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 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 I find that having my VOTE-COPE contributions withdrawn monthly from my pension check is a quick and easy method as well.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)