2018 Negotiations Nominee Personal Statements
NHC – Non-Instructional
My name is Anthony Mennella and I would like you to consider me for a position as a member of the Negotiating Committee. I have been a proud and active Union member throughout my 25+ year career. I was a member of the Utilities Workers Union of America, Local 534B, where I served as Secretary/Treasurer. I also served as a Steward for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 827 Telecommunications.
My Union experience includes negotiating favorable contracts for the Union member, including contractually-tiered pay raises and overtime seniority lists. I was able to successfully resolve many employee/management issues before reaching the grievance process. I have also participated in multiple company-wide strikes throughout my career in support of the Union’s attempts to better working conditions for its members.
If elected, I believe it is this experience and involvement with various Unions that will prove to be an asset to the Negotiating Committee.
I am extremely interested in being part of the Negotiation Committee for the North Hudson Center. If elected to be a representative for us as teachers, I would bring my unique background of 16 years as a cabinet maker, 6 years teaching post-secondary education, as well as 4 years teaching secondary education. My unconventional background gives me a big picture perspective that can be used to effectively communicate and represent the needs of my fellow teachers.
- As your voice, I would do my best to make your opinions heard. Our instructional staff has been providing top level education, while our benefits and pay have remained stagnant, and this needs to change.
- I would also like to address the pressing needs of teachers such as classroom size, wages and pay scale, and health insurance costs.
- Furthermore, as a CTE teacher, I want the real world experience that we have and the certifications we have earned to improve our fields of expertise to be valued and compensated, bringing balance to all teachers as a whole.
- I’m asking for your vote, because I want to continue to improve our teacher’s union, our campus, and our jobs.
Thank you for your support.
Fellow HCST union members, my name is Tony Gongora and I would like to be considered for the contract negotiation committee next year. For those who do not know me, I am currently a math teacher here at High Tech and have been with the district for almost 10 years. A few reasons why you should select me to be your representative in these negotiations:
- I have a strong math and finance background
- I am familiar with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
- I have been involved in contract negotiations in my previous career as a restaurant computer programmer and software salesman
- I have dealt with tough personalities in my time as a restaurant manager and general manager
- I will commit to attending all meetings and trainings
Having a strong mathematical background will certainly be an advantage to the team during this process as well as my familiarity with Excel spreadsheets and previous business experience. If you select me to represent you, I will apply this knowledge and dedication to ensure that we all get as good of a deal as possible from this next contract.
Hey guys, I hope you’ll elect me as your negotiator.. I love our district and want to be your advocate. I’ve never been afraid to speak up and ask the hard questions. We have an amazing faculty, a lot of good, hard working dedicated people who are very busy serving their students. We’re the folks ultimately accountable for delivering the product to the kids, and we’ve been great! I think it’s earned all of us the right to have transparency and clarity in our process.
For years management has spoken of ambiguous “pools” of money, we need to specify how these pools are funded and which body delineates how they are funded, we have to consider, can we really afford the astronomical amount of bonuses awarded when so many of our members are working at below market value? We have to consider how stipends are awarded and if they should be negotiable. Our health care contributions are up for negotiation AND WE MUST work for the best deal as they continue to rise, essentially rolling our compensation backwards.
As we head into a 1/4 billion dollar facility the time has come to ensure we are compensated as much as we are lauded. As an award winning filmmaker, a producer editor at Showtime Networks for eleven years and because of my real estate dealings contracts and being assertive are all things I’m familiar with and good at.
Lastly we’re teachers not professional negotiators and the stakes are too high, we need an independent professional negotiator to be on our team (other districts have done this with great success) to help us ask the tough questions to guide us on insisting on clarity for all of us.
Vincent Nardiello, Jr.
My name is Vincent Nardiello, and I thank you for the nomination to the negotiating committee election. As most of you know, I am a veteran at High Tech High School and have been teaching here for 18 years. During this long tenure I have seen many different contracts, negotiations and union boards, and unfortunately, things have not improved for many of us. Salaries are stagnant and new laws that require increased contributions for benefits have left many of us seeing little to no raise in years. This is not a path that we should or can continue on.
