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Value of the union

New York Teacher

To those still in the trenches, thank you! My starting pay was $9,600 per year. My union, while not perfect, protected its teachers and fought for pay increases and workplace rules.

I’m one of the older teachers who went on strike (and lost two days for each day on strike), walked across the Brooklyn Bridge demonstrating for change and worked the phone banks at the Brooklyn UFT headquarters during election time. I was a union delegate for some time.

Teaching is a profession that comes from the heart. Teachers should be respected, well-paid and treated fairly. The colleges that prepare us to be teachers don’t really do an adequate job. That’s why so many new teachers quit the profession. The system should be better.

Yet, here I am happily collecting my pension and watching my TDA grow. Thank you to Albert Shanker, Sandra Feldman, Randi Weingarten and Michael Mulgrew.

Iris Rodriguez, retired
(via Facebook)

* * *

I have filed grievances and won every one when it came to summer school per session. It is your right to grieve if your rights have been abridged. The worst they can say is “No,” but most of the time they say “Yes” because they erred. Support your union and use your rights. Use ’em or lose ’em!

Howard Schwartz, retired
(via Facebook)

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