NYSUT Staying Out of Senate Leadership Fight, Capitol March

ALBANY—The state teacher’s union is sitting on the sidelines as other labor groups get involved in the fight for the State Senate leadership.

“Frankly, getting into a leadership fight makes one friend and lots of enemies – from our perspective, anyway,” said Dick Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers. “From our perspective, the issue isn’t who the leader is.”

I pointed out that NYSUT withheld its endorsement of state senators who voted to impose a property tax cap, a move which influenced election in November and helped to lead Democrats to a majority in the chamber. So why hold back now?

“The decision as to who is their leader is not a decision as to particular legislation,” Iannuzzi said.

The union is also not participating in a march outside the Capitol scheduled for Wednesday, when Paterson delivers his first State of the State address.

“The State of the State, from our perspective, is the governor’s place to make his case, and the respectful and appropriate place for us to be is inside. I’ll be inside,” he said.

NYSUT Staying Out of Senate Leadership Fight, Capitol March