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April 2016


FA well represented at the NYSUT RA with Sean Tvelia and Dante Morelli presenting
Cynthia Eaton


Sean Tvelia at NYSUT RA
Executive VP Sean Tvelia presents the resolutions and amendments of the NYSUT health care and workplace safety committee. (photo by El-Wise Noisette)

The FA was well represented at the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) Representative Assembly, held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center April 7-9.

As a statewide Election District (ED) Director, Kevin Peterman hosted the quarterly meeting of NYSUT’s ED39, the contingent of community colleges within NYSUT. For ED39 Kevin coordinates statewide community college initiatives and works with NYSUT staff on legislative lobbying efforts. For the RA Kevin serves as co-chair of the college and university committee, and during the convention Kevin presented the committee's three resolutions:

  • K12-Higher Ed Collaboration, which requires NYSUT to develop regionally-based and statewide avenues for K-12 and higher education locals to meet in order to share information about their respective experiences and strengthen ties at the local level with the teacher education
  • Ending the Exploitation of and Reliance on a Contingent Academic Labor System in Education, which requires NYSUT to work toward increasing funding for instruction and student support services and to expand access for contingent faculty to health care, retirement and unemployment insurance
  • End the Garnishment of Social Security to Pay Student-Loan Debt, which requires that NYSUT join the alliance for retired Americans in calling on the Obama administration to end the practice of garnishing social security to pay student-loan debt.

The 2,000+ RA attendees also saw FA Executive Vice President Sean Tvelia on stage as he presented the resolutions and amendments for the health care and workplace safety committee. As chair of this NYSUT committee, Tvelia and other members address critical issues such as indoor air pollution, infection control, campus security and the presence of automated external defibrillators. This year, the committee presented resolutions on the availability of social workers in schools and on maximum temperatures in classrooms.

NYSUT RA Dante Morelli
Dante Morelli's presentation before the NYSUT women's committee was featured in the RA Reporter. (photo by Cynthia Eaton)
Also representing the FA at the RA was Dante Morelli, FA grievance officer. Morelli presented the resolutions and amendments on behalf of the civil and human rights committee and presented at a pre-RA workshop on women's issues. In “Women in the Union,” Morelli, alongside Kerry Broderick, president of the White Plains Teachers Association, discussed the challenges faced by women in the workplace.

Morelli has extensively researched gender bias in the media and urges members to view the Women’s Media Center video “Sexism Sells—But We’re Not Buying It,” which highlights the numerous ways in which sexism pervades our televised media, particularly on news talk shows and in political debates. During the presentation, Morelli discussed how the media amplifies and criticizes the communication styles of women.

Women can and should be leading the way. Because we now have decades of research establishing the fluidity of gender, it’s time that we all work toward more inclusive and equitable policies and practices.