NYSUT President Andy Pallotta has one request for this year's Representative Assembly.
"Our goal is 100 percent participation," Pallotta said. "We want to see every member represented and hear every voice as we plan for our union's future." Members make their voices heard by electing local delegates who represent them at the RA.
The union is facing challenges at the state and federal level, and the annual policymaking convention, April 27–28 in Buffalo, is not only an opportunity to set the course for the year, but also for delegates to organize, strategize and share ideas to take back to their locals.
"The RA focuses on the business of the union — the business that matters most to our local leaders and to our members," Pallotta said. The Janus v. AFSCME case has been an ongoing topic of discussion and delegates will hear the latest on the case and NYSUT's preparations.
RA delegates this year will elect two NEA State Directors, two NEA Alternate State Directors and delegates and alternates to the NEA Representative Assembly.
Participation is open to all locals. A constitutional amendment adopted by the 2000 RA created a more economical path for smaller locals to participate in the annual convention. Locals with fewer than 125 members may choose to form a council of locals with another local or locals in their area to elect common delegates. Local leaders should visit www.nysut.org/ra for all the details for forming a council of locals. Also, heed the deadlines: by Jan. 12 locals must adopt an identical resolution to establish the council and by Jan. 16 the NYSUT Board must receive, in writing, the request to be recognized as a council.
The RA web page has all of the other important deadlines as well, including those for submitting resolutions, and amendments to the NYSUT Constitution and Bylaws.
RA veterans may notice a few changes at the convention this year. The union is continuing with a more streamlined schedule and keeping the focus on the business of the union. The RA will also honor the winners of the union constituency awards as well as the Sandy Feldman award and grant, the Ken Kurzweil social justice award and community service awards and lifeline honor roll.