Buy American Would Have Saved These Jobs

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New Yorkers like me need your help.

I am a miner at American Rock Salt near Rochester, the largest operating salt mine in the United States. My colleagues and I work underground, where we help extract the salt that is used for de-icing, helping to keep roads safe for millions of Americans during the cold winter months.

I am so proud of what I do — especially since American Rock Salt is the largest producing salt mine in America. And unlike our competitors, all of the salt we sell comes from the United States.

But our livelihoods are at risk. American Rock Salt recently lost a contract with Erie County for a year’s worth of de-icing salt to a company from Canada, despite the fact that we were ready to do the work at a competitive price. Sadly, 12 of my colleagues lost their jobs as a result.

Now you and I have the chance to stand up for those 12 miners.

Right now, New York legislators are considering a proposal to ensure any government purchase over $100,000 abides by Buy American preferences.

It’s really just commonsense. Whenever possible, taxpayer spending like this should be used to support local jobs and invest right back into the local economy. Why send our tax dollars abroad when companies like mine are ready to do the work right here in New York, and at a fair price?

Please join me in telling state legislators to pass Buy American, and stand up for miners and other American workers like me.


Shane Chiappone
American Rock Salt
United Steelworkers Local 763

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Register Your Teaching Certificate w/SED

Winter break is a great time to register your teaching certificate with SED. Although SED is asking you to wait to register during your birthday month, it’s our understanding that the portal is open for all registrants.

As part of the process, registrants will be asked questions about child support and a series of moral character questions. SED says the child support questions are required by the state general obligations law and must be asked of all registrants. The moral character questions are currently asked of all licensed professionals looking to register or re-register with the state. NYSUT objected to the inclusion of these questions in the new registration process because the law did not specifically include a provision calling for these questions. SED decided to move forward based on the requirements for the other professions. Here are screen shots of the registration pages.

For more information about the new system, see NYSUT’s updated certification page.

To log in to your TEACH account, go to If you can’t remember if you’ve ever logged in, or can’t remember your password, you can enter the home email address that is associated with your account to receive a password reset notification.

Still having problems? If you can’t remember what email is associated with your account or if the associated email is out of date (my problem), you can contact NYSED by email form or call the help line here. I had this problem and called the help line to reset my email. Although I had to wait on hold for 20 minutes, they processed my request quickly and I was able to access my account easily after the call.

If you have any questions, see your building rep or email Greg at gmccrea@westhillschools(dot)org. Good luck.

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NYSUT reacts to confirmation of DeVos as education secretary

NYSUT reacts to confirmation of DeVos as education secretary

ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 7, 2017 – New York State United Teachers today released the following statement upon the U.S. Senate’s narrow confirmation amid bi-partisan opposition of billionaire donor Betsy DeVos as U.S. education secretary.

“The irony is inescapable: While educators are required to prove they are qualified in order to work in the classroom, the U.S. Senate has confirmed a dangerous ideologue with absolutely no experience or qualifications to lead the U.S. Department of Education.

Betsy DeVos’ gave puzzling answers to basic questions about federal education policy. Her opposition to accountability for charter schools; unresolved conflicts of interest; and decades-long record of using her family’s fortune to undermine public education led hundreds of groups – and millions of Americans here in New York and across the country – to vigorously oppose her confirmation in phone calls, letters, e-mails and faxes. We are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with them in defense of our public schools.

“We thank NYSUT members and all of those who fiercely advocated for students and public education during this fight. And, we again thank Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for their leadership on behalf of public education. NYSUT and its members will be redoubling our fierce advocacy on behalf of public education and students. Public education is the foundation of our democracy. Now, more than ever, we must protect it.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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Register Your Teaching Certificate

Don’t forget to register your teaching certificate with SED if you have not yet done so. This applies to all certificate holders including retirees who may be subbing or otherwise interested in maintaining their certification.

You may log into TEACH on the SED website here:

See your building rep if you have any questions or trouble logging in.


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Resource for Educators: Immigration Ban


In his first week in office, President Trump began implementing his campaign promise to target refugees and immigrants.

On Friday, Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order that effectively prohibits the entry into the United States of Muslim citizens of seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The order affects approximately 25,000 people holding student and work visas, and as many as 500,000 people who are permanent legal residents of the United States. And it comes days after an order threatening to withhold federal funds from the more than 300 U.S. cities that have declared themselves sanctuaries for our immigrant students and members and their families. Trump also took action on building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Trump’s orders will harm many AFT members and millions of our students, patients, families, friends and neighbors.  You may have students in your classroom who are affected but whose families have not yet made it public.

Learn more about AFT’s position on the immigration ban and what you can do to support your students and their families by visiting AFT’s Website HERE.

Follow the links below to access additional information to assist affected members and those we serve.  If you suspect a student or family member is adversely affected by the immigration ban, please contact your building rep so we can connect families with local and regional services.


ICE Raids Educators Guide

Model Campus Safe Zones Language (K-12)

Model Campus Safe Zone Resolution (College)

Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators (From

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Mid-Winter Blues Happy Hour Feb 10th

Attention all Westhill Employees! (Teachers, Clerical, TA’s, SRP’s, Administration, et. al)

Please stop by Kelley’s Restaurant on February 10th, at 3:30 and enjoy some food and/or a cocktail sponsored by the WDEA. Chase away those mid-winter blues and enjoy some time with your Westhill friends.
This event is open to everyone who works in the District. Please RSVP to your WDEA building rep so that we can get a rough estimate as to how many people may show up.
See you on the 10th.
The WDEA Social Committee
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New Online Retirement Guide from @NYSUT

NYSUT has created a new publication to help future retirees plan the next chapter of their lives. your Blueprint for a Successful Retirement: An online planning guide is posted at as a resource to help map out your future plans.


Member long-in is required to access the online publication, you’ll need your NYSUT ID number to login. Can’t remember your number? Email Greg at, he’ll send you your number so you can access this and other member features on the NYSUT webpage.


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