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    • NYSUT issues early endorsements for Schumer, others

      ALBANY, N.Y. May 26, 2016 – New York State United Teachers today announced the early endorsements of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and five other leaders who have consistently stood with public education and organized labor, demonstrating through their long-time voting record and public statements that they have earned the support of the state’s largest union.

      In addition to Schumer, the NYSUT Board of Directors approved the endorsements of U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-10th; U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-12th; U.S Rep. Nita Lowey, D-17th; and Assemblyman Keith Wright, who is running for New York’s 13th congressional district seat.

      NYSUT’s Board of Directors also voted to back Assemblyman Harry Bronson for re-election to his 138th Assembly District seat.

      NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said that even when the political winds were blowing against educators and public sector workers, “These candidates stood shoulder to shoulder with educators and listened, and then used their voice to speak out strongly for what public schools and colleges – and students – needed. Now it’s our turn to stand strongly with them and to use NYSUT’s political clout to support their campaigns.”

      NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the vast majority of NYSUT’s endorsements will be acted upon at the 600,000-plus member union’s regular endorsement conference on Aug. 8-9.

      “In these cases, candidates have earned early endorsements that will enable them to grow momentum toward the primary and general elections,” Pallotta said. “We are proud to be able to support their candidacies with the financial support and volunteers they need to be victorious in their elections.”

      Pallotta said thousands of NYSUT volunteers will be working phone banks, handing out literature and going door to door on behalf of union-endorsed candidates throughout the summer and fall, leading up to the Nov. 8 general election.

      New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

    • Kate Mullany is stepping out of the shadows at last

      The collar cleaner who left the scalding Troy laundries to walk out into the cold winter and march for the women’s union she’d just formed is coming forward again.

      Kate Mullany is stepping out of the shadows at last.

      Thursday, this Irish immigrant was honored with an induction into Labor’s International Hall of Fame at a ceremony on the lush green grass in back of her former rowhouse on 8th Street in Troy.

      A row of purple flowers with snowball heads dazzled the side of the red brick house, where Kate’s third-floor apartment is now being restored in 19th century fashion.

      Barbara Jones, consul general of Ireland, attended the ceremony and reminded people that Mullany’s parents were “refugees from starvation” in the potato famine of Ireland. The story of the Mullanys has “the elements of the kaleidoscope of America,” she said. Paul Cole, a former labor leader who now devotes his energy to being the stalwart keeper of Mullany’s legacy, led the ceremony. He helped guide the process to the property’s designation as a National Historic Site in 2004.

      There are 91 National Historic Sites, Cole said at the ceremony, and the Mullany House “is the only one that has an exclusive emphasis on labor and Irish working women.”

      He said the induction into the Labor’s International Hall of Fame for Mullany is a “spectacular honor.”

      Without volunteers such as Cole to “fight diligently to protect labor’s history, workers’ history would be silent,” said Selma Goode of the hall of fame.

      Mullany House board member Susan Zucker was also cheered for her volunteer work on the project. She was joined in the crowd by fellow board member NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale, and NYSUT President Karen E. Magee.

      The medallion-shaped sculpture presented at the ceremony is a replica of the 63-foot tall sculpture that stands in Detroit outside the Labor’s International Hall of Fame.

      Mullany will join former AFT President Sandra Feldman, who was posthumously inducted into the labor hall of fame in 2015.

      Mullany’s mother, who was sickly, bought the property after her husband died, and rented out five units in the building. She lived upstairs with Kate and three other children. Kate the was sole breadwinner, working 12-14 hours a day in the steaming laundries where caustic cleaners such as bleach and sulfuric acid, and the use of coal-heated irons caused injury to the women cleaning and pressing the detachable collars. She helped form the country’s first bona fide all women’s union.

      Amy Bracewell of the National Park Service said the property not only houses Mullany’s legacy, but also provides an opportunity for education. Her work “helped spread ideas of equality and human rights,” she said, calling it a “remarkable story.” Bracewell is superintendent of the Saratoga National Historical Park. She spoke at the ceremony in the familiar park service outfit and wide-brimmed hat.

      Shawn Ellis, from the Labor’s International Hall of Fame headquarters in Detroit, said inductees chosen for the hall of fame have a strong history of promoting history through education.

      The Collar Laundry Union Singers performed after a light drizzle had passed over, reprising the song “What Have We To Lose,” from the original play based on Kate Mullany, “Don’t Iron While the Strike Is Hot.”

      The apartment is being meticulously restored by Tracy Lee, a carpenter with expertise in historical restoration. Standards are set by the National Park Service. Each door is being custom made or restored according to specifications by historical architects. (http://www.nysut.org/news/nysut-united/issues/2016/may-2016/restoring-the-house-that-kate-and-labor--built)

      Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said the restoration is an important link for Troy, which had a major role in the industrialization of America.

      “At one point we were the fourth wealthiest city in the country,” he said. But that wealth was made possible by workers who labored for “barely subsistent wages.”

      Mullany, he said, stood up to the power of the factory owners.

      “It must have been terrifying to stand up to those men and not blink,” he said.

      Roxanne Castleman traveled from Tolland, Conn. for the ceremony. She did not come empty-handed.

      She had purchased some cane chairs from the 1800’s and was looking up information about their origin in Troy. She came across the architect’s furnishings study for the Mullany House. She contacted Cole, who has been searching for period furnishings and donations to help restore the house to National Historic Site standards.

      “He said, ‘I want them!’” Castleman recalled, laughing.

      It turns out the chairs were not her only connection to Troy. Her great grandmother, from Ireland, is buried in Hoosick Falls. “She was a factory worker here in the 1800’s,” Castleman said.

      Castleman made a donation to make it possible for the Mullany House to now have six cane chairs. They will all be seats of honor.

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.

     

    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)

     

    Member Alert Program

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    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)

     

    Nysut Action Center Mobile App

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    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.



    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

     
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