Nearly 2,000 educators from across Long Island rallied Thursday night in strong support of Carle Place teachers, who are working for a third year under the terms of an expired labor agreement and pushing back against a disrespectful school board trying to roll back fair pay and benefits.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten stood in solidarity with protesting Long Island educators in a scene reminiscent in spirit and energy of the giant One Voice United rally in Albany last June.
"You do not stand alone," Iannuzzi boomed from atop a flatbed truck, reminding the 150-member Carle Place Teachers Association: "Your fight is our fight. They say 'roll back,' we say 'fight back.'"
Weingarten said Carle Place board members are acting shamefully in treating teachers unfairly, noting the district is financially sound and among the leaders on Long Island in student achievement. "It is a tragedy and a travesty how the school board is treating the guardians of our students' futures," she said.
Iannuzzi and Weingarten stood shoulder to shoulder with Carle Place Teachers Association President Carol Kilgallin, reminding her - and her membership - they grow stronger each day of their long struggle. Carle Place union members and others concluded the rally by marching in solidarity into the regularly scheduled board meeting.
The Carle Place school board is seeking deep cuts in pay and benefits for future teachers. Its proposal would result in future teachers earning tens of thousands of dollars less than current teachers over the course of their careers.