I am going to try to keep it short and sweet today, partly to make room for the chart on the right here.
What you see here is a list of UTA representatives and their attendance at Rep Assembly meetings this school year. In full disclosure, my own attendance is noted as well. In the first week of September, we will be electing new representatives and FAC members. Keep this chart in mind, and remember that any UTA member can come to an assembly meeting as a substitute for a representative if the rep is unable to be there.

We recently had an election for officers and delegates to NYSUT. I was disheartened by a few things.

  1. There were no contested races in
    terms of officers, and two offices had
    no one running for them.
  2. The number of votes returned from
    many schools was pitiful.
  3. Some (3) ballots had been written on
    with false names, the word ‘none’, or my favorite:
    “We need new union leadership—our executive
    board has failed us. Please resign!”

Yes, you read that right. Someone actually wrote that. Go back and read number one from my list. I’ll give you a second, go ahead. All set? If you were the one that wrote the comment mentioned in number three, reread number one. This was your opportunity to change our leadership! You could have run! Why didn’t you?

I have little to no patience for people that hide behind anonymous comments and pretend that they have any clue the amount of work that is put in by our exec board (of which I’m not a part, by the way). All I have to say is, if you don’t like something, work to change it. If you don’t want to do the work, stop com- plaining.

This is a dark time for education, educators, and organized labor. The greatest strength we have lies in our numbers. We must stand together, or we will surely all fall. Go to your building meetings. Read about what’s happening in education (from reputable outlets). Go to a rally or two. Run for representative. Speak out for real. I will be right there with you. Have a great summer.

In solidarity,

Kirstin Vivacqua

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

-Pauline R. Kezer

The Board of Regents is currently working on providing guidance for the implementation of the new teacher evaluation law.  We are happy that our region will be provided two meetings with Regent Bottar.  The first meeting will be a small group on May 28th and there will be a Public Forum on June 21st.


Regent Bottar needs to hear our voice. In order to provide Regent Bottar with evidence and support for our words, we are asking for your help in filling out this survey prior to May 27th. It is quick and easy to do, so please share with your family, friends and coworkers. You can access the survey by clicking on the link below:


Our second meeting will be a community forum, and open to the public. The second meeting is the evening of June 23rd, with the specific time and location TBD. Please save the date in your calendar for this important event.


You can’t be heard if you are only complaining to other teachers :(  Thank you to all that are staying with the fight :)


I’ll continue to keep you posted,

Gretchen Nichols,  UTA PAC

teach t shirt

Justin Eberley, a teacher at JFK Middle School, has printed T-Shirts for people to wear in solidarity.  They read “Those that can, TEACH. Those who can’t, pass laws about teaching.”

They are $15 each and the proceeds raised will support the JFK STEM Club and the UTA Scholarship fund. Interested people can e-mail him at  Please email Justin with any questions. 

Dear Members:

The United Way has scheduled their Annual Day of Action for June 18, 2015 to make the community a better, more beautiful place.

Please see the attached flyer for more information.  The UTA will sponsor a spot to have painted on a mural.

If you are interested in volunteering please register at

More information can be found at

See the flyer here: Beautiful Utica Initiative