June 30, 2023

Member organizers lead the way to help fix our broken pension system

Author: Riley Ackley
Source:  NYSUT Communications
member organizing institute
Caption: NYSUT members attend the first Member Organizing Institute training of 2023 in Woodbury, NY. This year, the member-to-member training program will provide ambassadors with the resources they need to galvanize fellow members around pension tier equity. Photo by Kimberly Pennant.

As summer heats up, NYSUT members are working to keep educators in the profession and bolster union solidarity as part of this year’s Member Organizing Institute.

The program trains a statewide network of paid member organizers who hit the streets in their communities and discuss the power and importance of our union, building long-lasting relationships through member-to-member house calls.

This year, participants are training to discuss the Fix Tier 6 campaign for pension equity. Through door-to-door conversations with members in their communities, participants serve on the front line in our mission for a fair and equitable retirement system.

“I want people to want to become teachers in the future. If they see that there is something unjust in our retirement plan, then we’re not going to get more teachers to join this beautiful profession,” said Judith Rivera, a member of the West Hempstead Education Association.

Launched in the summer of 2017, the Member Organizing Institute is one piece of a larger puzzle to activate local unions in the fight for a stronger union — and that includes a dignified retirement. NYSUT stands firm in the belief that Tier 6 is unfair, forcing some educators to work longer, contribute more and receive less when they retire.

Learn more about how you can get involved at fixtier6.org