Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a relaxing break and spent some quality time with friends and family. In case you need further proof of how well-balanced, hard-working, and advantageous our union is, please peruse the 2016 timeline below. It was the tireless work of our members that paved the way for another successful school year. Whether someone took 30 minutes to call his or her elected officials or donated $50 to support our BSHS Seniors, the impact was tremendous. Every year, YOUR union provides numerous opportunities for its members to grow professionally and personally. The annual PDF allotment was depleted early this year, and several members attended the free or significantly discounted seminars offered throughout the year. Through all of its conferences, new member meetings, social events, workshops, and fundraisers, the BSCTA has once again proved to be an admirable labor union across NY State.
Nonetheless, there is still A LOT of work to do in 2017. The first item at hand is dealing with the appointment of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education and the potential for her to become a tremendous hindrance to our success as public educators. Although it is sometimes detrimental and unfair to judge a person by his or her prior actions, DeVos' privatization and charter-school agenda is something that we cannot ignore. The time to be active is NOW, not after the catastrophic changes are instituted. Through some collaboration with NYSUT and the hard work of our Political Action Committee, the BSCTA has planned a "week of action" for the week of January 16th, where YOU will be asked to sacrifice some of your time to let our community members and elected officials know that public schools and labor unions are NOT for sale. PLEASE BE WILLING AND READY TO HELP.
Another major topic of importance is the fact that our contract is set to expire on June 30, 2017. We have solicited responses through an online survey to further assess what the majority of BSCTA members are seeking in the new agreement. As the negotiating team conscientiously moves forward in the process, it is extremely important that our members stay united within the buildings and refrain from speculating as to what is going on or could happen. In the end, the rumor mill always proves to be nothing but divisive and counterproductive. Furthermore, it is important to understand that we want the best deal that is possible for all, and the team will provide the membership with updates as soon as they become available.
As the year moves along, please contact your teacher reps if you have any questions or concerns about anything going on in your building or throughout the district. Your reps will relay all messages to the Executive Board and a response to your inquiry will be provided as soon as possible. You should also visit www.bscta.org on a regular basis to receive news updates and access important links that will steer you in the right direction.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017.