Longtime union leader and grassroots activist Andy Pallotta was elected president of NYSUT in April 2017.
Pallotta, a former New York City elementary school teacher, oversees NYSUT’s massive political mobilization and legislative efforts, which have secured record levels of state school aid. Under his leadership, the union has also beaten back tax credit and voucher schemes; secured legal protections to public employees’ right to organize; and collected record-breaking voluntary contributions to the union’s political action fund, VOTE-COPE.
In 2012, as executive vice president, Pallotta spearheaded the development of the online NYSUT Member Action Center (MAC) to facilitate cyber-lobbying on key state and federal legislative proposals and issues. The MAC has been an extremely successful addition to NYSUT’s political program, cultivating a growing and effective community of activists.
More recently, Pallotta developed NYSUT’s efforts to identify, recruit and mobilize new members and leaders through the Member Organizing Institute and 1-2-1 Project. He also created the union’s Pipeline Project to encourage and train NYSUT members to become candidates for public office.
A former United Federation of Teachers representative in the Bronx — a district of 38,000 students and 57 union chapters — Pallotta helped to resolve contractual, educational and community concerns.
Pallotta, who sees a strong connection among his faith, progressive politics and the goals of the American labor movement, also has strengthened NYSUT coalitions with other organizations working for the greater good.
A graduate of the NYSUT Leadership Institute, Pallotta has served as a delegate to NYSUT and American Federation of Teachers conventions. He is a vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO and the AFT, and a member of their executive committees and executive councils.
Pallotta earned degrees from Kingsborough Community College (Associate in Business), St. Francis College (Bachelor in Business) and Brooklyn College (Master of Education).