ALBANY, N.Y. May 24, 2017 — Through a resolution passed unanimously by its Board of Directors, New York State United Teachers pledges its strong support for the embattled educators of Puerto Rico, the Asociación Maestros de Puerto Rico, and its local union, the AMPR-Local Sindical.
Facing an ongoing financial debt crisis caused in large part by exploitive hedge fund practices, an estimated 184 schools in Puerto Rico face closure, potentially displacing some 27,000 students and more than 2,000 educators. Significant attacks on teacher pensions and collective bargaining rights are also underway.
“As educators and trade unionists, it’s imperative that we stand together to protect public education and to improve the lives of the people of Puerto Rico,” said NYSUT president Andy Pallotta.
“We are committed to finding solutions that advance our shared values of safeguarding public education and workers’ rights through collective bargaining.”
Other harmful proposals include shortening the school year and reducing the number of school days — measures that would severely limit opportunities for students to succeed academically and devastate economically disadvantaged students who rely on school nutrition programs. A 50 percent cut to higher education funding would threaten students’ ability to access federal financial assistance and endanger college accreditation.
The statewide union is committed to working with its affiliates to help educators in Puerto Rico advance community engagement and promote collective bargaining, political activism and member mobilization.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.