Calendar of Events book: www.facebook.com/nysutTRO 520 White Plains Road

Tarrytown Regional Office
NYSUT
520 White Plains Road
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone: (914) 592-4411
Fax: (914) 345-3302
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysutTRO and follow us on Twitter: @NYSUTTRO!
Marc Laffer, Regional Staff Director
Calendar of Events
Teacher Certification Video Conference
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Nov 4
Disability Awareness Seminar
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office )
Nov 6
Rockland County Central Labor Council
(IBEW, New City)
Nov 6
NYSUT Community College Conference
(Gideon Putnam, Saratoga Springs)
Nov 7-9
NYS Teachers Retirement System Convention
(Saratoga Springs City Center, Saratoga Springs)
Nov 9-10
Rockland County TA Meeting
(North Rockland TA Office)
Nov 12
Student Engagement Seminar
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Nov 12
Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Council
(WPCLB Office, White Plains)
Nov 12
NYSUT Bowling Extravaganza
Spins Bowl, Mt. Kisco
Nov 13
Implementing Common Core for ELA/Literacy: Investigating
Text and Complexity and Close Analytical Reads – Primary
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Nov 13
Orange County TA Meeting
(Cosimos Brick Oven, Middletown)
Nov 17
SRP Recognition Day Receptions
(Characters, Sloatsburg & NYSUT Tarrytown RO)
Nov 18
Educator Academy Module 2: Teaching Artifacts and
Evidence Seminar
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Nov 19
Constructivist Teaching & Learning Seminar
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Nov20
ED 15/16 Meeting/Presidents’ Council
(TBD)
Nov 20
NYSUT Member Benefits Conference
(Saratoga Springs)
Nov 21-22
Hudson-Catskill Central Labor Council
(CSEA Local 836 Hall, Middletown)
Nov 25
Supporting Students with Autism Seminar
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Dec 1
Managing Local Union Finances Workshop
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Dec 2
Implementing Common Core for ELA/Literacy: Investigating
Text and Complexity and Close Analytical Reads – Secondary
(NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office)
Dec 3
November 2014
The Other High-Stakes Testing:
Drug & Alcohol Testing of School
Employees
Students are not the only ones being tested by school districts.
Every now and then the issue of whether our members can be
subjected to drug and alcohol testing arises and it is critical to
know when and under what circumstances such testing is
permissible.
The Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures generally restricts a public employer
from performing random drug and alcohol testing on its
employees. However, that right can be waived through
collective bargaining, though a union cannot be compelled to
negotiate this type of waiver. In other words, an employer’s
demand to negotiate a random drug or alcohol testing policy is
typically not a mandatory subject of bargaining nor can it be
unilaterally imposed.
Whether a public employer has a right to perform suspicion
based testing depends on a fact-specific analysis balancing the
employer’s managerial interest (e.g., safe transportation of its
students) against the employee’s interests (e.g., privacy and job
security). Consequently, testing based on suspicion of off-duty
drug and alcohol use that is not reasonably proximate to the
employee’s job performance must be negotiated because it is
not reasonably related to the employment relationship. And,
conversely, if the testing was based on suspicion of on duty
impairment, it is likely that an employer’s interests will
outweigh those of the employee such that the employer is no
longer obligated to negotiate its decision to test such an
employee. Nevertheless, the testing procedures and any work
related consequences including disciplinary action must be
negotiated.
Finally, special rules apply to school bus drivers who are
required to have a commercial driver’s license and operate a
commercial motor vehicle based on federal regulations. These
regulations require school districts to test such bus drivers
under the following circumstances:
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Pre-employment;
Following a bus accident if:
a. there was a fatality; or
b.
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the driver was issued a moving violation related to the
accident; and there is an injury treated away from the
scene or a disabled vehicle is towed away from the
scene
There is a reasonable suspicion that the driver reports to
duty, or remains on-duty while under the influence of
alcohol or prohibited drugs;
Randomly;
Before a driver who previously tested positive can
return to work; and
Unannounced follow-ups for drivers referred by
substance abuse professionals for counseling and who
have returned to work.
