January 27, 2009

NYSUT fights to stave off layoffs

Source: NYSUT News Wire

NYSUT is lobbying on both the federal and state fronts for the help needed to stave off what could be thousands of layoffs statewide if the governor's proposed cuts become reality.

Headlines around the state from Long Island to Buffalo are reporting the budget cuts, if approved by the Legislature, would gut programs for kids, dramatically increase class size, and lead to massive layoffs.

Newsday today reported state school aid cuts could mean 6,400 jobs lost on Long Island, according to a regional economist. The report, sponsored by the Nassau-Suffolk Boards Association, estimates the layoff of as many as 3,400 school district positions, plus the loss of another 2,900 private sector jobs at school-supply firms and other businesses.

In Buffalo, the schools superintendent has scheduled community hearings on how to close an estimated $52 million deficit. This week he sent a letter home to parents urging them to contact legislators for help. "Our community is facing an economic crisis of epic proportions," the superintendent wrote. "We cannot sit idly by and let this catastrophic budget be passed "as is," the letter said.

Join the fight

NYSUT has launched an all-out campaign to beat back the cuts and is calling on members to use the union's online resources to contact their lawmakers for much-needed relief.

Follow the link to the legislative action center to send free faxes to state and federal lawmakers urging them to support education - and use the "Share" button to pass it on to your friends and colleagues via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools.