<![CDATA[Stronger Together Caucus - Endorsements]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 07:41:25 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Orange County Teachers Association]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:12:17 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/orange-county-teachers-association                                                                                                                                                                                                                     April 1, 2017
Dear Brothers & Sisters:
I am writing this letter as the President of the Orange County Teachers’ Association (OCTA) and the local presidents listed below join me in endorsing Michael Lillis for President, Bianca Tanis for Executive Vice President, Megan DeLaRosa for 1st Vice President and Nate Hathaway for Secretary-Treasurer of NYSUT.  As teachers and unionists, we all know a few things about what young people need to learn–excellent teachers, involved families, stable housing, rest, good nutrition, safe neighborhoods, economically integrated schools, special education, socioemotional supports, mental health services and high quality testing are all key.  I want to thank Michael Lillis, Bianca Tanis, Megan DeLaRosa and Nate Hathaway for being tireless advocates for our young people, our teachers and our schools.  Just as they have advocated for an array of policies that address improving our students’ educations, they will work toward building an environment at NYSUT that will allow the officers to position themselves as change agents for our members.  When you find a group of people that encourage and inspire you, big changes are inevitable.  The contributions of this ST Caucus slate of officers will have a huge impact on what we want to accomplish for our members.  NYSUT will gain momentum under their leadership.  Rank and file members will be encouraged to be involved in the democratic process.  With transparency and accountability, this slate will lead NYSUT to be a true and stronger union.
Thank You!

In Solidarity,
Laura Beck, President of OCTA and Orange Ulster BOCES TA
Ezra Clementson, President of Minisink Valley Central School District Teachers’ Association
Rich Steger, President of Valley Central Teachers’ Association
Regis Foster, President of Port Jervis City School District Teachers’ Association
Carlos Barquero, President of Warwick Valley Central School District Teachers’ Association
Frank Gannon, President of Florida Union Free School District Teachers’ Association
Patrick Ryan, President of Washingtonville Central School District Teachers’ Association
Chris Passudetti, President of Pine Bush Central School District Teachers’ Association
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<![CDATA[The Jamesville-DeWitt Faculty Association, Fayetteville-Manlius Teachers Association, OCM BOCES Federation of Teachers, Solvay Teachers Association and Fabius-Pompey Education Association]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:35:48 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/the-jamesville-dewitt-faculty-association-fayetteville-manlius-teachers-association-ocm-boces-federation-of-teachers-solvay-teachers-association-and-fabius-pompey-education-associationThe Jamesville-DeWitt Faculty Association, Fayetteville-Manlius Teachers Association, OCM BOCES Federation of Teachers, Solvay Teachers Association, Fabius-Pompey Education Association and several Onondaga County local leaders would like to announce their endorsement and support of the ST Caucus Candidates for NYSUT Officers:

Mike Lillis –for NYSUT President
Bianca Tanis - for NYSUT Executive Vice President
Megan DeLaRosa –for NYSUT 1st Vice President
Nate Hathaway –for NYSUT Secretary/Treasurer

Knowing the candidates’ track record, we are certain they will continue to be advocates for every teacher and student across New York State and will build and grow the support needed for all members of NYSUT. The ST Caucus candidates have made a tremendous effort to explain their positions on hot topics that affect educators and students across the State and have yet to deflect away from tough topics and sometimes politically sensitive and controversial areas.

We have chosen to support the ST Caucus candidates as we believe and are encouraged that they will represent all areas of NYSUT, the NYSUT membership, and the students of NYS.

