Let me begin by welcoming you all back to school for the 2021-2022 school year. I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing summer, spent with friends and family doing things that energized you and helped you reset from our pandemic experience last year. The STA Executive Board began the year with a robust morning spent with our new members on day 3 of the New Teacher Orientation. Judging from their questions and positive energy, we know this group of new teachers will find great success working with our staff of dedicated and professional educators here in Syosset. If you see a new teacher, make sure to introduce yourself and help them become part of the team!

As we celebrate Labor Day and recognize the historic work of unions in creating safe and inclusive workplaces, we also see the work we have in front of us as a district, and a nation, in reinvigorating our labor class and reestablishing a focus on workers’ rights and protections. Your STA leadership has spent many, many hours over the past eighteen months negotiating these things, and we continue to work on your behalf in our current, ongoing negotiations.

Many of you are wondering about our progress in negotiating a successor agreement to our contract. We had several meetings with the district’s team over the summer and progressed slowly through a large range of issues we know are important to members. We have meetings scheduled in September and October, with our next bargaining session scheduled for September 24th. We will keep you informed of any significant developments and hope to be voting on a new contract in the near future.

I want to share some important news out of Albany. Yesterday Governor Hochul announced New Requirements and Guidance for the Safe Reopening of New York Schools, which “. . . requires all teachers, administrators and other school employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination, with either a CDC vaccine card or the Excelsior Pass.” The District is currently working out the logistics of how Syosset will come into compliance with this requirement and will be communicating the details shortly. 

This is a challenging time for us all as we navigate what we hope is the end days of the pandemic and what our “new normal” will look like moving forward. As educators, our focus is on our students and their learning. As a union, our focus is on making sure we all have the time and tools to do our best work on behalf of those students. We continue to work toward that goal and look forward to a successful year ahead!


Happy Labor Day and L’Shana Tovah to our members celebrating next week!

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