THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS
Volume XXXXI, No.4 December 8, 2003BROADENING OUR MEMBERSHIP
By PCT President Morty Rosenfeld
I am very excited about the probability that the membership of the PCT will be increased by about one hundred and forty-one within the next few months. It appears that there will shortly be an election in the School Aides Bargaining Unit to determine if they will continue to be represented by the Teamsters or whether they will opt to join with us. With one hundred and seven signing cards stating that they wish to be represented by the PCT, there is every reason to believe that we will shortly be welcoming them to our ranks.
Some months ago, a delegation from the teacher aides came to the PCT Office to enquire if we would be interested in representing them. They expressed strong dissatisfaction with their current representation and perceived that the people we represent in the district are better served. While we sympathized with their problem, we told their representatives that we did not believe in raiding other unions, but that if it could be demonstrated to us that more than fifty percent of the Aides Unit wanted to come to the PCT, we would be prepared to do what was necessary to make that happen.
Having observed a similar meeting several years before come to naught, I had every reason to believe that this renewed interest in the PCT would peter out as well. I was astonished to very quickly learn that these people were very serious about their desire to join the PCT.
I was also amazed by the way in which they got themselves organized. Almost over night, a communications network was developed, meetings were set and, before we knew it, many more organizing cards were collected than I surely ever dreamed possible. These people are serious about joining the PCT.
The PCT has filed a petition with the New York State Public Employee Relations Board which oversees collective bargaining in the public sector asking them to certify the PCT as the official bargaining agent for the Aides Unit in POB. Most probably, there will be a secret ballot election in the unit some time after the New Year. If a majority votes PCT, the one hundred and forty-one School Aides in POB will become the newest members of the PCT. I sincerely believe that will be a good day for the aides. I believe as well, that will be a good day for the PCT.
MOE KRAPES RESIGNS WELFARE FUND
Morris Krapes, former chemistry teacher, PCT Vice-President and for many years the Administrator of the Welfare Fund, has announced his resignation effective November 30, 2003. Moe’s resignation will allow him and his wife Sylvia to spend their time in Florida where they plan to take up permanent residence.
One of the many unsung heroes of the PCT, Moe was a very influential officer in the early days of the PCT. A skillful negotiator and strategist, Moe was an invaluable advisor to PCT Presidents Jerry Berger and Paul Rubin.
The Welfare Fund as we know it today was essentially Moe’s creation, having built it starting with an initial Board of Education contribution of ten dollars to what it is today, providing an outstanding benefit package to our membership.
Upon hearing of Moe’s retirement, PCT President Morty Rosenfeld said, "Generations of PCT members owe a profound debt of gratitude to this wonderful man who has served us in one capacity or another for over forty years. So much of what I know about being a union leader, I learned from Moe. He has been a great friend to the PCT and to me."
ATTENTION MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS SAVE JAN. 7
The Board of Education has adopted as its objective for the year an analysis of our district’s middle school program. Almost the entire world of public education in the United States is thinking about middle schools if only for the fact that it is in these difficult years of early adolescence that many of the standardized test scores of these young people decline. What, if anything, can be done to change this national phenomenon?
The PCT officers are working with central administration to arrive at a way for us to work with the Board on meeting their objective. The officers have observed that the Board’s objective gives PCT members in our middle schools an opportunity to address issues that may have concerned them.
To begin to frame those issues, the officers will hold a middle school membership meeting on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at 4:00 PM in the LGI of Kennedy High School. This is the date that was previously saved for a general membership meeting of the PCT to ratify negotiation demands which, of course, has now been obviated by the recent roll-over of our existing contract.
January 7 will be a time for members to ask questions about the Board’s objective and to suggest avenues to be taken to meet it.
ROBIN GLICK ELECTEDELEMENTARY VP
In accordance with the Constitution of the PCT, PCT Secretary Judi Alexanderson cast one vote at the November 5, 2003 meeting of the PCT Executive Board thereby making Robin Glick our new PCT Vice-President for Elementary Schools.
Glick, a speech teacher at the Pasadena School, comes to the job with substantial union experience having served as an SRC Rep and a member of the Executive Board.
PCT WEB PAGE GETSNEW DOMAIN The very successful PCT web page has finally gotten a web address befitting a serious web site. No longer residing at AOL, the PCT Web Page is available to readers at pobct.org. The page has a somewhat new look and will, over the months ahead, have some new material of interest to PCT members and others.
Also new, is the e-mail address of the PCT Office which is now email@example.com. PCT members are encouraged to direct requests for information to this address. All e-mails requiring a response will be answered promptly.
Members wishing to be in e-mail contact with PCT President Morty Rosenfeld or Grievance Chair Judi Alexanderson can reach them at the following addresses : firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
January 15, 2004 is the last time this school year that PCT members can begin or make changes to their 403b accounts.
PCT members who have as yet to start 403b accounts are urged to use the upcoming vacation period to do some serious investigation of the opportunity this contractual benefit provides to build supplementary retirement income on a pre-tax basis. Often, an account can be started that begins the process of monthly retirement savings with very little impact on take-home pay.
Why not let the federal government help you save for retirement?
PCT members who are completing graduate courses and who are thereby eligible for a salary lane change are reminded that they must notify the Personnel Office in writing no later than February 10, 2004 to effect the change this school year. This should be done even though the official university transcript will not arrive until a later date.
PCT COACHES MEETINGPCT liaison to the athletic coaching staff Tom Syrett, has announced a meeting for PCT coaches at all levels for Thursday, January 15, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 192 at Kennedy High School. The time of the meeting will be determined later when it is clear when most coaches can attend. The purpose of the meeting is the undertaking of an analysis of the salaries and working conditions of POB coaches relative to those in other districts. Coaches are asked to save this important date.
From time to time, teachers scheduled to attend a particular staff development session have been disheartened to learn that it was canceled just prior to the time it was slated to start. Having taken the trouble to schedule this session into a busy life, the necessity to then reschedule creates many problems for people who are as tied to their calenders as most teachers are.
Asked to address this problem, the Staff Development Committee has come up with a solution that is in the process of being implemented. Soon, when a staff development session has to be cancelled, enrollees will have the choice of either rescheduling or attending a showing of a staff development video tape in the libraries of their schools. In this way, they will more conveniently meet their staff development requirement.
HICKSVILLE QUITSNEA/NEW YORK
Continuing what is fast becoming a pattern, the Hicksville Congress of Teachers has announced its disaffiliation from NEA/New York. The officers of the PCT held a discussion of the erosion of NEA/New York membership on Saturday, November 22 in preparation for the December PCT Executive Board meeting at which this topic has been placed on the agenda for significant discussion.
While the PCT is committed to remain in NEA/NEW York for the remainder of this school year, it is obvious that that organization is rapidly disappearing from Long Island and that we will have to make alternate plans. The options are essentially two - join the New York State United Teachers or go independent. Whatever the PCT does will require a vote of the entire membership.
Watch the Pledge for breaking developments.
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