Wednesday, October 19, 2016

UFT Delegate Assembly October19, 2016

Mulgrew welcomes us. 4:30

Recognizes new CLs and Delegates “Welcome to the nut house.”

President’s Report

National—Presidential election

Mulgrew digresses, goes back to delegates, talking about Robert’s Rules and voting rules. “Out of order does not mean I’m a mean person.” Says we take positions, make endorsements based on best interests of profession and unionized workers. Says this one was easy because one person wants to get rid of us, convert Title One to voucher program.

Has been in Nevada, FL, working with retirees. Says it is ugly in battleground states. Says you feel it more there, people yell at each other based on what paraphernalia they wear. Says we have many volunteers. Hillary will win NYS, never in doubt. We’ve done a lot of work in Nevada, PA, improving. FL toss up.

Says on November 9th country will be divided. Praises volunteers for Hillary. NYSUT sending buses to Cleveland and NH. We are going into many different states and phone banking across the country. Praises those who do social media volunteering. Says much better than last time.

Says we won gerrymandering case in FL. Congressional seats in Nevada we are working on. Says all candidates say they love teachers.

NAACP in news, was attacked when years ago joined us in anti-charter lawsuit. Just passed resolution calling for moratorium on new charters—under pressure from small number of very powerful individuals. Resolution passed. UFT’s Anthony Harmon went in capacity as local NAACP president, and pushed it. Construction workers supported us, as there’s a lot of non-union work.

Charters targeting NY State, among others, to lift cap or double numbers. Says that’s why we ran TV spot. Other big state is MA, where there is a ballot referendum. NY will push via legislature. For NAACP and BLM to oppose is not good for charter lobby. MA 12 points down right now and we have to win here too.

Eva Moskowitz had party in park rather than walking over bridge. They had a small targeted TV drive.


Standards review started at state level. Did anyone read the whole thing? No? We have a committee looking at it. ELL committee very strong, could use more special ed. Mulgrew says we don’t want to tweak standards but rather have new ones. We want separate standards for ESL and special ed. teachers. They did nothing. So Mulgrew unhappy, wants more teacher input. Says commissioner called him upset, said they didn’t have time for ELL standards.

Federal law called ESSA wants states to do comments and application process. Date moved from March to July. Appears many people on both sides angry with John King. Feel he went way too far and became prescriptive. Mulgrew makes fun of that, as he’s done it before. Waits on changes in Washington to redo process. Feds may not force states to use test scores for teacher evaluation.

NYC has lived longer with this than anyone. Bloomberg closed schools, created system to close more. Says we want to use growth rather than proficiency, as students often come in below grade level. Says teachers should be credited for actual growth rather than proficiency, because we’ve done that before.

Chicago and Buffalo have reached tentative contract agreements. Contracts should be taken in context of whether municipality has money. In Chi, pension plan underfunded since government doesn’t pay, like NJ. Christie never mentions it’s because his state hasn’t paid in 18 years. Our state has constitutional provisions to ensure payment but Buffalo schools have shrunk. When system is broke unions have to deal. Says UFT stopped city from going under in 70s.


Mulgrew thanks Mindy Rosier for walking to Albany on behalf of CFE, gives her pink roses.

Watching school funding, want APPR moratorium.

Says you will hear about constitutional convention, which will threaten pensions. Says there is always a curve ball somewhere every year. Says Governor has been in NYC schools to celebrate great teachers. Mulgrew tells story about Cuomo losing the attention of elementary students.

ELL conference completely booked and oversubscribed. Room for 700-1200 coming. Says we got tired of waiting for DOE. Thanks Evelyn de Jesus.

We are equal or greater than state in terms of student performance. They don’t have as many children of need as we do. Big challenge is number of ELLs and number of languages.  Mulgrew says we can’t make them literate in native tongue before we bring them in, we don’t know their ed. background or literacy level. Says we are trying to deal with challenge.

Thanks Servia Silva DR from district 4, for organizing UFT breast cancer march.

