March 2012 Issue
February 21, 2012

Buffalo RA 2012

Author: Kara Smith
Source: NYSUT United

The 2012 Representative Assembly is right around the corner. This year, 54 resolutions and seven reaffirmations will be discussed.

Issues topping the NYSUT Board of Directors' action list include a call for the sound implementation of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards, and for getting student assessments done right.

Also under consideration are resolutions to support Wisconsin public employees; foster a collaborative, pro-union movement; and support New York state's DREAM legislation, which would provide state financial aid for undocumented students.

Other resolutions call for amending the property tax law, and keeping University Hospital at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn open.

Presidents conference

The pre-RA Local and Retiree Council Presidents Conference features several informative briefing sessions and workshops.

Briefings will focus on healthcare/health insurance reform; the implications of the state tax cap for public schools; and the importance of the 2012 federal and state elections and requirements governing locals engaged in political activity.

Specific topics to be addressed during the health session will include the Affordable Care Act, health savings accounts and the impact of national, state and local trends on health insurance for locals.

The tax cap session will include an overview on how the property tax cap is calculated, exemptions to the law and the 60 percent voter override needed to exceed the cap.

Leaders will get the latest information on Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR), student learning objectives and member mobilization strategies for the 2012 elections.

The higher education session will discuss the state budget's impact, SED's statewide higher education plan and intellectual property rights on college campuses.

A retiree workshop will share techniques for mobilizing retiree members at election time. A workshop on bullying will help School-Related Professionals better understand what bullying is and how to prevent it.

Research participants sought

Delegates can play an important role in cancer research this year at the RA.

The American Cancer Society will recruit volunteers for Cancer Prevention Study-3, a landmark research project.

The study will help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause, or prevent, cancer.

To participate, visit to complete a brief qualifying survey and register for a time slot.

Enrollment appointments take place from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on April 26 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Delegates, alternates, visitors and staff can participate.

Explore Buffalo

When you get a break from official RA business, remember to explore the city of Buffalo. On Friday, April 27, the Triple A Buffalo Bison baseball team will host the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.

Although not subsidized or endorsed by NYSUT, bus transportation to the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls is available Friday evening for $19 per person from the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Check for updates

As the RA draws nearer, remember to check the NYSUT website at for updates. The next issue of NYSUT United will list proposed constitutional amendments and bylaws.