Do you have a grandchild in 4th grade?

New York State Parks are waiving daily vehicle fees for fourth-graders and their families for this year. The state also will pick up the transportation costs for children of all ages, from K–12, who live in disadvantaged areas. A $500,000 program included in the new budget, “Every Kid in a Park” also covers historic sites and state DEC lands. The family of fourth-graders can apply for passes at and schools can request transportation grants to reimburse bus costs, tolls and entrance fees starting July 1.

Urgent Message Regarding Health Insurance

NYSUT sent out a notice earlier this year regarding the NYSHIP dependent eligibility audit. The  Audit was directed strictly to those members with family Empire Plan coverage and who obtain their health coverage through school districts or local

April 15, 2016, was the deadline for participants to submit verifying dependent information to the plan for the purpose of coverage. It was reported yesterday that as of 04/14/16, 26,000 Empire Plan participants had not submitted their dependent verification information. If this information is not submitted, dependents will be removed from coverage, and most would lose coverage retroactive to 01/01/16.

Local leaders encourage their members to review the dependent verification packet they received in February and comply with the request as soon as possible. If participating members have questions, members can call HMS Solutions (the NYSHIP dependent verification vendor) 1-855-893-8477.

Take Action Now

NYSAPE (New York State Allies for Public Eduction) and its allies support Assembly members Todd Kaminsky and Amy Paulin’s comprehensive legislation that will bring common sense back to NYS Education. Combined, the five bills will:
·    end over-testing and require full test transparency (A09584 – Kaminsky)
·   restore local control and repeal receivership law (A09578 – Kaminsky)
·   create needed alternative pathways to graduation for students (A09579 – Kaminsky)
·   decouple teacher/principal evaluations from test results (A09626 – Kaminsky)
·   decouple financial penalties from teacher/principal evaluation plans if not in place by this Fall & require an expert committee to develop a research-based teacher/principal evaluation plan (A09461-Paulin)
Assembly members Kaminsky & Paulin’s bills are an important start to fixing the damage done to education in New York State.
Please TAKE ACTION NOW & send a letter to your Assembly member and Senator. Demand that they support these five bills that begin to heal the trust broken by damaging education legislation and policy.
Thank you for TAKING ACTION!
NYS Allies for Public Education

An apology to our members …

An article was published in the April 16 issue of the R-UTN Newsletter titled MAYO CLINIC on DRINKING WATER. After publication the newsletter editors became of aware that this article was not completely based on fact. We apologize to our membership for publishing an article without first fact checking the source.

While drinking water and keeping hydrated is very important to good health, there is no evidence that a glass of water before bed can prevent heart attacks and strokes. Nor is it true that any of the information contained in the article came from the Mayo Clinic. If you would like to read more about the erroneous claims made in this article visit Water Myths Debunked on the The University of Washington website, or I Read it Online: Heart attacks & water published in the St. Louis American on February 14, 2014.

Political Action in Suffolk County

Support for union brothers and sisters
NYSUT received the following from Mike Gendron, Executive Vice President of CWA local 1108 in response to asking how NYSUT members can show support in the CWA fight against corporate greed and union busting by Verizon. This is his response:

Many have asked us what can be done to help us during our strike with Verizon. Stop by and say hello and let the Members know you support them. Drop off some water. Offer to walk the picket line so they can get some time with their families. Thank you so much for your out pouring of support. It means a lot to the Members of CWA 1108. Here are our main picket locations:

Verizon Garage 720 Larkfield Road  East Northport
Verizon Garage 1130 Lincoln Avenue Holbrook
Verizon Garage 285 Hubbard Avenue Riverhead
Verizon Operators office 120 Hicksville Road (picket line on Broadway) Massapequa
Verizon Wireless Store  Smith Haven Mall  Middle Country Road  Lake Grove
Verizon Wireless Store Gateway Plaza  Sunrise Hwy  Patchogue
Verizon Wireless Store  Jericho turnpike  East Northport

If this strike continues we will be providing updates as to other possible actions where we can lend support.  Thank you.