January 2012 Issue
December 21, 2011

Short takes: ExploraVision deadline Feb. 1

Source: NYSUT United
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Caption: NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler, center, who leads the union's social justice efforts, listens as anti-bullying advocate Jamie Nabozny, left, speaks to a Beacon High student. Photo by El Wise Noisette.

Defenders deliver message of courage

Students at Beacon High School, a school in Manhattan where students devote at least 50 hours a year to community service, examined the lessons of two "defenders" — part of the Speak Truth to Power curriculum developed through a partnership between NYSUT and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi, Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler and Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Attorney General and former New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, challenged students at a recent event to define what courage means to them.

Iannuzzi pointed to the Occupy Wall Street movement in which students and activists are using their power to speak up and speak out against economic inequality. "The future depends on you speaking truth to power," he said.

Activist Jamie Nabozny, who won a federal lawsuit against administrators in Wisconsin who failed to stop anti-gay bullying in his school, told students that if they are aware of bullying they have a moral obligation to do something. "Will you be one of those who stands by and watches? Or will you be one of those who has the courage to stand up and say, 'That's not right?'" Nabozny said. "You must find the courage to say, 'Enough is enough.'"

ExploraVision deadline Feb. 1

The deadline is fast approaching for the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision program. Considered the world's largest K-12 science and technology competition, the program encourages excellence and motivates students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Applications are due Feb. 1.

Students on the four first-place ExploraVision teams will each receive a $10,000 U.S. Series EE Savings Bond; students on second-place teams will each receive a $5,000 bond. The eight teams will also receive an expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor and coach to Washington, D.C. Each of the 24 regional winning teams receives a Toshiba laptop for the school and each member of the regional winning teams will receive a Toshiba HD Camcorder.

For more information or an application for 2012, visit http://www.exploravision.org/ or email exploravision@nsta.org.

Adjuncts ratify contract

The LeMoyne Adjuncts for Change Association in Syracuse ratified by a wide margin its first contract. The bargaining unit represents 175 members. The new contract is in effect through 2014.

Charter educators sign cards

Educators at the Fahari Academy Charter School in Brooklyn intend to join the United Federation of Teachers after a majority of educators at the Flatbush school signed union authorization cards. In a letter to the school's board, Fahari teachers wrote: "We believe that by establishing a collective voice within our school community, we will be in a better position to realize this mission and to provide our students with the best possible education to ensure that they become productive members of our society." The UFT, which represents educators at 14 charter schools, has notified the state Public Employee Relations Board of the Fahari teachers' intent and filed a formal petition for recognition with the school's board.

Contract for charter educators

Educators at the Bronx Academy of Promise charter school have ratified their first UFT contract. Twenty-eight teachers and five teachers' assistants are covered by the new contract.

Nurses work on first contract

The Glen Cove Nurses Association on Long Island is working toward completing its first constitution and collective bargaining agreement. The seven-nurse unit was recognized by the district's Board of Education in June. The nurses will be affiliated with the Glen Cove TA.

SRPS gain initial pact

The Lyndonville Employees Association in Western New York recently ratified its first contract. The SRP unit, which saw 100 percent of its membership sign authorization cards, spent all of 2010 bargaining its inaugural contract. The LEA represents 35 clerical staff, aides and assistants, monitors, nurses and bus drivers in the Lyndonville District.

Advocate for a future leader

The Eleanor Roosevelt Center needs your help in identifying promising female leaders and encouraging them to apply to the Girls' Leadership Worldwide.

Girls' Leadership Worldwide is an international leadership development program for girls in the 9th and 10th grades. During the nine-day, residential program, girls from diverse cultures and backgrounds come together in Hyde Park to engage in workshops and activities designed to fully awaken the leader within them, using the leadership model of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Applications are available now at http://www.ervk.org/. The application deadline is March 9. For more info, visit the website or call Sara Nowlin, Program Director, at 845-229-5302.

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