I hope this letter finds you well as we hit the home stretch of the 2017-18 school year.
This morning I asked our President, John Caulfield, if I could take a moment to give you a “head’s up” regarding the LUT Ambassador program that is now underway. Members of our union have been named ambassadors and assigned to speak to everyone covered under our current LUT contract. An LUT ambassador will be contacting you at some point over the next few weeks.
What is this all about?
Right now there is a case pending in the Supreme Court – Janus v. AFSCME - that could have a substantial impact on all public sector unions, including ours. A negative decision in Janus could permit some to not pay a fee for the services provided to them by the union under the terms of our contract. Such services include the salary, steps and sick days that we have earned through our collective bargaining and the administration of our supplemental benefits (eye care, dental, legal, etc.).
LUT Ambassadors have been asked to provide you with information about the Janus case and ask that you sign an updated union membership card. The purpose of the card is two-fold. The first is to update and verify information about you. We all filled out LUT registration cards when we started working here. However, some of the information on that card may need to be changed at this time. The second, and more important reason, is to ask you to sign a pledge on the card indicating that even if the Supreme Court granted permission for people to opt-out of paying a fee for union services, you would still pay your fair share anyway and remain a member of the LUT. The goal of our ambassadors is for 100% participation in the LUT.
There may be some reason why you might feel reluctant to review your information and sign your pledge card. If so, we want to hear from you! Myself, and the other ambassadors, would love to have a conversation with you to see if we can address any concerns you might have. We’d also appreciate an opportunity to provide you with information as to why we feel our common interests as employees in the Levittown School District are best served when we all work together, support one another and pay our fair share of the fees needed to keep our union going strong.
Please understand that it is not the goal of our ambassadors to be argumentative, or in any way attempt to pressure you. It is also important to note that the leadership in the LUT do not feel that protecting union rights is a partisan issue. The words Republican and Democrat do not appear anywhere in the 50 pages of our contract. We do, however, believe that in unity there is great strength and want to do whatever we can in the face of forces seeking to weaken that strength. We’ve all come together many times in the past in the face of attacks against our schools, our profession and our rights to organize for our mutual benefit. Right now is one of those times.
I thank you for your consideration and invite you to contact our union office or one of our LUT ambassadors for further information about this important program.
LUT Corresponding Secretary