More Than 1500 Attend 52nd CSA Leadership Conference
A happy yet combative mood filled the air at the New York Hilton as CSA held its 52nd Annual Leadership Conference on Nov. 9. More than 1,500 people attended, including top education officials, politicians and labor leaders.
Just before lunch in the packed ballroom, CSA President Mark Cannizzaro gave a passionate speech extolling the dedication of CSA members to the children of New York, at the same time recounting a litany of micromanagement that can, whatever the intentions of bureaucrats, leave school leaders hobbled and students less safe. He rebuked city officials who have so far failed to negotiate an appropriate contract that recognizes the contributions of school leaders and administrators, and he noted that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s presidential campaign claimed credit for a slew of educational initiatives that CSA members have faithfully implemented. He also recounted some of the sticking points in contract negotiations which belie the mayor’s claims as a progressive leader.
“I cannot for the life of me accept that the city is trying to profit from a paid parental leave benefit,” he said, his voice rising with indignation. “I hear from expectant parents among you regularly, many of whom have had to use their CAR days during high-risk pregnancies… And I hear from others who show up to work sick so that they can save their CAR days for maternity leave. Yet this city is asking us to overpay in givebacks, more than the benefit will cost them.”
(See a transcript here.)
About 75 vendors packed a huge hall adjacent to the ballroom. And as in previous years, there were nearly two dozen workshops on topics ranging from how to eliminate the achievement gap in mathematics, to yoga and mindfulness, to ‘Compassion Fatigue: Who Helps the Helpers?’ The Frank Sinatra High School Band serenaded attendees, and a presentation by the Franklin K. Lane Campus Color guard added a somber note to the luncheon. CSA Executive Director Erminia Claudio read out the names of CSA’s military veterans in the audience, while huge screens showed picture of those who were unable to attend.
As it does each year, the Retiree Chapter kicked off the day’s events with a sumptuous breakfast for Chapter members. This year the Chapter honored New York Central Labor Council President Vinny Alvarez and CSA Historian Manny Korman.