The NYSUT Nassau County Educate New York State Rally at Hofstra University on Thursday, March 24 brought 2800 colleagues from around Long Island to listen to an inspiring slate of educators, parents, grandparents, union leaders and politicians speak about the importance of public education and about their support for education funding. It was a colorful, energetic crowd that demonstrated their passion with signs, t-shirts and cheers. I want to thank those NCCFT members who participated. We had front row seats, were filmed on Channel 12 news and received special recognition at the rally for supporting our K-12 brothers and sisters. In addition, President Astrab and other administrators were in attendance and John Durso, President of the Long Island Federation of Labor and Vice Chair of the NCC Board of Trustees gave a rousing speech.
If you missed the rally, here’s a short slideshow:
The focus of this event was funding from New York State for education and paying for that education with the extension of the Millionaires Tax. Two NYS Assembly members were present. Michelle Schimel (D-16) brought up a passel of young schoolchildren who introduced themselves along with their hopes and dreams. She asked us to contact the NYS Legislators and tell our stories. Also in attendance was Joseph Saladino (R-12), who named the entire Nassau County Republican Delegation, one at a time, and assured us of their support. So, I will ask each of you to watch carefully how the NYS Senate and Assembly votes, as we are going to take the honorable Joseph Saladino at his word.
The NCCFT Political Action Committee is in the process of organizing the Spring Faculty Forum and lunch being held on April 14, 2011. This event will be in the format of a provocative workshop focusing on the tools we need to take back the narrative from those who would destroy our hard earned collective bargaining rights. This used to be the NCCFT Political Action Lunch until the law changed and we can not even hand out life-savers to anyone if an elected official/aide is present. However, I assure you, under the competent leadership of Dawn Smith, the NCCFTPAC is doing an amazing job lobbying our State and County legislators and we will continue to keep you, our members and our community, abreast of what is going on.
If you have not heard about the Academic Senate meeting or the Chairs meeting, I would urge you to speak to your Senators and Chairs for an update. Important information about the college’s budget was shared. The leadership of the NCCFT, Senate and Chairs are in constant communication with each other and the Administration (as best we can) in order to maintain an open channel of communication with all our constituencies.
Meanwhile, two NCCFT members, Alvin Estrada and Tonia Payne, shared important links in recent emails. Prof. Estrada’s link is an excellent animation arguing that our current educational system is based on an outdated model and needs serious rethinking. Prof. Payne’s focuses on abuses of open records laws to intimidate faculty and undermine academic freedom. I’ve included them below.
Frank Frisenda, NCCFT Vice-President Classroom Faculty
From Prof. Alvin Estrada (MAT/CSC/ITE)
From Prof. Tonia Payne (ENG)