Please remember that the rules regarding drug and alcohol
testing discussed in this article may overlap with other legal
rights under Education Law, Civil Service Law and your
collective bargaining agreement. If you have specific
questions regarding this topic and how it relates to those other
rights, please contact your Labor Relations Specialist.
Identity Theft…
Cyber Monday and Everyday
Every year, identity theft becomes a bigger
problem. Banking institutions like J.P. Morgan
devote staggering sums of money to ensure the
security of their clients and customers. However,
this past month, J.P. Morgan had to reveal that a hack it
reported in August had compromised data on 76 million
household customers and 7 million businesses, including their
names, email addresses and telephone numbers.
December 1 will be Cyber Monday – the busiest online
shopping day of the year. Shopping online is a great way to
conveniently find good deals. However, any cost or
convenience saved by online shopping is lost if your identity is
stolen.
The object of identity theft is simple: identity thieves seek
sensitive financial information from their victims – social
security numbers, credit card numbers, dates of birth, driver’s
license information – in an attempt to pose as the victim long
enough to realize financial gain. Some instances of identity
theft last for minutes: a stolen credit card is taken to a big-box
retailer and used to purchase a large screen television. Others
can go on for years: an appropriated social security number is
used to secure several forms of identification, and the thief can
live under an assumed identity, racking up massive financial
obligations all the while.
NYSUT Member Benefits provides the following to educate
NYSUT members on how to protect themselves against the
threat of identity theft:
Identity Theft/Fraud Workshops – These workshops explore
to what degree your identity is at risk, the latest techniques
thieves use to obtain your personal information, how to protect
yourself and your identity, and what to do if you become an
identity theft victim.
Equifax Credit Watch Gold (Endorsed Program) – This
program is a 24/7 credit monitoring service that alerts you via
email within 24 hours of key changes to your Equifax Credit
Report. It also provides up to $25,000 identity fraud expense
coverage without a deductible at no additional cost to the
member.
NYSUT members can enroll in this service online for $69.95
annually - $49.45 off the regular price! Call 800-437-4619 and
mention the partner code “NYSUT” to get the Member
Benefits discount.
If you are worried about receiving information online or have
limited internet access, you can enroll in Equifax Credit Watch
by Mail.
For more information about NYSUT Member Benefits’
identity theft workshops and endorsed Equifax programs, call
800-626-8108 or visit the Member Benefits website at
www.memberbenefits.nysut.org.
You’re Not Alone, Help IS Here
What is NYSUT Social Services?
NYSUT Social Services is a
confidential benefit offered to all
NYSUT members, both retired and inservice. Their mission is to improve
the quality of NYSUT members’ lives
through Social Services’ support and
advocacy. When you call, one of the
highly trained and experienced staff
members will confidentially discuss your unique situation and
concerns. They can help you utilize your own Employee
Assistance Program (EAP) benefit or provide you with reliable
information and referrals for professional assistance, right in
your own community - wherever you live. There is never a
charge for this service, nor does NYSUT Social Services
require membership additional to your NYSUT membership.
This benefit extends to you, the NYSUT member, and covers
your concerns about yourself, your spouse or domestic partner,
your children, your parents and parents-in-law.
All calls and contacts will be kept confidential.
Services Available to Members:
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Provide you with information on retirement communities
– anywhere in the country;
Recommend a support group, convenient to you, that
matches your particular needs;
Connect you with reputable, licensed home care agencies;
Provide supportive telephone counseling;
Suggest treatment options for addictive behaviors;
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Share tips on successful caregiving and find you respite
services for your loved one;
Assist you in obtaining specialized services for disabling
conditions;
Follow your progress through a hospitalization and make
sure you receive a safe discharge plan;
Help connect you to the network of aging services for
yourself or your older relatives;
Have a chat about a difficult decision or puzzling
situation;
Help you utilize your Employee Assistance Program
(EAP) benefit if you have one; if not
Find reliable counseling services in your area including
marital and family counseling;
Arrange assistance for members who are victims of school
violence;
Suggest tips for successful caregiving.
