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Hearing Education Services Chapter Newsletter - April 2016

As we head toward the April recess, I want to thank all of you for doing your job so well. I’m aware that we don’t often receive recognition for the work we do.

I know that you are frustrated because you often spend valuable time looking for a parking space. And then, once in school, we spend so much time dealing with SESIS.

Now we have another task to do that will take time away from your students. You have to upload your monthly service sheets into TRAC – the Travel Reimbursement and Approval Certification process. I know these time-eating chores keep you from doing what you love to do: help students. So I thank you for the work you do with hearing-impaired students.

The union is fighting to develop a solution that truly meets our needs with regard to this task. In the meantime, the union is urging the DOE to make sure that you have access to the technology you need to complete TRAC documentation in the schools where you provide services.

In late February, seven hearing teachers, including myself, attended a UFT training weekend at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, NY. We learned a lot about the union, and enjoyed spending time with each other. Some of the workshops presented were on pensions, contractual rights, safety and health and workplace bullying. During the plenary session, UFT President Michael Mulgrew spoke about the importance of union activism in preserving collective bargaining rights.

I hope to see many of you at upcoming events mentioned below. Happy spring!

In unity,

Cecilia Cortez
Hearing Education Services Chapter Leader

Be Union Loud and Proud!

As you have probably heard, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld fair-share fees in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association with a 4-4 ruling on March 29.

It’s a big win for working families, but probably a temporary respite at best. The decision won’t stop our enemies. In fact, other cases are already in the pipeline.

The appointment of the next Supreme Court justice will be key. Our message to the Republicans in the U.S. Senate is: Do your job and give Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee, a fair hearing. In the event that the Republicans continue to refuse to hold a hearing, we must do everything in our power to ensure a Democrat wins the White House in November.

I encourage you to stand with your brothers and sisters and join the Union Loud and Proud campaign. In numbers we have power, and strengthening our union has never been so important. Please join in our fight and encourage your colleagues to join as well.

Consultation committee meetings

During our monthly consultation meetings with Assistant Superintendent Helen Kaufman, we discuss many topics including the budget, TRAC checks, school-based options, self-contained classes, the HES newsletter, issues regarding new paperwork, summer school and our upcoming professional development day.

Consultation meeting minutes are posted on our chapter website.

UFT Lobby Day 2016

CLS lobby day 2015

District 75 was in the house! UFT District 75 Representative Analia Gerard (third row, fifth from right) posed with District 75 chapter leaders, UFT staff and educators in the Empire State Convention Center on March 9. Cecilia Cortez is in the front row, fourth from right.

I was happy to join more than 1,100 UFT members in Albany on March 9 for the union’s annual Lobby Day. State legislators addressed members at the convention center in the Empire State Plaza just before the educators fanned out to adjourning buildings to lobby their local elected officials to call for an increase in school funding, more Teacher Centers, an end to the charter equity gap and further expansion of the Community Learning Schools Initiative.

See other photos in the gallery »

Share stories about what #UnionProud means

Most of us have a story of how being a union member has affected our lives. Now, we have an amazing new online platform to share these stories. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to read your colleagues’ #UnionProud stories on the importance of union membership. You can also subscribe to read new ones as they are added and share your favorite stories on social media. Have your own story to tell? Please let us know by filling out our Union Loud and Proud testimonial form.

Register now for the UFT Spring Education Conference on May 7

I hope I’ll see you at the UFT’s annual Spring Education Conference, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The union will offer a morning panel, exciting workshops, innovative exhibits and a gala luncheon. The deadline to register is this Friday, April 15 and workshops fill up fast! For registration information and for a description of the workshops, see the event listing »

Run/walk for the UFT Disaster Relief Fund

Join your colleagues at the UFT 3rd Annual 5K Family Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, April 16 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The run is sponsored by the UFT Middle School Division. The starting point is in front of the Coney Island boardwalk. You have until tomorrow, Thursday, April 14 to register. The fee is $25 for adults, $15 for children, age 12 or younger. For registration and more information, see the event listing »

Upcoming events

Thursday, May 5: Please come to the 11th annual Friends of District 75 awards dinner and scholarship gala, from 6 to 11 p.m. at El Caribe Caterers, 5945 Strickland Ave. in Brooklyn. The event will honor former District 75 Group Coordinator Wendy Fox. Tickets cost $90 and include cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and open bar. To RSVP for this black-tie formal event, complete the mail-in coupon. The payment deadline is Thursday, April 21.

April 1-30: The Autism Society has a lot of ideas for promoting autism awareness. Visit the Autism Society's website for more details.

Professional development on June 9

Please save the date for our professional development day on Thursday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. at the UFT Brooklyn borough office. Author Gina Oliva will be our guest speaker.

Are you signed up for text messaging?

Janella Hinds

The UFT is now sending text messages to members’ mobile phones to get you information you need fast. This includes updates on weather emergencies, reminders about rallies and other union actions; and updates on vital news. We promise not to inundate you. We’ll still send most of our messages via email.

Sign up to receive UFT text messages by texting “UFT” to 30644 from your mobile phone, or you can sign up online.

Sign up to receive UFT text messages »

Related Topics: Chapter News