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    • Pallotta: Congresswoman Slaughter represented the embodiment of public service - and more

      ALBANY, N.Y. March 16, 2018 — Today, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta issued the following statement on the death of U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, who represented Western New York since 1987:

      “Today, the people of New York lost a true champion for working families. Congresswoman Slaughter represented the embodiment of public service, but she was so much more than that. She was a pillar of our community, a relentless advocate and a voice for the voiceless. For more than 30 years, she represented our state with honor, courage and dignity. She was an inspiration to me and to the people she served. On behalf of NYSUT, all of our officers, our members and a grateful state, I join the chorus of people praising Congresswoman Slaughter for her service and sending our thoughts and prayers to her family, her staff and the people she inspired.”

      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.

      Here's "the only microbiologist in Congress" welcoming NYSUT members to Rochester at our Representative Assembly in 2016. We mourn the loss of @LouiseSlaughter, a tireless advocate for public schools and women's rights. pic.twitter.com/DPhG5hiNDm

      — NYSUT (@nysut) March 16, 2018
    • Story of trailblazing labor journalist and suffragette Mary Heaton Vorse resurrected in NYSUT Women’s History Month Poster

      Journalist and activist Mary Heaton Vorse was a woman who broke the sound barrier: at a time when women were silenced, she traveled the U.S. and Europe for decades, using her words to write about the dirty corners of the industrialized working world, the costs of war, and the right to vote. She was shot by a vigilante, widowed twice, and supported three children.

      Vorse came of age in the late 1800s when America was still emerging as a place of its own, with all the knots of adolescence: cars were being manufactured, women could not vote, child and sweatshop labor were rampant in many industries. Born to a wealthy family, she turned to social justice causes and the pen to mark her life and many others.

      While silent films were making their debut, Vorse was anything but quiet. She showed up at the mills in Massachusetts to write about working conditions and the Lawrence textile strikes; she traveled to Moscow and Germany as a correspondent in two World Wars, she covered the steel strikes and brought food for striking miners in Kentucky; and she wrote about crime on the waterfront. She pushed her way past personal struggles and societal limitations to become a journalist, novelist, labor activist, advocate for women’s suffrage, and civil-rights proponent.

      “She was the greatest labor journalist of this century, and no one yet has risen to take her place,” said journalist Barbara Ehrenreich in a 1989 article in the New York Times. Ehrenreich reported that Vorse’s activist writing began in earnest after the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire at a factory near her home in Greenwich Village, where she ran toward the horror when she heard the screams of workers jumping out windows to their death to escape the locked building. She went on to report about the textile mill strikes in 1912, led by the Industrial Workers of the World and representing workers from 40 nationalities — about half of them women and children who stopped the looms to strike for better working conditions and pay.

      With March designated as Women’s History Month, Vorse is being honored by New York State United Teachers, featured on her own poster.

      To order or download the poster, visit www.nysut.org/publications.

      In her time, Vorse supported women’s rallies in both Europe and America, and if she were alive today, she’d be the type of woman who would be marching and wearing a pink knit hat. Throughout her life’s work, she showed up in places where women were generally not expected, and often not welcome — including World War I and II, the four-month-long Midwestern Great Steel Strike of 1919, the Russian famine of 1921, and the often-violent coal mining uprisings in Harlan County, Kentucky. And, most of the time, she did so with the constrictions of wearing dresses and heels.

      “Her unique contribution to the journalism of her time was to give consistent attention to the special concerns of women and their role in the labor movement,” according to Dee Garrison, author of  “Mary Heaton Vorse: The Life of an American Insurgent.”

      According to the American Biographies book “American Social Leaders and Activists” written by Neil Hamilton, Vorse was wounded by a bullet in 1937—shot by vigilantes at an Ohio Steel Strike.

      In 1962, at the age of 88, Vorse became the first recipient of the United Auto Workers Social Justice Award for her work as a labor journalist in the 1920s and 1930s. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and novelist Upton Sinclair attended the award ceremony.

      She was one of the founders of the Woman’s Peace Party and was a delegate for the New York Woman Suffrage Party, traveling to Hague by ship.

      As a young woman, Mary Heaton married journalist Albert White “Bert” Vorse, with whom she had two children. They traveled to France and then to Venice, both of them writing, and then moved to Provincetown, Ma.  After he died, she married Joe O’Brien, whom she met at the Lawrence Textile Strike. They had a son together, but O’Brien died three years after they were married.

      In her career, she wrote for the New York Post, New York World, McCall’s, Harper’s Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, The Masses, New Masses, New Republic and McClure’s Magazine, along with news services.  Witnessing a census being taken of homeless people at a shelter in New York City during the Great Depression, Vorse wrote: “There are other sides to the avalanche of despair. As a part of the widespread slump, the people who thought themselves secure have been thrown into it. The people who have been able to have a college education suddenly find themselves out of a job. No one can take the census of this misery. It doesn't walk the street. It sits and shivers in cold houses. It hides itself.”

      Later in her career, she covered issues of migrant workers, crime on the New York-New Jersey waterfront, the U.S. Department of Justice ‘Palmer’ raids, and automobile strikes. Her books include “Time and the Town,” “Strike,” “The Ninth Man: A Story” and “Autobiography of an Elderly Woman.”

      Author Garrison described Vorse as: “The foremost pioneer of labor journalism in the U.S. and a prominent participant in the women’s universal suffrage movement…  Vorse spent her life actively struggling for libertarian socialism, feminism, and world peace.”

      Vorse is recognized each year by the Metro Labor Communications Council of New York City, which presents its highest journalism award in her name.

      She was a longtime resident of New York and Provincetown, where she was involved with the well-known Provincetown Players theater group, who set up their theater in Vorse’s fish house on the wharf.  She is buried in Provincetown, and her house there is marked with a plaque. Her work and papers are available in the Walter Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Union Affairs, in Detroit, MI., donated by her children.

      While she was up against profound despair at different turns in her life, Vorse was an insider of life itself.

      “I love my golden wings,” Corse said in 1896, according to Garrison. “And I want to fly right into the sun until they are draggled and battered.”

      mary heaton vorse poster

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need







    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




    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




    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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