April 2015 Issue
March 25, 2015

Retirees in Action: North Country retiree makes union activism her priority

Author: By Kara Smith
Source: NYSUT United
Jeanette Stapley, Champlain Valley Council of Retirees member, inspires riders on the "Call Out Cuomo" bus tour. The tour began in Plattsburgh and stopped at Massena and Watertown. Photo by Steve Jacobs.
Caption: Jeanette Stapley, Champlain Valley Council of Retirees member, inspires riders on the "Call Out Cuomo" bus tour. The tour began in Plattsburgh and stopped at Massena and Watertown. Photo by Steve Jacobs.

For Jeanette Stapley, retirement brings both freedom and responsibility. The freedom to spend her days as she likes; and the responsibility to devote that time to making a difference in public education.

"I have what in-service teachers don't have — time, flexibility and the freedom to choose how I spend my time," said Stapley, a NYSUT Board member and a Champlain Valley Council of Retirees member. "Being a union activist is my priority."

Stapley was one of hundreds of NYSUT activists who participated in the Feb. 28 "Call Out Cuomo" bus tour rally across the North Country. She boarded the rally bus in Plattsburgh and continued to tour stops in Massena and Watertown.

A highlight was the cheering throngs of members, parents and supporters at each rally site.

"Seeing how the North Country locals united, with each area organizing and promoting the rally within their own communities to fight back, was impressive," said Stapley. "And having so many students at the rally really knocked it out of the ballpark. Cuomo has unleashed a sleeping giant."

With the union at war with the governor over his disastrous, anti-public education budget proposals, Stapley intends to keep fighting to preserve public education.

"I have a grandson," she said. "I'm fighting on behalf of all the grandkids out there."

DID YOU KNOW

NYSUT Retiree Services consultants serve as resources to retired members, retiree councils and in-service locals on NYSUT retiree matters.

David Cantor, Retiree Council 14-16
914-592-4411

Judy D. Kalb, RC 43
561-994-4929, ext. 129

Tracy Beatty, RC 1-3, 44
716-634-7132

Kathleen Lyons, RC 17-19
516-496-2035

Barbara McCarthy, RC 9 & 10
518-783-7977

Louise Ortman, RC 4 & 46
716-664-7425

Joan Perrini, RC 20-23
631-273-8822

Peter Randazzo, RC 5 & 6
585-454-5550

Meryl Sasnowitz, RC 11 & 45
607-786-5742

Jennifer Shaad-Derby, RC 12 & 13
518-783-7977

Anne Marie Voutsinas, RC 7 & 8
315-431-4040

NYSUT 2015 Regional Retiree Conference Calendar

RC 12 — May 7, Glen Sanders Mansion, Scotia Retiree Services Consultant: Jennifer Shaad-Derby

RC 7 & 8 — May 13, Doubletree Inn, East Syracuse

Retiree Services Consultant: Anne Marie Voutsinas

RC 10 — May 14, NYSUT headquarters, Latham Retiree Services Consultant: Barbara McCarthy

RC 4 & 46 — May 27, Radisson Hotel, Corning

Retiree Services Consultant: Louise Ortman

RC 1, 2, 3 & 44 — May 28, Ramada Hotel, Getzville Retiree Services Consultant: Tracy Beatty

RC 11 & 45 — June 2, The Hathaway House, Solon Retiree Services Consultant: Meryl Sasnowitz

New law mandates background checks

There's good news on the legislative front — thanks to NYSUT efforts, a law requiring adult care facilities to conduct criminal background checks of all prospective, non-licensed, direct-care employees took effect Jan. 1. The legislation will provide peace of mind for many with loved ones who reside in nursing homes.

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