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April 16, 2012

Judith Rudman: 'Not for Ourselves Alone' Award

Source: RA 2012
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Judith Rudman
West Hempstead Education Association
NYSUT Board of Directors ED 52

Posthumously awarded

Judith Rudman was elected to the NYSUT Board of Directors in 2003 and served in that capacity until her death on Feb. 25 at age 89. For more than 40 years, Judith was a dedicated unionist. Author of the West Hempstead Education Association's first constitution, Judith was a former local president and served as WHEA's grievance chairperson for 16 years. She was co-president of Coalition of Retired Teachers on Long Island and was a past president of the retiree council.

Tenacious and determined describe Judith's commitment to ensuring that WHEA members received what they were entitled to under their local contract. Her knowledge of the contract and her negotiation skills made a substantial positive impact on countless WHEA members. Judith often successfully negotiated for teachers who did not even understand their entitlements under the contract.

In one case, Judith negotiated on behalf of a veteran teacher - new in the district but with several years of experience - to move from a step 1 to step 7. The member's salary increased 44 percent. She was also instrumental in the effort to rearrange her local's salary index to include the master's degree, instead of including it as an add-on. Judith's dedication to the union and to its members served as an inspiration for others to become involved in the union and to make a difference.