Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DA Report March 2016—UFT Declines to Oppose Junk Science or 3012c (the Cuomo/ Heavy Hearts Evaluation Law)

Mulgrew welcomes us. Asks for moment of silence for terror victims..

President’s Report


President Obama named SCOTUS prospect. We understand impact of Friedrichs. We will do an activist alert. Has spoken with Schemer, who says GOP always plays games and wants to keep SCOTUS. Senate needs to do their job and start process. Says many GOP pols have said good things about this candidate. Says he supports labor.

Presidential campaign—now at point where we know that endorsements are what’s in best interests of union. Is danger if either of two front-running GOP candidates win. Says Cruz wants voucher system.  Trump’s advisor is Carl Eichen, who advocates private marketplace for public education. Says they both oppose union.

NY State primary April 19th. UFT has endorsed Hillary. Thanks retirees for their work and support. Says we cannot allow GOP to win White House. Says they don’t believe in pensions, health care or union. Says there is Hillary HQ on floor 12 of UFT HQ. Says he has a lot of volunteers.

Says SCOTUS has just come out with first 4-4- tie. Says leadership very worried about Friedrichs. Mulgrew says our activists all understand Friedrichs. Says we will ID everyone behind Friedrichs. Says they cold called thousands of teachers to find 10 plaintiffs. Recommends we all read Dark Money


As of April 1st, Betty Rosa from Bronx will be Regents Chancellor. Says we have good relationship with her. Says it’s great to have a Regents leaders who’s actually been in a classroom.

Albany very tied up with minimum wage. Budget need to be tied up by next week. Enrollment equity legislation for charter schools will move right after minimum wage.

Asks if people understand what untimed tests means. Says administrators should be in charge of untimed tests and judge whether or not children “continue to make progress.”

Says Lobby Day was great. Scattered applause. Says, If not tests, then what handout made big splash. Says we have lobbied to change law. Says legislature is sick and tired of constantly changing teacher eval. laws. Says we want to propose authentic student learning, e.g. portfolios, but other locals want to go back to nothing except the principal wants to be in charge of our evaluation. Says our issue is how we keep checks and balance on our administrators.

We do not like the use of the tests, BUT we went from 2000 people rated ineffective to 700. Says UFT will never support reversion to S and U system. Says we want more checks and balances than we have with current testing. Says small locals want to just go back, that people say they have arrangements, but we fight like hell all the time with principals. Says we don’t have an agreement but we have proposals. Says 115 locals have agreements for next year. Says we will change teacher eval. for what’s right for kids, but recommends local control.

Says we are working to keep our “independent validators” as opposed to visiting evaluators. Says that system is not fair to us in NYC, and there is a $130 million price tag for this. Says provisional regs have gone out and 100 hours of PD will not go into effect this school year.

Invites Arthur Pepper up to talk health care. Demands applause several times.

Arthur Pepper

Says he spoke to DA two years ago about savings. Says there is no premium and he is proud to say that. Says we are meeting all our goals. Says many people pay over 10% of cost of health coverage, which would be $1600 a year for GHI users. Says it affects all city employees.

Says we’re looking for access. First thing we did was make sure no copay change for primary care physicians. There are 36 sites with Advantage Care zero copay.

Says many years ago we instituted $50 copay for ER. Members were freaked out. Says people stopped using ER for daily care. Says that’s our highest ticket item so we raised copay to $150, but if you are admitted fee is waived.

Says they are using “telemedicine.” You will be able to go on the internet and call or Skype a physician for $15 copay. Doctor can call in a prescription, via org called Amwell. Info will come in April. Will be able to issue notes.

Urgent care cost is $50. It’s almost as expensive as an ER visit and they make a lot of money, he says.

Zocdoc is great app, and will show you GHI doctors who are available.

First time we have two tiers in HIP—Preferred plan, zero copay, non-preferred, $10.

Subsidizing costs for Weight Watchers 15 per month, or 7 online.

As of July 1st, certain preventive care procedures, mammograms, colonoscopies, some drugs, zero copay.