The NYSUT Social Services staff has a broad scope of
knowledge and extensive referral resources.
You can tap into these resources just by giving the office a call.
They can provide supportive phone consultation and in many
cases, make referrals as needed.
Working with agencies and providers in your community, they
can help you:
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manage hospitalizations, planned or unexpected;
find support groups or mental health services to fit your
needs;
locate specialized services for persons with disabilities;
arrange assistance for victims of violence;
connect with services for the aging and provide guidance
in caregiving;
find help for marital and relationship problems or childrearing concerns.
For additional information or support, contact NYSUT Social
Services at (800) 342-9810, Ext. 6206, or send an email to
[email protected]
Thanks For All You Do
SRP Recognition Day
This year we celebrate SRP Recognition Day on Tuesday,
November 18th. SRP Recognition Day provides us with an
opportunity to learn more about and thank the unsung heroes
who make our schools run efficiently. Schools across the state
use this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the efforts of
school related professionals. The Tarrytown Regional Office
will be celebrating SRP Recognition Day with two receptions:
one at the Tarrytown Regional Office and the other at
Character’s Restaurant in Sloatsburg.
NYSUT and the TRO know how highly our teacher locals
value the SRPs who work alongside them every day. Some of
these locals go the extra step of SHOWING the SRPs their
appreciation. To that end, teacher locals in our region go
above and beyond to show their appreciation, with ideas such
as:
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In Ossining, the teachers have given SRP’s little sweets
(kisses, mini candy bars, etc.), with notes saying how
sweet it is to work with them.
In Valley Central, the teachers do a special addition of
their regular union newsletter highlighting SRPs.
In Carmel, the teachers provide breakfast in each building
for the SRP groups.
In Washingtonville, the teachers give Dunkin’ Donuts gift
cards with NYSUT stickers on them.
In Yorktown, the teachers do a catered luncheon for all
SRPs.
Other popular ideas for teacher locals to utilize on SRP
Recognition Day are:
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Small votive candles, with “you light up our room, school
or specific program.”
Having students write them little notes.
Raffling off items (Branded union items, of course!), with
all SRP names entered.
Holding a breakfast (rolls, bagels, pastries) or luncheon
(wraps or hot food) with the cost split between the
Association and the Employer.
Gift cards to Barnes and Noble or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Small flower or plants as gifts to SRPs.
Leaving cookies or bagels and notes of appreciation in the
faculty room.
JOIN US!
SRP Recognition Day Reception!
Tuesday November 18, 2014
Locations:
NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office
520 White Plains Road, 4th Floor
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Character’s Restaurant
94 Orange Turnpike
Sloatsburg, NY 10974
Please R.S.V.P. to Cheryl Aguilar at the Tarrytown
Regional Office (914-592-4411) or via e-mail:
[email protected]
Don’t Let This Happen To You
These headlines would make for interesting television on Law
and Order or other similar shows. Unfortunately, this is not
fiction! These are actual headlines from newspapers around
the state, reporting on union leaders accused of stealing
millions of dollars from local union treasuries. These thefts
have occurred in every part of the state, in public and private
sector locals and in both teacher and SRP locals.
Every local has the tools to make sure this does not happen.
Unfortunately, sometimes we let down our guard or assume “it
can never happen here.” That false sense of security will only
create additional headlines in the future. NYSUT encourages
all local union officers to attend training on managing local
union finances. On December 2nd, the Tarrytown Regional
Office will offer this training. If you have not yet attended this
training or are in need of a refresher course, please see the
information below.
Keeping Track of Members: Let NYSUT Help
What is EMR?
Electronic Membership Reporting (EMR) is an easy way to
report members and fee payers without having to mark up the
traditional 11x17 green and blue membership reports we
regularly send to you. NYSUT Member Records encourages
all eligible locals to begin using this new option.
So, who can participate?
Any local that has an employer willing to send specific
member and payroll data in an electronic format to NYSUT
using a provided HIPAA-compliant email system, File
Transfer Protected (FTP) or other secure method.