In solidarity,
Larry Stroh, President Jamesville-DeWitt Faculty Association
Kelly Fletcher, President Fayetteville-Manlius Teachers Association
Mike Emmi, President Solvay Teachers Association
Ben Alexander, President Jordan Elbridge Teachers Association
Tracie Clark, President OCM BOCES Federation of Teachers
Betsy Pierce, President Fabius-Pompey Education Association
John Mannion, President West Genesee Teachers Association
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<![CDATA[Michael Romano President, Central Islip Teachers Association]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:33:29 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/michael-romano-president-central-islip-teachers-associationThe Central Islip Teachers Association strongly endorses the Stronger Together slate of officers. Mike, Bianca, Megan, and Nate are the best choice to help end the vicious statewide attack on the noble profession of teaching and the dismantling of the public education system that has been perpetuated by the detrimental, cavalier stance taken by the current NYSUT leadership.

We believed in 2014 the Revive NYSUT slate running against NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi would be detrimental to our union as a whole and they have proven it to be true. The Unity Caucus will only continue this divide. Then and now Andy Pallotta has been self serving and will continue to cause a divide within NYSUT. The Revive slate did not have the best interest of the rank and file members of NYSUT and neither does Unity Caucus. They serve the state politicians. They have back room meetings to hash out deals beneficial to them and their cronies in UFT, particularly Michael Mulgrew. Karen Magee and Revive never went after Cuomo's anti-educational policies. Compliance is agreement. Failure to withdraw political support is agreement. The current NYSUT leadership did not start endorsing the opt-out movement until recently. Even in the most recent state elections they endorsed candidates with anti-educational positions.

ST Caucus has a firm understanding of the issues most state locals are currently facing, and they are on the same side regarding these issues...the tax cap, the opt-out movement, teacher evaluations, receivership, vouchers, and charter schools to name a few.  We need Stronger Together to lead the fight to save public education. We need a slate of officers on the same side of the issues. We need officers who will not comply with politicians, but challenge them instead. We need integrity and principle brought back to NYSUT. We need ST Caucus. We pledge our CITA votes to Mike, Bianca, Megan, and Nate, and we encourage all NYSUT delegates to do the same.

In Solidarity,
Michael Romano
President, Central Islip Teachers Association

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<![CDATA[Hastings Teachers Association]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:18:35 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/hastings-teachers-associationFebruary 2017
 
The Executive Board of the Hastings Teachers Association unanimously voted to endorse the Stronger Together slate of officers of Mike, Bianca, Megan and Nate. 
 
The commitment of the ST Caucus slate to create a vibrant and vital statewide union resonates with our members.  Their ability to recognize that the current issues impacting educators are all interrelated.  The Tax Levy Cap, Opt-Out, teacher evaluations, Tier 5 & 6, Receivership, fair and equitable funding for public education, school to prison pipeline, vouchers, agency fee, etc. are the insidious symptoms of a larger problem whose exact nature is the dismantling of public education and the destruction of the labor movement.  Every time NYSUT capitulates on one issue it becomes the new normal and we take another giant step towards our own demise.   The ST Caucus has recognized that you can’t fight one of these issues without fighting all of them. 
 
We need leaders who do not want to take the path of least resistance.  The leadership team of Mike, Bianca, Megan and Nate are the team to lead NYSUT as we engage in a head-on battle to save public education.  The Hastings Teachers Association gives its unwavering support to Stronger Together and we encourage other NYSUT locals to do the same.
 
In Solidarity,


Nate Morgan
President
Hastings Teachers Association
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<![CDATA[Orange-Ulster BOCES Teachers' Association]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:15:06 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/orange-ulster-boces-teachers-associationDear Brothers and Sisters,
I am very pleased to announce that at our March 16, 2017 Executive Board meeting, the elected officers of the Orange-Ulster BOCES Teachers’ Association voted to support Michael Lillis for NYSUT President, Bianca Tanis for NYSUT Executive Vice President, Megan DeLaRosa for NYSUT 1st Vice President and Nate Hathaway for NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer, at the upcoming 2017 NYSUT Representative Assembly.  As teachers currently in the trenches, we believe that this slate of officers understands firsthand the difficulties teachers and their students face each and every day.

