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    • Introducing the NYSUT Student Loan Debt Program

      One thing we constantly hear from our members is their frustration and confusion when it comes to managing student loans. While this is a national problem, educators and other public-sector workers are hit especially hard.

      Even worse, there are a large number of for-profit companies taking advantage of a complicated student loan system. We've seen an increasing number of stories about these bad actors promising to help our members, only to mislead them to make more money for themselves.

      That's why we're so excited to announce a new union-backed program to help you understand, manage and eliminate your student loan debt as quickly and easily as possible.

      NYSUT has partnered with Cambridge Credit Counseling, a non-profit debt relief agency with a mission to help you get out of debt fast and give you the support you need to stay debt-free forever.

      Cambridge Credit Counseling offers NYSUT members several ways to get immediate student loan help:

      • A series of in-person student debt workshops across the state, where members can meet with a student loan counselor to help understand Teacher Loan Cancellation and Public Student Loan Forgiveness programs and get free access to student loan management tools
      • An online portal available at a significantly discounted rate, where you can input your student loan data and get a personalized access plan
      • Access to Cambridge's student loan counselors to help you through the process

      We invite our members dealing with student debt to take advantage of one of these options at studentloans.nysut.org.

    • NYSUT officers to SRPs: ‘All together, we accomplish great things!’

      NYSUT President Andy Pallotta has a family tree full of school workers that he shared with more than 200 School-Related Professionals seated before him at the SRP leadership conference in Saratoga Springs last weekend.

      His grandfather was a head custodian, his mom worked in a school cafeteria and library, and his mother-in-law was a paraprofessional.

      “When we’re all together, we accomplish great things,” Pallotta told a room packed with bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, clerical workers, security personnel, teaching assistants and teacher aides at NYSUT’s conference — many of whom were attending the annual event for the first time.

      He thanked them for their activism to get legislation passed this year to enhance student safety by allowing districts to install stop-arm cameras on school buses as part of an ongoing Support School Staff initiative.

      srp leadership conference
      L-R: President Andy Pallotta; Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango; Second Vice President Paul Pecorale; Secretary-Treasurer Philippe Abraham. Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

      He also credited their in-district lobbying for passage of the workplace violence prevention act, which awaits the governor’s signature. It would include school districts as employers required to prevent school violence through training and preventive measures.

      NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango, who started her school career as a paraprofessional with United County BOCES before becoming a teacher; Second Vice President Paul Pecorale, a teacher who leads the statewide union’s SRP program; and Secretary-Treasurer J. Philippe Abraham, a higher education professional staff and former UUP officer, joined Pallotta to share stories and answer questions as part of a “cracker barrel” session.

      “I’m your face and your voice and I take it very seriously,” Abraham told the group.

      When asked how SRPs can encourage “lukewarm or cold” members to serve their union, Abraham suggested asking them to do something simple and finite — a task that has a beginning and end — and one that has to do with something for which they have a passion.

      DiBrango said when leaders help members solve an issue, those members are grateful and they come “to realize the value of the union.”

      Some members are helped by NYSUT’s Disaster Relief Fund, which helps teachers, faculty, staff and SRPs in distress from flooding, blizzards, hurricanes and tragedy. The fund, which Abraham oversees, is funded by donations from members.

      When asked how to mobilize parents to get more involved, officers told the group that NYSUT sits on the Education Conference Board and has a working relationship with the PTA.

      “You all need to have those community coalitions, too,” said Pecorale.

      “We need to get people to understand what workers’ rights mean, and what workers’ values mean, and how to build a voice in the workplace,” he added.

      srp leadership conference
      SRPs rock! Click for large version.

      Participants said they are being tapped to do more teacher-related duties, including providing new material to students — particularly with the teacher shortage. The officers encouraged them to let parents know their students are not getting certified teachers.

      Members expressed concern about some students in high-need areas having poor hygiene, and DiBrango encouraged them to involve nurses, teachers and guidance counselors in having conversations about the child’s well being. Abraham said that NYSUT has some personal hygiene kits available through its affiliation with First Book/AFT. Many local unions have set up free clothing closets, he noted, where students can get what they need.

      Toileting issues with students are a growing concern, members said. NYSUT’s Education & Learning Trust offers free workshops on the ergonomics and health and safety of toileting, the officers said. They also encouraged them to use the power of their local union to get specific job descriptions in local bargaining agreements.

      Addressing a question on how SRPs can be more supported and respected, DiBrango said it starts with the individual. It is important to avoid the word “just,” she said, as in, “I’m ‘just’ a TA.”

      “The school would completely shut down without SRPs,” she said, and the room erupted in cheering.

      Photo Gallery

      NYSUT School-Related Professionals Leadership Conference

    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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