Help Secure a NO VOTE on the NYS Constitutional Convention

NYSUT is working to ensure a NO VOTE on the Constitutional Convention this November, and is asking for our help. They will be holding retiree phone banks every Tuesday starting August 1st at the Suffolk Regional Office in Hauppauge.

These phone banks will run from every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will entail retiree activists contacting fellow NYSUT retirees to educate them on the perils of the Constitutional Convention.

There will be a phone bank training on Tuesday, July 18th from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Suffolk RO to familiarize callers with the new phone banking system. While it is not mandatory to attend the July 18th training in order to participate in the subsequent phone banks, it is strongly encouraged. We are now utilizing a computer list/script system for phone banking which will make our efforts much more effective. Once it is demonstrated it is very easy to use, but if you have not used it before, you will need a brief training/demonstration.

Please spread the word to your fellow retirees. You can RSVP for the July 18th or any of the Tuesday phone banks by contacting Theresa Rampello at 631-273-8822 or

SUNY Proposes Changing Charter School Teacher Certification Requirements

On Thursday, July 6, the SUNY Charter School Committee, proposed new regulations that would allow teachers at SUNY authorized charter schools to work without obtaining a master’s degree or passing certification exams. that is charged with overseeing SUNY authorized charter schools. The Charter School Committee is a four member sub-committee of the SUNY Board of Trustees.

NYSUT, along with the state’s schools chancellor and Board of Regents chair have spoken out against these proposed regulations. Posting on the official NYSUT website, President Andy Pallotta stated —

What the charter industry is essentially saying is, ‘Give me a few weeks and I’ll authorize almost anyone we want to be a teacher.’  This backdoor approach fails students and would be a grave disservice to aspiring charter teachers.  It is a travesty.

SUNY is looking for public comment on the proposals, and NYSUT urges all members to visit the Member Action Center (MAC) and voice their opposition. To read more on this topic visit the NYSUT website and

Congratulations to the Retiree Class of 2017

The R-UTN welcomes five new members to the retiree ranks —

Ellen Comiskey, Pulaski Road Special Education
Margaret Minardi, Northport High School Art
Angela Mislowack, Northport High School Special Education
Pamela Waldroup, Northport High School Art
Linda Van Yahres, Pulaski Road Fifth Grade

A Must Read For Retired Northport Middle School Teachers …

This message is from Wayne Jensen, UTN 7–12 Vice President: On April 27, air quality tests were conducted at NMS in a K-wing classroom located above the district warehouse. These tests were in response to the discovery of potentially hazardous materials being stored at that facility. The results of these tests revealed concerning levels of specific Volatile Organic Compounds. Said results prompted a letter from the Superintendent dated May 25, which explained the timeline of events, and invited parents to an information meeting on May 30. The district has since posted (1) the April 27 test results, (2) the May 25 letter, (3) a NYS Department of Health information sheet on Volatile Organic Compounds, (4) an update letter dated June 8, and (5) a letter from the NYS Department of Health dated June 14. All of these documents can be found on the district website: – these documents are also attached to this email.

If you have taught in the K-wing at Northport Middle School, please send an email to as soon as possible – you will be included in future emails so that you can provide any input you may have regarding the situation, and so that your UTN representatives can disseminate any updates as they arise.

Sad News …

Mary Ellen Utell, retired Bellerose Avenue teacher, passed away on Wednesday, May 24 in Ridgefield, Connecticut at the age of 83. She is survived by her daughter and her husband, three step-children and three grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by her husband Leonard. 

Mary Ellen was born in Floral Park, New York and lived in Northport for forty-two years. She taught fourth and fifth grades at Bellerose after beginning her career in Syosset. After retiring she moved to Ridgefield to be closer to family and was active in the Ridgefield Chorale, travelling, walking with her dog Bailey and participating on her community garden committee

A Mass of Christian Burial was be celebrated on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Church; 30 Church in Redding. Memorial contributions can be made to ROAR – Ridgefield Operations for Animal Rescue; 45 South Street Ridgefield, CT 06877.