February 04, 2011

How has your local earned recognition for social justice initiatives?

Source: Office of the Secretary Treasurer

Dear NYSUT Sisters and Brothers:

Last year, many of you nominated your Local or Chapter to be a FAIR TRADE LOCAL. This year we plan to expand that initiative to recognize the inspiring work for Social Justice that is being done by our members, Locals, and Chapters. As I have traveled the State, I have been privileged to see the great work you do with your students, members and constituents and I am eager to share your efforts and your stories with all of our members.

Social Justice is a key component of our work as leaders in our union. Taking up these issues strengthens our ability to fight for good contracts, fair budgets and better conditions for our students and our members. These efforts must go forward hand-in-hand; NYSUT honors all of your work as local leaders.

At this year's Representative Assembly, we are going to RECOGNIZE our members' work for social justice, human rights, and solidarity. In a way similar to our recognition of Locals and Chapters active in Legislative work (VOTE COPE Locals) and Community Service, we will "scroll" the names of Locals or Chapters whose members are engaged in the struggle for justice. In addition, Delegates from those Locals and Chapters will receive a special ribbon for their name badges, designating them as Social Justice Local members. And finally, a Citation of Honor and Thanks will be sent from the NYSUT officers to each Social Justice Local or Chapter.

Included here is a list of various criteria we have designated to determine which Locals/Chapters are eligible to be recognized as Social Justice Locals. These particular activities have been chosen because each one reflects a resolution adopted at a Representative Assembly since 2008. In addition, there is room for you to add actions and advocacy that you have undertaken that you believe fits under the Social Justice rubric.

Please fill out the enclosed form and return it to Sharon Ryan via fax at 518-213-6413 or email at sryan@nysutmail.org. We must receive your form by MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011. You must check or list at least FIVE actions to qualify your Local or Chapter for the Social Justice Local designation. Please call me or Maureen Casey at 518-213-6000 ext. 6247 (maureenc@labor-religion.org) if you have any questions.

I look forward to celebrating your work for Social Justice in April!

In solidarity,

Lee Cutler

NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer