
"The Wyandanch teachers deserve respect, a fair shake and a good contract," said Peter Noto, Wyandanch Teachers Association president. "We are committed to our students and our schools. It's time for the district to stop stalling, show some respect and work with us in meeting the needs of this community's students and educators."
The Wyandanch teachers have been working without a new contract since August 2005. The district is offering no raises for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.
Among the many NYSUT locals that attended the rally were Amityville, Babylon, Bellport-Merrick, Brentwood, Bayport-Blue Point, Cold Spring Harbor, Commack, Copiague, Deer Park, East Meadow, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Harborfields, Half Hollow Hills, Kings Park, Lindenhurst, North Babylon, Port Jefferson, Plainview, Rocky Point, Riverhead, Seaford, South Huntington, Syosset, Sayville, West Babylon and Uniondale.
The labor family was represented by the AFL-CIO's national worker rights group Jobs with Justice, Teamster and Mail Carrier union representatives, as well as Suffolk County legislator Kate Browning.