ALBANY, N.Y. March 12, 2018 — Are you ready for the big dance? On the heels of Selection Sunday, New York State United Teachers today launched its own “March Madness” bracket highlighting the “Sweet Sixteen” reasons to belong to a union. The “Our Voice, Our Values, Our Bracket” challenge, which coincides with the beginning of the 2018 “March Madness” NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, gives people an opportunity to vote for their favorite benefits offered by strong unions, and to tell their own stories about how their union improves their lives.
Strong unions give workers the power to exercise their right to negotiate collectively for fair pay, basic health care and a secure retirement. Wealthy special interests fighting to destroy unions have funded Janus v. AFSCME, a case before the Supreme Court that poses a direct threat to unions and working families. This tournament highlights the top 16 reasons strong unions are good for working families.
“The real ‘March Madness’ is the fact that wealthy special interests are fighting to destroy unions by bankrolling Janus vs. AFSCME, a case before the Supreme Court that poses a direct threat to unions and working families,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “Hard-fought union victories like fair pay, a voice in the workplace and a secure retirement are targets these days, thanks to wealthy special interests — we can’t take these benefits for granted.”
The 16-slot bracket will mirror the elimination format used for the tournament — each “pick” will represent a different benefit of union membership. Voting begins at www.nysut.org/marchmadness on March 12 and continues through the tournament’s conclusion in early April.
“The countdown is a great way to have a little fun and remind members what’s at risk without unions,” continued Pallotta. “I hope everyone will play along.”
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.