This September, 3,000 new teachers have joined the city Department of Education’s ranks. Their interests and backgrounds are as diverse as New York City itself. But whether they teach 3-year-olds on Staten Island or high school biology in Brooklyn, they all have one thing in common: They belong to our United Federation of Teachers family.
One of my responsibilities as the UFT vice president for education is to make sure you stay informed about the rollout of New York State’s Next Generation Learning Standards. In 2018, we focused on raising awareness; this year we are focused on building capacity.
Today, like never before, our collective bargaining rights, benefits and protections are under fire. Our enemies will spread rumors and misinformation designed to undermine working people. They will pretend to be our friends when their goal is to hurt us. If we fall prey to their lies, we risk losing everything.
Our hard-earned rights and benefits become meaningless unless we’re willing to defend them. Standing up for ourselves and our students through collective action looks different from one school to the next, but taken all together, our ability to act collectively makes us a powerful force for advancing education in our city.