Why should my local consider EMR?
For several reasons. Using EMR:
Managing Local Union Finances
Workshop
DATE: December 2, 2014
TIME: 4-7 PM
LOCATION: NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office
There is no fee for this workshop but space is
limited so sign up today!
R.S.V.P. to Jackie Wagner
via e-mail ([email protected]) or
phone (914-592-4411)
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simplifies member record keeping, saving time and
resources;
especially helps locals with numerous changes each
month;
is a safe and secure data exchange method;
eliminates some paper reporting from the district and the
creation of the membership report by NYSUT;
helps to create accurate membership records;
fulfills the AFT constitutional requirement for
membership reporting, and
results in the local receiving an electronic file of
membership data after each payroll for your use.
Why would my employer want to do this?
Rather than printing and mailing paper reports containing
member information, the data is securely sent to NYSUT, thus
saving paper and ink. If the local has negotiated payroll
deduction for VOTE/COPE or Benefit Trust, that data is sent
electronically as well, eliminating the printing of additional
paper reports. NYSUT’s IT department shares the relevant
data with the appropriate departments at NYSUT. It becomes
a greener, safer way to transfer data.
create original works of art based on something they found
compelling in this initial encounter.
How does it work?
Several weeks later, the teachers bring the two groups together
again for an unveiling ceremony. Artists and subjects have the
opportunity to invite family members to the event. One by
one, before displaying the finished piece, each artist talks to
the veteran in front of the assembled guests. Students explain
why the particular image was chosen; they describe how they
created the piece, and what they found most meaningful or
difficult about the work. The artist presents the work to the
veteran, and as its owner, the veteran has the honor of
unwrapping it and being the first to see it. Everyone present
knows that the gift includes a piece of both the veteran and the
artist.
All educators know that a program like this does not happen
overnight. Planning the logistics, preparing the students, and
visiting and preparing the veterans in advance are all essential
to success. But Ron says that as a veteran, being active helps
him. He knows many veterans “get stuck” and don’t seek help.
He thinks of Living History as a “win-win-win.” It’s good for
his students, it’s good for the veterans, and it’s good for him
too. As Ron says, “It’s not hard. Start small. Use the things
you do every day to make a difference.”
The employer creates a data file. NYSUT matches the
employer data to your local’s current membership data.
“Exception” reports are created for the local’s review.
Working together with NYSUT’s membership department,
changes are made to the affected member records.
How does NYSUT enhance the data?
NYSUT sends a Microsoft Excel file to the local for its use. In
addition to the membership data typically supplied on the
membership report, the member data is enhanced with political
information identifying voter registration status, voting
districts, VOTE/COPE contributors, etc.
How do I start?
Call NYSUT at 800-342-9810 and ask for Member Records, or
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Log on to the Leader Access site of www.nysut.org;
Review the detailed EMR description and contact
NYSUT’s Member Records department with any
questions or for help in approaching your employer;
Determine the employer’s interest in EMR and report back
to NYSUT to initiate the program.
Our Veterans…
Making a Difference
This is the philosophy that drives
Ossining High School art teacher and
US Army combat veteran, Ron
Whitehead. Ron brings two of the
things he cares about the most, art and
support for fellow veterans, together
with a program called the Living
History Project.
The program, started a few years ago by Ron and colleagues
Harry Quiroga and Sanam Shams, provides an opportunity for
students in Advanced Photography classes and veterans of US
military service to meet face-to-face.
On a one-day in-school “field trip,” carefully paired students
and veterans learn from one another, sharing something of
themselves. The students show some of their existing works of
art. They talk a little bit about their families and hobbies. The
vets bring uniforms, photographs, medals, patches, badges and
other mementos to show the students and they tell stories about
their experiences. They share their history. The students and
the vets enjoy a meal provided by teachers and staff. The
students make notes and sketches, ask questions, scan artifacts
and take photographs thinking about what they will need to tell
the veterans’ stories visually. The students find inspiration to
In addition to Harry and Sanam, Ron thanks his other art
department colleagues, Stephanie Chase, Cedric Lucas, and his
building principal, Josh Mandel for their unfailing support.
