On November 2, 2017, a few hundred retirees attended the Retiree Conference at the Watermill in Smithtown. After Continental Breakfast, NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale,VOTE/COPE coordinator June Smith and Regional Political Organizer Jeff Friedman spoke about the campaign against the Constitutional Convention and the operation of the phone banks. Suffolk Regional Office Director Peter Verdun gave an update on current issues facing NYSUT, including the Constitutional Convention and the agency fee court case, “Janus”, before the Supreme Court. The breakout sessions included a comprehensive presentation on long term care and other elder law issues, a discussion of proposed plans to expand Medicare, a presentation on the experiences of a Japanese-American in a World War II internment camp and an opportunity to make phone calls supporting a no vote on proposition 1 – the Constitutional Convention. After lunch, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discussed issues related to our pension benefit. In all, the day was informative, the speakers inspiring and the food was great. Thanks are due to Joan Perrini for all the hard work to make the event possible.
Seven executive board members of the R-UTN attended the Retiree Council 23 Fall Luncheon on October 19 at Lombardi’s on the Bay in Patchogue. Attending were colleagues from the RC23 member chapters — Commack, Elwood, Harborfields, Hauppauge, Huntington, Kings Park, Northport, Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, Sachem, Smithtown and Three Village. VOTE/COPE Chair June Smith gave an update on NYSUT’S phone campaign to defeat the Constitutional Convention proposition. Retiree services Consultant Joan Perrini highlighted the upcoming Regional Retiree Conference on November 2nd.
RC 23 President Ellen Burke urged members to continue phone calls and to attend the “Pizza and Post Card” party at the NYSUT office. ED 52 Director Rosemary Catanzariti emphasized the need to donate to VOTE/COPE and the possible financial impact of the current Agency Fee Supreme Court case.
Guest speaker Peter Verdun stressed the importance of getting the vote out on November 7th. He also had a surprise in store for the Northport contingent when he related that he was a Northport graduate, and his guidance counselor, Ed Nostrand, was at the Northport table.
After a great meal and informative speeches, we held raffle of gifts donated by each chapter. The lucky winners were Barbara Schubart, Kathy Hynes, Mary Kay, Rita Root, Judy Bensimon, Carol Crowley, Carolyn Bogart, Elaine Gish, Fran Martin, Joyce Duck and Ana (no last name) from Commack.
If you look around Suffolk County you’ll see a lot of Vote No signs and magnets. If you talk to your members, because of the work you’ve done, they know the importance of this election. But we haven’t won yet and we can’t take a win for granted.
Remember the last major statewide poll? While we’re closing the gap, the yes vote was still ahead. Also remember what we saw about voter turnout in an off year election? The record shows that a lot of our members normally do not vote in off year elections.
In the last two or three weeks of this campaign we expect to see a lot more attention and money spent promoting the yes vote. Did you see the Newsday editorial today?
The NYSUT Phone Bank is up and running — and Tuesdays are Retiree Days from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Come for an hour or a day and help get our message out. Retirees are also welcome on Mondays and Thursdays.
Phone Bank Locations and Times where you send volunteers as of today:
Suffolk Regional office:
Mondays all members 3:30 to 6:30 until Election Day
Tuesdays 10:30 to 6:30
Retirees 10:30 to 6:30 (except Halloween when we will only do retiree calls from 10:30 to 1:00)
In-service volunteers 2:00 to 6:30 (except Halloween)
**Just added ** Thursday 11/2 3:00 to 6:30
The theme for this year’s NYSUT Regional Conference is Critical Issues Facing Seniors. The conference, to be held on Thursday, November 2 at the Watermill in Smithtown, features a continental breakfast, seminars of interest to NYSUT retirees and lunch.
Download the Conference Registration Form to register. Registration Deadline is October 25. For more inforamtion call Joan Perrrini at (631) 273-8822.