March 2014
March 04, 2014

Weighty resolutions, elections on tap for RA 2014

Author: By Kara Smith
Source: NYSUT United

The 42nd annual NYSUT Representative Assembly is Friday to Sunday, April 4-6, in New York City.

Tom HobartNYSUT President Emeritus Tom Hobart will receive the union’s highest honor, the Albert Shanker Award for Distinguished Service. The union will also honor out­standing members across constituen­cies. The 2014 honorees are:

New York State Teacher of the Year, Ashli Skura Dreher, Lewiston-Porter United Teachers;

Health Care Professionals Member of the Year, Cynthia McDaniel, United Federation of Teachers;

Higher Education Member of the Year, Anne Friedman, Professional Staff Congress;

SRP Member of the Year, Margie Brumfield, Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals;

Retiree Members of the Year, Louisa Johnston, UFT, and David Keefe, Hempstead Classroom Teachers Association;

 “Not For Ourselves Alone:” The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award, Rona Freiser, UFT, and Sandra Bliss, Retiree Council 12; and

Sandra Feldman Leadership Grant, Debbie Kydon, Rockland BOCES.

The RA is NYSUT’s highest policy-making body. Delegates will elect NYSUT officers and members of the Board, and consider major resolu­tions, including action on an unprec­edented NYSUT Board resolution vote of “no confidence” in the policies of State Education Commissioner John King Jr. and a call for his removal.

The step withdraws NYSUT sup­port for the Common Core standards as implemented and interpreted in New York state until SED agrees to major course corrections, including a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences from standardized testing. The Regents recently voted for a seemingly long list of recommen­dations to fix the problems, but their proposals fall far short of the substan­tive changes parents and teachers are demanding.

“The commissioner and Regents are giving away ice in winter, and we don’t need another snow job. We need a moratorium now because the clock is ticking and another round of flawed tests is looming,” said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi.

Another resolution opposes the “rushed implementation” of edTPA — Teacher Performance Assessment. Students applying for initial teaching certification on or after May 1 must pass edTPA. Union leaders are con­cerned that graduating seniors won’t be adequately prepared to pass the rigorous and complex assessment.

Both United University Professions, representing 35,000 faculty and staff at the State University of New York, and the PSC, representing 25,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York, submitted resolutions calling on SED to extend the timeline for implementing edTPA.

Resolutions to suspend the im­plementation of SUNY Seamless Transfer, oppose chained CPI for cal­culating Social Security benefits and honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela will also be considered.

The Pre-RA Local and Retiree Council Presidents’ Conference in­cludes workshops on running an ef­fective VOTE-COPE drive, updates on legal and organizational challenges facing NYSUT and the impact of the state budget.

Reminder: Locals must pay their per capita dues and agency fees by March 14 to participate in the RA.

Support disaster relief

NYSUT will hold a raffle at the RA to support the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund. A drawing will be held during each of the three RA sessions on Saturday and Sunday to award one iPad Mini. Visit www.nysut.org for more information.