For more information about the Living History Project at
Ossining High School, email Ron Whitehead at
[email protected]
Internal Organizing…One to One
The goal of internal organizing is to maximize the level of
member participation in the union’s activities in order to build
power to win on issues of importance to the union. But how
do we get our members to participate in the activities of the
union? Let’s use, as an example, turning out members to a
Board of Education meeting. Which of these methods for
getting the members to come to the Board meeting do you
think would work best? Hanging a leaflet on the union’s
bulletin board in the lounge? Placing a leaflet in the mailboxes
of the members? Leaving a voice mail message for each
member? Blasting an email to the membership? Or, talking
one-on-one to each member? You guessed it!
But who has time to have a one-on-one conversation with
every member? We are busy people, busy with our jobs, our
families, and all our other responsibilities. That’s why a
department rep or building rep structure is necessary. Each rep
will be responsible for talking with coworkers in his or her
area. Having this structure will cut down on everyone’s load.
But what do we say in our one-on-one conversations that will
get members to attend the Board meeting? More to follow in
the next issue of The Edge.
First Annual ED 14/15/16
Billiards Bonanza!!
DATE: January 22, 2015
TIME: 4-7 pm
LOCATION: Diamond Jim’s Billiards & Pub
Nanuet, NY
Details to follow…
Tarrytown Learning Center:
Upcoming Seminars!
The Tarrytown Learning Center (TLC)
offers seminars to enhance our members’
work experience and provide them with
the tools to be the best they can be at their profession. The
seminars, set up in partnership with the NYSUT Education and
Learning Trust (ELT), will provide the latest and most
relevant research-based strategies and resources. They are
convenient and inexpensive. All seminars will begin at 4:30
PM and will be held at the NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office.
Registration is only $10 per seminar. For more information,
go to: www.nysut.org/eReg/TLC
Upcoming courses include:
Disability Awareness – November 6th
Participants will acquire a general understanding of the thirteen
disability categories and key concepts related to the education
of students with disabilities. Participants will experience what
it is like to have a disability and learn strategies for improving
student learning and behavior. (3 hours)
Implementing Common Core for ELA/Literacy:
Investigating of Text and Complexity and Close Analytical
Reads – Primary – November 13th
Investigate complex text and provide instructional insight to
the application of “close reads” in the classroom. The features
of complex text will be evaluated through various
informational pieces of text. This includes the purpose,
language, structure, and knowledge demands of a specific text.
(3 hours)
Educator Academy Module 2: Teaching Artifacts and
Evidence – November 19th
Identify evidence using teacher and student artifacts.
Participants will explore the three priorities of the NYS
Teaching Standards: cognitive engagement, constructivist
teaching and learning, and 21st Century Skills. Evidence will
be based on performance, rubrics, and multiple measures. (3
hours)
Constructivist Teaching & Learning – November 20th
This seminar will address one of the priorities of the NYS
Teaching Standards. Teachers must consider how each student
learns. Understanding how to address this in the classroom
means that teachers must implement a variety of instructional
strategies. Participants will explore how students learn when
they “build” the learning for themselves. When students are
asked to classify, analyze, predict and create, they begin to
think critically and ask questions in order to understand the
complex material presented to them in school and in the world.
(2 hours)
ThanksGIVING
As the holidays roll around, we anticipate time with friends
and family. Annual visits, celebrations and traditions abound.
The foods we look forward to all year are lovingly prepared
and presented. Stories that have been told and retold a hundred
times are shared once more. People we haven’t seen for a year
are with us again, even if only for a short time. For many of
us, there is plenty to be thankful for.
Student Engagement – November 12th
This seminar addresses one of the most critical priorities of the
NYSUT Rubric (Danielson and Marzano) and the NYS
Teaching Standards upon which student success is based.
