A Message from President Josephine Libassi
Greetings Everyone and Happy February! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to our upcoming Winter Recess week. (And Valentine's Day!)
Negotiations are ongoing with the district. We have several dates on the calendar for the coming weeks and are continuing to make progress.
I wanted to share some information from NYSUT regarding their Member Benefits and Disaster Relief programs. I have attached the most recent information about these here. The Disaster Relief program is available to all members in the unfortunate event of a catastrophic loss due to weather or other disasters or tragedies. Most recently the fund was able to assist our members in Buffalo, NY, after the extreme blizzard, record snowfall and power outages caused hardships for so many.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Long Island President's Council winter meeting. This is an annual event where teacher union presidents from across Long Island meet to discuss issues, concerns, and share trends we are seeing. We develop potential resolutions for the coming year. We also hear from some visiting presenters, including the NYSUT legal department and TRS.
Noteworthy this year is NYSUT's commitment to "Fix Tier Six." They are lobbying hard for some improvements to be made to the current Tier 6. This may be the theme of some upcoming rallies or local lobbying efforts, so you will hear more as those events are planned across the island.
Another hot topic was the Governor's commitment to simplify the APPR. I asked a question about the timeframe of this when we had a chance to speak to NYSUT's Executive Board, and they are optimistic that local control will soon be restored to the APPR, which means no more tests or any state scoring will be attached to it. We will then be able to negotiate with the district the terms of a locally based APPR, which has not been the case since 2011.