We are often told how NYSUT is 600,000 members strong-and yet we just continue to accept every legislative loss and make it our “new normal.”  Our members are expected to do so much more, with so much less.  The Stronger Together slate has shown that they not only recognize how hard our teachers are working, but that they will fight for the values that will allow us to reclaim the promise of public education.  As public educators and unionists, we are under attack.  Public Education is in serious danger of being destroyed.  We need to focus all of our efforts and energy on fighting back.  With our President, Governor, Education Secretary and “Big Business” trying to tear unions apart, this is not the time for division.  We long for the days when Government and American voters of all parties will come together to support public education.  We need to be united and fighting together for common goals.   
 
We believe the Stronger Together slate will:
  • Fight for the return of local control to bargain for teacher evaluation and APPR.
  • Organize and work to ensure the repeal of the damaging aspects of the Education Transformation Act of 2015, while the moratorium is still in place.
  • Not support the CCSS until the curriculum is developmentally appropriate.
  • Continue speak out against teachers writing test questions for assessments that hurt students and teachers.
  • Support the “I Refuse” resolution that was adopted at the 2015 NYSUT RA.
  • Advocate for what is in the best interest of our STUDENTS!
  • Fight to organize our 600,000 rank and file members.
  • Make it a priority to engage locals that feel their voices and concerns are not heard.
  • Work to preserve the critical services offered to NYSUT locals, rather than cut services due to financial hardship.
  • Work to eliminate the tax cap that holds school districts hostage, despite support from their communities.
  • Travel the state listening to rank and file members.
 
We have seen a 40% drop in teacher training programs because NYSUT has simply failed to protect our profession.  Now is the time to stand united!  600,000 members strong!  
We are – Stronger Together!


In Unity,
Laura Beck
President, Orange Ulster BOCES Teachers’ Association

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<![CDATA[Marla Kilfoyle]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 13:03:11 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/marla-kilfoyleI became a proud member of the Stronger Together Caucus in 2015.  Stronger Together stood for all that I believed in as a unionist - solidarity, and democracy.  My voice and knowledge as a member of Stronger Together are valued.  My voice and opinions have never felt stifled or controlled.  


Brothers and sisters, we need a different vision for NYSUT and we have a chance to make that happen this year.  
We need a vision where NYSUT is not defined by regional silos.
We need a vision for NYSUT where all members, and their votes, are seen as equal.  
We need a vision for NYSUT that will move the entire Union, in solidarity, toward the battle lines that we will need to be on in the next few years.
We need a vision for NYSUT that is about supporting our members and not appeasing politicians who have a clear agenda to destroy public education.
For all the reasons I outlined above, I will be voting for the Stronger Together Caucus Slate on April 8th at the NYSUT Representative Assembly.

​I feel they have the vision we need to make NYSUT a union rooted in solidarity and democracy.


~Marla Kilfoyle, NYSUT Member since 1988 and NYSUT Delegate to the 2017 Representative Assembly.  
*The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect in any way those institutions/organizations to which I am affiliated.]]>
<![CDATA[Kevin Gibson, Secretary, Buffalo Teachers Federation]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:38:04 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/kevin-gibson-secretary-buffalo-teachers-federationSisters and Brothers                                                                                            24 MAR 17
 