Teachers new to the profession may have seen these signs of
engagement during their student teaching and are challenged as
to how to plan for this in their everyday teaching. The seminar
will engage them in strategies that will help them sustain
wonder, enthusiasm and perseverance for students through
their teaching. At some time, new teachers may have felt
stymied by traditions of reward and punishment. Our
challenge is to help them surpass these very real difficulties
and provide a practical model for understanding what our
students want and need. (2 hours)
Of course for some, the beginning of the holiday season brings
additional hardships. So many, including our own members,
have suffered through the tough economic times. Adding a
tradition of helping those in need (or expanding on your
existing traditions) can be rewarding for the whole family.
This year, in addition to shopping union for the holidays, be
sure to remember to give what you can to local charitable
organizations. Your time and gently used belongings are often
as welcome as your money. Keep in mind that these
organizations that directly support our neighbors have suffered
significant cuts to the municipal grants they have traditionally
depended upon for funding. Some suggestions include:
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Habitat for Humanity www.habitat.org
Big Brothers Big Sisters www.bbbs.org
Your local food bank:
 The Brewster Community Food Pantry, 26 Prospect
St., Brewster, NY 10509
 Putnam Valley Community Food Pantry
www.putnamvalleyfoodpantry.org
 Food Bank for Westchester
www.foodbankforwestchester.org
 Rockland County People to People
www.peopletopeopleinc.org
 Orange County Food Bank of the Hudson Valley
www.foodbankofhudsonvalley.org
NYSUT Disaster Relief
www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/disasterrelief/make-a-donation
Labor in the News
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Governor Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,
also known as Act 10, required the Wisconsin Education
Association Council to mount a recertification drive every
year to ensure that a majority wants its representation.
The Act also prevented public sector employers from
automatically collecting dues and passing them along to
unions. Since June 2011, teacher enrollment in the
WEAC has dropped nearly a third from nearly 100,000
members, and the smaller union AFT-Wisconsin as fallen
more than half from its peak membership of 16,000.
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Philadelphia Schools
(www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/08/philadelphiastudent-protest-contracts_n_5954922.html):
 The BAD: On October 6, 2014, The Philadelphia
School Reform Commission voted to unilaterally
cancel the labor contract with the Philadelphia
Federation of Teachers to save money. Jerry Jordan,
president of the local union, said in a statement that
the cancellation “is not an effort by the SRC to
address the fiscal crisis. This is the Governor’s
administration’s attempts to vilify the PFT in order to
distract from his horrible record on education funding
and boost his chances of re-election.”
 The GOOD: Dozens of students from at least two
high schools protested the move Wednesday morning,
according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. A
Philadelphia Student Strike Facebook page says
students are “striking because every single teacher in
the district’s benefits are at risk and being played with
through politics.”
Whatever you do to help will give someone else a reason to be
thankful for you this year.
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NYSUT members attend the Making Strides Against Breast
Cancer Walks on Sunday October 19th at the Woodbury Common
Outlets (top picture) and Manhattanville College (bottom
picture).
Papa John’s was sued by New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman. Among the allegations in the
lawsuit are accusations that Ronald Johnson, owner of
the Papa John’s franchise, and company shaved work
hours; rounded down pizza delivery workers’ time for
each pay period to the nearest whole hour; paid
delivery workers as little as $5 an hour; regularly
failed to pay proper overtime to delivery workers by
basing overtime on the low hourly rate and
calculating overtime incorrectly; and required workers
to purchase and maintain all bicycle delivery-related
equipment that New York City law requires an
employer to provide, such as bicycles, helmets, locks,
chains and safety gear, whic h usually costs a worker
at least $500 annually.
http://amsterdamnews.com/news/2014/oct/23/schneid
erman-sues-papa-johns-underpaying-workers/
Amazon.com is a Jungle for its workers. The U.S.
Supreme Court is now considering a lawsuit claiming that
hundreds of thousands of workers are owed millions of
dollars in unpaid wages. At the end of the workday, these
workers are forced to clock out – then wait on an airportlike line for up to 25 minutes to be cleared by security.
