AFT President Randi Weingarten salutes NYSUT delegates at the conclusion of her remarks April 2nd, as NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi looks on.
Several NYSUT leaders also addressed delegates, capturing the conference’s focus on social justice and theme of “Speak Up, Speak Out” in their speeches.
Also, Kevin Jennings, founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, spoke to delegates on the importance of bringing teachers, parents, community members and students together to end in-school biases against gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered students.
Cheers for Schumer
In one of the convention’s most rousing speeches, Schumer verbally embraced teachers, saying that “America needs teachers,” and that “education is the key to our future.”
Schumer said it was imperative that federal stimulus dollars sent to New York for education should be used solely for education, a sentiment echoed by Gillibrand, DiNapoli, Mills, and Israel. Stimulus dollars have already averted 40,000 teacher layoffs statewide, Schumer said.
“The only way out of this economic downturn is to give our kids the best education we can,” Schumer said.
NYSUT leaders say thanks
At a higher education breakfast on April 4th, NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi thanked UUPers and other higher ed members for their continued support.
“Thank you for the role that higher ed has played in completing the circle at NYSUT, for making NYSUT a complete family,” he said. “Thanks for the work that higher ed does to support our agenda.”
NYSUT Executive VP Alan Lubin welcomes UUP delegates to the NYSUT RA and updates them on the new state budget agreement.
At a breakfast meeting on April 2nd, NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin updated UUP members about the new state budget agreement.
Action and charity
Delegates approved more than four dozen resolutions during the three-day convention, including UUP-sponsored resolutions to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, maintain the integrity of the institution of higher education and back the United Auto Workers.
The tragic April 3 shootings in Binghamton cast a pall on the convention; NYSUT retiree Roberta King and two visiting scholars at Binghamton University were among the victims. Delegates “passed the hat” at the Assembly and collected $5,000 from members, guests and staff to benefit the families of the victims and the Binghamton American Civic Association where the rampage occurred.
During the convention, delegates listened to reports by NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin, Vice Presidents Maria Neira and Kathleen Donahue and Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler. AFT President Randi Weingarten addressed delegates, as did a host of other national state and local leaders including state AFL-CIO President Denis Hughes, NEA Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle, state Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. UUP’s statewide affiliate also honored hundreds of their locals’ communications efforts for their outstanding newsletters, including the UUP Retirees’ Active Retiree and the Farmingdale chapter’s Unifier.