ALBANY, N.Y. Dec. 20, 2018 — Thanks to the generosity of its members, NYSUT’s Disaster Relief Fund is issuing grants to Southern Tier educators whose homes sustained flood damage in August.
NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said the union’s Disaster Relief Fund is mailing checks totaling more than $8,000 to 18 union members in the Southern Tier. The grants, which will arrive for the holidays, will further NYSUT’s efforts following flooding that occurred when the Susquehanna River overflowed its banks following heavy rains. These grants are in addition to $12,000 in awards previously sent to members in the region this Fall. He noted that some NYSUT members sustained tens of thousands of dollars of damage to their homes.
“As unionists, we know that an injury to one is an injury to all,” Pallotta said. “As the holidays approach, we are grateful for the generosity of our more than 600,000 members across the state, and proud that we can do a little more for our dedicated members in the Southern Tier who saw their homes damaged or destroyed.”
NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham said the NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund has distributed some 4,100 grants totaling more than $2.2 million since its inception following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“Our union is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with its members, especially now as they face the holidays while still trying to rebuild and repair their homes,” Abraham said. “It’s our wish that these grants can help our members successfully repair their homes and have a more joyous holiday.”
The NYSUT members receiving grants live in Southern Tier communities such as Kirkwood, Pine City, Lodi, Owego, Horseheads and Elmira. They work in school districts across the region, including Ithaca, Vestal, Horseheads, Elmira, Endicott and Trumansburg.
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.