Winston Silvera, Teacher from UFT
* Retired teacher
* UFT U-rating advocate, the Bronx and Manhattan borough offices
Winston Silvera was a longtime science teacher and chapter leader at Harry S. Truman HS in the Bronx. After work hours, he was a U-rating advocate in the union’s Bronx and then Manhattan borough offices. He retired from teaching in 2003, but continued his work defending union members.
He died on April 11, at age 82.
In his mild-mannered, quiet and gentlemanly way, Winston got more done than most.
“Winston loved the union. He was a tenacious advocate who insisted on union members getting due process,” said retired teacher Albert Sarasohn, who worked with him in the Manhattan borough office U-Rating and Appeals department. “Members were glad to be represented by him,” Sarasohn said, adding that Winston had more of his cases overturned than other advocates because of his diligence. He retired from his U-rating work Dec. 31, 2019.
Winston was a regular at the UFT Delegate Assembly, conferences and other union events, and he was a delegate to the annual NYSUT Representative Assembly and AFT convention. George Caulfied, retired UFT District 3 representative, recruited Winston to work with the AFT on political, organizing and collective bargaining campaigns around the country.
“Winston was among the first to sign up, and no matter where I asked him to go, he went — the Midwest, New England, Florida — he just did everything and played a big part in campaigns for collective bargaining rights in states like Wisconsin and Ohio,” Caulfield said.
Winston would cancel appointments to make himself available to work. “He was energetic, enthusiastic and everywhere we sent him, he was appreciated and would always be asked for,” Caulfield said.
Winston began teaching in 1974, and while teaching high school, was also a professor of biology and chemistry at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. “He was dedicated to educating the young people of the Bronx at the high school and college level,” said Michael Hayes, the current chapter leader at Truman HS. “And he was a dedicated union man who was very kind, who always greeted you with a warm hello and words of encouragement and advice. He will be missed greatly,” Hayes said.
“Winston was a U-rating advocate who always gave 110% to the members,” said his colleague Herb Katz, a retired District 9 representative who worked with him in the Bronx. “He always greeted all of us with a smile and a handshake. In all of the years we knew him we never heard him say a cross word about anyone. He was a true gentleman and we will miss him,” Katz said.
Winston is survived by his wife, Yolanda, daughter, Judy Rameau, stepson Ramon Vallian, and four grandchildren.
Condolences can be sent to:
3313 Wickham Ave.
Bronx, NY 10469