The workers claim they should be paid for this “waiting in
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line” time. Amazon.com, and the U.S. Government,
disagree, comparing the time to that which employees
spend walking to or from their jobsite.
www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-06/amazon-workerstake-security-line-woes-to-supreme-court.html.
issue in dispute. This advantage comes not only from the fact
that they live the contract on a daily basis, but also from their
dedication to being completely prepared before walking into
the arbitration. The LRS and local leader, working together,
can maximize this advantage.
The president of the AFL-CIO Labor Federation sent
letters to the White House and Congress on Tuesday
demanding that national workplace safety standards be in
place for workers who could be exposed to Ebola.
www.huffingtonpost.com/2-14/10/21/aflcio-calls-onobama-to-_n_6023196.html
ED 14/15/16 NYSUT Bowling
Extravaganza
Arbitration Planning:
Keys to Success
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Local leaders work hard in
navigating grievances through early stages, from presentation
to building principals at a first stage to presentation to boards
at the penultimate stage. You research the facts and the
contract, draw up the grievance and present to the employer at
various levels. When the grievance gets to arbitration, often
the labor relations specialist steps in and takes over. This does
NOT mean your role is finished.
Although the LRS has likely been involved at all stages, and
has developed a strong knowledge of the grievance, the people
in the district, and the district itself, the local leader’s
perspective is different. Your support for the LRS can very
likely be a critical factor in a successful grievance arbitration.
In an arbitration, an LRS may rely on a local leader to:
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help create a list of necessary documentary exhibits, such
as all stages of the grievance (and district response);
gather all the facts relevant to the grievance, such as
contract provisions involved, bargaining history, a list of
unit members involved (and their titles and job history), a
list of other district personnel involved (and their titles and
job history), a timeline of all relevant facts;
help choose strong union witnesses, who are
knowledgeable, credible and informed of relevant facts;
help prepare union witnesses by letting them know what
will happen on the date of arbitration, and confirm that
they have a command of the relevant facts;
help prepare for cross-examination of employer witnesses,
by reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the
employer’s theory of the case;
sit with the LRS during the arbitration, taking notes and
providing suggestions as testimony ebbs and flows;
be creative and open-minded in considering settlement
possibilities; and
work with the LRS with comments to drafts of the posthearing brief.
The most common advantage that unions have over employers
in grievance arbitrations is their thorough knowledge of the
The 3rd annual NYSUT Bowling Extravaganza will bring more
than 90 bowling teams of NYSUT members together from
across Regions 14, 15, 16. Join your brothers and sisters as we
celebrate our solidarity and bowling skills (or lack thereof).
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Time: 4-9 PM
Location: Spins Bowl, Mt. Kisco
Although the bowling teams are full, come cheer on the teams
and socialize! The NYSUT Bowling Extravaganza will surely
by the social event of the year. Don’t miss it!
The event will also function as a fundraiser. A small donation
of $20 is asked from each attendee – this will also include
participants in the raffle for cool swag! All proceeds will
benefit a Hastings-on-Hudson based charity. PROJECT
SHARE: A Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless uses area
high school students as servers to provide a traditional
Thanksgiving meal to over 300 homeless men, women, and
children from around Westchester County.
For more information regarding the NYSUT Bowling
Extravaganza, contact the NYSUT Bowling Extravaganza
Planning Committee:
Nate Morgan (Hastings TA) [email protected],
Lisa Jackson (Carmel TA) [email protected],
Sean Kennedy (Yorktown CT) [email protected],
Michelle Parker (NYSUT TRO) [email protected],
Jon Wedvik (Clarkstown TA)
[email protected]
The Edge is a news service for NYSUT members and may be
copied or duplicated as needed. For more information contact the
NYSUT Tarrytown Regional Office at (914) 592-4411, visit our
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nysutTRO, or follow us on
Twitter: @NYSUTTRO.
The Edge Editorial Board
Marc Laffer – Editor
Sarah Arbitrio, Courtney Corey,
Ken DeStefano, Eric Marshall,
Jackie Morrissey, Amanda Velázquez