Monday, December 05, 2016

UFT Executive Board December 5th

6:05 Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us.

Approval of Minutes—approved

President’s report—

Mulgrew is not here.

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr

Also not here.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action—Teacher evaluations online. What about principal evaluations? Is it that only parents can ask them?

—Adam Ross, attorney, Law says only parents can ask for evaluation.

 Ahluwalia—Shouldn’t I be able to see how admin rated?

Schoor—this is the law.

Arthur Goldstein--MORE--At this juncture it’s vitally important that we support our members, our students and our community.

Last week I learned that Deborah M. Gaines, an arbitrator who gets paid $1600 a day, found it reasonable that Francis Lewis High School teachers with oversized classes be released from one C6 assignment per week. She also found it reasonable that Forest Hills High School teachers be released from on C6 assignment per week per oversized class. Thus, if I have two oversized classes, I’m relieved from one C6 assignment. If a Forest Hills teacher has two oversized classes, she’s relieved from two C6 assignments.

First, it’s ridiculous to think it’s easier to teach two oversized classes at 214% capacity Lewis than at Forest Hills. Second, it’s ridiculous to contend the DOE-sponsored “action plan” of releasing teachers from C6 assignments makes up in any way for oversized classes. Teachers don’t need a period off from tutoring when they have oversized classes. Students in oversized classes don’t need less tutoring either. The DOE, which claims to place “Children first, always,” clearly doesn’t give a golly gosh darn about our working conditions, which are student learning conditions.

More importantly, this remedy tells principals everywhere they can make as many oversized classes as they wish with no consequence. Why should they care if teachers give one fewer day of tutoring when they can create fewer classes with impunity and save thousands of dollars by cramming students in like sardines? Today I went and counted, found 33 oversized classes, filed five grievances and got eight corrected. That is eight more than the arbitrator managed to fix and I’m on day one.

An action plan needs to address and discourage oversized classes. This does neither, and in fact tells principals they can abuse the Contract, us, and our students with impunity. Let's let members know with absolute clarity that we don’t play this game.

I ask that the UFT let both members and the DOE know we absolutely oppose oversized classes and will not tolerate nonsense like this. I ask the United Federation of Teachers to make sure Deborah M. Gaines never get another contract as arbitrator.

Also how many oversized classes are there in the city as we speak, and what’s our plan moving forward?

Schoor—We will get an answer. Grievance department not here.

Janella Hinds
—Grievance department is reviewing this situation. We are evaluating this plan for Lewis.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—How did deputy chancellor meeting go? Update on adult ed? In special ed, do we have data on how many ICT classes are out of compliance?

Schoor—We met with them, will have a discussion. will be no retribution against letter writers, Dep. Chancellor will meet with DR, definitely,  and some chapter members, perhaps.

There is shortage of special ed. classes.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—Asked several times about immigrant Liaison.

LeRoy Barr—We did have a meeting with DOE, brought up issue. They seem intrigued by concept. We will have further conversations. Talking about who could do job. We are in preliminary talks. We believe they will talk it through. We need to clarify what issues the person will deal with. No commitment at this point.

Schoor—They will bring it to mayor’s office. Thankfully no more questions.

6:19—Mulgrew arrives.

President’s Report

DeVos makes it clear where this admin headed. Asked L. Barr to make resolution. DeVos makes ed. marketplace and removes public. We were not surprised she was named but we know where they are headed. Are they going to drill down into state policy or stay out? Only question left.

GOP has always been angry at incentives to influence state ed. But they will not be friendly to us at all, don’t like unions, want ed. privatized. Have had conversations about it. Want resolution on record with AFT. Hearings for her should show what she really is, should show she wants to take away public school.
Spoke with AFT, million women march moving, and we will send people to participate when we know for sure where they are, what permits they have.

ESSA—Regulations up for final public comment. Gives us 3 years unless new admin dismantles. We do not believe they will do this now. They want multiple measure approach, not just test scores, transparency, so public knows what local schools do. Still require 95% participation in standardized tests, but no longer require its use to evaluate schools or teachers. Must be considerations for Ls, special ed students.

Renewal schools—will be press. We are tying to churn rate of teachers. 1/3 well, 1/3 stable, 1/3 not so well, and they match churn rate. If people leave schools, sign points something wrong with leadership.

Constitutional Convention—Will do presentation at DA. Big political hurdle. Lots of money will come to state to push this. We need to stop in tracks. NYS pensions in good shape because constitution requires contributions from municipalities, unlike NJ and IL. Will be big push, members don’t understand this. We must educate.

Asks LeRoy and Howie to make committee on mayoral race. Unions have already endorsed. Mayor inherited no contracts, now we all have them. There will be general election candidate, will run against UFT and school system.

Coalition for homeless Saturday—children come and we celebrate, work with them all year round. Thanks Karen A.

ACTE—career and tech ed—largest org of its kind—we have taken it as strategy to engage with them, made deal on Friday, and we will host Region 1 yearly symposium here in April. Resolving paperwork complaints, big win in adult ed. If CLs don’t want to do this tell them it’s simple. When they know it will go out of school it gets resolved.

Professional conciliation—working toward a template. We have right to question admin judgment.

Thank you.

6:32 Mulgrew leaves

Schoor—We have many paperwork complaints.

Staff Director Report 

LeRoy Barr—CL Training part 2 went well. Coalition for homeless Saturday. Kwanzaa celebration 12/15 at UFT. Next EB Dec. 19th

Report from Districts

Karen Alford, thanks David K. New Teacher Initiative works to retain teachers, save them from chaotic schools. Financial wellness workshop for new members very helpful to new teachers. Will be repeated.

Mindy ? —thanks leadership for negotiating speech teacher agreement. Teacher will collect medicaid funds for their service and resolve SESIS issue.

Sean R—Last week SI had SRP day, 300 attended.

Howard Sandel—Last week new collective bargaining agreement for Lighthouse Guild. 36th year on time contract.

Janella Hinds—Last week we thought about HS enrollment, went to L. James panel, engaged around issue of diversity. Were panel discussions with DOE, academics, community activists. Want to do even in Jan.

Schoor—response to question last week.

Adam Ross—Same law that shields teacher ratings shields admin.

Schoor—You have to get a parent to do it.

Kuljit Ahluwalia
New Action—Recourse if principal disregards parent request?

Ross—Parent could go to OSI or SCI or file lawsuit.

Legislative Report—Paul Egan—going to Albany tomorrow for meeting, pushing for pay raises. Leader of Assembly and Governor at odds. Democrat Brooks up by 41. 1000 votes yet to be counted, most on GOP objection. Absentee and provisional ballots. 32 Senators elected on Democrat line, fewer on GOP but some Dems caucus with GOP.

Resolution in Opposition to School Vouchers—

LeRoy Barr—Resolution attempts to educate members in terms of what vouchers are, how they affect public schools, and how they affect city. We have to let members know about this issue. Asks for support.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE--Asks for more detail, vouchers are actually worse than portrayed here. Will support but reserves the right to send more info.

Schoor—you can amend at DA.

Passes unanimously.

Motion to adjourn—passed.
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