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Supervisors of Nurses and Therapists Chapter Newsletter - May 2017

As we draw near the end of this school year, I would like to acknowledge the new supervisors in our chapter. We hope, as our chapter continues to grow, that these new members will attend meetings and union events. 

A major highlight for the chapter this year was seeing Catherine Cirillo, a supervisor of physical therapists, featured in the February issue of our union’s newspaper, New York Teacher. Cathy is still receiving a lot of well-deserved attention A grave risk to our rights and benefits, in the January issue of the New York Teacher.

As your chapter leader, I must impress upon you that we are in a crucial time in labor history at the federal, state and local levels. We must become educated on issues that threaten our rights and benefits and increase our activism in protecting out rights to belong to a union.

Please take every opportunity to engage your family, neighbors and friends in the importance of unionism.


Mary Jo Ginese
Supervisors of Nurses and Therapists Chapter Leader

Paperwork reduction for nurse supervisors

As a result of the union’s advocacy, the DOE’s Office of School Health has finally agreed to eliminate the nurse supervisors’ requirement to write a year-end summary for school nurses who are under their supervision. This burdensome paperwork was impractical and deemed unnecessary.

NUSUT School-Related Professionals Conference

Supervisors of Nurses and Therapists Chapter Leader Mary Jo Ginese (front row, from left) attends the NYSUT SRP Conference held Oct. 20-22 with members. Also in attendance were School Secretaries Chapter Leader Mona Gonzalez (back row, left) and School Nurses Chapter Leader Cathy Connolly (back row, third from left).

Catching up with some older news here: The School-Related Professionals Conference took place last October in Saratoga Springs. Attendees were Physical Therapist Supervisor Catherine Cirillo and Occupational Therapist Supervisor Alexia Lantzounis. 

Cirillo said, “The NYSUT SRP conference was a rewarding experience. It offered a wide variety of pertinent workshops for all disciplines. It also fostered networking between the many disciplines from a variety of places in New York State.”

This year's SRP Conference will be held Oct. 20-22 in Albany.

Visit the Take a look at photos from the 2016 conference »

I was especially enlightened by the panel discussion on the politics of health care; how the right-wing assault on the Affordable Care Act can affect our work. 

Attending the conference is a great way to use you contractual tuition reimbursement money. I strongly encourage you to consider attending this conference next November. I’ll keep you posted when details are available.

National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week 2017 was May 6-12 this year. The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association since 1896. Each year, the ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state to help raise awareness and honor nurses and the work they do in schools. If you'd like to check out the history behind National Nurses Week, you can visit the download the Year of the Healthy Nurse factsheet to find out more and share it with nurses. For information on this year's National Nurses Week activities, visit the ANA website.

Upcoming national conferences

Amy Coopersmith (second from left) and Mary Beth Fitzgerald (right), of the Supervisors of Nurses and Therapists Chapter, present a workshop titled "Student Self-Monitoring of Progress" at this year's American Occupational Therapy Association's annual conference and expo. 

  • The American Physical Therapy Association will hold its Download the brochure »
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association held its Centennial Conference from March 30 to April 2. NYC occupational therapist supervisors Amy Coopersmith and Mary Beth Fitzgerald presented a workshop to a packed audience. The workshop, Student Self-Monitoring of Progress, reviewed a method developed by occupational therapists at the NYC DOE on student self-monitoring of progress on their IEP goals.

Contribute to COPE

The Committee on Political Education (COPE) is entirely funded by voluntary contributions. It covers the expenses of meeting with and educating legislators, and helps elect officeholders who respect our members, support education and work for union goals. With COPE, we work for laws and policies that further education and safeguard our rights; we back candidates who back us; and we support public officials take action on behalf of our members, parents and students.

The UFT’s political action work is made possible by the incredibly hard work of thousands of UFT members and by COPE. We do not use union dues for political action. Now, more than ever, it is critically important that you contribute to COPE. Email me at to sign up or contact Glen Lopez, the UFT's COPE coordinator, at 212-598-9244.

Download the brochure »

Become a UFT activist

UFT/COPE plans regular trips to Albany throughout the year so that we can speak with legislators and make sure our voices are heard. If you'd like to learn how you can go on these trips and become a UFT activist, visit the sign up to become a UFT activist here.

Sign up for UFT text messages

I encourage you to do so. To sign up to receive text updates, fill out the online form or send a text message to "30644" and type "UFT" in the message field. I promise we won’t inundate you with text messages; we will still use email as our primary mode of communication. 

Related Topics: Chapter News