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Teachers' local leader wants AFT dues cut off for pro-Cuomo calls

Connetquot teacher union president Tony Felicio Jr. wants to cut off paying $132,000 in dues to the American Federation of Teachers after the national group’s president Randy Weingarten did robo calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul before Tuesday’s primary.

“We no longer want any of our hard earned dollars/dues going to an organization (AFT) whose leader so blatantly undermined the rank and file efforts in this past gubernatorial primary election,” said Felicio in a letter to New York State United Teachers office in Albany,

.The state teachers union, which is part of the national AFT, voted not to endorse Cuomo in the primary, but Felicio says Weingarten’s calls to city teachers on behalf of Cuomo’s slate “sure as hell comes close enough” to going against “what the rank and file demanded.”

Felicio spearheaded the protest that drew 2,000 when Cuomo appeared at the Suffolk Democratic dinner in May because of anger over implementation of Common Core and teacher ratings.

Felicio said five to 10 other unions have also expressed interest in withholding money for VOTE/COPE, the union’s political action committee.

Karl Korn, a NYSUT spokesman, declined to comment on the robocalls, but said there is “no mechanism to separate how dues of collected and dispersed.”
 

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