RA 98

welcome - 2K gif
RA first-timers get the lowdown

Judy McInerney of Horseheads TA has years of teaching experience, while Lauren Lavoie of the Massapequa FT has six.

But one thing they lack is experience as a delegate.

They are not alone. Almost 70 of the 1,950 delegates this year are first-timers. To help them navigate the next two days of union business, they attended an orientation for new delegates and alternates led by Tony Bifaro, assistant to NYSUT President Tom Hobart. Executive Vice President Alan Lubin also welcomed the delegates.

First, the new delegates received red ribbons to put on their badges. "This way, if you make a mistake people will say 'That's OK. They're new.' So take advantage of it," Bifaro said.

The session, and advice from veteran delegates, provided just the reassurance the first-timers needed.

"I really need to figure out what I'm doing," McInerney said.

"As somebody who is just getting involved," said Lavoie. "it would be overwhelming. But then you see the network of help there is."

One source of help is mentors. Steve Zahurak, a 20-year

delegate, met with new members. His advice: "Plan ahead. Know what's on the program. Know what resolutions are going to be coming up so you can be on the floor to vote, or give your opinion."

Delegates will consider 94 resolutions on educational and fairness issues and seven constitutional amendments.

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