Message from President Nicole Brown
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The Executive Board and I hope you are settled into your classrooms and offices and off to a positive start to the 2022-2023 school year. We know you may have already experienced some challenges. Despite it all, one thing that remains clear and unwavering is you: the professionals who have persevered and risen to every occasion before them. Stand strong knowing each day provides an opportunity to reset, connect with students, collaborate with colleagues, and get back to what we do so well. You got this and we have your back!
NYSUT is Here for YOU!
In statewide back-to-school media interviews, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta discussed issues such as inadequate staffing, appropriate class sizes, safety issues, and the need for more support for students. He also acknowledged that the start of any school year can be overwhelming and the special pressures educators and school staff are under this year. In times like this, it helps to stay involved with your local union and to remember that NYSUT is here to support you in the workplace and in your personal life. Here is a concise list of the programs and services NYSUT offers members.
Share your First Weeks of School Photos
Share what's happening in your classroom or building. Send stories and photos to our new Communications Chairperson, Amanda Gaimaro at email@example.com
New Year, New HCTA Contract
Our new contract is currently being revised to insert the new provisions outlined in the MOA. Once complete, you will receive a paper and electronic copy. You can find our MOA and current contract on our website, Hempsteadteachers.org. Please take some time to read over these agreements - they contain protections of our basic rights, the terms, and conditions of our work, as well as the new provisions. Enforcing our rights at work is a major focus of our efforts. This can only be accomplished if you know your rights and assert them. If you believe a provision of our contract is being violated or have a question, talk to your building representative immediately.
Punching In & Out
One of the new provisions in our contract is punching in and out daily. There are still a few installations and fixes needed and Mr. Scott is on it! If you have any issues with a device, be sure to attempt to punch in/out as the system records all attempts. If you are still having issues, notify your building administrator immediately.
Bonus for Health Care
In April, I informed you of the latest union win at the state level: the Health Care Worker Bonus (HWB). This bonus was another hard-fought benefit thanks to NYSUT's lobbying efforts with support from your VOTE COPE donations. HWB allows for the payment of bonuses to reward, recruit, and retain health care and mental hygiene workers that meet specific eligibility requirements. The bonuses will correlate to a series of six-month “vesting periods'' — from October 2021 through March 2024. Employers will pay up to two bonuses per employee, not to exceed $3,000 in total, based on the number of hours worked during the period. The list of eligible employers includes clinician titles such as social worker, speech teacher, and psychologist. The state recently established a portal that allows school districts to submit the names of eligible staff members. The district is responsible for tracking eligibility and submitting claims to the state after an employee qualifies, and then paying the employee within 30 days after receiving the bonus from the state. Dr. Gilmore informed me he is seeking assistance and clarification from SED and will provide an update soon. Checkout the DOH’s website for more information: https://health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/providers/hwb_program/index.htm.
Building representatives are the backbone of every union. Our building representatives are here to help resolve issues, advocate for safe working conditions, and better educational opportunities for our scholars. Building representatives serve as a bridge between union leadership, administration, and colleagues. Building representatives listen to your concerns and provide a confidential way for members to bring forward their ideas and concerns. According to our bylaws, every school building needs a building representative to ensure members have immediate access to union support. Building representatives receive on-going training and a stipend at the end of the school year.
Due to transfers and retirements, the following schools have a vacancy for building representatives: Prospect, Obama, Jackson Main, Jackson Annex, and ABGS Middle School. Over the next few weeks, nominations will be open and special elections will be held in these buildings to elect a member willing and ready to take on this noble role. If you are interested or would like more information about becoming a building representative, please contact me at (516) 413-2007.
- The first full check will be on Friday, September 16th
- CHECK YOUR CHECK! Be sure to check Optigate to ensure it reflects your new salary
- Please check ASEOP for your new and accrued days are accurate
- Please check your schedules to be sure you have all the lunch, prep time, and breaks (Elementary) you are contractually entitled to. If you are unsure or think there is an issue, please reach out to your building administrator first. If the concern is not addressed, please reach out to your building representative.
Back in Black
We are asking you to continue to wear your black or blue HCTA shirts on the first Wednesday of each month (faculty meetings) to show unity amongst us all. See your building representative if you need a HCTA shirt.
Student Loan Forgiveness Webinars
Webinars are led by NYSUT's partners at Cambridge Credit Counseling and are designed to help NYSUT members better understand the various student loan repayment options with a focus on Teacher Loan Cancellation and Public Student Loan Forgiveness programs. This workshop will also address the recent federal student loan forgiveness program. Below are the clinics that are currently open for registration:
- Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 6 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 22 @ 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, Sept. 28 @ 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 6 @ 6 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 13 @ 6 p.m.