ALBANY, N.Y. November 9, 2007 - The 585,000-member New York State United Teachers today received a prestigious national award from its national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers.
The Rollie Hopgood Award is named for the late Michigan union leader who helped bring collective bargaining rights to education workers. The award is given annually to a state union that has "educated, activated and mobilized" members to advocate for union causes and organized new members into labor's family.
"We are honored by this award," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "We value our strong relationship with the AFT and thank our fellow unionists for this honor. This award really goes out to thousands of NYSUT members who stand up for schools, students and working families every day of the year."
Iannuzzi cited the activism of thousands of members as recent examples of the union's commitment to internal and community organizing.
They include the educators in Monroe County who are organizing against unfair cuts to their schools, the massive outpouring of support to keep SUNY's Upstate Medical Center a great public hospital and the hundreds of educators who participated in the union's historic symposium on ending the achievement gap in Albany in late October.
Iannuzzi also praised the efforts of NYSUT's largest affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers, which organized 28,000 home childcare providers in New York City so they can have better pay, benefits, dignity and a voice on the job.
"Our members educate, activate and organize their colleagues and entire communities to meet the needs of the people we serve," said Iannuzzi. "When we face challenges, we turn to our members who use their initiative and determination to address issues and resolve problems. Whether we are organizing new members or defending important public services, our members are at the heart of our efforts."
The American Federation of Teachers is one of NYSUT's national affiliates, along with the National Education Association.
NYSUT represents 585,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers; National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.