THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS
VOL. XXXXII, NO. 12 JUNE 13, 2005
AN IMPORTANT YEAR
By PCT President Morty Rosenfeld
This has been a very full and rewarding year for our union. I believe itís important for us, before we slip into vacation mode, to take stock of what we have accomplished.
To begin with, all units of the PCT successfully bargained new contracts before the expiration of their existing agreements. Each of these agreements will significantly improve the work-lives of our members.
In our Public Library Unit, we were able to make breakthrough gains in salary that will bring the salaries of our members that much closer to those of their similarly educated colleagues in the schools. While there is still much to be done there in terms of improving working conditions and benefits, both full and part-time members of the unit will at least enjoy respectable salaries.
Our Teacher, Clerical and Substitute Units scored respectable 3.5% increases, a little bit above the going rate in Nassau County. Members of our Substitute Unit will continue to be near the top of the county, insuring that we will be at a competitive advantage for attracting the many subs we need to employ. Teachers made important gains aimed at easing the burdens of an onerous staff development obligation, while Clerical Unit members gained a new benefit permitting them for the first time to receive payment for some of their accumulated sick leave.
This was also the year that I became a full-time president of our union. Many of you have observed the improved level of service made possible by my ability to come to morning meetings, to be available during a prep or lunch period or to come to a building in an emergency. I have also been able to engage the administration better now that all meetings donít have to be scheduled for the end of the day.
Best of all, with Judi Alexandersonís very able assistance, we have been able to devote the time and energy necessary to develop and implement a training program for officers and SRC Reps that is already paying huge dividends for the organization. Simply put, we have taken a major step toward training the next generation of PCT leadership. As I write this, plans are being made for next yearís training opportunities.
I canít possibly cover all that our union has accomplished this year. For me, the work we began to improve the academic standards of our district is part of the potentially most important effort we made. While I know that progress in this area will be slow, the fact that the Superintendent, Board of Education, PTA and the PCT were able to agree to discuss the topic of academic standards was, in and of itself, a sign of real progress. The work of the committees that were established while slow and difficult for the participants has also brought us incrementally toward the goal of strengthening the academic program of our school. This is a labor for some time to come.
THIS YEARí S RETIREES
The following PCT members have announced their intention to retire at the end of this school year:
Nancy Cammarano, Phyllis Eisenstein, Elizabeth Koblan, Kathy Koubek, George Manolakes, Frank Matlack, Ron Metzler, Virginia Mugavero, Michelle Purrone, Barbara Shooer, Ronnie Silverstein, Vinny Siragusa (2/05)
Finally, we will have another retirement this year. Sue Polansky has announced that she will be leaving us after twenty-eight years of service to our membership.
For twenty-eight years, she has managed the membersí insurance claims, answered their endless questions, answered their calls for help, trained a host of union officers and did just about anything that needed to be done to make the service of the PCT second to none. Her commitment to the organization was unswerving, often putting its need before her own. We thank her and wish her well in her well deserved retirement.
A NEW VOICE ON THE PHONEAT THE PCT
When you call the PCT Office, you are likely to be greeted by Lisa Lazuk, a new member of the office staff . Lisa comes to us with broad business experience, including insurance and bookkeeping work similar to some of the work in our office. She was hired and is being trained to replace Sue Polansky who has announced her intention to retire at the end of August.
RETIREMENT ANDTAX SHELTERS
The PCT and the District have been working to implement a plan through Omni Corp, the Districtís 403b compliance firm, that would allow those retiring to shelter all of their payout for accumulated sick leave. As of this writing, our goal is to implement the plan by the first payroll in July. However, in the end, this may not be possible. Retirees who have questions about sheltering their sick leave money should call Morty Rosenfeld at the PCT office.
MEMBER TO MEMBERPCT members need to be mindful of the fact that the furniture and equipment in our schools are the property of the school district, not the staff members. This includes items such as desks and chairs, as well as audio-visual equipment, such as stereos. As such, anyone who has obtained permission to use a district facility has the right to use the equipment. It follows, naturally, that they also have the responsibility to take proper care of the equipment and the facility as we all do. We do not have the right to refuse our colleagues the use of district equipment. When we do, we make the work of a colleague more difficult. There were a few instances this year when the failure to realize this brought some unnecessary friction between members.
Also members who are moving this summer are asked to please notify the PCT Office.
RUBIN AND BERKOWITZ SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDEDAt the Kennedy High School Awards Assembly on June 9, PCT President Morty Rosenfeld presented the 2005 Paul Rubin and Leonard and Myriam Berkowitz Scholarship Awards.
This yearís Rubin Scholar is graduating Kennedy High School Senior Amy Friedman. The Rubin Scholarship is named for PCT President Paul Rubin, a pioneer in the education/labor movement. The award is given to a young person who shows promise of living a life of service to oneís community and country. Ms. Friedmanís work with senior citizens and under privileged youth caught the attention of the Rubin Scholarship Committee. This scholarship is $2000.
The 2005 Berkowitz Scholars are Kennedy Seniors Marissa Goldblatt and Julie Bass each of whom received a check for $5000. The Berkowitz Scholarship is given in memory of Leonard Berkowitz, a psychologist in POB for over forty years and his wife Myriam, a teacher in the Syosset schools. Much of their estate was left to fund these scholarships in perpetuity
The contracts of all PCT units have now been ratified. The new contracts become effective July 1, 2005. Over the summer, the PCT will be working with the District on the manuscript changes for these agreements so that members can have copies of the contract in the fall.
SUMMER COURSESPCT members taking courses during the summer for advancement on the Teacher Salary Schedule should make sure to notify the District before September 10 for payment retroactive to September 1.
SUMMER ADDRESSESMembers who will be away for the summer are asked to provide the PCT with their summer addresses. Simply drop a note to the Office or sent us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the months of July and August, the PCT Office is open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Thursday.