May 2014
May 07, 2014

News in briefs

Source: NYSUT United

Unionists boost breast cancer fight by the millions

Last year, thousands of NYSUT members participated in any one of 20 walks held across New York state, raising more than $1 million — $1,206,073 to be exact — to help the fight against breast cancer.

The effort marks the seventh consecutive year that NYSUT members have topped the $1 million mark in donations collected during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks. The walks are sponsored by the American Cancer Society every fall.

Since 2002, NYSUT, a flagship sponsor of the Making Strides walks, has raised $10,580,548, making the union one of the largest supporters of the ACS movement, surpassing national organizations and even large corporations like Walmart and Chevrolet.

Health care professional surged to share their knowledge

A thoughtful discussion about the alarming increase in heroin use was one of the highlights of a session on addiction at NYSUT's recent Professional Issues Forum on Health Care.

Heroin is "in all our communities," said participant and UUP member Lee Livermore, public health education coordinator for SUNY Upstate Medical Center. "I'd say it's the #1 topic right now."

The 124 participants came to find tools for dealing with autism, licensure protection, school and mental health partnerships, crisis and tragedy, and diabetes management in schools, among other topics.

Anne Goldman of the UFT, chair of NYSUT's Health Care Professionals Council, told the group to continue to advocate for needed services and staffing. "We have to educate the public about our knowledge … and our ability to respond," Goldman said. "You are the lifeline."

For more on this event, visit www.nysut.org/healthcare.

Support for postal workers

Monroe Community College Faculty Association retiree and PAC member Ellen Mancuso, carrying a NYSUT sign, was among a dozen NYSUT members who walked a picket line in Rochester to support the American Postal Workers Union in its quest to "Stop Staples." The company plans to open postal counters in 1,500 stores nationwide and staff them with non-postal workers. The April 24 picket was part of a National Day of Action. Protests were held in 56 locations in 27 states.

UFT defends nurses

About 400 members of the Federation of Nurses/UFT were abruptly laid off in April by Visiting Nurse Service of New York, prompting an outcry from the union and the community.

"This is tragic, and it is outrageous," said Anne Goldman, the United Federation of Teachers vice president for non-DOE members and the head of the Federation of Nurses/UFT.

Jainifer Morrison, who lost her job, said her caseload had grown to 56 clients, the result of earlier layoffs that increased the workload for those who remained. The latest round couldn't come at a worse time, she said. "I have an 18-month-old son, and my husband was laid off at JFK Airport," she said. The company laid off 500 nurses in December.

The union represents about 2,200 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses at the company.

For more, visit www.nysut.org/healthcare.