It has recently been brought to our attention that NYSUT has begun outsourcing work previously performed by NYSUT employees who belong to the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Secretary-Treasurer Martin Messner is now requiring that NYSUT managers send receipts and expense reports to an out-of-state company for processing. The work which was previously completed by CWA members is now being done by Certify, a non-union company. Participation in this outsourcing is required for managers and optional for members of the Professional Staff Union (PSA), who are all refusing to participate.
ST Caucus stands in opposition to any type of anti-union outsourcing. NYSUT members across the state are fighting charter schools, distance learning, and similar outsourcing schemes. We are perplexed and disheartened by the decision made by our current officers to subcontract the work of our union brothers and sisters. According to Secretary-Treasurer candidate Nate Hathaway, “This flies in the face of our core values as unionists. We must not fall into the trap of pursuing expediency at the expense of what is right. Union workers are paid more because they defend the value of the individual worker and the concept that a worker should have protections in the workplace and be compensated with a reasonable, living wage. What do we stand for as an organization if we espouse these principles in grand platitudes, yet pursue a policy of employing the services of those not afforded the very rights we claim to fight for? This is very disheartening news.”
To address the budget issues that exist within NYSUT, our officers need to reduce costs through a transparent process that honors the work and commitments made to our unionized staff. Any local leader who experienced the devastating budget cuts of the last decade knows the key components to an effective cost savings strategy. To reduce the budget of an organization and not have it lose its core purpose, cost savings must be transparent, involve shared sacrifice, and be mutually agreed upon by all parties. ST Caucus supports the elimination of one officer position (a 20% savings in officer salaries and expenses) and a 15% reduction in officer salaries. Unlike the current officers, ST Caucus believes that fiscal responsibility starts at the top, not by outsourcing the work of some of our lowest paid employees at NYSUT.
ST Caucus Executive Board