Welcome to the 2017–18 school year. However you spent your summer break, I hope it was productive and relaxing.
As we start off the fall, I'd like to quickly update you on a few issues we're working on and provide you with useful information.
- Save the dates for our chapter meetings: I encourage you to attend our chapter meetings this school year. They will take place on the following Wednesdays: Oct. 11, Nov. 15, Jan. 24, March 14, May 2 and June 6. Please mark these meetings in your calendar and I will let you know the time and location closer to the dates.
- Professional Issues Conference: Save the date for the 37th annual Federation of Nurses/UFT Professional Issues Conference on Nov. 17-18 at the Westin New York Grand Central. This two-day event is a great way to learn about legislative advocacy for health care and network with colleagues, so I hope that you attend.
- NYSUT School-Related Professionals Leadership Conference: This year's conference is Oct. 20-22 at The Desmond in Albany, New York. This is a great learning and networking opportunity for leaders in our chapter and I encourage you to attend if you can. Our chapter is well represented at the conference each year, and this year's conference will certainly be eventful and informative. If you would like to attend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get involved in UFT events: Join your fellow school supervisors at the Labor Day Parade this Saturday, Sept. 9. You can sign up online to walk with the UFT at the parade. And come to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Sunday, Oct. 15, one of the highlights of the fall. It's a great way join your colleagues in the fight to find a cure and support cancer research.
- Keep in touch: As your chapter leader, I want to make sure you feel supported as much as possible. I'll send you regular updates about chapter issues this year as well as news that may be of value to you. In addition, if you have any questions or concerns, email me at email@example.com.
As we embark on another year, we have a lot of work to do as unionists. New Yorkers go to the polls on Nov. 7 to vote on whether to hold a constitutional convention. It is vital that we vote NO on this issue. Anti-union forces are committed to destroying our pensions as well as our right to organize and collectively bargain. Tell your family and friends to join you at the polls and vote NO!
Read more about why we must vote down a constitutional convention »
Watch this video about the dangers of a convention »
Public employee unions are facing an enormous challenge this year. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Janus v. AFSCME court case that seeks to debilitate unions by declaring fair-share or agency fees unconstitutional. These fees cover the costs a union incurs representing and providing services for people who do not choose to belong to a union.
As we brace for this decision, we need every single one of you to remind your colleagues about the benefits of belonging to a union: a defined-benefit pension, employer-paid health insurance, due process rights, tenure, a grievance process, and a voice in how schools are run. Unions, through our voluntary donations to COPE, also provide us a place at the table in Albany as well as at the City Council.
Help us keep our union the strong force it’s been for more than 50 years! Have a great year and keep in touch.
Mary Jo Ginese
Supervisors of Nurses & Therapists Chapter Leader