PCT PLEDGE

THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE

CONGRESS OF TEACHERS

Volume XXXVII, No. 9 May 24, 2000

 PCT POLITICAL ACTION

DOES IT AGAIN

On Tuesday, May 16, 2000, voters in the state went to the polls to elect members of boards of education and public library trustees as well as passing on the proposed budgets of these public institutions.

The Board of Education election this year was uncontested. With incumbent Eric Schultz retiring from the Board, Board President Evy Rothman and Jonathan Mosenson were elected for three year terms without opposition.

In the Library Board election, PCT endorsed candidate Marlene Horowitz trounced Gene Goidell, the incumbent, by 308 votes. Many PCT members played an important part in her campaign, making phone calls and distributing campaign literature at local shopping centers. Colleagues at the POB Public Library are very hopeful that Horowitz’s election will help to improve the atmosphere that has plagued the library for many years.

PCT political work helped to pass the school budget and public library budgets as well. In a year when many budgets went down, ours passed by a substantial margin, with PCT members making thousands of phone calls asking members of the community for support. At the meeting of the Board of Education to certify the election, Board President Evy Rothman publically thanked PCT President Morty Rosenfeld for the work of the members of our union.

TIER ENHANCEMENT LEGISLATION

As of this date, the New York State Legislature has not acted on a bill to end the contribution of tier 3 and 4 members after 10 years and give tier 1 and 2 members an additional month of service credit for each year of service they have credited at retirement. The PCT continues to hear from our representatives in Albany that this will happen, although no one seems able to give us a date for certain. It may be that a recent failed attempt at a coup to oust Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has temporarily stalled the process.

In the meantime, those who have submitted their resignations for purposes of retirement have until June 19 to take them back. The PCT will continue to monitor developments in Albany and keep you informed.

NEA BOARD ENDS OPPOSITION TO PERFORMANCE PAY

At its May meeting, the Board of Directors of the National Education Association (NEA) voted to end the organization’s historic opposition to performance pay, sometimes known as merit pay. The Board acted on a report of a committee created by the leadership of the NEA to provide the rationale for this change.

This action by the NEA Board sets the scene for a major battle at the NEA Representative Assembly to be held in Chicago the first week in July. It remains to be seen whether the NEA President can accomplish this plank of his defeatist agenda. The saddest thing is that no one is running against Chase who will be elected to another, and thankfully his last, term as President of the 2.5 million member union.

PCT delegates to the convention will be working to oppose this latest attempt by the NEA leadership to weaken the ability of education workers to advocate for all of their members. Once members are paid differently in accordance with some pseudo-scientific method of evaluation, the solidarity of the membership is undermined by concerns of, "Why is s/he making more money than I am?"

COLA RALLY HUGE SUCCESS

From across New York State, thousands of public employees, actives and retired, gathered in Albany on May 9th to tell the Legislature that it’s about time our state had a permanent cost of living adjustment to its pension systems.

Fourteen members of the PCT, led by Retiree Unit President Helen Cohn, joined colleagues from the other NEA local unions on Long Island on the trip to the Capitol. There they were addressed by the leaders of the Assembly and Senate and Comptroller Carl McCall among others all of whom said that a COLA was in order for this session of the Legislature. Following the rally, PCT members visited the legislative offices of our members’ representatives to deliver the letters PCT members wrote in support of a permanent COLA.

Both the PCT delegation and the press who reported the rally came away with the impression that there would be a COLA. A bill currently before the Senate and the Assembly would provide a yearly COLA based on 50% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) applied to the first $25,000 of pension income with a cap determined by the number of years a person has been retired. Additionally, there would be a one time supplementation equal to 50% of the CPI from a person’s date of retirement through 1998.

We should know within a few weeks if this is, in fact, the year we finally get a permanent COLA.

SRC ELECTION TIME

May and June are the months specified by the PCT Constitution for SRC elections.   This would be a good time for all members to consider running for a leadership position on their building union team.

The strength of the PCT is dependent upon the essentially voluntary efforts of many people, none more important than the SRC Representatives. It is the SRCs who monitor the implementation of our contracts at the building level.

PASADENA TRANSFERS

Members transferring to the Pasadena School for September are reminded that the contract provides for two additional paid days of work to set up new classrooms. The officers of the PCT were informed at the May meeting with the Superintendent of Schools that members should be able to get into their classrooms after August 1st when all of the room alterations should be completed.

RETIRING?

If you have or are submitting your retirement papers to the district, please inform the PCT Office. We need to know this to process your PCT Retiree Unit membership and to send you information you will need to determine which of your Welfare Fund benefits you wish to keep on a self-sustaining basis into retirement.

Please call the PCT Office or send us a note through inter-office mail.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT

DAYS 2000-2001

The Staff Development Committee has proposed the following dates for next year’s staff development sessions:

October 17

November 8

November 28

January 8

February 6

March 1

March 26

April 25

May 10

Additionally, the Committee has proposed December 4 and March 15 as the professional half days.

EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES

FOR SATELLITE CENTER

Almost from the inception of teacher centers in New York State, the PCT has belonged to the Nassau TRACT teacher center, established and run by teachers from a consortium of districts in Nassau County.

Several years ago, the PCT attempted to create a satellite teacher center right here in our district. At that time, neither the Board of Education nor the Superintendent of Schools was able to see how for a very modest initial investment, and with state support, we could begin to build a local resource for the district.

At the last meeting of the PCT Executive Board, the officers recommended and the Board concurred that another attempt be made to build a satellite teacher center in Plainview-Old Bethpage. The officers of the PCT will now begin the process of trying to convince the district of what other district’s have known for sometime - that a satellite teacher center is a part of any staff development plan.

WELFARE FUND BENEFITS IMPROVED

The Board of Trustees of the Welfare Fund has voted to improve two of the Fund’s benefits effective September 2000. From time to time, the benefits of the Fund are adjusted in response to inflation.

The Family Optical Benefit which currently provides $75 every two years will increase to $125. Additionally, our program with General Vision Services whereby members can get a eye exam and glasses by presenting a voucher obtained from the Fund Office will also be improved.

The Welfare Fund Life insurance benefit will be increased from its current $30,000 to $40,000.

 

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