How WE Will Lead: Yaasiyn Muhammad, General Vice President

How will Working Educators lead the PFT? Meet all 9 officer candidates for yourself, learn their vision for the future of our union, and find out why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections.

Here's Working Educators Candidate for General Vice President, Yaasiyn Muhammad:

This moment is the moment we've all been waiting for. Every single PFT member has that sense that things can be better. The Caucus of Working Educators is presenting all of us with the opportunity to bring that positive change to the PFT.

 

Yaasiyn.jpgYAASIYN MUHAMMAD  is a graduate of Temple University with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.  He previously taught at Northeast High School and currently teaches African-American History at Central High School. His work with the Caucus of Working Educators (WE) has led to increased awareness of the War on Drugs, the school-to-prison pipeline, and police brutality. He is a proud graduate of a Philadelphia Public School.

 

Yaasiyn in the news:

The Notebook: The strength of a union lies with its members, not its president, staff, and legal team

Newsworks: 'Working educators' caucus challenges status quo in Philadelphia teachers union

Northeast Times: Taking a Stand: The Caucus of Working Educators mounts a historic challenge to the longtime leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers 

Morning FeedWorking Educators talk, education justice, union representation, parent involvement and more

SRC Testimony 12/17/15: Hite's Actual Accomplishments

Philly.com: At raucous meeting, SRC votes to extend Hite's contract through 2022 

Philadelphia Tribune: Contested Races Next Year for Teachers' Union Offices

Billy Penn: Who's Next, Labor: 13 Union Leaders and Workers' Advocates Changing Philadelphia

Check out our In The Press page for many more stories about Yaasiyn and Working Educators! 

 

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How WE Will Lead: Kelley Collings, VP of Middle Schools

How will Working Educators lead the PFT? Meet all 9 officer candidates for yourself, learn their vision for the future of our union, and find out why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections.

Here's Working Educators Candidate for Vice President of Middle Schools, Kelley Collings:

"My vision for the PFT is that we become a beacon of hope in this city, for what is possible.  The one thing that I would love to say to every PFT member, is to have confidence in yourself, in us, to turn things around, and to create a brighter future."

 

Kelley.jpgKELLEY COLLINGS has been a Philadelphia public school teacher for 15 years. Prior to teaching, she was a community and parent organizer for over a decade in various cities across the country. She and her colleagues at Feltonville School of Arts & Sciences helped fuel the local Opt Out movement against high-stakes testing in Philadelphia when they publicly organized 40% of the families at their school to opt out of testing.  Kelley is a founding member and current Co-chair of the Caucus of Working Educators of the PFT, as well as a leader in the Teacher Action Group of Philadelphia and a member of Teachers Lead Philly and Need in Deed.

 

Kelley in the news:

Salon: "10,000 smart, committed teachers can change the world"- A group of working Philadelphia teachers is looking to upset the status quo of the teachers union

Labor Notes: Philly Teachers Go For It

Think Progress: These Education Protests Got Results in 2015

Morning FeedWorking Educators talk, education justice, union representation, parent involvement and more

Urban Journal of Education: Reading for Change: Social Justice Unionism Book Groups as Organizing Tools

Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association: Deep Organizing vs Shallow Mobilizing...Be the Union!

Philly.com: Caucus Challenges Union Leadership

Al Día: Opt-Out Movement Gaining Momentum

Philly Magazine: Many More Students Are Option Out of State Exams

Al Día: Education Activists Fast in Harrisburg, Demand Moral Budget

Philly Magazine: Will District Slap Anti-Testing Teachers?

 Check out our In The Press page for many more stories about Kelley and Working Educators! 

 

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How WE Will Lead: George Bezanis, Legislative Representative

How will Working Educators lead the PFT? Meet all 9 officer candidates for yourself, learn their vision for the future of our union, and find out why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections.

Here's Working Educators Candidate for Legislative Representative, George Bezanis:

"I think this union isn't just one person's ideas. There are 11,000 ideas, and we all need to have a voice in this union. That's why I joined the Caucus of Working Educators."

