PCT PLEDGE

THE PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS

Volume XXXV, No. 6 Nov. 13, 1997

 

EXEC BD VOTES REFERENDUM ON TERM LIMITS

 

At its meeting of November 5, 1997, the PCT Executive Board voted to put forward an amendment to the PCT Constitution which would remove the current limitation of three (3) consecutive two year terms for PCT officers. The adopted resolution reads as follows:

Amend the PCT Constitution by eliminating Article 5, section 6 (limit to term of office.)

This amendment would take effect upon its passage. Voting on this referendum will be held on Wednesday, December 17, 1997. Details of the election procedures will be announced by the PCT Elections Committee shortly.

 

THE LATEST ON GROWTH

At the November 3, 1997 meeting of the Board of Education, Board Attorney, Greg Guercio, reported on the conclusion of the Board's negotiations with the Town of Oyster Bay and the company that is planning a development of single family houses and condominiums for a 65 acre property along the Expressway bordering on Huntington.

There has been much concern in our district about the impact of this and other development in the area on the enrollment in our already over-crowded schools. Guercio reported that he had a commitment for 1.1 million dollars to be paid to the district upon the developer taking title to the 65 acres. This will be helpful to the district which must begin to plan for the expansion of our existing facilities to accommodate a projected increase in enrollment of some 400-500 students over the next five years.

Guercio also reported that when all of the development projects in our district are completed and they are paying their full rate of taxation, the district should gain more revenue than its cost to educate the additional students.

 

TENURE BASHERS TAKE IT ON THE CHIN AGAIN

On October 7, 1997, Justice John J. Lockman of the Supreme Court, Nassau County dealt the latest blow to schools districts that are attempting to subvert the tenure laws of the State of New York. This case was brought by the Middle Country Teachers Association against their school district which had attempted to impose that new hires waive their rights to the protections of tenure and to agree to work on renewable contracts.

In his stinging decision, Justice Lockman said, "The resolution [of the Board of Education] which requires all new teacher hirees to waive tenure as a condition of employment exhibits a lack of regard for the system of laws by which we are governed..."(emphasis added)

We would hope that now that both the West Islip and Middle Country School Districts have been defeated on essentially the same grounds and the Patchogue School District rebuffed for its illegal refusal to grant tenure, that school board will cease their their legal attacks on the tenure system. We would also hope that the board members who voted to spend taxpayer funds to defend these illegal acts will be resoundingly defeated at the polls. As Justice Lockman noted, "Education Laws 3012 and 3013 provide teachers with two fundamental protections. They are, tenure and its protection from politically or economically motivated firing, and, seniority preservation during layoffs. The tenure and seniority provisions serve a firm public policy to protect the interests of the public in the education of our youth which can best be served by a system designed to foster academic freedom in our schools and to protect competent teachers from the abuses they might be subjected to if they should be dismissed at the whim of their supervisors.'" (emphasis added) These boards certainly have not shown an interest in their students or teachers.

 

DIRECT DEPOSIT AT LAST

For many years, and through a long string of superintendents, the PCT has attempted to get the district's management to arrange for direct deposit of our salary checks. Finally, Dr. Cavanna and Acting Assistant Superintendent for Business Ken Stubbalo have made the necessary arrangements.

Each PCT members should have received an application form for direct deposit. If you did not, please call the Business Office.

 

FROM OUR WEB PAGE

One of the goals of the PCT Web Page is to encourage greater cooperation between the staff and the parent community. We thought members without Internet access would appreciate a view of this effort. There follows PCT President Morty Rosenfeld's November TeacherTalk column.

TALK TO THE TEACHER FIRST

If someone were dissatisfied with a service that you had performed for them, wouldn't you want to know about it before they took their complaint to your boss?

Fair-minded people expect the courtesy of the opportunity to explain their actions or of correcting some error they may have made. Yet, too often this is not the case in our school district. And, because it is not routine to have parents to speak to the teacher first, parents and staff often do not enjoy a relationship of trust and respect they both deserve. In fact, sorry to say, a perception exists in the minds of too many teachers and parents that they are on opposite sides with the result that we often cannot do what is best for children but instead resort to playing the blame game.

In twenty some odd years of union work, I have found that much more often than not, a parental complaint brought to the attention of a child's teacher in a polite and courteous manner yields a solution that accommodates the needs of the teacher, parent and child. I have also found that the most difficult problems to resolve are those that from their inception are taken to the highest levels of governance in the district, often to people who know little or nothing about the teacher or the student in question.

I have often asked parents who have taken complaints directly to the superintendent or even a member of the Board of Education why they didn't speak to the teacher first. The most common answer I have gotten is as disturbing as it is, I believe, disingenuous. "I was afraid that if I went to the teacher s/he would take it out on my child."

Let me state categorically, in the almost 29 years I have worked in our district, I have never, yes, never, seen a colleague attempt to get even with a student because of a disagreement with a child's parent. The men and women that teach the children of this community are fine, professional people. I will never say that they do not occasionally make mistakes, but they do not punish their students for them. Whenever I have challenged someone to produce one instance over the history of the district of such behavior, my challenge has been unmet.

Therefore, I suspect that the reason some members of the community take their complaints right to the top has more to with a desire to get what they want when they want it than it has to do with the willingness of the staff to entertain serious complaints. Left out of the calculations of such individuals is the bad lessons they teach their children and the damage they do to the parent teacher relationship.

 

PCT BENEFITS

For some time the PCT has been looking for a member to do a job that has gone begging for too many years. With hundreds of members, both active and retired, in Plainview-Old Bethpage each day, we have not taken advantage of the collective purchasing power of our membership to negotiate deals with merchants for discounts to our members.

We are pleased to report that the situation has changed, and the results are already apparent. Ellen Felber (or Discount Ellie as she has dubbed herself) has undertaken the important job of building our benefit program. Only on the job for a few weeks, here's what she has found for us thus far:

LA Hair Color and Day Spa - 931-9125

1008 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Plainview Kosher Meats - 681-4410

1113 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Chef Wongs - 931-7924

24 Manetto Hill Mall

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

McDaniel Ford, Inc. - 681-9000

430 Plainview Road, Hicksville

New cars sold at 1% above invoice

 

Plainview Fish Market - 822-6688

64 Manetto Hill Mall

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Expressions - 932-3114

60 Manetto Hill Mall

20% Discount to PCT Members

 

Cheers - 931-7707

1129 Old Country Road

 

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Solomons Jewelers - 681-6111

74 Manetto Hill Mall

5% Discount to PCT Members

 

Sirlin Chiropractic Center - 933-1034

744 Old Country Road

20% Discount to PCT Members

Most Insurance Plans Accepted

 

Sweats Appeal - 935-3588

1133 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Aegean Greek-American Cuisine

932-7300 1135 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Luxury Car Service - 931-8253

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Morgos Dynasty - 942-8688

1163 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Philmar Pharmacy - 938-1122

1111 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

Limited to items other than Rxs, Milk,

Juice, Baby Formula and Diapers

 

Pamper Cleaners

505 Plainview Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Blue Angel Diner - 938-9523

1000 Old Country Road

10% Discount to PCT Members

 

Lisa St. Onge - Make-up Artist

938-3223 ( LA Hair Salon)

10% Discount to PCT Members on all cosmetics

 

Tracey Stopler Kasdan, M.S.R.D.

Nutrition counseling - 931-3837

19 Garynson Court

20% Discount to PCT Members

 

AB Locksmiths

570 Conklin Street

Farmingdale, NY 11735

10% discount to PCT members (security systems

excluded)

 

To obtain discounts at the above concerns,

simply show you PCT membership card.

 

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