March 2016 Issue
March 06, 2016

Delegates ready for action in Rochester

Author: By Ned Hoskin
Source: NYSUT United

Delegates to the 44th annual NYSUT Representative Assembly, April 8–9 in Rochester, are gearing up to do the important business of the union in two jam-packed days at the Flower City's convention center.

Local unions and the Board of Directors have submitted 39 resolutions for deliberation and six resolutions to reaffirm existing policies.

Delegates will represent all those who elected them when they cast votes for the NEA state director and NEA alternate state director positions in this year's only elections. (See candidate's campaign statements below.)

The convention also is a time to celebrate excellence among our members:

  • The 2016 state Teacher of the Year is Dana McDonough, Newburgh TA.
  • School-Related Professional of the Year is Sandie Carner-Shafran, Saratoga Adirondack BOCES Employees Association.
  • Retirees of the Year are Vincent Gaglione, United Federation of Teachers, and Barbara Keilty- Michaleski, West Hempstead Education Association.
  • Health Care Professionals of the Year are Mindy Bornemann, UFT, and Cathleen Cavanagh, Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers.
  • Higher Education Members of the Year are Jasmin Smith, Professional Staff Congress, and Roberta Elins, United College Employees–Fashion Institute of Technology.

"Not for Ourselves Alone:" The Sandy Feldman Outstanding Leadership Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement, will be presented to the UFT's Lorna Baptiste and the PSC's Cecelia McCall. The Sandy Feldman Leadership Grant, which supports further development of an emerging union leader, will go to Dawn Townsend of Cobleskill–Richmondville Teachers Association.

The convention also acknowledges recipients of this year's Community Service Awards.

The RA is always a hub of political action, as well — not only because of the many elected officials who want the opportunity to speak to NYSUT delegates, but because it's a time to celebrate the union's efforts.

In 2015, NYSUT's VOTE-COPE fund set a new record while donations rose nearly 5 percent. At the convention, NYSUT honors locals that raise funds to improve the lives of members, their families and the institutions in which they work.

Delegates will rely on the hospitality, advice and guidance of volunteers from the host locals to make their visit comfortable and safe. The hosts are the Rochester Teachers Association, the Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals and the Monroe Community College Faculty Association.