From the President and the Board:

It seems that our worst nightmare came true and the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision in the Janus vs AFSCME. This is an unfortunate event in the history of unions in America but it wasn’t unexpected. The same wealthy special interests that have been attacking unions for decades funded this case. They think they can seize this opportunity to convince our members to abandon our union in an effort to diminish our voice in the workplace and weaken our strength at the bargaining table. NYSUT is not going to let them. We can send them a message by making sure every single one of our active members signs their re-enrollment cards. Speak with your friends who are still in-service and encourage them to sign their union cards. We all know what is at stake. From West Virginia to Oklahoma to Kentucky, teachers unions across the country stand up to demand decent pay, a secure retirement and a voice in our workplace. There is strength in numbers. By standing together, by ensuring that everyone sticks with our union, can we protect our voice in the workplace and safeguard our benefits. 

This brings me to my next topic. VOTE-COPE. VOTE-COPE is NYSUT's non-partisan action fund that coordinates the voluntary contributions of members and supports NYSUT-endorsed candidates and campaign committees that are pro-public-education and pro-labor. VOTE-COPE is our means to support political action from the comfort of your home (laptop, phone or computer). NYSUT has an online “button” to assist you in donating. Simply log in to your NYSUT member account nysut.org and click to donate online. I find that having my VOTE-COPE contributions withdrawn monthly from my pension check is a quick and easy method as well. Last year over $9 million was contributed – a relatively small amount compared to the unlimited funds that wealthy interest groups use to fight against our rights on a daily basis.

My final topic is our voluntary contribution fee for RC #45. We represent you as a NYSUT member in retirement. Volunteers attend the annual NYSUT Representative Assembly, Committee of 100, local political activities, as well as holding meetings to inform members about various topics relevant to us as retirees. Retiree Council #45 depends on your $10 contribution to assist in funding these activities. Please consider using the attached tear-off and sending in your donation now. We also have a button on our website that you may use to donate should you wish to do so.

In Solidarity, Vicki Darrow (and the RC #45 Board)

Back in Aug. of '69, were you busy getting ready for the school year?  Getting married?  Having or caring for babies?  Do you regret not going? If so, it's not too late!
    Buried in the beautiful area of Bethel Woods, NY only a couple of hours from
Central NY, is the beautifully maintained site of Woodstock.   If you're not sorry you missed the mud and rain-soaked event, but regret not hearing the wonderful music and myriad experiences it offered, you can still go. The site is beautifully preserved and is in a gorgeous locale, especially in autumn when the foliage is at its most breathtaking.  The museum has films, displays, memorabilia, special exhibits, and an event gallery with periodic special performances.  For seniors, the cost of the museum is $13.  For more information go to www.woodstock.com.

 

 A Week in Juneau Alaska by Cathy ONeill

September marks the “end of the season” for tourism to Alaska.  Less crowds means more intimate experiences in hiking, excursions, and in restaurants. (And 75% off in shops)  The weather is cool and can be rainy but as the locals do, come prepared and you are not limited in what you can do.  We got a great deal on flights via Alaska Airlines and stopped in Anchorage first.  In a short tour with family, we saw 6 pods of Beluga whales just minutes from the airport along the Turnagain Arm which borders the Cook Inlet that opens to the Gulf of Alaska. The tide here is called a “Bore Tide” and it comes in with a roar and raises the water levels 50’ or more!  On that same roadway if one looks up at the mountains, one will see herds of large white Dahl sheep. Bald eagles are everywhere in Alaska.  Locals say there is 1 eagle for every 2-3 people.  

 Glacier ImageAfter a short plane ride to Juneau, we arrived at our beach front cottage rented via VRBO (Otter Way Cottage) on Indian Cove in Auke Bay. We enjoyed panoramic views from massive windows and watched sea otters playing, and the largest eagles we have ever seen. It was a wonderful retreat after rigorous hikes to come home to a warm pellet stove, glass of wine, and that view. Everything is close, easy driving, and often free in Juneau.  Mendenhall Glacier Park was so wonderful that we went several times.  The rigorous East Loop hiking trail is well worth the effort!

 Our last few days we moved to the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in downtown Juneau.  From there we could walk to excursions, restaurants, museums, shops, or take short drives to hikes and parks. We took Liquid Alaska Tours for both our whale watch and glacier hike.  Both were incredible! We saw over 10 Humpback whales and were lucky enough to have a huge whale approach our boat.  It was so close that we could even hear it singing!  We were awestruck!  The 4 mile canoe trip across Mendenhall Lake to the glacier and hike with crampons was thrilling.  There is nothing like climbing on top of a glacier on a sunny day.  The blue and turquoise colors of the ice and glacier streams are magnificent.  Our guide took us into ice caves which looked like they were made of blue glass.  It was exhilarating!

 

The restaurants in Juneau serve the sweetest king crab on earth, every bite was worth every penny.  Tracey’s Crab Shack sample platter will go down as one of the best meals we have eaten anywhere.  We gorged on the many types of fresh salmon and halibut in breakfast omelets, burgers, tacos, and appetizers. Memorable to say the least.  Another local favorite that was a delight was the Pel’meni House (Russian Dumplings).  Alaska was more than we ever expected.  We can’t wait to go back to do Anchorage and Denali Park with the same cottage, car rental approach.  

 

 

 

NY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION on NOV. 7thNY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION on NOV. 7th, WHAT WILL YOUR VOTE BE?

Under the NYS Constitution, every 20 years the people of the Empire State are asked a seemingly simple ballot question; Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend same?” These twelve simple words that will appear on the ballot will have a huge impact on NYSUT members and every citizen of the state.

Points to Ponder 

  • It will cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
  • A convention could jeopardize critical, hard earned labor rights including public pensions, collective bargaining and care and benefits for injured and ill workers.
  • New York has in place an amendment process for change that can be used at any time based on checks and balances of power.
  • There is no time limit to the convention and legislators would draw an additional salary for working on the convention.

?

Under the NYS Constitution, every 20 years the people of the Empire State are asked a seemingly simple ballot question; Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend same?” These twelve simple words that will appear on the ballot will have a huge impact on NYSUT members and every citizen of the state.

Points to Ponder 

 

  • It will cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.
  • A convention could jeopardize critical, hard earned labor rights including public pensions, collective bargaining and care and benefits for injured and ill workers.
  • New York has in place an amendment process for change that can be used at any time based on checks and balances of power.
  • There is no time limit to the convention and legislators would draw an additional salary for working on the convention.

Letter from The Board (and Vicki)

Happy Fall from your new board of NYSUT RC #45.  We are excited to begin the year serving you and your needs.  Our highest priority has already been set for us, with NYSUT’s position on the proposed Constitutional Convention vote on November 7th.  We have available (on a first come, first serve basis) lawn signs, magnets, and “Why in Five” conversation cards.  The reference cards are supportive tools to help engage members in a positive and fact based conversation with community members who have varying points of view.  Please contact Vicki Darrow (607-745-3515) to pick up materials.  

Please remember you must turn over your ballot to cast your vote on the Constitutional Convention.

The summer meeting was well attended and the new board is interested in continuing that trend. We have new ideas to promote and expand our retiree membership.  While RC #45 has a political/economic function we would like to expand upon this to include more social gatherings. Please consider attending some of these functions and bring a friend.  Help us spread the word. We are only as strong as our membership.