The PJSTA Contract Extension Agreement

The PJSTA has reached an agreement with the Comsewogue School District on a contract extension.  The extension was approved unanimously at today’s Representative Counsel meeting.  The extension will be put to a ratification vote next Thursday, June 23rd at 1:00 pm in the Comsewogue High School auditorium. 

We will be holding meetings every day between now and then to answer questions from the general membership on the terms of the agreement.  Any member is welcome to attend any of the meetings.  The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, June 17th- 11:15 AM at Comsewogue High School
  • Friday, June 17th- 2:30 PM at JFK Middle School
  • Friday, June 17th- 4:00 PM at JFK Middle School
  • Monday, June 20th- 2:00 PM at Comsewogue High School
  • Tuesday, June 21st- 1:00 PM at Terryville Elementary School
  • Wednesday, June 22nd- 1:00 PM at Boyle Road Elementary School

RATIFICATION VOTE: Thursday, June 23rd, 1:00 PM at Comsewogue High School

The PJSTA is a Proud Sponsor of the Malvetti Memorial 3K

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For the fourth consecutive year the PJSTA is proud to be a sponsor for the Christopher J. Malvetti Memorial 3K Run/Walk in Port Jefferson Village.  The event, dubbed “A Run Through the Bubble”will take place on Saturday, June 18th.  The race begins promptly at 10:00 AM at the Port Jefferson firehouse located at 115 Maple Place in Port Jefferson Village.  Check-in is between 8:30 and 9:30 AM.

Entry Fees:

$20 – Pre-registration (before Thursday, June 16, 2016)
$25 – Day of race
$10 – Anyone under 12
$15 – Post-race bbq only (non-racers)

To register you can click here.

The Christopher J. Malvetti Fund is dedicated to the memory of Chris by his family, friends, fellow firefighters and co-workers. Its purpose is to honor his lifelong spirit of caring and giving to the community by awarding scholarships, grants, or donations to deserving individuals who possess similar qualities.

For more information on the race or the Malvetti Fund, head on over to their website.

PJSTA In Solidarity With Striking Verizon Workers

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Today the PJSTA dropped off two cases of water on ice for striking Verizon workers picketing along Middle Country Road in front of the Verizon Wireless store at Smith Haven Mall.

The workers, members of the Communications Workers of America union, are on the 45th day of their strike.

UFT Election Results Coming Today

The United Federation of Teachers, the country’s largest teacher union local, has wrapped up their 2016 elections and results are due back today.  President Michael Mulgrew, who infamously threatened Common Core opponents with violence, was being opposed by opt-out activist Jia Lee.  Though a victory for Lee would seem to be a no-brainer to most outsiders, those who know the UFT’s rigged system of democracy will tell you that it is anything but.  It is expected that Mulgrew and Unity Caucus will be victorious, however the MORE Caucus, of which Lee is a member, is expecting to seriously challenge for several executive board seats.  Winning executive board seats would represent an enormous victory for MORE, the social justice caucus of the UFT.

Early election results are showing an increase in voter turnout by about 10,000 according to James Eterno at the ICE UFT Blog

Camille Eterno and Norm Scott are reporting from the American Arbitration Association where votes are being counted in the UFT Election. Here are the latest numbers from Norm:

53,000 voted, that is up 10,000 from 2013.

Only 1000 of that increase came from retirees who in 2016 make up 46% of the voters. In 2013, retirees made up 52% of the voters.

Where did those new voters go? Mulgrew is the known commodity. The conventional wisdom guess would be the majority went to Unity but we shall see.

We will try to be back later with updated results.

School Budget Results

The Comsewogue School District’s budget vote resulted in an approved budget in overwhelming fashion as the “Yes” votes garnered more than 80% of the vote.  PJSTA endorsed candidates Fran Blatter and Robert DeStefano were re-elected.  Thank you to the Comsewogue community for their support of our schools!

Endorsed Candidates for School Board Elections

You can click here to access the list of school board candidates who have been endorsed by the teacher union locals in those districts.  This includes every local on Long Island who has shared their endorsements with us.

Additionally you can click here to see the candidates who have been endorsed by Long Island Opt-Out.

Courageous MORE Teachers Defy Gag Order

Three courageous members of the United Federation of Teachers are defying the city’s gag order on speaking out against the state tests.  Lauren Cohen, Jia Lee, and Kristin Taylor, all of whom are running for positions in the upcoming UFT election with the Movement of Rank and File Educators Caucus, spoke to NBC 4 New York and encouraged parents to opt their children out of the rigged Common Core exams that New York State students in grades 3-8 are in the midst of now.

Click here to watch the video with the three courageous teachers.

Unofficial Opt-Out Numbers From Around NYS

We will update this page throughout the day as we get unofficial opt-out numbers in from around the state.  If you know your district’s opt-out percentage please leave it in the comments, send us a tweet (@ThePJSTA), or send it via email to pjsta1vp@gmail.com and we will add them to our post here.

