Don’t mess with NYSUT.
If you run for office and call dedicated, hard-working educators and health-care workers “forces of evil” — as Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan did a month before Election Day — our members will remember.
If you refuse to address the state’s broken and unfair teacher-evaluation and standardized testing system, our members will remember.
And if you insist on catering to the billionaire-backed charter industry at the expense of New York’s students, our members will remember.
“If there is one takeaway from this election, it’s that NYSUT members pay attention – and they vote,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said.
In the same way NYSUT members remembered who didn’t stand by students and teachers, they also remembered those who did — staffing phone banks and working tirelessly on behalf of those candidates. In the end, the union’s motivated membership was instrumental in flipping control of the state Senate, and electing a majority of pro-public education candidates. Consider:
- 95 percent of the union’s endorsed candidates for Assembly won (137 endorsements, 130 wins — including NYSUT’s own Monica Wallace and Patrick Burke)
- 88 percent of NYSUT’s endorsed candidates for state Senate won (40 endorsements, 35 wins)
- 81 percent of NYSUT’s endorsed candidates for Congress won (26 endorsements, 21 wins)
The show of force by NYSUT members — proving they are a “force of good” — continues the trend of teacher activism nationwide. This past spring, fed-up educators in West Virginia, Arizona and Oklahoma walked off the job, leading successful strikes to force lawmakers in their respective states to raise their pay and invest more in their public schools.
You’d think Sen. Flanagan would have remembered what happened to his fellow Long Islander, U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, who 21 years earlier attacked teacher tenure and was bounced from office by educators who had enough.
Flanagan didn’t remember.
NYSUT members never forget.