Come Meet Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins!

Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins, running as the Green Party candidate, will be at Comsewogue High School next Monday, October 27th at 4:00 pm for a meet and greet.  Hawkins, who has been endorsed by the PJSTA, the BTF, and others, has an education platform that all public school students, teachers, and parents can get behind.  Please come out and meet Mr. Hawkins next Monday.  Be sure to share with your friends and family as well!

To hear a bit about where Hawkins stands on public education watch the video below…

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Buffalo Teachers Federation Join PJSTA in Endorsing Howie Hawkins for Governor

Earlier this month the PJSTA became the first teachers union to endorse the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins in his bid for governor in this fall’s election.  On Thursday night we were joined by one of the state’s largest locals, the Buffalo Teachers Federation, who voted unanimously last night to endorse Hawkins and his running mate Brian Jones.

Via State of Politics

Also last night, the Buffalo Teachers Federation voted unanimously to endorse Hawkins, according to his campaign, becoming the third teachers union to back his minor party gubernatorial bid.

In the same article we find this interesting bit about Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout…

As for Teachout herself, she is still on a statewide tour promoting her new book, “Corruption in America”, and simultaneously trying to help the Senate Democrats’ in their quest to re-take the majority.

Teachout has not yet issued an endorsement in the governor’s race.

Hawkins said earlier this month that he spoke to Teachout about backing him, and she’s “open” to the idea. It’s highly unlikely she’ll support her erstwhile primary opponent, Cuomo, before the Nov. 4 election.

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Send Well Wishes to Karen Lewis

By now you may have heard about the unfortunate illness that Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis is battling.

Today the CTU released details on how you can send Karen your well wishes.

Via the CTU Blog…

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis is recovering well from last week’s surgery and appreciates the outpouring of love and support from across the world. If you wish to send a card, letter, flowers or other get well greetings, please send them to the Chicago Teachers Union office.

Chicago Teachers Union
Cards for Karen c/o Audrey May
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, #400
Chicago, IL 60654

Beth Dimino, Karen Lewis, and Brian St. Pierre this summer in Chicago.

Beth Dimino, Karen Lewis, and Brian St. Pierre this summer in Chicago.

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Labor Notes Book Party

Thank you to all of the PJSTA members who attended tonight’s Labor Notes Book Party about the book How to Jump-Start Your Union: Lessons from the Chicago Teachers.  Joining a healthy representation of PJSTA members were teachers from districts such as Mount Sinai, Patchogue-Medford, Port Jefferson, Levittown, and Shoreham-Wading River.

We were joined tonight by Mark Brenner and Samantha Winslow of Labor Notes.  Brenner and Winslow were also two of the authors of the book.  Brenner spoke about his unique experiences as a teacher and now writer for Labor Notes.  He provided valuable insights into what has been effective in Chicago and other areas of the country where teachers are fighting back against harmful education reforms.

We were also joined by Brian Jones who has experience in trying to build a more member drive union from his work helping to build the MORE Caucus in the UFT.  Jones is currently the Green Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor.  Jones and running mate Howie Hawkins, who is running for governor, have been formally endorsed by the PJSTA.

Labor Notes logo.

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Philadelphia Cancels Contract With It’s Teachers

In a startling move earlier this week the Philadelphia school district canceled their contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

Via the Washington Post…

The five-member reform commission that controls the cash-starved Philadelphia public schools announced on Monday that it was canceling its contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and while it would continue to honor most contract provisions, it would change the package of health-care benefits and require all teachers to contribute to the health fund. The union said the commission’s action “has amped up a war on teachers.”

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission, in a surprise move, said that after 21 months of negotiating with the  Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, that it would abrogate the contract, which has largely remained in effect even though it actually expired in August 2013. The commission has unilaterally taken other steps to violate contract provisions, including stopping paying teachers for “step” increases.

The cancelation of the contract could cost some Philadelphia teachers more than $600 per month.

We will certainly have more on this story in the coming weeks, but it is obviously just another attack in the war on teachers.  It is important to remember that attacks on teachers in other districts, cities, and states are attacks on all of us.  The PJSTA will shortly be planning an opportunity for you to show support for our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia.

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