UTN NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2011
Once again, the United Teachers of Northport has demonstrated its UNITY and STRENGTH at the solidarity activities held on Monday, October 17th! Hundreds of UTN members “took it to the streets” in unity walks held on Larkfield Road in East Northport, raising awareness in the community during the afternoon/evening commute.
Later that evening, hundreds of members participated in another unity walk at dusk to “shine the light on negotiations” in front of central office on Laurel Avenue. Current and retired UTN members, as well as family members and others in the community, walked, with flashlights in hand, and various signs which read, “It’s time…”, “Contract Now”, “Fair Settlement” and “Where’s the Board?”
Following the hour-long walk, those present gathered on the steps of the Laurel Avenue School and were addressed by UTN President, Antoinette Blanck, before an en masse entrance to the school cafeteria. Hundreds of members packed the standing room only meeting of the Board of Education and remained silent through the majority of the meeting, including the overview presentation of the District’s 2011-2012 Initiatives. This clear show of solidarity was evident to all present, including central administration and the Board of Education!
Finally, just past 9:00 p.m., nearly five hours after the unity activities commenced, President Blanck addressed the Board of Education, stressing the need for continued conversation and collaboration between the Board and Administration and the UTN. She further stated, to the overwhelming applause of the membership present, “the teachers of this district are the UTN and the UTN is united!”
Following her remarks, the membership silently exited the meeting.
The UTN Negotiations Team and Officers express their tremendous gratitude to those who participated in one or more of these solidarity activities! Collectively, WE are the United Teachers of Northport! WE must continue to STAND TOGETHER and REMAIN STRONG!
The UTN Negotiations Team has been preparing to return to the negotiations table and anticipated the next meeting to take place on Tuesday, October 25th. Word was received this morning, through our NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist, that Board Counsel, John Gross has requested a postponement of that meeting in order to meet and speak with the Board of Education. It is our belief that our solidarity activities have compelled the Board to revisit their positions. We will update the membership once the postponed session has been re-scheduled.