Wednesday, June 15, 2016

UFT Delegate Assembly June 2016

Mulgrew asks moment of silence for Orlando victims.

Mulgrew talks of pride parade. Says UFT offered a cocktail reception to open pride week, and that now it takes on a different significance. Invites us all to a reception and discussion as to where we can go to get things right.


Mulgrew announces Trump slump in polls, gets applause. Says Hillary is nominee, also gets applause. Says they needed NY and we delivered.

CA has runoff system rather than simple election system, and every reformy candidate won all of these races. All union-backed candidates lost. Says this is why we need to stay politically strong. Says when a bunch of outsiders can buy local races, this is unacceptable.

Mulgrew says NYC is in good shape but we have issues. Says state did not attack education, but we all have a problem. Says NY cannot stand alone. Says AFT barely fought off characterizing Detroit, and that will be repeated as possible. Says we don’t have that danger because of the work of our local.

We need to be concerned with legislative races.

Says it’s nice we all get together and have a good time at the AFT convention.

Mulgrew talks of malls and how he does not care for them. Compares Staten Island Mall to Minneapolis mall.

Says it’s important we tell our colleagues what we do here. (I listen to Mulgrew talk about malls.)

Mulgrew stresses local politics.


Says last 24 hours in Albany have been ugly. Mulgrew says we support mayoral control but not in its current version. Says current MC bills have a lot of goodies for charters but Assembly won’t accept it. Says they are trying to tie other things to it. Says there was a bill prohibiting union from being politically active.

Says we are always outspent 8 or 10 to 1. Says there is bill about pension forfeiture. Any public employee guilty of felony will forfeit pension. Legislature would have legal right to diminish future benefits without constitutional convention. Says we are running digital campaign. We are talking to people.

Says pension forfeiture is tied into ethics reform. Both houses have decided forfeiture should apply to all public employees. Says they are playing games instead of doing business and going home. He says they justify it by saying that’s the way government is done.

Says if you’re an activist and getting emails just keep doing it.


Regents met. There is now a new path for students with IEPs to get diplomas. It is in effect for this school year. Child must at least receive 55 in ELA and math, and had to sit for other required Regents exams. If teacher, principal and superintendent agree on progress, child will get a local diploma.

Regents has now passed a waiver program for independent observers. 82,000 teachers would have to be observed under this. Says UFT and NYSUT advocated for this. Says a school district, due to its size, may modify or eliminate this clause, but must have observer for ineffective-rated teachers.


City budget—$120-150 for teachers’ choice. Specialized high schools will get diversity boost.

Mulgrew asks how people feel about principals. Delegates whisper they need to be observed, some tell Mulgrew they are evil. Says it’s better than Bloomberg, but there was an expectation. We expected more respectful and collaborative approach. Says we have more collaborative schools but all schools must be there. Says it’s nice that mayor thanks teachers, but he wants support for our work.

Says we’ve moved further and faster than every school district in the state, but we want every school, every sight to be managed properly, respectful, and funded. Says UFT does all lobbying for school funding. Says there is a 570 million increase due to our work. Says when principal says he has no money you should say he’s full of crap. There is more money per child.

Why are there schools people continually leave? Says chancellor said she wanted to look at churn rate, but now she doesn’t, says superintendents minimize it, just like how Bloomberg said class size didn’t matter.

Says we are not Success Academy where people are beat up, where people leave if they don’t get the grades.

Says when principal and staff work together in respectful manner things improve. Says teachers can do instruction, PD, and observations. Says Advance is as bad as SESIS.

Says there will be an email, and it will have school churn rate on it. Will ask if it’s gotten better or worse and why. Will be followed by email from Mulgrew for top 200 schools, and will cause talk with superintendents and legal, and UFT might start publishing data. UFT wants all schools to be well-managed, for teachers to be supported and respected, and correct funding for all.

Asks if it’s OK that we start now, that we talk about it in our schools. Asks we say Mulgrew said we need this info and that we have a good old time with it.

Says we got more than 10K more additional votes in UFT election.

Asks who is at final DA. We applaud their service.

Makes joke about Roberts Rules and why can’t people just yell out, says we have stronger chapters.

Says let’s not forget Friedrichs is gone, but that people looked at activists as an insurance policy. They are glad we are here.

Says our new teacher program was most successful we ever had. Says all supplies they got were from UFT.

Says this has been one of our better years in a long time. Says when we come back it’s Hillary time, Hillary time, Hillary time.

