October 2017 Issue
October 24, 2017

Education Autumn continues NYSUT's member organizing initiative

Author: By Ned Hoskin
Source: NYSUT United
Sally Lord of Ulster County BOCES chats about the value of being a member of a union with Wendy Ashline of the North Colonie Teachers Association. Photo by Becky Miller.
Caption: From left, Sally Lord of Ulster County BOCES chats about the value of being a member of a union with Wendy Ashline of the North Colonie Teachers Association. Photo by Becky Miller.

This fall, thousands of you made a personal connection with your statewide union as Education Autumn continued NYSUT's member-to-member organizing initiative.

"We built on the success and momentum from Education Summer by growing this statewide network of member organizers," said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. "They have taken a leading role in the campaign to promote our members' rights and to fight for educational justice."

The organizers knocked on tens of thousands of doors all over the state to have face-to-face conversations with other NYSUT members. For many, it was illuminating.

"People tend to think of NYSUT as the solver of problems," said Robin Parente, an Education Autumn member organizer from Chittenango TA. "But the truth is, we are all NYSUT."

NYSUT Board member Don Carlisto described the effort as "a very pure expression of unionism — member-to-member direct action, in a very personal way, going into people's homes and talking about the value of the union."

Organizers spoke with members about issues like the importance of voting NO on the constitutional convention Nov. 7, the value of being a member of a union, and struggles to improve our schools, our professions and our communities.

"I truly believe we're going to win this fight on the constitutional convention," Carlisto said. "But we're also going to make sure that each and every member sees union value, and when we look back on these initiatives, we're going to say this was the game-changer, the fact that members put feet in the street to connect with other members."

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