I personally support the Stronger Together slate for NYSUT leadership offices and I encourage fellow delegates to join with me as we turn toward the future of NYSUT.   Michael, Bianca, Megan and Nate are the real deal when it comes to what NYSUT members want from their leadership, indeed the Stronger Together slate has consistently exhibited a tireless advocacy that models a transformational grassroots vision for NYSUT - a vision that will strengthen and empower all locals (small and large) with a refreshing pledge of dedication and inclusiveness to every member they will serve.    
To be sure, NYSUT has a rich and powerful history that maintained a balance among its numerous and diverse locals.  It also has a long history of electing officers who have the capacity and willingness listen to the voices of its members, and to include those voices in crafting policy decisions.  Today, regretfully, that balance and receptive ear are in peril within our storied Union.  Today, New York teachers clamor for unity and solidarity and they are turning toward the steel spined leadership of the Stronger Together slate while they turn away from the top-down, here today - gone tomorrow, weak kneed shenanigans responsible for ousting two of our duly elected Presidents & so many other officers over the past three years. 
Sisters and Brothers, understanding our past is crucial, in The Tempest, Shakespeare wrote “Whereof what’s past is Prologue” to that I simply urge you to seize upon this moment while the script is in your hands, and vote for bold, new, stable and trustworthy leadership for NYSUT’s members.  The future of our profession depends on delegates voting for change, voting for the transformational leadership offered by the Stronger Together slate and rejecting and resisting the quiet appeasement offered by the opposition. 
While Public Education in New York has endured both a protracted and brutal attack, the incumbent candidates have done little to blunt or even counter these assaults.  If re-elected, the Unity Slate’s ineffective, hollow record of missed opportunities promises little more than continued appeasement, flaccid deflections and stinging legislative defeats that will lead to a deeper destabilization of our craft and profession. Under Unity:
  • We have 3012d - An APPR that is based on voodoo student performance measures.  We are worse off and everyone knows it.
  • We have a Tax Cap - undemocratic on its face, our public districts are strangled while profiteering privatizing charter operators are rolling in the dough and everyone knows it. 
  • We have Receivership,Tier V and Tier VI - Our newer members are worse off as they labor in an underfunded system where contracts are ignored and everyone knows it.
  • We have financial distress - NYSUT is considering a plan that will reduce essential field services to members to deal with a financial crisis.  Everyone knows the incumbents took a raise for themselves in the face of a financial crisis. 
  • We have an Elephant in the Living Room - While Cuomo’s current budget once again takes aim at the heart of Public Education we are only talking about Betsy DeVos and Republicans while ignoring that Cuomo IS DeVos. He is not a changed man and we must confront all who wish us harm even if that person dictates from the Governor’s Mansion. 
In NYSUT we say “Keep The Clock,” & we have a charge to guard our frail and fragile creation against ineffectiveness.  If we truly want to “Keep The Clock” NYSUT members must turn away from an ineffective leadership that is putting our wonderful work of art, our clock, at risk. .  
Michael, Bianca, Megan and Nate have the experience, temperament and character to lead NYSUT in a new direction, one that will boldly challenge all of our enemies and make us stronger together - each of them have earned my respect and I am certain they will earn yours. 
 
In Unity and Solidarity,
 
Kevin M. Gibson - Father, Classroom Teacher & Secretary - Buffalo Teachers Federation 

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<![CDATA[Tim Farley, Education Activist]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:17:22 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/tim-farley-education-activist
March 2017
 
It is my pleasure to write this endorsement for the Stronger Together Caucus (Mike Lillis, Bianca Tanis, Meghan DeLerosa, and Nate Hathaway).
 
Through my many years of educational advocacy, I have gotten to know Mike and Bianca quite well. They are leaders among leaders who will continue to dedicate themselves to reclaiming education from the bureaucrats and returning our classrooms to the students and teachers. They will not stop until this era of “high stakes testing” is over and our teachers can truly teach again. They will not stop until testing is age and grade appropriate and only used to inform instruction – not to punish students, teachers, and schools.
 
Our state and our nation are in a battle on who will be running our public schools. Do you want people like Betsy DeVos, Jeb Bush, and Bill Gates to be determining what our schools look like? We need bold leadership in a time where it is severely lacking. I believe Mike, Bianca, and the ST Caucus are the kind of leaders we so desperately need.
 
I endorse the Stronger Together Caucus enthusiastically and without reservation.
 
 Sincerely,
 
 Tim Farley
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<![CDATA[Arielle Chiger, President New Paltz United Teachers]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:14:35 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/arielle-chiger-president-new-paltz-united-teachersNew Paltz United Teachers would like to announce its proud endorsement of the slate of candidates for the Stronger Together Caucus!  Mike Lillis, Bianca Tanis, Megan DeLaRosa and Nate Hathaway will be formidable advocates for every teacher and student across New York State, and will insist on consistency and support for all NYSUT members.  We are at a time when public education, labor rights, and students with disabilities are being mercilessly targeted by power-grabbing, money-hungry subjugators; and we need to fight back in an aggressive and unified way.
 