**Updated 4/6/16 1:42 PM**

Baldwin- 51%

Bayport-Blue Point- 72%

Bellmore- 69%

Bellmore-Merrick- 70%

Brentwood- 55%

Carle Place- 54%

Central Islip- 12%

Cold Spring Harbor- 20%

Comsewogue- 86%

Connetquot- 74%

East Hampton- 13%

East Meadow- 49%

East Islip- 72%

East Quogue- 63%

East Rockaway- 65.4%

Eastport-South Manor- 73%

Floral Park-Bellerose- 27%

Freeport- 29%

Glen Cove- 43%

Great Neck- 18%

Greenport- 65%

Hauppauge- 72%

Herricks- 15%

Hewlett-Woodmere- 60%

Hicksville- 34%

Island Trees- 55%

Jericho- 20%

Kings Park- 59%

Lawrence- 25%

Levittown- 68%

Lindenhurst- 81%

Locust Valley- 56%

Lynbrook- 62%

Malverne- 44%

Manhasset- 12%

Massapequa- 64%

Mattituck-Cutchogue- 42%

Merrick- 56%

Middle Country- 72%

Montauk- 17%

Mount Sinai- 55%

New Hyde Park-Garden City- 26%

North Babylon- 63%

North Bellmore- 68%

North Merrick- 62%

North Shore- 43%

Northport-East Northport- 69%

Oceanside- 48%

Oyster Bay-East Norwich- 40%

Oyster Ponds- 34%

Patchogue-Medford- 72%

Plainedge- 79%

Plainview-Old Bethpage- 59%

Port Jefferson- 60%

Quogue- 19%

Riverhead- 39%

Rockville Center- 60%

Rocky Point- 79%

Roosevelt- 8%

Roslyn- 47%

Shelter Island- 46%

Shoreham-Wading River- 74%

Smithtown- 59%

Southampton- 34%

Southold- 55%

Springs- 23%

Three Village- 56%

Tuckahoe- 36%

Uniondale- 47%

Valley Stream Central High School- 51%

Valley Stream #24- 56%

Valley Stream #30- 18%

Wantagh- 61%

West Babylon- 62%

West Hempstead- 32%

Westbury- 34%

Westhampton Beach- 47%

William Floyd- 40%

More to come…

A Couple of Links While We Wait for Opt-Out Numbers

As we wait to hear on opt-out numbers across the state today, a few worthwhile links to pass along.

Though their local union, the UFT, may be working against the opt-out movement in New York City, the teachers at the Earth School in Manhattan have an important message to the families they serve…

Public education is important to us. As teachers, we share a deep commitment to our school’s mission and have chosen public education because that is where our values lie. The founding teachers of our school envisioned a “dream school”: a public school to serve diverse students and families. Our participation in public education comes with responsibilities and implicit agreements–a social contract. We agree that all of society benefits when children have access to quality education. We also share the uniquely democratic hope that children who learn together will later govern together with more compassion, more social cohesion, and a greater sense of civic responsibility.

Be sure to read the full text of their letter.  It is well worth your time.

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Teachers at the Earth School

Over at Living in Dialogue, Michelle Gunderson of the Chicago Teachers Union write about her experience organizing picket lines for their one-day strike last week…

A picket line is sacred ground. As a labor organizer and teacher unionist, I do not say this lightly. Workers have fought and died on picket lines fighting for work conditions that respect the inherent dignity of human life. A picket line is hallowed ground sanctified by sacrifice.

Make sure you check out that whole post as well.

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CTU Picket Line

Contribute to Defeat Mulgrew

I have written in great detail about the harm that Michael Mulgrew and his Unity Caucus inflict not only upon their local union, the United Federation of Teachers, but upon unionized teachers across New York State and beyond.  Fortunately this is an election year for the UFT and Mulgrew has a very formidable challenger in noted public education activist Jia Lee.

Lee needs no introduction to most advocates of public education.  She has been on the front lines of the fight against high stakes testing, junk science teacher evaluations, and the struggle for more democratic unions at all levels.  In 2015 she travelled on her own dime to Washington DC and she quite eloquently represented public school teachers in the United States Senate.  PJSTA members will remember her as our keynote speaker at the PJSTA Conference Day last year.  She was one of the first conscientious objectors in New York State when she began refusing to administer the rigged New York State assessments in 2014 and she is one of the authors of the Teachers of Conscience Position Paper.  As someone who is fortunate enough to call Jia a friend, I can share that she is the real deal when it comes to public education advocacy.  She breathes activism.  In addition to the tireless efforts she has put into the opt-out campaigns and working for union democracy, Jia is a dynamic teacher at New York City’s Earth School and she has been a tremendous professional resource to me, sharing countless things from her classroom that my students have then been able to benefit from.  If such a thing as an education superhero exists that person is Jia Lee.  You can click here to access one of Jia’s flyers to share widely with your public ed allies.

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Beth Dimino, Jia Lee, Brian St. Pierre. Lee is running against Michael Mulgrew for UFT President.

This election is about more than just Jia, however.  Jia is simply running at the top of a slate of candidates being put forth by two UFT Caucuses.  Those two caucuses (MORE and New Action) are tired of seeing their union compromise and collaborate with reformers bent on destroying us.  They are ready to transform the UFT into a member driven union that represents the teachers in the classroom rather than the union “leaders” with personal agendas.  While that sort of transformation would certainly benefit New York City’s classroom teachers, it’s benefits would stretch far beyond that as well.  It would significantly alter the direction of our statewide union, NYSUT, and our national union, the AFT.  As the local that is by far the largest in the country (several times larger than the second biggest), the UFT’s leadership wields extraordinary power within the teacher union landscape.  They impact virtually every unionized teacher in the United States.  The leadership of the UFT is the largest reason why unions have supported the Common Core and test based teacher evaluations.  They were the ones urging state legislators to vote in favor of the Education Transformation Act last year!  As a matter of fact, much of Unity Caucus’ (the caucus representing the UFT leadership) campaign in this year’s election has even centered upon their support for the evaluation plan in which 50% is made up of test scores.

Clearly anyone who supports public education has a stake in this year’s UFT election.  Nobody can ignore it and think that it only impacts teachers in the five boroughs.  This election will impact every teacher, student, and parent across the state.  With that in mind I will ask that all of you head on over right now to make a donation to the MORE Caucus and their election fund.  Unseating the biggest bully on the public education landscape can’t be done by simply “liking” something on Facebook or retweeting a link on Twitter.  It will take money too.  So give what you can, even if it is only a small amount.  Finally, be sure to ask your friends who support public education to do the same.

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