THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS
VOL. XXXXIII, NO. 6 JANUARY 9, 2006
ON TEACHERS AND TRANSPORT WORKERS
By PCT President Morty Rosenfeld
At the height of the recent transit strike in New York City, I was taking my routine breakfast in the Plainview Diner when I became aware that the workers there were discussing the strike with one of the customers. While I donít know much about the customer, the diner employees are clearly all working class people who work hard, manual labor jobs of one sort or another from cook to busboy. In the past, Iíve had occasion to discuss with several of them health issues that they have that are not being properly addressed because they are without health insurance. They certainly have no employer provided pensions either. Yet, here they were excoriating the striking Transport Workers for their nerve to "inconvenience so many people."
When working people are alienated from working people, the rich and powerful can exploit them with impunity. When each year fewer of them are organized in unions, the current assault on the middle class standard of living goes essentially unchallenged. Just this morning, IBM, a corporate giant that is financially very sound, announced that it is freezing its defined benefit pension plan and going forward will only offer a 401k plan. The famous Ford Motor Company, a pioneer of the modern manufacturing company, is apparently poised for bankruptcy in an effort to get out from under its health care and pension responsibilities.
Teachers need to know that there are rumblings in Albany about the perceived need to do something about the rising pension cost to public employers in New York. The expression Tier V is beginning to be heard. Long forgotten is the fact that public employers were contributing less than one percent just a few years ago when the stock market was doing better.
The members of the New York Local of the Transport Workers Union deserve the gratitude of every working person in this country. They are an example of the kind of militant unionism that played a very significant role in the creation of Americaís middle class. They should be a model for all of us of what courage and solidarity can accomplish. Their efforts have made it harder for those who have their eyes on our pension system. Thank you, TWU.
PCT Secretary Judi Alexanderson has announced an election calendar for the PCT for the 2006 Officer and Convention Delegate elections. All PCT, CUPCT, and SUPCT officer terms end June 30, 2006. The positions to be filled are as follows:
PCT Elementary Vice-President*
PCT Middle School Vice-President*
PCT High School Vice-President*
*The Instructional Level Vice-Presidents are elected by the active teacher members of the PCT. All other officers are elected by the membership of all units of the PCT.
Convention Delegate (3)
Alternate Convention Delegate (3)
Elected Officers will automatically be delegates to the state organization convention. We will additionally be electing 3 convention delegates and 3 Alternate Convention Delegates who will serve if needed in the order of their electoral finish.
Any member may run for any office for which he/she is constitutionally qualified by submitting a Nominating Petition with 25 signatures of eligible voters. In the case of Substitute Unit Office, only 10 signatures on a Nominating Petition are required. Nominating Petitions are available at the PCT Office which is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
Completed Nominating Petitions are due in the PCT Office by the close of business on February 15, 2006.
Candidates for union office are eligible to submit a 100 word statement in support of their candidacy for publication in the Pledge. These statements are due to the PCT Office by the close of business on March 3, 2006.
The election will be held on April 5, 2006.
Active members who will not be at their workplace on April 5, 2006, may request anabsentee ballot by March 9, 2006. Absentee ballots and Retiree Unit ballots will be mailed from the PCT Office on March 10.
Absentee and Retiree Unit ballots must be postmarked no later than March 24, 2006.
DISTRICT-WIDE COMMITTEES FORMED
Prompted by a growing national concern for the health of the nationís youth, the POB Board of Education directed Dr. Brooks to come up with a plan for looking at what our district is doing in the areas of student health, fitness and wellness. Dr. Brooks recommended and the Board approved the creation of two district-wide committees composed of teachers, adminsitrators and parents to look at what our district is doing in this area and to make proposals for possible improvements.
The PCT has appointed the following representatives to these committees:
PCT MEMBERSHIP ON THE HEALTH, NUTRITION AND FITNESS COMMITTEE
HOME AND CAREERS TEACHERS
PCT MEMBERSHIP ON THE WELLNESS COMMITTEE
PCT members with ideas for how we might improve the districtís activities in these areas shouldcontact a PCT representative on the committee.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE March 15 & 16
The PCT will offer a Safe Driver Course on Wednesday and Thursday, March 15 and 16, from 4 to 7 PM in the Choral Room of the PMS.
Participation in the Safe Driving Course provides members with a 10% reduction in the cost of their auto liability insurance and can be used to remove up to 2 points from oneís license.
Those wishing to attend should send a check for $30 made payable to the PCT.
Thanks to all who contributed to the holiday gift drive
for the children at P4K in Brooklyn. Because of the generosity of PCT members,
over a dozen children who would have received few or no gifts now have new
coats, clothing, shoes and toys. Your actions have made a big impact on the
lives of these special needs children. I am so grateful to work with such kind
and generous colleagues. Thanks again and Happy New Year.
Readership of the PCT WebPage continued to grow in 2005. By the end of the year, 13,375 visits had been logged with visitors reading 24,846 pages of material.
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