AFT President Randi Weingarten hailed the accomplishments of retiring NYSUT President Andrew Pallotta and said his impact will be long-lasting. She also lauded his humility and heart.
“You heard him today, talking about gratitude and purpose and legacy. What is Andy's legacy? Andy understood. He understood he had to bring us together, from UFT to Buffalo, and everybody in between,” Weingarten said.
Pallotta “walked the walk” she said, crisscrossing the state to knit members from every corner together and find commonality across professions.
Addressing Pallotta directly, she said, “My dear friend, you have done an extraordinary job. Not only taking the values of who we are as human beings, but the values of who we are as a union to make NYSUT the most important union in the United States of America.”
Weingarten underlined the importance of expanding the labor tent while still preserving unity and praised NYSUT’s ongoing commitment to inclusion. Quoting scripture, she said NYSUT must continue to make sure “that the stone that has been rejected by others, gets embraced by us.”
Weingarten also commended outgoing executive vice president Jolene DiBrango and retiring president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation Phil Rumore.