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THE TORCH:September 2004


†††† Hugh M. Spoljaric, President

††††††††††††† Kingston Teachersí Federation

†††††††††††††††††††††† The Digital Image

†††† During the summer, my cable service was affected by a thunderstorm and, because it is a digital system, I was receiving different pieces of the digital picture. I found myself trying to figure out what the complete picture was all about. It wasnít exactly a metaphor for life, but it was similar (simile) to understanding how we use the information that we receive. In some cases, we receive only a little information and complete the picture our own way. In other cases, the same snippet provides the impetus to research further. Most times, I think, people tend to do the former, to take the little piece of information and form their own big picture. Surely, thatís what Ďsound bitesí and quotes are all about with todayís media. Rarely is there a complete and balanced report. And, what affects our daily lives may eventually affect our future. Such may be the case with a letter in your file.

†††† Presently, if a hearing is held for the record and a letter is put in the teacherís file, the teacher has the right to have a rebuttal attached to it. No copy of either goes into the administratorís file. There may be several occurrences from the same administrator, but to different teachers, yet there is nothing on the record in the administratorís file to indicate the events. The only pattern that may exist rests with the administrator. Isnít a rebuttal for the record worthy of placement in the administratorís file as well as the teachers? Isnít there an accountability piece that should be owned by the administrator? Placement of the entire record only in the teacherís file provides a partial digital image of the event. The operating procedure of the administrator should be a matter of their record.

†††† Therefore, it would seem logical that when there is placement of a letter in a teacherís file and a rebuttal is attached, then both should also be placed in the administratorís file. After all, if you stand by your judgment and remarks, it would be an asset to an administrator to have evidence of their leadership qualities in their files. And, it would help to provide a complete digital image of the event, so that in future years any administrative behavior patterns can be ascertained.

†††† A letter of discipline, with an attached rebuttal, belongs in the administratorís file as well as the teachers.

†††† And, thatís the Bottom Line.


†††† AFT and NYSUT support the Kerry-Edwards Presidential ticket. As NYSUT President Tom Hobart pointed out to members at the Mid-Hudson Summer Institute at Cooperstown, this is not a republican/Democrat issue. It is a work place issue. No Child Left Behind has not been funded properly and the result is an increased burden on the local tax payer. The Bush administration has eliminated overtime for some workers, including those in education. The Bush administration has not met its obligation for IDEA funding for children with disabilities. Through 19 years in the U.S. Senate, John Kerry has a 100% AFT voting record on education funding issues.

†††† The outsourcing of jobs to other countries has victimized our friends and neighbors, those who form the tax base for public education. Chief executives of U. S. companies that outsourced more jobs make more money. The CEOís of the 50 firms outsourcing the most service jobs rose 46% compared with a 9% average increase for CEOís at the 365 big companies surveyed by Business Week magazine, according to a study by the non-partisan group, United for a fair Economy and the U. S. Institute for Policy Studies. (NYSUT Leader, 9/04)


††††††††† As detailed in the First Day Issue of The Torch, it is important for members to make sure they are registered and to vote on November 2. To vote in the general election, voter registration forms must be postmarked by October 8 and received by October 13. Forms are available at the Post Office and from KTF.††††


†††††††† †††††††††REPORTING FOR DUTY!

†††† Welcome back to everyone! Here are some of the most senior of KTF members reporting for duty and their years of service.

††† Charlie Castle (38), Ken Brett (36), Don Kachmor (36), Wayne Reynolds (36), Nan Rios (36), Nita Rockwell (36), Yvonne Sill (36), John DeLeo (35), and Stu Spoljaric (35). Both Helen Goho (34) and Joanne Donnaruma (33) have been employed for two years longer than credited, but each was on leave for two years. Congratulations!


†††††††††††††† VOTE/COPE IN OCTOBER††††††

†††† The voluntary annual VOTE/COPE Drive for 2004 will be held during October. Deductions will be made from one paycheck in November. More Info in the October Torch.††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††† ††††Key To Fun Program

††††† The new KTF Key To Fun Program is an opportunity for KTF members to earn Key To Fun award points. The award points will be credited toward a discount on the May KTF Cruise.For each KTF sanctioned activity, members who participate are eligible for award points. Every 100 points represents a $10 credit toward the KTF Cruise in May. 500 points earns the member a free trip! There is one major condition. If the member fails to vote in either the November General Election or the May School Budget Vote, they are disqualified from participating in the Key To Fun and their points are forfeited. The chairperson of each event will file a list of KTF point award winners with the Cruise Director. Points are non-transferable.

†††† Some KTF activities are already scheduled and others will be announced during the year. Here is the present schedule.

October: Phone Banks= 50 points

Vote/Cope:$25 donation= 50 points, $50 donation= 100 points

††††††††††††††††††† $10Retiree donation= 50 points

††††††††††††††††††UPAC Raffle Ticket= 50 points total (divided equally)††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††† Pantry Drive minimum donation= 10 points

November: Failure to vote cancels eligibility

†††††††††††††††††† Blood Drive= 50 points

March: St. Patrickís Day KTF event= 50 points

April: Kidsí Classic= 50 points

May: Failure to vote cancels eligibility

†††††† --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KTF Building Reps, Officers, Trustees, and Committee Workers= 50 points

Retiree luncheon attendance= 25 points


††††††††††††††††††††††† MHTC MINI-GRANT WINNERS

†††† Five Kingston teachers were honored last week by the Mid-Hudson Teachersí Center as the 2003-04 recipients of $500 Mini-Grants for their innovative teaching proposals, lessons, and exercises. Sophie Finnís Julie Cash, Edsonís Cecily Frazier, and the Chambers trio of Kate Johnson, Erin McCloskey and Patricia Ryan, were invited to the awards ceremony at the Samuel F. B. Morse Estate in Poughkeepsie.