The causes of this climate where we are contributing more and receiving less are both internal and external, but we need to work to make it stop with this negotiation. We are seeing changes within our district, making it even more necessary to right the course, especially given the benefit of a more favorable economy and political climate. With this upcoming negotiation I would like to help make things right.
In addition to my years as a teacher, I’ve also worked regularly for many years as a professional writer and stand-up comedian. While on the surface it may seem like a stretch to point to this experience as helping to gain the skills required to negotiate, I often have to do my own pricing and contracts in a world that does not have the benefit of a strong union. This has left me having more difficult conversations about money than I care to recall, but I will happily bring this knowledge to the table for the benefit of our next negotiation.
Thank you in advance for your vote.
My name is Darell A. Richardson.
I am the Teacher-in-Charge of the Adult High School and ESL Programs at Hudson Technical Post-Secondary. I have been doing this position for about a decade. I have been employed with the HCST school district as a teacher for about 25 years.
I have been a licensed teacher for 39 years, a licensed attorney for 29 years, a licensed real estate sales agent for 27 years, and I have been a member of their accompanying trade associations and union. In addition, I have also been a member of labor unions as a factory worker (tool grinder labor grade #13) and actor (SAG/AFTRA) during the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s.
Though I am old (as these dates and numbers clearly indicate), I believe I would nevertheless be an asset to the negotiations committee because of these varied and extensive experiences. These experiences, I believe, would be instructive and helpful to our union/association as we enter and navigate this new administrative era.
If you are still reading this- thank you. I am almost done.
For those of you who have never met me and need a visual, please click this link (http://hcstonline.org/adulted/). (The video is about 20 minutes but if you want to know what I look like- I am at the very beginning and very end) It is a video I produced illuminating our ongoing efforts to provide second chances for working class, poor and ordinary people to climb the educational ladder of opportunity by obtaining their high school diploma- no matter how old or challenged. In fact, one of our oldest graduates was 83 years old, another student was deaf- both speak in the video. We wanted to show and share the wide diversity of faces and families that need the adult high school. Equally important was our desire to show and highlight their contributions and value to our society.
By the grace of God, despite obstacles and enemies, we are proudly celebrating our 40th year (1978-2018)
(video is circa 2011 so seeing me today shows the impact of the struggle in my accelerated aging process, however, our mission of helping to change the trajectory of generations of families in a positive way has been well worth it.)
Thank you for your time,
Darell A. Richardson, J.D.
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Anthony Hastings, a history instructor at County Prep High School. My educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Administration/Supervision; I accepted this nomination because I want to be a part of a team that is committed to making a difference.
During the last few months, I have spent my own time consulting with peers, researching, reviewing how school districts faired in contract negotiations. I am determined to commit my time and energy fighting for our new teacher’s contract, which begin next school year. The teacher’s contract has been a passionate issue of mine, and something I actively want to be part of in making a difference.
Nicholas La Volpe
My name is Nicholas La Volpe and I am running as a candidate for the one of the negotiation positions. I have been teaching special education science at County Prep for the past 15 years. During this time, I have developed extensive and positive relationships with a number of faculty and staff members throughout County Prep and High Tech. Those who know me, know that I am an active member throughout the school community and I am willing to help anyone in need.
Throughout my tenure, I have never really thought before about getting involved in negotiations until I started studying our current contract and salary guide. I was always on the outside looking in, but now I feel it is time to become a more active member, a member that will provide change. Over the course of the year, I have composed an extensive list of ideas and proposals with help of others that we feel should be addressed during negotiations. If elected as a negotiator, I will be committed to developing multiple strategies that will help us achieve our contractual goals for 2019-2020 school year and for future years to come.
Thanks for your time,
Nicholas La Volpe