April 05, 2014

Delegates celebrate constituency award winners

Source: RA Reporter
NYSUT Award Winners

Five NYSUT members were honored with prestigious constituent awards recognizing their exemplary service to their union and community.

Retiree members of the year

Retiree members of the year Louisa Johnston, United Federation of Teachers, and David Keefe, Hempstead Classroom TA, have long histories of dedicated activism.

As a UFT chapter leader and delegate, Johnston was a leader at recruiting and mentoring new activists and was active in the Jewish Labor Committee. She serves on the Retired Teachers Chapter Advisory Committee and is a strong supporter of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

“I believe in unions, unionism and helping people,” she said. After decades of service as a teacher and president of the Hempstead Classroom TA, Keefe also serves as the retired teacher member of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System board.

“This job has taken me to all the counties of New York state,” he said. Keefe, who has attended every NYSUT RA, is a longtime member and former chair of NYSUT’s Pension and Retirement Committee.

SRP member of the year

Margie Brumfield of the Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals is recognized for her leadership in revitalizing and strengthening her local in Rochester and her exemplary activism in NYSUT.

“I always spoke my conscience,” she said, noting proudly: “We’ve made many gains in the last 12 years.” Brumfield served with distinction in a variety of union positions, including building representative; NYSUT at-large director; local president; delegate to NYSUT, the AFT, the NEA and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; NYSUT SRP Advisory Committee chair and NYSUT Member Benefits Trust committee member.

Health care professionals member of the year

Cynthia McDaniel, RN, a member of the Federation of Nurses/ UFT, was tireless in caring for her patients during Hurricane Sandy. She has served as chapter chair of Jewish Home Lifecare and Hospital Homecare and has been a member of the NYSUT Health Care Professionals Council since 2002. As an RN representative for the Federation of Nurses/UFT, she is on the negotiating team and a leader in political action and leadership training.

“I try to make a difference every day of my life,” she said.

Higher ed member of year

Anne Friedman, Professional Staff Congress vice president for community colleges, is NYSUT’s higher education member of the year. As an undergraduate at City College, she participated in the successful fight for an admissions policy that opened the college to New York’s African-American and Latino populations. “The struggle for open admissions really began at City College,” she said.

In 1978, Friedman joined the faculty of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she continues today as full professor. In 1995, Friedman cofounded a new Community College Conference to defend the rights of the city’s poorest populations to a college education.

She is a member of the PSC negotiating committee, the union’s anti-racism committee and its faculty workload committee.