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Dental - Go to

Vision - Our new provider will be NVA(National Vision Administrators, L.L.C.), one of the largest national vision benefit administrators. Please note if you are currently enrolled in our vision plan, you will be automatically rolled over to NVA.

In the meanwhile if you would like to review NVA providers you can go to and select "Find Provider" then select "ShelterPoint" from the drop down where it indicates "Select Group/Sponsor" and then input your zip code or city/state.

Here is the NVA Vision Claims Form is a fast, secure, easy-to-use Web site with everything you need to meet your health care needs day or night- brought to you by the Empire Plan (New York State Health Insurance Program)

Flex Spending Account - See the Syosset Benefits Office for more information.

Syosset Teachers' Association Employees Assistance Program (EAP)

Our goal is to maintain a healthy and productive workforce. The EAP program is designed as an easy way for teachers and their families to find help for almost any problem. It is convenient, confidential, and free.

Types of problems may include:

• Psychological or emotional issues
• Marriage and family problems
• Alcohol and drug problems
• Job related difficulties
• Legal and financial concerns
• Child care and elder care

To speak with a professional counselor, just call 1.800.833.8707, 24/7. In-person appointments can be arranged at convenient locations. Information and referrals can be provided for services and facilities anywhere in the country.

Excess Major Medical

  • provides a vision care benefit every year ($95 toward glasses)
  • In-Hospital cash benefit for employee only - benefit provides $50 per day
  • provides rehabilitation services ( to qualify for this benefit you must meet certain criteria)

How to Enroll

  • New teachers may enroll today by filling out an enrollment card. Enrollment status changes should be sent to the STA office (i.e. marriage status, address change, adding/deleting spouse, children)

Legal Services Plans

The NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Legal Service Plan offers access to legal assistance for personal legal matters. It is provided by Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. and is administered by the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust.

Click here to learn about features of the Legal Service Plan.

NYSUT Financial Counseling Program offers up to six hours of consulations with an objective certified financial planner or registered investment advisor. The annual fee for the Full-Service Plan is $260.

Click here to learn more about the financial counseling program.

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR)

Due to new regulations passed by the NYS Legislature in the Spring of 2015, our district APPR plan is currently being revised. This page will be updated when that process has finished.

Everything you wanted to know about certification (brought to you by


VOTE-COPE Contributions at Work

Vote-Cope Expenditures

NYSUT VOTE-COPE Expenditure Categories Explained

  • Rebates to NYSUT Locals (Local Assistance and Local Educational Issues): This section represents the VOTE-COPE local assistance and local educational issues rebate programs. Under the local assistance rebate program, 20% of the previous year’s V-C contributions are made automatically to all locals contributing $100 or more. Additionally, upon request, locals may receive a local educational issues rebate of up to 20% of the local’s previous year’s contributions to V-C for use in school budget votes and school board elections.
  • Contributions to Major and Statewide Political Committees: 21% of VOTE-COPE expenditures are made under this category. The General Political Committees include but are not limited to the New York State Democratic Committee, the New York Republican State Committee, the general campaign committees of the Assembly and the state Senate and national committees. VOTE-COPE makes contributions directly to these committees in order to maximize our influence with the various party leaders. Tickets for fundraisers to various state and county political events are also purchased under this line item, as a means of making contributions to candidates and to committees, to increase NYSUT’s visibility with the candidates. This enables legislative leaders to move individual members into support of NYSUT’s positions.
  • Direct Contributions to Assemblypersons: This section represents contributions and ticket purchases made to individual Assembly candidates endorsed by NYSUT.
  • Direct Contributions to Senators: This section represents contributions and ticket purchases made to individual Senate candidates endorsed by NYSUT.
  • Direct Contributions to Candidates for Statewide Office: This category encompasses contributions to candidates for statewide political offices. Recipients would include endorsed candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and State Comptroller.
  • Legislative and Political Action Expenses: This category encompasses expenses incurred in the production of regional VOTE-COPE political action activities including those undertaken by NYSUT's political action committee. Reimbursement of Committee of 100 expenses are included here.
  • Media Campaign Expenses: This category represents costs associated with radio, television and print media purchased as part of our lobbying efforts on state aid to public education.
  • Federal Election Expenditures: This category encompasses expenses related to the election of NYSUT members to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and federal election mailings.
  • VOTE-COPE Administrative Expenses: This category shows the expenditures made in connection with running the VOTE-COPE drive such as processing the contributions received by VOTE-COPE and expenses incurred by the VOTE-COPE Coordinators.
  • VOTE-COPE Materials Expenses: As the name indicates, this item covers VOTE-COPE campaign materials such as posters, brochures, contribution forms, plaques and ribbons, and special events at the Representative Assemblies.