 

George.jpgGEORGE BEZANIS has been teaching since 2001. He became a PFT member nine years ago working as a high school Social Studies teacher and currently serving as a PFT Building Representative. He believes that fair and equitable public education, no matter what race, ethnicity, zip code or socioeconomic class one may happen to be born into, is the building block of American democracy. George is also an elected Democratic Committeeperson in the 63rd Ward.

 

George in the news:

Northeast Times: Taking a Stand: The Caucus of Working Educators mounts a historic challenge to the longtime leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

Examiner: Why is race important to the Caucus of Working Educators?

Philly.com: At raucous meeting, SRC votes to extend Hite's contract through 2022

SRC Testimony 12/17/15: 'Twas the night before Christmas...

Newsworks: Philly SRC Meeting Dominated by Charter Conversion Critics

SRC Testimony 10/15/15: The "D" Word and the SRC...

SRC Testimony 2/22/15: Ladies and Gentlemen of the SRC...

New Republic: Surprising Lessons from Philadelphia's African American History Course

Working Educators: A Brief Labor History of Philadelphia's Public Schools, Pt 1

 Check out our In The Press page for many more stories about George and Working Educators! 

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How WE Will Lead: Peggy Savage, VP of Elementary Schools

How will Working Educators lead the PFT? Meet all 9 officer candidates for yourself, learn their vision for the future of our union, and find out why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections.

Here's Working Educators Candidate for Vice President of Elementary Schools, Peggy Savage:

"WE will create an environment of racial justice. I have noticed many educators being left out; older women, women of color, experienced educators, and laid-off staff. The staffing system is broken and it continues to fail our children.”

 

Peggy.jpgPEGGY SAVAGE is a 5th grade E.L.L. & Autistic Friendly classroom teacher in the Port Richmond section  of Philadelphia.  She has been an educator for 33 years. She is a Need Indeed first year teacher, N.A.A.C.P ACT-SO Science & Math judge, Philadelphia Writing Project Alum/ E.L.L  & Teaching Consultant , a P.F.T Political Liaison, and numerous other organizations. She is a recent recipient of the 2016 E3 Spirit of Excellence Award.  

  

Peggy in the news:

Examiner: Why is race important to the Caucus of Working Educators?

Philadelphia Writing Project: Students Express Themselves Through Art and Writing Projects- Boys Write Now and Girls on Fire

The Notebook: Caucus of Working Educators Reveal Slate for Union Election

The Notebook: Veteran Teachers Form a Caucus and Call for Member-Driven Teachers' Union

National Liberty Museum: Teacher as Hero Award

Badass Teachers Association: Thirteen and a Half Years a Slave

The Notebook: Veteran Teachers Reflect on Two Decades of Classroom Change

Check out our In The Press page for many more stories about Peggy and Working Educators! 

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How WE Will Lead: Amy Roat, President

How will Working Educators lead the PFT? Meet all 9 officer candidates for yourself, learn their vision for the future of our union, and find out why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections.

First up, Working Educators Candidate for PFT President, Amy Roat: 

"My fellow PFT members inspire me to lead the PFT. I care for all the employees in my building- the counselor, the nurse, the assistants, the teachers. In fact, those people are the glue of the PFT. I'm in it for them."

 

Amy2.jpgAMY NICOLE ROAT  has been teaching English Language Learners in 6th-8th grades for nine years at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences. For 15 years prior, Amy taught  elementary grades throughout Philadelphia and in the Rochester (NY) City School District. She is a graduate of Manhattan College, University of Pennsylvania (Masters of Science in Elementary Education), and Temple University (Masters of Arts in Urban Education.)  Amy has been the Building Representative at FSAS for the past three years. She has also been on the Building Committee.

 

Amy in the news:

Newsworks: 'Working educators' caucus challenges status quo in Philadelphia teachers union

The Rick Smith Show: Amy Roat Talks Union Elections

Northeast Times: Taking a Stand: The Caucus of Working Educators mounts a historic challenge to the longtime leadership of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers

The Notebook: High Stakes Tests are Being Reconsidered

Billy Penn: Inside Philly's Substitute Teacher Crisis: 'Totally insane, stupid, and evil wrapped up into one little package.'

