What You Need To Know on Day ONE

It's your first day on the job in your new career. You'll be learning a lot in the next few months, but here are three key union-related things you need to do on day one:


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1 - Know Your Local Union Leadership

Go to your union orientation events and meet your local union president, unit leaders and building reps. They are your go-to contacts if you have questions, workplace issues or need help. They’re experienced educators and passionate union activists, and they’re there for you.

You can identify your local leaders by logging into your MY NYSUT account. However, since you're brand new to the union, you might not yet have a user ID.

In that case, just ask your colleagues and make sure you attend any welcome-to-the union events. There's a lot of things you need to do right now, but make time for the union. You'll be glad you did.

2 - Get Your Hands and Eyes on Your Contract

It’s important that you understand what’s in your employment contract and what our union has negotiated for you. It's pretty big, and can be intimidating, but go through it and mark it up if you have questions. It includes everything you need to understand your rights and benefits.

If you haven't already gotten a copy, ask your building rep or your local president to provide one.

3 - Learn More About Your Pension

Your first day of work is the first day you can start investing in your future. The sooner you get into the pension system, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

In public school districts, you should automatically be entered into the state Teachers' Retirement System or the state Employees' Retirement System, based on your job classification.

The details of your supplementary pension options — such as a tax-deferred 503(b) retirement savings — may vary depending on your local union and contract. In the private sector you will have other options. Your district should give you information about your pension options as part of your on-boarding process. If the district does not, contact your union rep immediately.