Sign Up For VOTE-COPE Payroll Deduction

See your building head rep for a payroll deduction form

What is VOTE-COPE and Why is VOTE-COPE Important?

VOTE-COPE is an acronym representing the Voice Of Teachers in Education, the Committee On Political Education. VOTE-COPE is also referred to as PAC (Political Action Committee), the non-partisan political action arm of New York State United Teachers. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions from members, VOTE-COPE is used to help union-backed candidates and campaign committees that support education and labor. VOTE-COPE helps strengthen political action programs on all levels―national, state and local. To help on the local level, VOTE-COPE provides rebates to participating unions for political action. VOTE-COPE funds, by law, are kept separate from those of NYSUT. Decisions on the use of VOTE-COPE contributions are made by a statewide committee. Voluntary VOTE-COPE contributions can be made through payroll deduction for active members and, for retirees, through automatic pension deduction. Contributions or gifts to VOTE-COPE are not tax deductible.

Donations to VOTE-COPE help to ensure that school districts and colleges receive the state aid necessary to provide quality educational services to our youth. VOTE-COPE gives our profession the political power we need to protect education, health care and workers' rights. The primary goal of VOTE-COPE is to support the goals of public education and protect all of NYSUT's constituents, from our newest members to our retirees. VOTE-COPE lobbies for:

  • state aid for education and health care;

  • decent working conditions;

  • a secure retirement;

  • affordable prescription drugs; and

  • affordable health coverage.


  • takes on those whose agenda is decidedly anti-union;

  • works for resources to help students who are striving to reach higher standards;

  • encourages smaller class sizes through legislation;

  • supports competitive salaries to recruit qualified teachers;

  • fights for state aid increases so newly hired teachers can be safe from financially motivated layoffs;

  • advocates for affordable tuition at public colleges to keep graduate program costs down; and

  • lobbies for mentor program legislation to provide critical support to new teachers.

For good or for bad, the future of quality public education, as well as the future of your profession, your retirement and your health care is bound to decisions coming out of Albany and Washington.

In recent years VOTE-COPE has helped to secure:

  • a permanent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retiree pensions;

  • teacher Center funding;

  • the elimination of Tier inequities such as the mandatory 3% contribution for Tier 3 and 4 members of the NYS Retirement System (these members now only pay into the system for 10 years instead of their entire career);

  • the continued enforcement of tenure laws and legislation like the Triborough Amendment (which continues the terms of expired contracts until successor agreements are negotiated);

  • momentum for greater investment in our schools; and

  • historic overrides of vetoes that restored $1 billion in education and health care funding;

  • the 2009 education share of the Federal Stimulus package.

On the national level VOTE-COPE has helped in the fight against privatizing Social Security. A study by the Women's National Law Center found that privatizing Social Security will increase poverty among the elderly and those with disabilities. Additionally, VOTE-COPE has helped to prevent the passage of anti-public education measures like vouchers and tuition tax credits throughout New York and all 50 states.

The single greatest form of VOTE-COPE expenditures, however, comes in the form of rebates to locals. These rebates supply the resources necessary to run campaigns for school budget initiatives and elections for pro-public education candidates for school board races. When we speak with one voice, we make a difference. Your PAC gives you the clout you need to strengthen the teaching profession. Smaller class sizes, greater investments in technology and capital improvements, higher standards and the resources to achieve them are all a part of VOTE-COPE. You should be a part of VOTE-COPE too. Contact your building VOTE-COPE coordinator for a payroll deduction form.

Common Questions and Answers Regarding VOTE-COPE

QuestionWhat criteria are used by NYSUT to select candidates for endorsement?

Answer:  The primary consideration is the candidate's positions on educational and labor issues and where the candidate is an incumbent, his or her voting record. The "record" could include information regarding sponsorship of NYSUT legislation, committee votes and party caucus positions, if available. Other considerations include the leadership and/or committee responsibility of the incumbent legislator, and the ability of the challenger to be a viable candidate.


QuestionHow does NYSUT determine a candidate's stand on non-educational and non-labor issues such as abortion, gun control, etc.?

Answer:  It doesn't. NYSUT's membership represents a wide spectrum of political views. The only assumption, which is made, is that the great majority of our members agree on the basic NYSUT/AFL-CIO legislative programs. Consideration of other issues would most probably be divisive and counterproductive.


QuestionWhat chance do NYSUT members get to provide input into the endorsement of local candidates?

Answer:  Any endorsement may be initiated by a president of a local, or member of  NYSUT's Board of Directors. These recommendations are discussed at a biennial Presidents' Conference on Endorsements prior to their official presentation to the NYSUT Board of directors.


QuestionWhy don't rank and file NYSUT members get to vote on endorsed candidates?

