ALBANY, N.Y. May 16, 2019 — New York State United Teachers today launched a campaign drawing attention to safety and other issues affecting School-Related Professionals and the students they serve.
The “Support School Staff” campaign pushes bills to crack down on drivers who violate school bus stop sign laws, to address school violence issues and to provide new due-process protections for all permanent school employees.
“From our bus drivers to our food service employees to our teaching assistants, School-Related Professionals are the backbone of New York’s public schools,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Addressing the safety, health and labor issues our SRPs face is an essential part of improving New York’s public education system — because a positive working environment is a positive learning environment for our children.”
The campaign focuses on a package of legislation to address serious issues that impact school staff and children. The package includes bills to:
- allow districts to install school bus stop-arm cameras that would capture images of the license plate numbers of reckless scofflaws who pass stopped school buses;
- require that a school bus attendant be posted on all school buses transporting students in grades K–6 to ensure that these children get on and off of buses safely;
- mandate that school districts identify and mitigate potential workplace violence problems to ensure a safe working and learning environment for all staff and students; and
- ensure that all permanent school employees, including non-instructional School-Related Professionals, receive fair due-process hearings.
NYSUT has launched a new website - SupportSchoolStaff.org - to shed greater light on these proposals and provide an outlet for SRPs to share how these issues impact them and students.
The union plans to unveil a digital advertising campaign in the coming weeks to ratchet up attention on these issues as the state legislative session comes to a close in June. SRPs from across New York also are set to descend on the state Capitol in early June to make their case directly to lawmakers.
NYSUT represents nearly 100,000 SRPs across New York. These dedicated school staff members have myriad responsibilities, including ensuring that children have safe and healthy schools. SRPs represented by NYSUT include teaching assistants, teacher aides, school nurses, secretaries, clerks, IT professionals, custodians, cleaners, bus drivers, bus monitors, mechanics, food service employees, security personnel, groundskeepers and many others.
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.