NYSUT officers believe in member-driven activism — a commitment they are taking on the road.
Headed by President Andy Pallotta, NYSUT's newly elected team of officers will travel across the state to meet with local leaders, members and staff to refine the union's action agenda for the year ahead.
Pallotta said the officers look forward to visiting every area of the state — "wherever members are, we will be" — to talk about challenges facing the union and strategic planning.
Meanwhile, the union is moving forward on a host of initiatives that include electing NYSUT member Christine Pellegrino to the state Assembly and participating in a nationwide Day of Action May 1 on behalf of public education, Health Care Lobby Day May 9; and in-district lobby days May 18–19.
Working as a team, the officers emphasize member-driven unionism: "For NYSUT to remain powerful for its members and the communities we serve, we must focus our energy, resources and action on member service, member engagement and member mobilization," Pallotta said.
The new slate makes history with the election of the first statewide officer ever to come from the ranks of the union's higher education members — J. Philippe Abraham, former vice president for professionals at United University Professions.
UUP, which represents academic and professional faculty at SUNY, is NYSUT's largest higher education affiliate. Higher education makes up nearly 20 percent of NYSUT's membership, and includes the Professional Staff Congress at CUNY; community college members; and others at campuses across New York State.
The new team of officers is committed to what Pallotta describes as leadership forged at "a long table, with all points of view represented and respected."