CTLE—professional hours. No answer or guidance from DOE. We know to register in birth month. If you miss it, you aren’t penalized and may still register. Mulgrew frustrated with DOE and NYSED. They say they don’t have the capacity and still have to figure out. UFT teacher center is certified vendor in this program. DOE is not. Teacher center can give certificate. Only thing he knows at this moment. Waiting for further clarification.

Teacher eval. APPR—If it’s done correctly, it’s a good thing. Delegates do not see that happening. No agreement as of yet. Told DOE we will not agree unless we have multiple measures of non-standardized tests, but rather authentic student learning.

No final number on last year’s evaluation. Bloomberg 1800-2000, 697 (?) last two years. Says we are holding their feet to fire with 13% clause. If we don’t agree by end of year, NYC will lose 540 million from state. Mulgrew says we are close to agreement. Failure to agree with Bloomberg cost city 260 million. We are close, but we’ve been close before. You will hear about it from me. We need correct info because principals imagine weird scenarios.

Says we have to debunk myths about matrix. People say it must be 50%. Mulgrew says if student learning is good, principal says you are bad, you are OK. If principals says good and students learning is bad, you are good. Enemies ask how that can be and we say we want a fair system.

We’ve gotten better at measuring growth, but we haven’t got that perfected. Says this is, therefore. fair system. Papers will call it rigged, but it’s fair. Says in other states, they have no teachers. You could travel there and get a job. Some districts don’t even have subs, and recruit parents. This is what happens when you get rid of the teachers.

Curriculum and paperwork—1000 schools answered. To move to next level, every teacher must have curriculum, which we haven’t had since scope and sequence books, decades ago. Says we should use one for museum exhibit. We want real curriculum. 350 of 1000 have curriculum problems. Must contain scope and sequence, a curriculum map. 70 have big problems.

Number one issue with members is paperwork. It’s in contract and not being implemented. You may file a complaint online. About making member workplace better. Once complaint is filed, it remains open until resolved. Chapter leader and principal have to resolve issue. CL must attempt to resolve it. If not resolved, it goes to district paperwork committee. Principals always say CLs didn’t speak to them, but resolve when complaints go to district or central. Calls it big win for CLs.

YUBEE—classroom supplies will give any teacher 25% off. Important teachers use money. Says it’s embarrassing how much money was spent there. We don’t normally push vendors.

Ends 5:17

Staff Director’s Report

Leroy Barr—celebrating those CLs and delegates with 100% attendance. Speaks of  parent conferences in each borough. Teacher Union Day November 6th. Commemorates first strike of UFT November 7th.

Thanksgiving winter clothing drive, want new items for children. Nov. 9th next DA.

Mulgrew—day after election? Hope we’re rejoicing.

Questions—15 minutes, says Mulgrew

Dan Lupkin, CL—In 2014 we passed resolution to boycott Staples, but UFT spent 170K at Staples.

Mulgrew—Says he got out of any contracts he could with small penalty, but has asked ADCOM and will get back next month.

CL—Gets phone calls and mail from insurance salesman who claims to have ties with DOE and UFT, and that he must allow them to meetings. Are they UFT?

Mulgrew—No. Say no.

CL—In many schools, children have problems and paras are being taken to sit with problem kids in cafeteria. If it’s not in IEP they don’t have to, but it’s safety issue. How do we deal”

Mulgrew—DOE and UFT sent out language, should not happen. If child has on IEP that they must be covered, para must still get lunch. Paras are not lunchroom monitors.

CL—Many schools no longer have SAVE rooms or deans. Please help. What advice can we give members?

Mulgrew—Make it official atsafety meeting, send to Jeff Povilitis. We have regulation not being followed. Who wants to suspend small child? Parent of child hit with a chair. SAVE room is something we need to push. Not just room but program to deal with children in crisis.

CL—Sometimes functionals don’t feel like part of our chapter. How do we fix?

Mulgrew—Talk to them. I taught problem kids in basement. Only other people there were functionals. Put them on consultation committee. Have a union meeting just for functionals. Important piece and we need to do better job.