Raging Chicken Press: #PHLed: Jay Cooke Elementary Teachers Speak Out Against Charter Conversion

Raging Chicken Press: Is Social Justice Unionism Going to Save Public Education in Philadelphia?

New Politics (Lois Weiner): Philly Teachers- The Kind of Troublemakers Who Built Teachers' Unions

Diane Ravitch: Philadelphia Warns Teachers of Disciplinary Action If They Inform Parents of Opt Out Right

Check out our In The Press page for many more stories about Amy and Working Educators! 

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An Open Letter in Support of WE, from PFT Retirees

The below letter was written by the Caucus of Working Educators' Retiree Organizing Committee in support of WE in the upcoming PFT Election. Want to add you name? Email us at contact@workingeducators.org.

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Dear Fellow PFT Retirees,

No doubt our experiences teaching in the Philadelphia School District have varied greatly. Our role and involvement in our union were likely just as varied. Yet we can all agree that the protections given us by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers were essential and allowed us to have a career in teaching, leading to a comfortable retirement.

The attacks on our schools by the forces of austerity are placing that security in jeopardy for our colleagues in the classroom now. The PFT is half the size it once was. Staff and student rights, support services, protections and supplies are all disappearing- or already gone.

Who would have thought that historic institutions like Olney, Germantown, William Penn and Bok High Schools would be closed? So many jobs have been lost, we cannot sit by and let the critical work of educating our children become a "little while beginner job" in charters, instead of the lifetime vocation for certified professionals that we chose for ourselves.

How did this happen? The PFT has forgotten that our power comes from our own organized members and the communities we serve, rather than relying on politicians for political favors. We cannot help but notice that a union of 11,000 has not mobilized more than a few hundreds of members into action. Our union needs to be energized. The PFT needs to have a real discussion. There needs to be a real election campaign. We need a new leadership.

Chicago is not the only place fresh winds are blowing in urban public education. Over the last few years some of us in retirement have met the leading professionals in the Working Educators Caucus. We are impressed by them. We might even be a little envious that more energetic union folks like this weren't around in our day, and would like to get behind them. They know the PFT can and will lead the fight for public education. They deserve our support in this critical election.

The Caucus of Working Educators needs the support of retired educators in many ways, from donating funds to speaking to our former colleagues who are still in the field:

Now is the time for a newly revitalized PFT that can fight for our schools, students, and profession. We look forward to joining you in supporting the Caucus of Working Educators.

In Solidarity,

 

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How WE will lead: Meet the Candidates

Part of the #WEarePFT video series from the Caucus of Working Educators

All 9 officer candidates with the Caucus of Working Educators introduce themselves, explain why they are running for office in the 2016 PFT elections, and describe their vision for the future of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

A new video released every day in Jan 2016 leading up to the PFT elections in Feb!

Ballots are mailed home on Feb.4. 
Mail your completed ballot to AAA by Feb.19 to make sure your vote is counted!
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Dispelling Rumors, Correcting Misinformation

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Because it's been so long since the last PFT election, many rank and file members are unfamiliar with the process of choosing their union leadership. As a result, we've encountered a lot of questions and points of confusion that deserve a response. Read on to find out what people are saying, and whether it's true or not.

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I VOTE for WE!

Part of the #WEarePFT video series from the Caucus of Working Educators

A new video released every day in Jan 2016 leading up to the PFT elections in Feb!

Ballots are mailed home on Feb.4. 
Mail your completed ballot to AAA by Feb.19 to make sure your vote is counted!
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I am voting for WE because...(Part 2)

Part of the #WEarePFT video series from the Caucus of Working Educators

A new video released every day in Jan 2016 leading up to the PFT elections in Feb!

Ballots are mailed home on Feb.4. 
Mail your completed ballot to AAA by Feb.19 to make sure your vote is counted!
Share