April 9, 2016

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UUP members strong, vocal and involved at NYSUT RA

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UUP members, like Secretary Eileen Landy, above, made their voices heard at NYSUT’s 44th Representative Assembly in Rochester, April 8-9, as they spoke out for public colleges and universities, spoke up for collaboration with their K-12 sisters and brothers, and cheered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s vision of an equitable, adequately funded public education system accessible to all.

Clinton’s speech touched on several issues vitally important to UUP, including the decline in enrollment at New York’s teacher education programs, and college student debt. UUP plans to continue advocating for two of its initiatives that would address those issues, including a proposal to recruit and retain talented teacher candidates.

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“I would have a national campaign to elevate and modernize education, including recruiting and attracting talented, diverse candidates into teaching, and a student debt forgiveness program that really works,” Clinton, above, told the cheering assembly.

Clinton, UUP in sync

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UUP President Fred Kowal, above, speaking to the RA delegation, told members during UUP’s RA breakfast that much work remains to be done in the post-budget season, both in Albany and in home districts, and Clinton’s remarks on public education reflected the union’s sense of urgency.

Elsewhere through the two-day statewide policy-making convention, UUP members spoke up at resolution committee meetings and on the floor of the full assembly before 2,000 fellow NYSUT unionists.

Two of the three resolutions sponsored or co-sponsored by UUP passed the full assembly, one of which would encourage collaboration between K-12 and higher education members of NYSUT, and the other of which would encourage the state and federal governments to take a compassionate and humane approach to the resettlement of African and Middle Eastern refugees.

Kowal asked the body to refer the third UUP-sponsored resolution to the NYSUT Board of Directors for further discussion; that resolution encouraged the creation of a single-payer health care system.

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