United Teachers of Northport President Antoinette Blanck urges all R-UTN member become aware of development in Albany that affect us as union members and retirees.
As we approach the conclusion of the school year, there have been several developments out of Albany which require our attention. Please note that each item is a “work in progress.” The UTN will continue to monitor each situation, investigate and initiate/continue necessary conversations to facilitate appropriate resolutions.
OUT OF ALBANY—NEW YORK STATE SENATE
Your help is needed NOW to fight several bills in Albany that attack public education, teachers and all working people of New York State.
These radical, last minute proposals include:
- Senate Bill 8135, which not only revives the previously-killed Education Investment Tax Credit, a gift to the wealthy that strips millions from our public schools, but also allows charter schools to hire uncertified teachers;
- Senate Bill 8016-A, which would allow charter schools to hire uncertified teachers;
- Senate Bill 8130, which would limit a union’s ability to work for pro-labor, pro-education candidates whileallowing the 1 percent to fund the candidates of their choice; and
- Senate Bill 4611, which attacks the pensions of public employees.Please help us stop Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference and their 11th hour attack on public education and working people.
NYSHIP BUYBACK UPDATE
You may have heard that on June 9, 2016, the Appellate Division of the Third Department in New York State decided the case challenging NYSHIP’s authority to limit buyout provisions between school districts and employee unions. In essence, the court has now decided that NYSHIP may not interfere with any provision contractually negotiated between a district and employee regarding spousal insurance buyout provisions.
In 2012, NYSHIP had issued two policy memorandums, 122r2 and 122r3, indicating that if an individual and their spouse both had NYSHIP insurance then a buyout was not an option. This was the policy, regardless of any negotiated terms in the current collective bargaining agreement.
Previously, the policy was upheld by the Appellate Division on procedural grounds, despite a decision against the state in the Supreme Court. This recent decision of the Appellate Division has now upheld the earlier Supreme Court decision and invalidated these policies. Therefore, school districts are no longer bound by the NYSHIP policies prohibiting certain spousal health insurance buyout provisions.
The Appellate Division determined that, since this was not a policy, but actually a rule or regulation, it was null and void as it was not filed, as required, with the state. Therefore this policy is not enforceable and NYSHIP cannot limit a school district’s ability to negotiate buyouts with its employee unions.
IF IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT the state does have thirty days to file a Notice of Appeal and/or Motion for Leave to Appeal and they may also request a stay of the decision pending the appeal. … WE WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE SITUATION AND WILL KEEP YOU POSTED OF ANY AND ALL DEVELOPMENTS.
OUT OF ALBANY—NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
Today, the Regents adopted emergency regulations to provide every district with the opportunity to apply for a hardship waiver from the requirement to use an independent evaluator in the 3012-d APPR plans. Under the regulation, a district can apply for the waiver if one of the following exists
- Compliance with the requirement would result in financial hardship;
- The district lacks professionally trained staff to comply with the requirement;
- The district has a large number of teachers; and /or
- Compliance with the requirement could impact safety and management of a building.
Districts receiving the waiver would not have to use an independent evaluator for observations of any teacher receiving a rating of highly effective, effective or developing in the previous year. Any teacher with an ineffective rating in the previous year would still need to have an observation by an independent evaluator. Districts will still need to conduct 2 observations of each teacher. Any district with an approved or submitted plan can go back and negotiate this change and re-submit.
AT THIS POINT, IT HAS NOT YET BEEN DETERMINED IF WE WILL BE APPLYING FOR THIS WAIVER. MORE INFORMATION WILL FOLLOW.