Advises us to stay healthy.


Says our next fight is with hospitals, who overcharge outrageously for tests and blood work. Says some members misuse ER, but UFT members like to go to the doctor, and we go more than anyone. Says that’s good thing.

Says us getting this, and meeting our goals, means AP did great job.


Families for Excellent Schools, attacking public schools as unsafe. Using data from a state reporting system. Says even John King said this system was inappropriate. Says they forgot to look at charters through that system. While we have 150% increase, they have 450% increase. Says he’s happy NY Post is attacking UFT.

Says it’s been bad year for charters. Says we don’t like four major chains because they are funded by people who want to destroy public education. Says highest performing teachers in NY State are those in NYC.

Says state is now looking at need, and we’re outperforming. When we look at need, we’re outperforming even more. So FES will continue to attack us and their little cronies, the Post and the News, will print whatever they ask.

Says SESIS arbitration is winding down, and SESIS needs to go. Says it can’t be fixed. Says we may have further info Monday.

Says now if paraprofessional is arrested is automatically suspended without pay, and UFT will fight it.

We are now negotiating on family leave. Says hypothetically a pattern has been set. Important we get it done. Pattern set is they lose two work days or work two additional, lose half percent pay increase. Says all those years we didn’t get a contract for not selling out ATRs. Says if it came down to what non-unionized employees did, how would we deal with it? Says we will keep pushing.

Talks about May 4th. Public education event day. Says when it gets warm we have to celebrate our schools. Says we want it all grassroots. Asks we sign up. Gets almost no response whatsoever.

Announces week off at end of April. Again little applause. Announces various other events.

Brings up four teachers who’ve achieved national board certification. Much applause. Mulgrew asks for more and gets it. Says they’ve gone above and beyond.

Has union founders stand. Says March is UFT birthday month and leads DA in singing of Happy Birthday to us.

Leroy Barr

Speaks of Union Loud and Proud campaign, urges us to hang up posters. April 16th UFT 5K run. Talks of raffle.

UFT elections in 5 weeks. Ballots go out May 5th. Urges us all to vote then and in November, and on primary day.

High School awards Friday April 15th, Next DA April 20th.


Delegate—Social work relegated to guidance—how will UFT support social workers?

Says we do not support this. We need more counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Says he testified on school discipline. Says this shouldn’t be legislated. Says we went from zero tolerance to zero discipline. Says fewer than 10% of children need clinical intervention, not guidance talk. Says our hands can’t be tide. A voice behind me cries, “Taze them.”

CL—How much will family leave cost us?

If, if, hypothetically we follow pattern set by non-unionized, we’d work two more days and give up .5% of our raise. He would not feel comfortable bringing that to membership. Says some people don’t want to give up anything, but others want it right now. Says we will be strong in our position, and what other workers did is not acceptable to us.

CL—Says there are cases similar to Friedrichs. What can we do about them?

Says folks who did this had a long-term plan, are very smart. Says Citizens United is part of it. They want free market system where no one tells them about environment, workforce, or taxes. Says there needs to be a decision if fair share requirement is infringement on freedom of speech. Says if they lose Friedrichs they will just bring forth another case. Won’t go away until it’s settled by SCOTUS. Says we cannot give up because of Scalia’s death.

Delegate—Says we’re very lucky that Common Core is gone. Mulgrew says, “Yup.” Says if it was developmentally inappropriate for gen. ed. kids, it’s worse for special ed. Will new tests still count toward MOSL for alternate assessment?

Mulgrew says UFT thinks no, but we don’t know. Says much time was wasted on tedious portfolios. Says we will see how new system goes, and teachers will evaluate it. Says new things should not be used for MOSL when there is no vetting of process. Says without tests, alternate assessment teachers could be 100% evaluated by principal.

CL—What can people expect for 20% MOSL for this year?

We have hundreds of systems in NYC. SED says no state generated growth scores, but some schools didn’t use it anyway. For this year, ratings will revert back to principals in charge—local MOSL may be 20 with 80% principal determined (if I understood correctly). Says we just had fight to get out state generated growth scores. Too many schools to give simple answer.

