Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers,
I hope everyone is off to a great school year and looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones!
Although we are still only in the third month of school, we have had a very busy and productive year so far here in Plainedge. Even before school began, the PFT leadership was hard at work speaking to our newest members about the importance of joining and being active in our union. After a couple of short presentations, every single teacher and teaching assistant very proudly signed his or her union card, keeping our membership at 100% District wide. Even in the face of the terrible Janus Supreme Court ruling, the PFT remains a strong support force for the hardest working teachers and teaching assistants in NYS!
During the months of September and October, our 1st time PFT Making Strides Chairperson, Lynn Mudryk, and all her building captains were busy collecting donations for the Making Strides Charity Walk at Jones Beach. As a result of all their efforts, the PFT was once again able to donate $5,000 dollars to aid in the fight against Breast Cancer here on Long Island and around the globe. Great job, Lynn!
The month of October also brought our yearly general membership meeting which was well attended by over 70% of our sisters and brothers. At the meeting, we heard from one of the lawyers in charge of our legal plan and learned about all the great benefits available through our union from NYSUT Membership Benefits Coordinator, Michelle Kennedy. In addition, Kris LaGrange, President of UCOMM Communications, spoke to us about the labor history behind NYSUT, along with the importance of sticking together at all education levels (K-12) in order to make our union stronger. The afternoon concluded with a couple of members winning some raffle prizes and a few conversations with all the vendors who sponsored our meeting. After the meeting was over, one thing was certain: It was definitely a great afternoon to be part of our union!
More recently, on Wednesday, November 13th, the PFT hosted our 7th annual Wizards fundraising event. Even though we have been doing this event in conjunction with the Plainedge PTA for many years, we still managed a sold out crowd and raised over $7,000 dollars for both the PFT and PTA college scholarship funds. Special thanks to our PFT Coordinators for the event, Erin Lehane and Bess Degaray, who have been working behind the scene for months to prepare for our basketball fundraiser. Great work as usual, ladies!In the months to come, our PFT leadership team will be very busy preparing for TA negotiations, as well as planning the many union events yet to occur during the remainder of the school year. For those who like to plan way in advance, please keep Wednesday, April 29th available for our We Make a Difference Awards Ceremony along with Saturday, May 16th, when the PFT will help the Plainedge community celebrate Plainedge Pride Day!
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for at this time of the year. While many hard working Americans struggle to provide for their families, we are fortunate to be part of a strong union that negotiates fair salaries, health insurance, job protections, and many other benefits which enable us to take care of our families. I wish all of our members a very Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming events in the spring! In Solidarity.