Resolution Opposing the NYSUT Endorsement of Congressman Chris Gibson
Whereas, The board of directors of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) voted in June 2012 to endorse Republican Chris Gibson over Democrat Julian Schreibman in the newly-created 19th Congressional District race;
Whereas, NYSUT is an affiliate of the United University Professions (UUP), and the UUP statewide organization has membership on the NYSUT executive board, and the UUP is bound by NYSUT endorsements;
Whereas, The NYSUT local presidents voted to take a position of neutrality on the race between Chris Gibson and Julian Schreibman;
Whereas, The NYSUT board of directors initially adopted a stance of neutrality on the race between Chris Gibson and Julian Schreibman, and then later changed their position to endorse Chris Gibson without consulting the NYSUT local presidents;
Whereas, Chris Gibson supported Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget plan which would – among other things – devastate education funding;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to extend Bush-era tax cuts through 2013;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has voted to support voucher programs for education, depriving public schools of important funding;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of school vouchers in Washington, D.C., schools;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of increasing the interest rates on student loans;
Whereas, AFT and NYSUT’s own ranking of Chris Gibson on Education issues before Congress is a mere 38%;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has called for the scaling back or closing down of the Department of Education;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has voted to prevent the E.P.A. from spending money to enforce its standards regarding the reduction of mercury emissions from cement plants across the U.S.;
Whereas, Chris Gibson has supported building additional nuclear power plants along the Hudson River;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act and this year voted twice against efforts to repeal it, and opposes same-sex marriage;
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to restrict the ability of unions to organize and effectively enforce safe labor standards;
Whereas, Chris Gibson was rated at a shockingly low 14% by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (a grade of “F” on worker’s issues);
Whereas, Chris Gibson voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion; and
Whereas, A vote for Chris Gibson is also a vote for the anti-labor, anti-education leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives;
Resolved, That the UUP New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee opposes the NYSUT endorsement of Representative Chris Gibson for the 19th Congressional District.
—UUP New Paltz Chapter Executive Committee, September 21, 2012
The following resolution was passed on September 14 by UUP’s statewide Executive Board:
In Support of the Chicago Teachers Union
Whereas, the Chicago Teachers Union (AFT Local 1, the nation’s first teachers’ union) is engaged in a protracted contract battle that has important consequences for educators everywhere; and
Whereas, Chicago teachers have rallied, marched, won the support of parents, and mobilized for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a rich curriculum that includes art, music, physical education and foreign language; and
Whereas, the CTU has published a report, The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve, which eloquently argues in favor of proven reforms that would improve the education of the city’s 400,000 students; and
Whereas, 92% of the CTU membership participated in a vote to authorize a strike, and 98% of those voting voted yes; and
Whereas, the opponents of the CTU have used the deep pockets of wealthy supporters to launch a torrent of ads attempting to discredit the union and promote private charter schools; and
Whereas, a victory for the Chicago Teachers Union would be a victory for public-sector employees nationally as we struggle to resist the imposition of austerity conditions and the move to privatize public education; therefore be it
Resolved, that United University Professions support the Chicago Teachers Union in its fight to negotiate a contract that meets the needs of its members and their students; and be it further
Resolved, that United University Professions encourage its members to show support in any or all of the following ways: signing petitions in support of the CTU struggle, making individual donations to the CTU Solidarity Fund, writing letters of support, becoming Associate Members of CTU, attending local solidarity events, and any other related activities.
Research-based Proposals to Strengthen Elementary
and Secondary Education in the Chicago Public Schools
The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve is a new Chicago Teachers Union study which argues in favor of proven educational reforms to dramatically improve the education of more than 400,000 students in a district of 675 schools.
These reforms are desperately needed and can lead Chicago towards the world-class educational system its students deserve. Their study presents 46 pages of research-based details on the following 10 essential recommendations:
1. Recognize That Class Size Matters: Drastically reduce class size. We currently have one of the largest class sizes in the state. This greatly inhibits the ability of our students to learn and thrive.
2. Educate The Whole Child: Invest to ensure that all schools have recess and physical education equipment, healthy food offerings, and classes in art, theater, dance, and music in every school. Offer world languages and a variety of subject choices. Provide every school with a library and assign the commensurate number of librarians to staff them.
3. Create More Robust Wrap-around Services: The Chicago Public Schools system (CPS) is far behind recommended staffing levels suggested by national professional associations. The number of school counselors, nurses, social workers, and psychologists must increase dramatically to serve Chicago’s population of low-income students. Additionally, students who cannot afford transportation costs need free fares.
4. Address Inequities In Our System: Students and their families recognize the apartheid-like system managed by CPS. It denies resources to the neediest schools, uses discipline policies with a disproportionate harm on students of color, and enacts policies that increase the concentrations of students in high poverty and racially segregated schools.
For more information contact the Chicago Teachers Union at 312-329-9100 or read the entire report on their website at www.ctunet.com/Deserve