When we think about benefits, the first things that come to mind are medical and dental insurance. The Comsewogue School District provides each of us with medical benefits and life insurance benefits and the PJSTA provides us with our Dental and Vision Benefits. You must remember to write PJSTA as your employer on the forms when you visit the Dentist and Eye Care Provider. There are other benefits that you are entitled too as members of the PJSTA, NYSUT, AFT and NEA. All four of these affiliates have websites that are easily navigated and loaded with benefit opportunities!
Of course there are the usual health and life insurance offerings here, but there’s also an AFT credit card and credit counseling services. AFT offers loans and mortgages, travel and entertainment services and even shopping! They have an auto club and discounts on AT&T wireless and DELL computers. Best of all, is their “Tools for Teachers”. There you will find articles “aimed at assisting novice teachers and other educators with some of the most fundamental challenges, including how to arrange your classroom and how to set rules and procedures.”
Go to the NEA website and you’ll find three sections, one with political issues, one with grant opportunities and one with lots of links for new teachers. The Tools and Ideas link offers lesson plans, classroom management ideas, chat boards and a works4me best practice link. They also have an NEA academy.
NYSUT’s website is extensive and incredibly comprehensive. You can research and find answers for all of your certification and tenure questions. There’s a career center and a handbook for employees who have been laid off. They offer legal services and information to keep us all updated on state and national political issues. There are links for you and the other 600,000 NYSUT members to flood their representatives with emails that support issues relative to education, children, and educators. 600,000 members makes NYSUT a voting block to be reckoned with, but only when all of its members participate. NYSUT’s social justice agenda is articulated here as well and there are links for members to read about social justice and links that explain how members can become more involved. There’s even a “locals on line” link that brings you directly to pjsta.org.!
Our website is really the only one you need to remember! Vincent Verdisco, CHS art teacher, is our webmaster. Vincent embedded links for all of the above websites into the PJSTA site. From our site, you can download insurance forms and change of dependent, name and address forms.
I would encourage everyone to visit these sites on a regular basis, but I would be remiss if I did not include one note of caution about the internet. These sites are perfectly safe, but that is not true about some of the other sites on the web. At two recent NYSUT workshops that I attended, members were advised to use sites like facebook more carefully. Once your information is out there, it’s permanent, so please be careful to post only the things that would be appropriate for your mother or boss to see!