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NYSUT Retiree Council 45
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  1. ALBANY, N.Y. Dec. 1, 2021 — At a time of unprecedented challenges facing public education, New York State United Teachers today released a new report outlining nearly 20 federal, state and local policy recommendations from educators that they say would best support public schools as the institutions that can ensure a bright future for every student.

    NYSUT’s Future Forward Report is based on the work of an exceptional group of education professionals from across the state brought together this year to identify some of the greatest challenges facing students, educators and families and bring forward recommendations for how to tackle those issues on the federal, state and local levels. The Future Forward Task Force’s goal is not only to address academic concerns and barriers to education too many students face, but also to address the ways poverty manifests in the classroom, focus on students’ social-emotional needs, fight for racial justice for every student and de-emphasize punitive high-stakes testing.

    “Many are striving to return to what we considered ‘normal’ before the pandemic. But just returning to normal isn’t good enough for our students,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “Now is the time to redefine public education as a system that truly supports every child and ensures they have the tools to create a brighter future for our nation and our state. Our students deserve better.”

    The full

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  2. Before the COVID–19 pandemic, New York’s institutions of higher education were “reeling from years of austerity budgets that held SUNY and CUNY instructional budgets flat as operational costs continue to rise,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta today in testimony before the state Assembly Higher Education Committee.

    The hearing, convened by committee Chair Deborah Glick, D–Manhattan, addressed specifically the impact of the pandemic on the future of higher education.

    “While we grapple with how to handle the social, economic and emotional challenges posed by COVID–19, one thing we must not do is shortchange our public institutions of higher ed,” Pallotta said.

    Alongside Pallotta, United University Professions President Fred Kowal said the union’s NY HEALS initiative calls for “increased funding for essential programs like TAP after years of flat or reduced budgets, in order to reverse the decades-long disinvestment in the state’s higher education system.”

    “We need a New Deal for CUNY,” said President James Davis of the Professional Staff Congress, who also testified. The union-backed New Deal for CUNY bill in the state Legislature (S.4461/A.5843) would mean

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  3. Testimony to the Assembly Committee on Higher Education on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Future of Higher Education. November 30, 2021.

    Chairperson Glick, honorable members of the Legislature and distinguished staff, I am Andrew Pallotta, President of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). NYSUT represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education, in health care and retirees statewide.

    Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the future of higher education. My testimony represents the concerns of over 80,000 faculty and professional staff who work in public colleges and universities across the state, as well as the three SUNY teaching hospitals. These include the members of United University Professions at the State University of New York, the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York and the faculty and staff at nearly all the SUNY community colleges in this state.

    Before I begin, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your help in securing critical state and federal funding to help our students, faculty and colleges get through the past year and a half. These funds were instrumental to the ongoing recovery process. When I talk about recovery, I am referring to the physical and

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  4. As our nation enters another year of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, the NYSUT Women’s Committee is charting a path for the year ahead. Acknowledging that the pandemic impacted women, particularly women of color, more than any other group, Jolene DiBrango, NYSUT executive vice president, whose office oversees the NYSUT Women’s Committee, encouraged attendees at the mid-November meeting to use their collective strength to stand together in their communities, build coalitions and make their voices heard.

    “The loss of jobs, wages and childcare has set women back financially for decades, and by association women’s equity and equality,” she said noting that women must assume positions of prominence equal to men to “change the power paradigm” and make real change. DiBrango congratulated Liz Schuler, the first female president of the national AFL-CIO, calling her election a “huge step forward for labor.”

    “Thank you for your dedication, your commitment and your solidarity,” said Andy Pallotta, NYSUT president in welcoming remarks. “We support your work 100 percent.”

    Committee co-chairs Aisha

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  5. Local unions, districts, families and communities all over the state pulled out the stops to honor School-Related Professionals this week. SRPs are the true super heroes of our schools!

    You can submit the name of an SRP in your community for special recognition and send us your super hero shout outs; a sample of recent shout outs are included below.

    RELATED STORIES

    • School Security. NYSUT Board Member Karen Lee Arthmann offers an up close and personal account of her job as a Youth Assistant in Rush-Henrietta schools. "Our most important function is to listen," she says.
    • Social-Emotional Needs. Even super heroes need to take time to help themselves. The recent SRP Leadership Conference included a session encouraging School-Related Professionals to tend to their own social-emotional needs in trying times.
    • SRP Leadership Conference. 140 statewide school staff members – including 52 first timers – masked up and met in Saratoga Springs on a rainy fall Halloween weekend for professional learning workshops, union networking, and the community that comes from sharing meals.
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