ALBANY, N.Y. July 24, 2009 - New York State United Teachers and the New York Library Association have agreed to a formal affiliation between the 600,000-member union and the professional organization representing librarians and libraries.
NYSUT's Board of Directors voted Thursday to approve an affiliation agreement in which NYSUT will lobby state government on NYLA's behalf.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said, "Libraries are one of the most important pieces of the educational mosaic. In our schools, colleges and communities, the 2,000 librarians who are already members of NYSUT and the 4,000 members of the New York Library Association perform a vital role promoting reading, and sustaining and preserving knowledge for current and future generations of New Yorkers. In difficult economic times, libraries need additional support and this affiliation strengthens both organizations and allows us both to more effectively serve our members."
"We feel partnering with NYSUT will increase our ability to advocate for the interests of our members, protect against potential cuts, and further our legislative agenda," said Josh Cohen, NYLA President.
Under terms of the affiliation, NYSUT will work closely with NYLA to advance legislation supporting the mission of libraries both public and private, and will work collaboratively with NYLA to organize librarians to obtain greater funding and win better pay and benefits.
In lieu of individual union dues, NYLA will pay NYSUT an annual affiliation fee based, in part, on its membership numbers. NYSUT has had a similar affiliation agreement with the New York State Psychological Association since 1999.
NYLA members also will be eligible for some benefits, such as life insurance and travel discounts, available to NYSUT members, and will be able to participate in continuing education courses offered by NYSUT's Education and Learning Trust.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.