The ST Caucus executive candidates have continued to travel around the state, deconstructing and debunking the erroneous paradigm of college and career readiness.  They have explained their opposition to the common core standards which continue to limit and cage the extraordinary discoveries that take place when teachers and students inquire, explore and question together.  And in addition to advocating for the elimination of the high-stakes NYS ELA and Math testing, these candidates have the drive, the guts, and the integrity to be unrelenting when lobbying and representing ALL NYSUT members.  
 
NPUT endorses ST Caucus because they will represent everyone.  
We endorse them because they will protect students with disabilities.
We endorse them because they understand that students and schools in poverty need resources and supports, not judgment and punishment.
We endorse them because they oppose the Common Core Standards.
We endorse them because we have been sold out by the current NYSUT leadership, and we live with an evaluation system that continues to hurt us all.
We endorse them because they have been consistent champions of the Opt Out movement, and will not support the Commissioner’s invitations to teachers to write test questions that have no merit.
We endorse them because they will fight for equitable funding.
We endorse them because they will stand up to Cuomo’s lies and destruction.
We endorse them because no seven-year-old’s family should be told their child is not college or career ready.
 
Under the reign of the current NYSUT leadership, we have experienced budget cuts, RTTT, APPR, Tier V and Tier VI, Receivership, and a tax cap that has virtually mangled school districts for years to come.  
 
We need a change.  We need it NOW.  And we will proudly work with Mike, Bianca, Megan and Nate to strengthen, unite and protect all NYSUT constituents.
 
In solidarity,
 
Arielle Chiger, President
New Paltz United Teachers
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<![CDATA[Martin Daly, President of New Rochelle FUSE]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:10:53 GMThttp://www.stcaucus.org/endorsements/martin-daly-president-of-new-rochelle-fuse
I cannot, in good conscience, support the Unity Caucus slate in the upcoming NYSUT officer elections. I have been greatly disillusioned with the decision of  NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta to arrange yet another ouster of a NYSUT president.  That decision demonstrates to me  a “my way or the highway” style of collaboration that reeks of arrogance and ambition that will undoubtedly further divide our union. It is not at all what I expected or what I voted for when I enthusiastically supported the “Revive NYSUT” slate in 2014
    However, that is not why I am supporting Mike Lillis for NYSUT president. My decision to support Mike and the Stronger Together Caucus should not be seen as a vote against Andy Pallotta or the Unity Caucus but rather as a vote for transformational change for our union.  Their vision for an activist union, one that actively engages rank-and-file members in building a strong and united organization fighting for our profession, our members, our students and the labor movement with integrity and passion, is the vision I want for the future of NYSUT.
I support  Mike Lillis for NYSUT president because he is an informed, articulate and well-respected voice for our profession. He has forged significant coalitions with parents and other activist groups, and has emerged as a leader for those in the pro-public schools movement pushing back against the onslaught of “test-and-punish” policies advanced by so-called reformers and lawmakers. His experience as a local union president informs his thinking and his actions as he knows first hand the deleterious effects that APPR, the tax levy cap, tiers 5 and 6, receivership and a host of other legislative setbacks have had on our profession and our union.
More importantly though, I support Mike Lillis because he is a principled leader and a reasonable  person. He is always willing to engage in a respectful - and often lively - discussion with those with whom he disagrees.
I am certain that, in words and deeds, Mike will lead our union with  integrity, strength and  purpose as we confront the serious existential challenges that NYSUT will face in the years ahead. He is a leader I can trust to do what is right for our members, our profession, our students and our cherished union.  I will be urging the delegates from FUSE to join me in supporting him and the Stronger Together slate on April 8. ​]]>