STAnd United - Syosset Teachers` Association

President’s Message...
STAnd United
Volume 25 No. 3
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a Long Island Presidents' Council (LIPC)
workshop at Gurneys. Much of the weekend was spent discussing the latest attacks on teachers
and public education by Governor Cuomo. Make no mistake, he has declared war on teachers
and public education ... and every student, parent and educator is threatened by his attacks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.
Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing an agenda that would decimate
the state's public schools. His budget would:
hold school aid increases hostage unless his reforms are enacted;
underfund the state's K-12 education systems;
more than double the weight of standardized tests in teachers' evaluations;
make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget is an attack on public education that fails to address
what all students need.
What does this mean for you?
 Inadequate funding for education will mean loss of programs (jobs) in both Syosset and your
home district. Many school districts have already gone to half-day kindergarten and have
cut or reduced electives such as music, art and library. More are sure to follow without adequate funding.
 The failure to release the "aid runs" to districts means that district must base their budgets on
incomplete information which could cause additional cuts and uncertainties.
 The proposed changes to APPR (50% of your score based on standardized tests and 35% of
your observation coming from an independent observer) will ensure that more and more
teachers are rated developing or ineffective. In addition, the Governor would like a teacher's
overall rating to be no higher than the rating that results from the test scores.
 Do you know that teachers who receive a Developing or Ineffective rating will receive a
Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) within 10 school days from the opening of classes in the
school year following the performance year? This means intense supervision.
 Do you know that a teacher receiving two ratings of ineffective in a row is enough evidence
for districts to proceed with an expedited 3020a hearing? New York State Education Law
Section 3020-a deals with disciplinary procedures and penalties. This could result in termination.
 The tax cap erodes communities' ability to provide what all kids need. Making the tax cap
permanent, which the governor is pushing to do, would prolong the financial hardships districts already face. The tax cap severely hampers a community's ability to set its own educational priorities and makes it difficult for unions to negotiate in these difficult financial
What can you do to fight back?
We need every member to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov.
Cuomo's agenda.
Go to for a list of actions everyone should be taking.
Remember, the UNION starts with YOU!
Together we can win this war but only if we are all involved in the battles.
In Unity,
ERS Retirement Checklist (for nurses and therapists)
Only you can decide when it’s the right time to retire from public service, but keep in mind that your age at retirement can affect
your retirement benefit. If you’re a New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) member in a regular retirement
plan, you can retire with full benefits at the age specified by your plan. You have the option to retire as early as age 55, but you’d
receive a permanently reduced benefit. Visit for full information.
Note, you must apply to receive your NYS and Local Employees’ Retirement System benefit by completing and filing an Application for
Service Retirement (RS6037). You can download the application or obtain it via the call center. Email and telephone number listed
below. Your application must be on file with NYSLRS at least 15 days, but not more than 90 days, before your date of retirement. Applications are to be mailed to NYSLRS 110 State St., Albany, NY 12244-0001 or delivered in person to a consultation site.
Schedule a Consultation - NYSLRS offer personalized service at consultation sites throughout the State. If you are nearing
retirement, you may wish to take advantage of this service before filing your retirement application. To schedule an appointment,
contact the Call Center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area. For specifics please visit
Please remember, you will also need to resign from the Syosset School district.
Membership mobilization and keeping everyone
informed as we move forward in our fight
against the governor will be a challenge. In an
effort to work through this together as one unified union, we need your help.
In an effort to be mobilize and keep everyone
informed, NYSUT is proud to announce, “Take
Action Tuesday.”
On Take Action Tuesdays, they will text a simple idea or action to you.
To accomplish this sign up for the new NYSUT MAC Text Alert. Signing up for text
alerts is easy: just text NYSUT to 38470.
The goal is to have members get involved in the
work of the union. We need each member involved in the fight for public education.
Remember, the UNION starts with YOU!
Scholarships & Grants
LI Teachers Benevolent Fund
Eligibility: Children of in service members of NYSUT locals
which are participants in the Long Island Teachers Benevolent
Fund, who are high school seniors, graduating this year, and
who will be attending a post-secondary institution on a full
time basis.
