The New York State United Teachers Sunday voted in a new president, Karen Magee, head of the Harrison Association of Teachers in Westchester and the first female federation president.
She replaces Richard Iannuzzi, a former Central Islip teacher who has been leader of NYSUT since 2005.
She called for unity in the 600,000-member association, made up of teachers and school workers statewide, following the heavily contested election.
"It's easy to stay divided. It's easy to let our enemies know how to get to us, but it's not acceptable," she told about 3,000 members at the representative assembly at the Hilton New York. "And if we're going to create the strongest union in the state of New York . . . if there's a time to unite, you bet it is this minute and right now."
Magee will serve a three-year term. Iannuzzi called Magee when the vote results came in at about 1 a.m., a federation spokesman said. Iannuzzi told Magee that they had "a shared vision for a strong NYSUT going forward," spokesman Carl Korn said. Iannuzzi was not available for further comment Sunday.
Magee won by a "comfortable margin," Korn said.
The federation of about 1,200 unions voiced dissatisfaction with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for his teacher evaluation system and support of charter schools. It also criticized the "failed" implementation of Common Core academic standards. It passed a vote of no-confidence against state education commissioner John B. King Jr.
Magee hailed the record level of voter participation and vowed the group under her leadership would emphasize rank-and-file members and win influence among elected officials "in the halls of power."
Also elected was Paul Pecorale, president of the Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers, as a NYSUT vice president.
Delegates who supported Magee's slate said it represented a welcome change and a proactive rather than reactive approach.
"We expect a voice during a turbulent time," said Viri Pettersen, of the Rockville Centre Teachers' Association. "This election has provided a great voice for the needs of members across the island and across the state."
Magee and her running partners had the backing of New York City's United Federation of Teachers, the largest bloc within NYSUT.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew Sunday lauded Magee in a statement.
With Matthew Chayes