New Battles: GOP Tax Scam, Janus and Parental Leave

More attacks. More fighting.  The UNITY Caucus of the UFT is again leading the charge in multiple battles to protect our members. These clashes are taking place at both the local and national levels.

The GOP Tax Scam

tax-scam-300x2031_11617181The GOP tax plan that was rammed through the Senate literally and figuratively destroys what is left of the American Dream. Raising taxes on the middle class and lowering deductions will ultimately decimate the ranks of civil servants, including teachers, police and firefighters, as well as other middle-class professionals. Funding for public education will be slashed across the nation.  Additionally, this tax plan will increase healthcare costs exponentially.  The Corporations will make more money and the rich will get richer-On Our backs.  

Supreme Court:  Janus v. AFSCME

03_Edit-SupremeCourt-1Our opponents want to take away Our rights and benefits by weakening the union. The Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME in the coming months in which plaintiff argues that non-members should not be required to pay fair share or agency fees to cover their portion of the costs associated with collective bargaining and union services that benefit all employees in the bargaining unit. UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated that “… this Janus case is paid for and brought to us by people who want to destroy unions so your benefits and rights can be taken away. As we brace for this challenge ahead, remember that all of us together are the union.”

Paid Parental Leave

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UFT members spend their days nurturing and supporting children, yet the city’s current parental leave policy forces members to choose between their own children and the profession. It’s time that the city grants UiT members the paid parentalleave they deserve. The UFT has been making efforts to negotiate a fair and reasonable paid parental leave policy with the city since 2015.   However we will not allow givebacks or enable the City to make us overpay for this all important policy.

These issues are, without question, among the greatest threats we have ever faced. But, as UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “we are a strong union because of our membership. Our enemies want to take our job security, tenure, preparation periods, maximum teaching loads, premium-free healthcare and much more away from us. We cannot and will not let this happen. Now more than ever, We must stand together and take care of each other.”

Standing together and taking care of each other-this is what it means to be in a union. This is What the UFT represents. This is the goal members of Unity fight for every day.

WE DID IT TOGETHER! The NYS Con Con has been defeated!

 

We defeated the Con Con together!

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The voters in our great state spoke and said NO to a Constitutional Convention. The UNITY/UFT Caucus worked around the clock to get the word out to Our members, families, neighbors, friends and even frenemies” to make sure that Proposition 1 was defeated. And it was. Soundly.

UNITY/UFT members went door to door, calling and leafleting to get the word out and to make sure that this ballot item was squashed.  However, UNITY/UFT did not do this alone – NYSUT, NYS AFL-CIO and our sisters and brothers from other unions worked tirelessly as well to get the “NO” out.

As UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated, “This ballot was defeated by the collective power of the working middle class who are fed up with these anti-union, anti-middle class adversaries that have become emboldened in the current chaotic political climate.”

We may have won this battle but the fight is far from over; Janus and a potential national Right to Work law looms overhead. But, as we just learned, when we put aside Our differences and work together for the betterment of our livelihoods, positive things happen. We cannot and must not forget that. We must take this momentum and our collective power and fight against the war coming our way. After all, we are a UNION and cannot lose sight of that fact.

As always since the inception of our union, UNITY/UFT Will continue to lead the Charge.

 

UNITY: VOTE NO to NYS CON CON on November 7th!

A New York State Con Con is a Con

The New York State Constitution guarantees that the benefits of public employees who are currently members in any pension system “shall not be diminished or impaired.” Whether a sanitation worker in Schenectady, a firefighter in Binghamton, a policeman in Riverhead, or an educator in the Bronx, this Would have an impact upon all of us. A Constitutional Convention would present wealthy interests with a rare opportunity to end that guarantee and to slash public pensions.

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Public employees could lose union protections as well. This is not simply a UFT issue. This is a public sector Worker issue. The state Constitution safeguards Workers’ rights to join a union and bargain Collectively for a contract. A Constitutional Convention would give anti-union forces a chance to roll back those rights and leave Workers powerless.

UNITY/UFT is doing all it can to fight back against these anti-union, anti-middle class adversaries who seem to have been emboldened by the current political climate.

As UNITY/UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated, “In an off-year election, this ballot question will be decided by a small minority of voters which is why it is imperative that every UFT member vote “NO” and encourage their friends and family to vote the same.” Tell your neighbors and enemies to vote “NO”.

November 7th cannot be a day of infamy in Our state; it is up to us to make sure this does NOT happen. It is up to us to spread the Word. It is up to us to vote NO #Public School Proud.