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September 2017

 

November to remember
Kevin Peterman

 

The FA urges members to educate themselves about the risks presented by opening up the state constitution by visiting NoNewYorkConvention.org.

If you thought last November’s election results were depressing, this November could be much worse!

On the back of the ballot there will be a simple question mandated by the New York State Constitution (Article 19 §2). Every 20 years the people of the Empire State are asked a ballot question: “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”

This year the question is on the ballot, and we urge you to VOTE NO!

NYSUT has provided every local information regarding the Constitutional Convention aka the Con Con. The constitution establishes the fundamental rights you enjoy as a citizen of New York State, as a public employee and as a retired public employee, including:

  • Guaranteeing the right to a free public education (Article 11 §1)
  • Prohibiting reductions in public pension benefits (Article 5 §7)
  • Rights to workers’ compensation (Article 1 §18)
  • Rights to be a member of a union and bargain collectively (Article 1 §17)
  • Requiring the state to provide for social welfare (Article 27 §1).

While the current constitution guarantees that there will be no reduction in your pension benefits, if there is a Con Con your pension could be in jeopardy!

NYSUT and the NYS AFL-CIO have stressed that we need to work together to make sure voters under-stand just what could happen if we open up the state constitution to drastic changes through a convention.

While 2017 is considered an off election year for the state legislature as well as an off year for presidential voting, it is not an off year for us. The 18 Suffolk County legislative districts are on the ballot, and we need to support legislators who support the FA, the college and labor issues. The FA’s endorsements will be discussed in the October WORD.

For now, we need to focus on our campaign to have our members as well as their families and friends understand the dangers of a Constitutional Convention.

The FA officers and Executive Council reps will be visiting all departments to discuss the need to VOTE NO on Con Con this November. We will also discuss this issue on Professional Development Day which is Tuesday, October 10.

There are many other challenges which we will deal with this year and we will discuss them in a future issue. For now, we need to work together to defeat Con Con.