Monday, July 10, 2017
I hope this message finds you enjoying the beginning of what hopes to be a long and restful summer.
It is hard to imagine that another school year has come to an end. But, what a productive and rewarding year it was....
In addition to providing the children of the Levittown School District with extraordinary instruction, the LUT has endeavored upon many ventures that had an impact on the membership today and in the years to come.
In October, we participated in the 'Making Strides' walk at Jones Beach and raised over $4,500 for breast cancer awareness. November saw us implement a legal service plan that has already benefited members and continues to be accessible throughout the summer. Last March, the Supplemental Benefits Board of Trustees voted to increase and improve many of our dental benefits.
In early winter, we launched a local campaign designed to educate our members about the dreadful pitfalls of a Constitutional Convention. Momentum found us hosting a March 22nd forum that brought together many factions of the Levittown community and beyond that would be impacted by such an event. John Lipani and I will continue to visit buildings this fall to present and answer questions leading up to the all-important November 7th vote. Please continue to educate your friends and family on the tax implications of a Constitutional Convention and be sure to encourage them to vote NO - an estimated $350 million dollars of tax payer money is at stake.
The spring saw us once again on the front lines of the 'Opt-Out' movement - an effort that continues to be a powerful force in combating what is a toxic educational testing agenda. As always, the LUT will continue to advocate for children and a fair teacher evaluation system that is not linked to student performance on grossly unreliable and invalid exams.
We saw our local win multiple NYSUT Communication Awards including a first place award for Best Website, an award for Best Artwork, and a General Excellence commendation in 2017 for our newsletter, The Levittown Teacher. Congrats Joe Romano, UCOMM Media Group and to our graphic design specialist, Amanda Forchelli. And our very own, John Lipani, won an inaugural NYSUT award for 'Political Action Volunteer' of the Year. He accepted this honor at the Representative Assembly in New York City this past April.
Without question, the LUT has shown itself time and time again to be an award winning local that sets the standard for others to follow!
Lastly, this extraordinary school year was topped off by a major victory in the NYSHIP buy-out litigation. This long, hard-fought, successful legal battle is a major victory for collective bargaining rights and all affected locals and members across the state.
Payments will be made retroactively and will be paid out this August. Once retro payments are made, members should expect to see future payments on what was their original anniversary dates. For specific questions regarding your health insurance incentive, please contact Linda Forte in Employee Benefits - 516-434-7015.
On behalf of the LUT leadership team, I wish you and yours a safe and healthy summer vacation. Please enjoy this well-deserved break!