April 11, 2011

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UUPers join ‘We Are One’ rally in NYC; elect four to NYSUT board


UUP President Phil Smith and dozens of UUP members joined more than 10,000 union activists in a NYC rally that stretched for more than five blocks near Times Square. The UUPers teamed up with NYSUT members as well as Teamsters, transportation workers, sheet metal workers and many more to chant “We Are One,” a call to come together to protect the rights of public employees.

The April 9 rally, sparked by attacks on workers’ rights in a number of states, was organized by the New York State AFL-CIO. It featured dozens of speakers who energized the crowd by leading them in chants such as “Unions united can never be defeated,” and “We will not be silenced.”

“This is the Square where workers and working families speak truth to power,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said. “We are telling the demonizers and the dehumanizers we are one and will not let them stifle our voice.”(See more rally photos here.)

The rally capped three days of action at the NYSUT Representative Assembly, the theme of which was “United We Lead.”

Among actions at the RA, UUP delegates elected to the NYSUT Board of Directors, from left, Tom Matthews, Rowena Blackman-Stroud and Ed Quinn. Smith was re-elected to an at-large seat on the board.

NYSUT delegates debated more than 50 resolutions, approving a pair of resolutions sponsored by UUP. One calls on NYSUT to work with the governor and Legislature to ensure that SUNY and its hospitals receive adequate funding to carry out their core missions. The second asks NYSUT to seek legislation requiring more transparency and accountability for the SUNY Research Foundation and other SUNY campus foundations.

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