Thursday, September 14, 2017
Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers,
I hope all of our members had a great summer vacation and are now excited to be back at Plainedge for what I'm sure will be another great year for teachers, students, and the Plainedge community. As you heard in my opening day speech, it will be a very busy fall for our union, leading multiple community fundraisers, as well as an important campaign to defeat the proposed Constitutional Convention vote on November 7th.
During the fall, I'm proud to say that our union will be sponsoring two very important fundraising activities. The first is being led by John H West Phys Ed Teacher, Gary Levitan, and the other by Plainedge Middle School Social Studies Teacher, Debbie Sosman. Gary is organizing a cookbook fundraiser to benefit the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, while Debbie is once again our District captain in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, which raises money to find a cure for this devastating disease. The recipes for the cookbook fundraiser are due to the website by October 1st and info about the fundraiser (including instructions for submitting recipes) can be found on the flyer below.
In order to help raise money for the Making Strides Walk, the PFT will be selling long sleeve T-shirts with our Plainedge Pride logo. Order forms, also found below, are due to your building captain by September 28th. Please be on the lookout for additional Making Strides fundraisers within your individual schools. The walk itself will take place on the morning of Sunday, October 15th at Jones Beach. All members of the Plainedge community are invited to meet by the NYSUT tent right next to parking field 5.
On Tuesday, October 24th, the PFT will hold its annual membership meeting at the Sterling in Bethpage at 3:30 PM. During the meeting we will present crucial information on the upcoming Constitutional Convention vote and provide strategies for talking to your relatives and neighbors about the importance of voting NO! Unfortunately, your vote alone simply won't suffice in defeating a Convention, rather you will need to convince at least 10-20 other people you know to vote NO as well. There is a lot to lose, and those who would seek to open New York State's Constitution will be dumping millions upon millions of dollars into ad campaigns designed to make the Convention look like a good idea. An open Constitution would certainly seek to reduce our pension benefits, eliminate tenure laws, decrease funding for public education, and diminish a union's right to collective bargaining. It is only through education and collaboration with other unions, that we will make sure the Convention does not occur.
It's certainly going to be a busy and productive fall for our union. I look forward to seeing many of you at our multiple PFT events throughout the fall and of the rest of the school year. In solidarity.
If you are not registered to vote please click the link to vote in the general election on November 7th.
Please keep in mind that voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 13th and received by a board of elections no later than October 18th to be eligible to vote in the General Election. Those of us who have had an address change or name change, must also submit those changes to the county board of election by October 18th to be able to vote.