Welcome to the on-line home of the East Ramapo Teachers Association.  Here ERTA members can keep up with what the union is doing to represent and protect you, read about local and national teacher issues, check on benefits, health insurance and retirement information and find discussions on educational issues that are impacting you and your students.  Our mission is to make this site informative and worthwhile, so contact us with your comments, ideas and suggestions.  Please bookmark it and return often.


They’re Back

The Action Committee and your Building Reps will be distributing buttons soon.  As negotiations drag on and as teachers report multiple instances of unfair treatment or lack of respect for their professional views,  there has been a call for action by ERTA.   Buttons are our first, small step.  Support your colleagues and wear yours proudly.  Together we can bring these issues to a successful conclusion.

Vote NO – ConCon

A number of organizations, broad and diverse in both  geography and ideology, have joined together in a new coalition, New Yorkers Against Corruption (NYAC) to run a multifaceted campaign to educate voters about the potentially destructive impact that a Constitutional Convention would have on New Yorkers.
New Yorkers Against Corruption (NYAC) is an unprecedented alliance of progressive activists, conservatives, environmentalists and labor organizations. It is likely the first time in state history that these groups have galvanized their grassroots advocates for the same cause. This fact is emblematic of how disastrous the referendum’s passage would be to New York.
The prospect of a constitutional convention  is troubling. We know nothing about the framework. How much will it cost? What are the rules to run as delegates? Which issues will be considered? How will Albany insiders ensure transparency? There is a total lack of information,” said Jordan Marks, Campaign Manager for NYAC. “That is why over 100 organizations – representing millions of people from throughout New York – formed NYAC. We, the people of New York, have zero interest in writing a blank check for corrupt Albany insiders to throw themselves a multi-year party.”
“A constitutional convention will be a taxpayer funded, $300 million boondoggle that will only award corrupt Albany insiders, not hardworking, everyday New Yorkers,” said Tom King, President of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. “Corrupt politicians and their friends and family members will end up being elected as delegates. I am sure their first goal will be to attack our rights.”
“I have a responsibility to advance policies that protect the rights of 2.5 million working people and their families,” said Mario Cilento, President of New York State AFL-CIO. “A Constitutional Convention would give well-funded special interests the ability to control a process that can negatively impact those rights including the right to organize, funding for education, and care for injured workers. Our teachers, firefighters, nurses and all hard working New Yorkers deserve better.
“I experienced the Constitutional Convention in 1967 and it was a disaster. Establishment politicians and Albany insiders will hijack the process and abuse their power as delegates,” said Michael Long, Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. “Further, a constitutional convention will cost New Yorkers hundreds of millions of tax dollars. There is already a process in place to change the New York State constitution.  If any legislative issue needs change, we all know the course.”
“Right now, the nation needs New York to champion policies that will protect our health and environment. Our constitution is the bedrock on which our safeguards are built,” said Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates. “Through a constitutional convention we could lose everything we worked so hard for and the nation would lose our leadership.”
“For generations, we have worked to defend and preserve the rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the New York state constitution,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “A constitutional convention endangers that work by exposing our cherished constitutional values – and the rights of all New Yorkers – to tinkering, horse-trading, and compromise. The NYCLU will stand alongside the members of this coalition to educate voters about the risks a convention poses.”
For more information: NYAgainstCorruption.com | NoNewYorkConvention

Buttons Arrive

ERTA button pic

Currently, Building Reps are distributing solidarity buttons.

Please wear yours proudly.   Stand with your colleagues and your union as we address the climate of micromanagement that is diverting our efforts and keeping us from teaching our students in the most effective way.  Teachers must be supported in using professional judgement and skills that they find to be the most productive in the classroom.   Further plans will be discussed at Rep Council.

Oneonta Bilingual Program

We just received this information from the Teachers’ Center.

If you are interested you can contact them for more information:

We can now officially begin to have students apply and be accepted to the Bilingual Education Program for spring!
 1)      Here is a link to the online application: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=oneonta-g
a.       Students will need to follow all of the procedures as all other applicants – apply, be accepted and pay their deposit.
b.      Students should click “submit application” after completing the “Additional Information Section” This allows them to submit their application without supplying any letters of recommendation.    

Teacher Discounts

How much do you spend to supply your classroom?

When classroom supplies are low or a student is in need of additional materials, educators across the state often dip into their own pockets to make sure their pupils have what they need in order to learn each day. How much of your own money do you spend? How much of your own time do you spend each summer preparing for the upcoming year?
This is the kind of information people should know!

Take NYSUT’s survey now to help us quantify how much personal time and money New York’s teachers are spending for our students!

To help you out – Here is a link to a website with discounts just for teachers:


Take the Survey to Send Your Input

Bring Your Voice to the Table: Standards Input

 Getting specific on Common Core: What needs fixing and why?

Dear Colleague:

As you work with the students in your classroom, I am calling on you, colleague to colleague, to partner with me in creating a new set of New York Standards. The commissioner has been charged with reviewing the standards and the governor has formed a commission to overhaul the Common Core. We need to take the lead and seize this opportunity to develop better New York Standards. Every teacher knows the proper sequence is to get the standards right, then develop sound curriculum and produce developmentally appropriate assessments based on the standards and curriculum. The state didn’t do that last time — and now the rushed system needs to be fixed.

As practitioners, you have a deep working knowledge of the standards. You are in the best position to make recommendations on what needs to be changed, added or deleted. You work each day to bring the standards to the students in your classroom. I want to bring your expertise into the process.

The voices of teachers in the classroom must be heard, and we have developed a process to make certain that happens. We have designed a feedback form to get your specific recommendations on transforming the Common Core standards into New York Standards. Tell us what needs to be changed, added, deleted or moved in order to correct the current problems. We will bring your recommendations to both the State Education Department and the governor’s Common Core Commission.

In order for your information to be most useful, please provide the specific grade level and standard, along with any deletions or additions. A listing of the standards by grade is available online. Our work on the standards is just one element of our fierce advocacy to fix the state’s broken system of testing and evaluation. Please join me as we work together to advocate to create standards that are truly New York!

In Solidarity,


Catalina Fortino
NYSUT Vice President

Welcome Back

President’s Message

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year.

What should have been a smooth opening of school was instead a minor disaster.  Identification of SLOs classes was confused and numerous pre-assessments were late arriving at schools as were the needed translations of pretests for ENL students.  The same pages that were missing from the Algebra 2 pre-assessment last year were missing once again.  Components of Wonders, the new elementary reading program, were not available, putting students and teachers at a disadvantage from day one.

Unfortunately our East Ramapo teachers are used to events such as these which should have been avoided by central administration’s oversight and timely preparation and organization by the administration staff charged with these responsibilities.

As professionals you are skillful and experienced at working through such obstacles.  You always manage to find ways to provide your students with the best educational opportunities possible in spite of the handicaps.  Be assured that ERTA has been documenting and highlighting the problems and pressing administration for improvement in the future.

Wishing you much success, and a great school year.

In Solidarity,

Alan Tesher, President

First Books Arrive

On Thursday, May 14 ERTA will be receiving thousands of books for our teachers to give to their students. But first we will need your help with sorting and leveling.  Speak with your building reps about when and where we will need volunteers.


Hope to see you then.