Answer:  The entire system of teacher political action depends upon the participation of the rank and file members of NYSUT. They supply the votes, the workers and the money to support or oppose candidates for office. NYSUT relies on your local leadership to accurately represent you at the Local Presidents Conference on Endorsements.


QuestionWhat role do local presidents play in NYSUT's endorsements?

Answer:  Local input on endorsement decisions is vital. The local president serves as the voice of each local's membership. In order to ensure that the views of each local are heard, NYSUT conducts a Local Presidents Conference on Endorsements during the summer months prior to each general election. Every local is invited to attend, and funding for travel and other expenses is provided to guarantee that financial considerations do not prevent any local from being represented. At the Local Presidents Conference, endorsements are discussed in regional groupings that provide the opportunity for each local president to give input on the races in his or her area. Every attempt is made to achieve a consensus view on each race (i.e., whether to make an endorsement or to remain neutral) before the recommendation is carried to the NYSUT Board of Directors for formal endorsement. Clearly, the local president plays an extremely important role in the endorsement procedure.


QuestionI am a republican. Why should I support NYSUT candidates when so many of the endorsed candidates are democrats (or vice versa)?

Answer:  NYSUT and VOTE/COPE are non-partisan and intend to remain non-partisan. Both Democrats and Republicans have been endorsed in the state legislature and in Congress. Political party affiliation is not a consideration in endorsement. In the words of former NYSUT president Thomas Hobart: "Our rigorous endorsement process ignores political affiliation, putting a premium on candidates from all parties―Democrat or Republican―who truly understand and support the concerns of our diverse membership. From our legislative department's careful monitoring of incumbents' voting records to our NYSUT leaders' biennial endorsement conference, the endorsement test is the same: Which candidates―regardless of political affiliation, Democrat or Republican―understand the workplace issues and the health and safety concerns of our members and their families? The endorsement process is open and democratic (with a small "d"). And it doesn't occur in a vacuum. Along with organized labor in New York State and across the nation, we're moving forward together. . . The endorsement process is demanding and detail-driven. And it works."


QuestionIf VOTE-COPE has been so successful, why are our property taxes so high?

Answer:  New York State's system of taxation is inherently unfair. In fact, some states have declared our property tax system of funding unconstitutional. One of the main causal factors regarding high property taxes is Albany's refusal to properly fund public education. New York State's percentage contribution to public education funding is one of the lowest in the country, causing this burden to fall more heavily on local property owners. Without VOTE-COPE efforts, the State's contributions would likely fall even more.


QuestionWhy shouldn't I contribute directly to the candidate of my choice, rather than VOTE-COPE? 

Answer:  The primary objective of VOTE/COPE is to support those candidates who generally support the NYSUT legislative program. It is essential that the elected officials and candidates for office clearly recognize the link between the union's political arm and its legislative program. VOTE/COPE as a PAC representing collectively more than 600,000 members wields considerably more influence than any individual or local.


NYSUT Endorsement Procedures

NYSUT's Legislative Department prepares recommendations for candidate endorsements for election or reelection based upon a combination of the following: voting records; relationships in Washington, Albany and in the home districts; and such additional background information as is available to headquarters. These recommendations are submitted to NYSUT's Political Action Committee for its advice and counsel and subsequently referred to regional meetings of local presidents who attended NYSUT's Local Presidents' Conference for their consideration, approval and/or modification. After this complete review, the Political Action Committee finalizes its recommendations for election activities and those recommendations are submitted to NYSUT's Executive Committee and Board of Directors for final approval.

Over the course of the three day conference, changes in endorsement recommendations may be effectuated with input from Local Presidents and PAC members. The NYSUT Board votes to endorse the candidates based on this input.

The STA believes this is the most comprehensive endorsement procedure used by any organization in New York State and probably in the country. We urge all of our members, our members' families, and our members' friends and neighbors to consider NYSUT-endorsed candidates whether they are incumbents or challengers.

The preceding information was provided by the New York State United Teachers.


"All retirement decisions are personal. While we don't give specific retirement advice, below are a few locations to find current information related to retirement planning".

Retirement Benefits and resources

New York State Teachers' Retirement System - This site if full of a variety of retirement information, including pension, benefit profile, social security, and other planning information.

New York State Employees Retirement System

Learn about what Syosset offers in terms of...

403(b) plan, also known as tax-sheltered annuity (TSA) plan. Learn more about 403(b) plan basics by clicking here.

If you are interested in saving through this type of plan your options are limited to the providers listed here.

457(b) plan, also known as the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan. Click here for more information.

Fees associated with the 457 are lower than those of the 403(b) plan but investment advice may be more limited. Account executives available to help can be found here.