National Education Association Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss, addressing RA delegates Saturday, saluted NYSUT members for “showing the nation what unions are made of.”
“You spoke loudly that New York students and schools weren’t for sale,” said Moss of NYSUT’s activism in the wake of continued attacks against public education. “Thank you for your courage, your solidarity, your activism and your coalition-building.”
Moss credited union advocacy for creating a sea change in public education policy. Seven new members and a new chancellor who support the voice of educators and parents are now in place at the New York State Board of Regents and Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, actions that are “bringing sobriety to an insane atmosphere.”
“We must stand together as unionists and as educators because billionaires will keep trying to elect their hand-picked candidates and bend the rules,” said Moss. “But here in New York, NYSUT has become the voice that can’t be ignored.”
Since the merger of NEA and the American Federation of Teachers more than two decades ago, NYSUT has become an important part of the NEA, said Moss. “We recognize that AFT and NEA unity is really important in the workplace and living environment.”
Moss also congratulated members for working with non-traditional allies, acknowledging the difficulty of finding common ground, but deeming coalition-building vitally important.
A video message from NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia praised NYSUT’s activism in ending NCLB, and pledged NEA’s continued support for “making changes that work for kids and measure what really counts.
“In solidarity we will move forward,” she said.