March 2016 Issue
March 06, 2016

Local unions in action

Source: NYSUT United

Cold-weather classroom heroes

Clockwise from above: Educators from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Chateaugay and Northern Adirondack brave sub-zero weather to show their union pride and support for public education during the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival “Superheroes and Villains” parade in February; Saranac Lake TA co-President Don Carlisto and NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Martin Messner; SLTA member Maria DeAngelo carries her “kid power” poster. Local union members also handed out “First Books” to children during the winter carnival. To read the story and see more photos, visit www.nysut.org.
Clockwise from above: Educators from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Chateaugay and Northern Adirondack brave sub-zero weather to show their union pride and support for public education during the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival "Superheroes and Villains" parade in February; Saranac Lake TA co-President Don Carlisto and NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Martin Messner; SLTA member Maria DeAngelo carries her "kid power" poster. Local union members also handed out "First Books" to children during the winter carnival. To read the story and see more photos, visit www.nysut.org.

Buffalo Teachers Federation

Buffalo TF President Phil Rumore addresses the 242 educators who attended the Buffalo Teachers Activist Summit.
Buffalo TF President Phil Rumore addresses
the 242 educators who attended the
Buffalo Teachers Activist Summit.


Despite the obstacles they face — including receivership and 12 years without a contract — educators in Buffalo are still energized and committed to working together to strengthen the union and, by extension, the community, said longtime BTF President Phil Rumore.

More than 240 members from 49 schools in the district attended the Buffalo Teachers Activist Summit, where teams from each school learned about organizing, VOTE-COPE, contract negotiations and getting active in school board, state and local elections.

"This is about grassroots solidarity," Rumore said.

Cohoes Teachers Association

Members of the Cohoes TA, joined by a district administrator and a parent, are ready to play the Harlem Wizards in a charity game.

Members of the Cohoes TA, joined by a district administrator
and a parent, are ready to play the Harlem Wizards in a charity game.


When the Harlem Wizards basketball team came to town for a fundraiser, "our association had an outpouring of members come to volunteer," said Cohoes Teachers Association President Mary Ann Beaury.

Representatives from each elementary building — all members of the TA — rounded up volunteers for the event, which took place in January at the high school gym. TA members sold tickets, worked the concession, sold Harlem Wizards items, worked crowd control, cheered and coached. As if that wasn't enough, the opposing team consisted of all Cohoes TA members with the exception of one parent and one administrator.

"Spectators filled the gym, not only to see the Wizards, but to see some of their teachers participating in the funny antics!" Beaury said. Proceeds went to Cohoes elementary school parent teacher organizations and the Addictions Care Center of Albany, which provides residential and outpatient treatment programs, youth education and professional development.

Ichabod CraneTeachers Association

The Ichabod Crane TA is working with a local family physician to help spread the joy of reading to children ages 6 months to 5 years. The local partnered with Dr. Neal Baillargeon to bring the Reach Out and Read program to area families. The nonprofit program incorporates books into pediatric care and encourages families to read together.

"As educators, we see firsthand that if children have books in their homes, and are read to regularly by parents, they come to school more ready to learn," said Ichabod Crane TA President Karen Vecellio. The reading initiative is part of the union's Local Action Project plan to build partnerships with the community. The local recently delivered more than 300 books to kick off the program. At well-child visits, Dr. Baillargeon stresses the importance of reading and gives each child a free book.

West SenecaTeachers Association

Members of the West Seneca TA came together in December for a different kind of letter writing effort. Members filled out 2,000 cards thanking parents for doing their part in helping their child to be successful. The effort was the culmination of a public relations campaign to show that it takes more than educators to ensure student success — it takes an entire community. The WSTA is led by President Jim Cantafio.

Share news about your local's union or community events at united@nysutmail.org; include "LIA" in the subject line.

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