CL—Hard to staff schools differential?

Talking with DOE, says Monday and Tuesday scenario sunsets in June. Says everyone loves it. Says differential is part of discussions, but city doesn’t name schools.


Lauren Cohen—motion for next month—being handed out.

Delinking testing from evaluation (!)

Writer's fashion note--Lauren’s hair is no longer blue.--Correction--Saw Lauren up close later and there are indeed blue highlights.

James Vasquez—Can we advertise whatever we wish on leaflets?

Mulgrew—We have no position on this.

Lauren—Welcomes Betty Rosa, looks forward to changes. Says ed. decisions should be in hands of experts. Says eval. law will be in place after moratorium expires, and it applies only to certain tests. Value-added has been discredited by ASA, unreliable measure, not designed for this purpose. Provides checks and balances, but still broken.

As advocates for our profession, UFT should be out front to say this is wrong, doesn’t work, has deleterious effect on us and our students. Precedent for this in CT. Asks body to consider next month.

UFT Sec—Says we have window with 4 year moratorium. We have to be careful not to say we don’t want this, but rather to say what we want. Says saying this is no good doesn’t solve this problem, and if we have nothing else it will be 100% principal evaluation. Says we need to define what it should be. Not in favor. Says we need to look for way.

Motion fails.

Mulgrew moves to close motion periods.


Anniversary celebration—honoring 56th Anniversary of birth of UFT. No speakers against.

Motion passes.

Supporting PSC--Bloomberg didn't want to negotiate with us, and PSC has no contract now. We should support them against CUNY management. Mayor and Governor will support, but CUNY management refuses. Asks that we support PSC.

Dave Pecoraro asks for amendment to reverse budget cuts.

Passes as amended.

Janella Hinds--Wants to amend resolution opposing state receivership. Saying there will likely always be schools in receivership, as opposed to 5% of schools. Janella says UFT on record opposing this, demands support for Buffalo and rebukes Elia. Asks for support of amended resolution.

James Eterno--Moves to amend. Asks that UFT make repeal of Ed. Transformation Act and 3012c main legislative goal and urges NYSUT to do the same.

Wants to add teeth to this resolution, and actively oppose the law, in that we try to repeal it. Says we need to get rid of this disgusting law and what it does. Says our friends upstate will face layoffs as a result of this. Says people may have to reapply for positions and be laid off. Says this doubled down on testing being part of evaluation, made four year tenure, and made two ineffectives ruin for a teachers. Says political winds are at our back. We must get rid of receivership and wretched law.

Rich Mantel--against amendment. Say ETA much broader than just receivership. Says you can't just wipe everything out, must do it some other way. Says we are working to change things. Can't just throw out baby with bathwater. Must figure it out the right way. Throwing everything out not right way to do it.

Jonathan Halabi--Rises in strong support of both amendments. Says we have one chance to do things right. Will we pull receivership or not? Will we take that law out or not? You need to vote for this amendment.

Question called.

Second amendment voted down.

First amendment passes.

Resolution passes

Evelyn de Jesus--support of Chicago Teacher Union

Compares Rahm to Bloomberg, speaks of April 1st demonstration by CTU. Asks we support CTU.

Resolution passes.

Islamophopia Resolution

Emil P.--Says it's hard to believe we have to discuss this. Denying people entry to US based on religion is unbelievable. People came here for religious freedom. Asks for support against discrimination against Muslims.

CL proposes it doesn't go far enough. Is called out of order, then offers amendment.

Resolves that the UFT strongly condemns the actions of all those who threaten the national imperative of acceptance of others.  Says it should express our affirmative belief and not name GOP candidates, that we should condemn anyone who makes such statements.

Discussion from 19th floor over whether word should be "have" or "has." 6:05.

Stuart Kaplan--Call question.

Resolution passes as amendment.

Mulgrew says Happy Easter, Happy Purim, and opens raffle.
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