†††† Applications for the 2004-05 school year are available on the Mid-Hudson Teachersí web page. The page is a link from the KTF home page on the site.

†††† Rich Caliendo (JWB) has graciously accepted the position of KTF rep to the MHTC Policy Board. He succeeds Frank Cutolo who retired.



†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CLASS SIZES

†††† Teachers who have class size issues involving overages should notify their Principal in writing. The district has until September 30 to meet the class size maximums as defined in the collective bargaining agreement.


†††††††††††††††††††††††† NEW MEMBER WORKSHOPS

†††† The NYSUT Mid-Hudson Regional Office will once again present a New Member Workshop on Tuesday, October 12, at the Kingston holiday Inn from 3:30-7:30. A light dinner and door prizes are included and itís all FREE! The event is open to any ďnew memberĒ of NYSUT with three years or less service. A check for $25, made payable to NYSUT will hold a reservation and the check will be returned at the workshop.

†††† These programs are designed specifically for individuals new to the teaching profession. Workshop sessions will include Certification, Legal Issues, and Preparing for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Space is limited and reservations will be honored on a first come-first served basis.

†††† Applications are available from Stu Spoljaric @ KHS.

†††† All new first year teachers have been invited to a KTF Orientation on Monday, September 27, at NYSUT in preparation for their careers in Kingston.


†††† All KTF members should keep their First Day Issue of The Torch as a reference for the school year. There is a reference to dealing with issue procedure in the issue.


††††††††† †††††††††††††NEW NYSUT VICE PRESIDENT

†††† Nancy Chando, Dianne Fried, Kathy Werner, and Stu Spoljaric attended the American Federation of Teachers national conference in Washington, DC in July. Among the announcements was an AFT dues decrease for 2004-05 with an increase of .25 per pay period (FTE) in each of the next two years. Also, in response to the fraud at both the Washington, DC and Dade County (FL.) union locals where money was stolen from the members, all AFT locals with an enrollment of 400 or more members must have a certified audit performed each year.

†††† The KTF received the highest AFT award to locals, the PRIDE OF THE UNION award. New AFT President Ed McElroy presented the award. McElroy succeeds Sandy Feldman who stepped down due to complications from breast cancer. Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Chris Dodd, and Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry honored Feldman at the conference. With her resignation, the AFT conference delegates chose NYSUT Vice President Antonia Cortese as Vice President of AFT. Cortese has been a NYSUT VP since the organization was formed in 1972. On September 14, the NYSUT Board of Directors selected Maria Neira from the UFT (NYC) to succeed

Cortese as Vice President of NYSUT.Neira is a 27-year veteran science teacher who has served on many state and federal education committees and recently served as an assistant to UFT President Randi Weingarten.


††††††††††††††††††††† NEWS AND NOTES

††††† The Teachersí Negotiating Committee met on Tuesday, September 14 for a three hours session. There is a negotiating session with the district on Tuesday, September 21. Thus far, 65 items relating to clarifications and language have been agreed to. Items of substance are next up for the team.

††††† The KTF has named M. J. Reiss as a Building Rep at KHS. She succeeds Jen OíBrien who gave birth over the summer to a daughter. Congratulations, also, to At-Large rep Claire Van Valkenburgh (Edson) who gave birth to her first child.

††††† The KTF driven Mentoring Plan is in place for 2004-05. All new teachers and those with Improvement Plans will have a mentor. Chair Pat Neher state that only 4 positions are yet to be filled by mentors.

APPLE GALA: Mark your calendars and reserve the date! This years Apple Gala will be held on Wednesday, June 22, at Wiltwyck Golf Club.

†††† At the September meeting of the KTF, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the donation of $500 to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, $500 to the Ulster County Mental Health Associationís Mile of Quarters, and $600 to sponsor a golf team in ďThe ButchĒ at Wiltwyck on Monday, September 27. The tournament is in memory of KTF rep and teacher Emil ĎButchí Zullo waho passed away in May 2003. Last year, the tournament raised enough money to donate $11,500 in scholarships to 5 KHS seniors and to commission the Woodcrest Community to build two benches for the Emil Zullo Courtroom at KHS.

UPAC RAFFLE: UPAC $10,000 Raffle Tickets are available from Building Reps. Only 400 of the tickets will be sold. The drawing is Friday, November 5. Upcoming at UPAC, and back for a return engagement after a sellout in 2002 are The Temptations on October 22. Contact the UPAC box office at 339- 6088.

RETIREES: The first Retiree luncheon of the year drew 131 retired KTF members including 10 of the 16 new retirees. The KRTF has a bus trip to NYC scheduled for October 6. The chapter will be participating in the NYSUT Phone Banks on October 14 and they will finish out a busy month with their next luncheon on October 22 at Williams Lake.

††† Retirees desiring information and/or reservations should contact President Anne Tucker at (845) 331-8210.

†††† Retirees are reminded that in order to continue any NYSUT benefits, they must join the KRTF.

SUBS: KSTF President Mae Stark announces that there is a tentative settlement of the Substitute contract. The agreement will be in place soon and its contents will be announced in The Torch.

†††† Mae voiced concern over the small number of KSTF Subs who have been hired as full-time teachers by the Kingston Schools.