Marjorie Stamberg—We know that Trump is racist pig. We know that Hillary is beholden to Wall St. and that they are responsible for starvation wages in Haiti. Is there a way that we can have discussion and debate on a workers’ party in US?

Mulgrew—We have diverse political views which I love. You should see the emails I get. I appreciate the respect we have for diverse views. In here we go from ultra left to ultra right. If someone wants to bring a resolution we form a workers’ party it’s up to this delegation, not me.

CL—Now that schools have gone digital, what do members do about excessive email during school hours and weekends? How does that mesh with paperwork?

Mulgrew—electronic is paperwork.

CL—Up until this year I had good relationship with my principal but this year he seems psychotic. Doesn’t want to collaborate. Report cards due Tuesday while MP ends Friday. How can we get her back on track?

Mulgrew—If you had good relationship in past, use consultation committee first. If there was a 180, something has changed. Talk to DR and we will follow up.

Jim Myer—update on maternity leave? For resolutions, instead of paper, could we post or email it so people can read it, instead of wasting paper?
Mulgrew—I want everything electronic. We have to move there. Maternity leave—issue is when you’re out, sub costs less than you do. City wants plan that follows pattern bargaining. We are doing better on cost. They’d previously wanted to make money on it. They are now calling it “child acquisition program.” UFT doesn’t like word. They are at better place with cost, but don’t yet have mechanism. City has been better recently.

Motions—5:38—Ten minutes, says Mulgrew

Marjorie Stamberg—motion for this month, needs 2/3 vote to get on agenda.

Point of order—Has it been presented in writing to delegates?

Mulgrew—If three lines or less, you may say. If more, must be copied.

MS—three sentences.

Mulgrew—She will read and I will call for vote.

MS—UFT should not support either candidate of capitalism. Trump racist, Hillary beholden. We need a workers’ party. Seconded.

Voted down.

Mulgrew—Good Marjorie. Twice you got to say those things. That’s nice.

Delegate—motion for this month, for new teacher induction committees. passes out. Motion backed by Unity Caucus lit pushing Hillary. Asks for additional year of mentoring. I don’t have time to read it, but motion carries.


Janella Hinds—Career and tech ed. Cumbersome and convoluted to approve. Wants to improve process.

Speaker says do it because of BOCES.


Rich Mantel—Talks about arts resolution. We must expose our students to as much of the arts as possible. DOE focuses on test prep, reading and math, Want arts in every school.

Passes unanimously.

VP Goldman—Salutes and recognizes founders of first strike. Showed courage and laid foundation for collective bargaining in NYC. We must know it began with their courage and commitment, moving forward with illegal strike, unheard of. Asks that we salute them. Much applause.

Dave Pecoraro—calls question.
Speaker against motion—Delegate—speaks to previous speaker—We do need to be able to call a strike as a union. Speaks against—says first strike…

Mulgrew—If you aren’t speaking against, question has been called. Now you say you’re not speaking against it.

Speaker—against proposition that first strike is cause for unqualified celebration, Major issue was involuntary transfer. Our strikes not righteous undertaking. Harlem suffered from understaffed and underprepared teachers. This union protected teachers who did not want to serve in Harlem and Bed Stuy. UFT was against it. We need to be better prepared to deal with criticisms from charters who say we’ve deserted people. We need to talk history. Thank you.

Resolution passes.

Mulgrew—Not new to have factual errors in some people’s discussion. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Anthony Harmon—Favor of resolution calling of NAACP moratorium on charters. We have strong partnership with NAACP, I am president of Harlem branch. Was at meeting where vote took place, overwhelmingly passed in July. Ratified by board, which took strong stand. Was much discussion and pressure. NAACP does not take anti-charter position. They want to do what’s fair and equitable for all children. Was pressure from hedge-funders, but they took that stand. Op-ed pieces asked corporate funders to pull support. We should go on record and support nationwide moratorium. Asks we endorse.

Dave Pecoraro—calls question.

Speaker against—delegate—Gentleman clear he is against mismanagement. In essence, charters should be better. We need good public education, charters are private.

Motion carries.

Mulgrew—We are adjourned—Wait, there is a raffle.
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