Says we help so many people that no one will ever know about. Says he can’t thank us enough for all the work we do on behalf of UFT. Says next year we work together, we will keep doing our work in Albany, and this local and only this local is the beacon of what leadership should be.

Leroy Barr

Says it’s re-org time. Says if you have a question you have two days from date of notice to file grievance. Speaks of Puerto Rican Day parade, says there was great turnout for UFT. Says pride reception will be tomorrow at 50 Broadway on first floor. Says you must RSVP if you want to go. 4:30-6:30. Says we will also be in pride parade Sunday.

Albert Shanker scholarship—met with recipients. Was great event.

Wishes us happy father’s day and great summer.

Mulgrew says everyone in Albany is mad because we’re beating up everyone.


Delegate—Lisa North—July 8-9 there is SOS demonstration. Is there UFT bus?

Leroy Barr—There will be a bus. Contact Yelena S. or Brooklyn UFT. We will go and return same day.

Q—Are we involved in any legislation about sexual abuse?

We are supporting and lobbying for that. Newspapers may have said otherwise. They have really twisted minds working for some of these papers.

Q—certification—PD—will school PD hours count? Do you have to sign up on birthday?

If your birthday is by a certain point you have to sign up. We are still working with SED on what will be counted. We want PD time to be counted.

Says it will be the month of your birth. You will have the entire month to register. Doesn’t have to be on your birthday. For permanently certified, you will get an email with step by step instructions. Day of registration you are starting new and have five years to collect 100 hours.

Q—Pension forfeiture bill—I thought pension adjustments had to happen through Constitutional Convention.

Says this will be a big political campaign. Says we would challenge it in court. Says one removes police fire and teachers, but legislature can add them as they wish.

Para delegate—asks about new line for paras. Says her principal wants to know who pays the 5K. Paras want to know part about student teaching. Does it only apply to members of this program, or all paras?

Amy Arundell—Principals were notified today with detail. All paras are able to apply for student teaching leave.

Mulgrew—over two thirds of incoming paras have bachelor degrees. Says we only pay for a small number of undergrad credits, but we will not pay for up to 12 grad credits in CUNY. Right now paras have to take a leave to student teach. Says we have 100 slots a year for paras to be paid while they student teach.


Rona Freiser—add resolution in solidarity with Orlando. passed.


All further evaluation will contain a minimum of four distinct components, and no single component shall be more than 35%. This is because a principal had three African-American teachers rated, planned to rate them poorly in advance. Says 60% is too much. Says we’re assuming everyone is decent and he hasn’t experienced that.

Emil P. speaks against. Says he understands what it’s about, but doesn’t know what parts are and that this must be looked at and negotiated.  Motion fails.

Mulgrew says we will have a new eval. system and we want to take percentages out. Says moratorium leaves some people at 100% principal rating. Says matrix takes a lot of authority away from principals and we will never lobby to change that.


Emma Mendez—guidance exec board—As GC for 12 years, important resource was time to build relationships. Says problem is meeting social and emotional needs. Concern is with counselors and social workers in ATR pool can’t meet needs or build relationships in one month. Wants to alter system so counselors and social workers can be longer time in schools.
Vanessa Presley speaks in support.

Jonathan Halabi rises in support. Says there are groups of members in difficult circumstances. Says members get left sitting idle and dignity is attacked.

Barbara Arth, ATR social worker speaks against.  Says time is great, but human resources places without rhyme or reason. Says she is sitting in teacher room and not interacting with students. Says someone must be in charge of HR and can’t be random process.

Resolution passes.

Rona Freiser motivates Orlando solidarity resolution.

Amendment—Wants to add line—about fighting homophobia and attacks on LGBTQI community.

Anthony Harmon—While he agrees with content stands in opposition, says this resolution speaks specifically to Orlando. Says they are having an event tomorrow and that this could come to a new committee.

Delegate—speaks against—says amendment deserves resolution of its own.

Delegate defends amendment as directly related to resolution.

Comment—we need to vote on this now.

Patty Crispino—says she agrees these are separate issues. Says it shouldn’t just be about pride month, that she’s gay all the months. Says it’s terrible it takes a tragedy to wake people up. Says she doesn’t want to be rushed. Says what happened in Orlando could happen here and now. Says she supports resolution as is.

CL calls question.

Amendment fails.

Resolution passes.

Mulgrew invites AFT delegates to meeting.
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