A Message from President Josephine Libassi
Congratulations to all of our retirees!
This was a very busy year for MITA Members and your MITA Board of Trustees.
We started the year under our former contract as negotiations continued.
Terry D'Andrea and I attended the TRS conference in November, and along with Christine Acevedo, attended NYSUT's Representative Assembly in April, and learned about the need to Fix Tier Six for our newest members. There will be more information coming out in the fall about the ways in which we can help do that.
In January, we held our annual Retirement Planning meeting, which was very well-attended.
In February, I attended the LIPC (Long Island Presidents' Council) conference where we had a presentation from NYSUT's legal counsel. This is very helpful every year, as we are in situations that often require us to advocate for our members; the legal insights they provide are a great resource.
In April, I started Coffee Talk Thursday, just to serve as a reminder that you can always contact me to talk about concerns or ask questions. Any day of the week! Thursdays will remain going forward as an Open House day at MITA every week, so stop by!
In May, we endorsed and supported our own retired MITA Officer Gina Pozzolano-Gebia in her run for a seat on Longwood's Board of Education, which she won. On Longwood Day, we hosted a First Book Event which distributed free books to the Longwood Community. Our annual MITA Dinner Dance was May 18th and a great evening for all who attended.
Throughout the year, your MITA officers met regularly with Dr. Lohman and Dr. Hagan for the purpose of discussing and resolving many issues for our members. In matters that were not subjects of union resolution, we advocated.
I know this was another tough year for all of us; student behaviors continue to pose challenges and create more work for us as we document it all.
Finally, our new contract was ratified, retro salary is forthcoming, and we have a new vision plan rolling out. We maintained many aspects of our contract that were threatened in negotiations. There was a lot to lose, potentially. Most of the district's proposals were items they wanted to remove, or significantly alter. I hope that all MITA members see the value in holding on to items that contribute to the overall strength of our contract, understanding that anything given up is never recovered. Once it's gone, it's gone.
The negotiating team worked very hard from the point of surveying members at the start of the process, throughout the 18 months of negotiations. Your new contract is strong, solid, and a result of a lot of effort on the part of those who worked hard for all of you. There have been some naysayers. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's time now, however, to move forward under our newly ratified contract.