Solidarity March with the Lawrence Teachers Association - Wednesday, May 17th

Friday, May 12, 2017

Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers! I hope everyone has enjoyed an excellent Teacher Appreciation Week and is looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day this weekend!

As members of the PFT, we have enjoyed almost 20 years of labor peace and have not gone a single year without a contract since 1998. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for many other local teacher unions on Long Island. One in particular, the Lawrence Teachers Association, has been working without a contract for over 6 years now. After countless negotiation sessions, mediation, and fact-finding it is safe to say that a new contract is nowhere in sight. To illustrate this point, the Lawrence President of the Board of Education has been quoted as stating; "I negotiate contracts, just on my terms".  Lawrence teachers are now working longer than any other union in New York State under an expired contract. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that the Lawrence School Board is proposing a new salary schedule which would lower teacher's salaries by 20%!
For those who were unaware, the school board in Lawrence consists entirely of parents who send their children to private school, and they are hell bent on destroying the public education system there. The Lawrence Teachers' Association has asked for our help to walk with them in solidarity on Wednesday, May 17th from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm at the Lawrence Middle School (195 Broadway, Lawrence). For more information about the march, including parking directions, please see the flyer below.
The uphill battle has left the morale of the Lawrence Teachers at an all-time low.  Nonetheless, they will continue to stand together as one united front and serve the Lawrence community. The Lawrence Teachers continue to be the educators their students deserve to have each and every day, in and out of their classrooms.  
It is very important to let our fellow educators on Long Island know that we stand side by side with them as they continue to be disrespected by their BOE and superintendent. Please consider joining your PFT Council members as we walk with our Sisters and Brother from Lawrence in a show of solidarity. The Lawrence Teachers Association is asking that march participants wear red that day as a show of support for public education. I hope to see a lot of you on the afternoon of May 17th in Lawrence! In solidarity.