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SRPs laud passing of Section 80


chool-Related Professionals who rise to the challenge every day will now find themselves on a better footing in their workplaces, thanks to a new law.

Group photo of NYSUT SRP leaders (from left): Deb Paulin, Karen Lee Arthmann, Angie Rivera, Priscilla Castro and Kim McEvoy

El-Wise Noisette

NYSUT SRP leaders at the 2023 School-Related Professionals Leadership Conference (from left): Deb Paulin, Karen Lee Arthmann, Angie Rivera, Priscilla Castro and Kim McEvoy.
Signed by Gov. Hochul on Nov. 21, New York State SRP Recognition Day, the legislative package will strengthen the rights of SRPs and other public-sector workers. One of the changes will amend Section 80 of the civil service law, ensuring that union members enjoy the same rights as everyone else. SRPs have been lobbying for this change since the 1990s.

“This bill couldn’t have happened on a better day, School-Related Professionals Day,” said Kim McEvoy, SRP At-Large Director on the NYSUT Board and member of the Rondout Valley Federation of Teachers and School-Related Professionals. “This bill will provide protections for NYSUT members and members of other unions, and secure better working conditions for more than 100,000 SRPs, as well as other civil servants.”

The amendment to Section 80, S.5487/A.6586, allows for more protections for SRPs during layoffs and job recalls. Previously, during a reduction in forces, “bump and retreat” provisions were only applicable to some public service employees. Additionally, there was no uniform procedure in place regarding rehiring methods based on length of service — or “Last in, First out.” Instead, employees displaced due to layoffs could be replaced by someone younger or less experienced, ultimately creating a financial incentive to harm long-time employees who might be more expensive.

The amendment means that all competitive and non-competitive employees are entitled to the same layoff and job recall protections, ensuring fairer treatment of SRPs.

“The passing of Section 80 creates the opportunity for LRSs and labor leaders to strengthen their working relationships to negotiate and establish solid job assurances in their collective bargaining agreements,” said teaching assistant Kristin Good, co-president of the West Genesee Paraprofessionals Association. “These strengthened relationships can also increase member engagement/enrollment, which can result in all-around better employee-employer relations.”

“With the many changes in labor trends, statewide and nationally, there is an ever-present need to put protections in place for existing staff whenever possible. This amendment will encourage labor leaders and their LRSs to negotiate assurances of job protections in their collective bargaining agreements,” said Susan Gifford, a member of Retiree Council 07.