Criteria: Proof of academic achievement by submitting copies
(original not necessary) of:
1. School Transcript including the current GPA
TRS death beneficiary information
Need to name or update your beneficiary information?
You can review your beneficiary information
by checking your annual benefit profile or
through your online “MyNYSTTRS” account
To designate or change your beneficiary info,
just print the Designation of Beneficiary form:
2. SAT or ACT scores
Applications are due in the STA office not later than Friday,
March 6 for processing. Applications are available in the STA
office or call ext. 5784.
AFT Scholarships & Grants
This program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as
well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist
with their continuing education. Applications for the 2015 Porter Scholars Program are now available online: The
deadline for the AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program for
high school students is March 31, 2015.The deadline for the
Member Grants Program is March 31, 2015. Please contact
[email protected] if you have any questions.
New membership cards in the mail
Cards come with a new feature this year: a miniature version
for a key ring that lets members conveniently access benefits
and discounts. The mailing includes a letter from President
Karen Magee, a brief guide to "what membership means to
you" and details on NYSUT Member Benefits.
K-12 Educator Expense
Eligible educators can deduct up to $250 ($500
if married filing joint and both spouses are educators, but not more than $250 each) of any unreimbursed expenses (otherwise deductible as a
trade or business expense). Qualified expenses
are amounts you paid or incurred for books,
supplies, computer equipment (including related
software and services), other equipment, and
supplementary materials that you use in the
classroom. For courses in health and physical
education, expenses for supplies are qualified
expenses only if related to athletics.
For more information: IRS Topic 458
For 2014 Tax Purposes...
Full-time teachers paid dues in the amount
of $925.00 from January 1, 2014 through
December 31, 2014.
Full-time nurses paid dues in the amount of
$495.00 from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014
Part time teacher and nurses should look at
their last pay stub in December from which
dues were deducted.
Your Employee Assistance Work/Life Program (EAP) provides support for a variety of personal and professional concerns
including emotional well-being, family and relationship issues, job-related difficulties, substance abuse and others. Trained
professional counselors are available 24/7. Your EAP can help. Call 800-833-8707 for a free and confidential consultation.
Rep Council Notes...
Last Meeting 1/8/15
Approval of Goals
Treasurer’s Report
Political Action
President's report
Allyson Giles
Fritz Weinrich
Eileen Hoffman
Syosset High School
Dana Genna
Joanne Neary*
Michelle Potvik
Beth Schettino*
Walt Whitman
Candace Nupp
Rep. Council Attendees:
Michele Strauss
Jennifer Gustafson
Vicky Deletrain
Melissa Ramos
Lori Bookspan
STA Rep Council
March 12 & April 16
Dr Rafael Dueñas*
Jennifer Lamond
Budget Information Meeting
March 16 at 7 p.m.,
SW Middle School
Rosemary Jones*
Stacey Balducci*
Debbie Smith
Mary Hendrickson*
Jill Goldberg
Nassau Educational Forum
sponsored by NYSUT:
March 12th
7-9 PM
Berry Hill
Jody Miller
Robin DiMaggio
Lisa Funk
Registered Nurse
Jodi Beckoff
Denise Martinez
Susan Murphy
Courtney Orphanos
Elissa Wagner
Place: Central H.S. in Valley
Sandra Hoffman
Robbins Lane
Linda Blanchfield
Joyce Ettinger
George Basso
Psych Services
H.B. Thompson Middle School
George Basso
Tania Johnson
South Grove
Bridget Perlmutter*
Sean Kiernan
Psych Services
Bonnie Pantell
Ann Cullen
TRACT Center
Fran Bernstein
Fran Bernstein
The event will be focused on
demonstrating to Governor
Cuomo and state legislators
the importance of strong,
well-funded and locally controlled public schools.
South Woods Middle School
Carol Zwielich
Kim Pritchard, President
Carol Castaldi
Kat Kelly, Vice-President
Megan Halleran
Michael Callahan , Treasurer Mark Hanik
Allison Noonan
Debra Puccio
David Steinberg
STAnd United
January/February 2015
Volume 25, Number 3
Syosset Teachers’ Association
President: Kim Pritchard
Editor: Donna Stanziani