Wednesday, November 07, 2018

UFT Delegate Assembly November 7, 2018 Puppies and Politics

4:27 Michael Mulgrew calls for moment of silence for victims of recent atrocities.

Mulgrew--We were trying to accomplish two things on election day—work with retirees, get check and balance to block Betsy De Vos. Then was NY State Senate—both done.

Tries not to watch too much TV or social media. Jeff Sessions resigned today—we know it wasn’t planned because President wanted to change media cycle. Will be non-stop rollercoaster in news, we need plans and strategies. We now have the Congress of the US, which is a big deal strategically and a lot of hard work. NY flipped 3, as did NJ.

Florida is tough. We have to keep working on it. Our AFT colleagues work hard but need our help. Only line of offense cannot be retiree chapter. Very important and pivotal state. UFT retirees can’t do all the work.

Today would be very different without Congress. Would be charters and vouchers. Flipped 17 governors including 2 of the worst. Kim Kolhass in tears at 3 AM when Walker lost. Her coalition pushed him out.

Every referendum for funding last night passed. Anti public school referendum in Arizona went down in flames. Nationally, we still have work to do, for pro public school, pro worker agenda. Afterward we will deal with other policies.

In NY State will be 39 Dems 23 GOP, better than expected. Lots of hard work. Reason is COPE dollars and many volunteers. LI and Hudson Valley we have major numbers. We are coordinating with local teachers and NYSUT. Seeing major impact.

NYT asked what this means for charters. I said what do you think? They gave millions every cycle to GOP, we didn’t want them to be our enemies but we have no choice.

Teacher evaluation—last year bill passed in Assembly. GOP held it hostage for 100 charters in NYC and increased funding. Assembly said no, as did we. All of these things are now in play, as well as progressive agenda for NY State.

In this election we wanted to move a progressive agenda, and NY State sent that message last night. Everyone said they would do it but we led the way. Thanks all who helped.

Though one person hasn’t conceded, that’s the cherry on top. To Brooklyn, they all said UFT was only trying to make GOP spend money, but couldn’t win. We never believed that. We understood because Golden wouldn’t support evaluation bill, or speed cameras, and supported charters and vouchers, we went to tenant association. He wasn’t nice to them either. Together we took him out. Will not have that seat anymore. Thanks Ellen Driesen.

Lots of teachers absent today, were up till midnight in Brooklyn. We did it together. Much better than two years ago. This place was in bad shape. We took it one step at a time. First issue was major ed. cut from feds. We stopped that. We protected NY State. We solidified NY State as pro worker pro public ed. Good work last two years, but we still have work to do. We didn’t panic.

In the end we focused as a union, that’s how we make a difference in society. We did that as we faced Constitutional Convention, Janus, we passed paid parental leave and an early contract.

87% of members voted to ratify. Thanks those who held elections in schools and sent 90,000 votes in. Blessing because contract is early. We have time to prepare to implement. We usually don’t get this. Will try to take advantage.

Speaking to chancellor, will form three committees.

Eval—not just about number two. There is a lot. Negotiating position is eval. is useless or punitive. DOE agreed it was busy work and not meaningful. If we want it meaningful, we need to take responsibility. Some members like it meaningless. We have to own it to make it meaningful. Imagine how many more teachers we could keep, who would prosper, if it were meaningful.

We have cycles. Will be two a year, September to January. Would like cycle two on February 1st. We will have to have training for that. Imagine one day, you’re in auditorium, admin is sitting with you, discussing true purpose of eval, and what process would make it meaningful. How can we be more effective, how can they better help people?

10 hands agree in hall of hundreds.

Can you imagine principal sitting through this? DOE has tech issues. Their system is a dinosaur. First we need to work out other parts.

Bronx plan
—not just Bronx. We will begin work on it. We are looking for high collaboration indexes, staff feels it’s good school but faces challenges. Schools don’t do this unless UFT agrees. Chancellor agrees, doesn’t want to waste time. Wants schools that will work in teams and make a difference. High collaboration numbers, 3x more likely to effect student achievement.

Operational—Everyone has to get right in schools. This is the tool you need. CLs need to make sure this is working to fix whatever big issues are going wrong.

Teacher Union Day—1500 attendees, award winners, thanks all.

Asks who is at second DA. Thanks new attendees.

Karen Alford—would like to make motion. As owner of new puppy, moves we be allowed to bring puppies to DA as comfort dogs. As many of us take MTA, we have stressful commutes. If we drive we have parking. By this time we are stressed out. With puppies, anxiety levels would go down.

Point of order—You’re taking motions during President’s report?

Mulgrew—We are just demonstrating. Karen doesn’t actually have a puppy. If chair recognizes, you give name and support.

Janella Hinds—wants to amend. Would like us to bring puppies and kittens. Important for those of us who love cats. Asks for support.

Richard Mantel
—Calls question.

Mulgrew—should call all questions before house, because that was just the amendment. Some people don’t get to speak. Would ask if someone wants to speak against or for. I get emails. We didn’t debate enough. You’re a tyrant. Body decides.

Asks in favor.

Body rejects cats.

Mulgrew—-can see headline—UFT hates cats.

Body rejects dogs too. Your correspondent is shocked.

Mulgrew—I get complaints debate is too short and too long. This is what UFT debate is like. Hope you come back. Did not see puppies and kittens going down.

Asks delegates to sign up for text messages.

Jonathan Halab
i wants to see Rachel. Is she real? Mulgrew says she’s upstairs texting.

Mulgrew—UFT is there for children, and we are doing a drive for a thanksgiving celebration to give winter coats. We are taking money and new winter apparel.

Richard Mantel—We will pick them up from you at borough offices. We have 200 students in temporary housing, we give them meals, activities, and clothes that fit. We deliver leftovers to shelters. Kids are very appreciative.

Janella Hinds—World AIDS Day Dec. 1st, we have a poster contest. HS students can create artwork. Please get it back to us by November 15. We also are collecting for WIN, Women in Need. We support HS students too. Give them time away from shelter. On way out, please whatever you can donate.

Mulgrew—If you will volunteer, please do. Coalition for homeless has much work.

Karen Alford—Wants to coordinate holiday party for 200 children, please collect toys for them for December DA. They get to see Santa, be kids, have fun. We also give to shelters.

Mulgrew—Super Saturday, December 1st, for new teacher program. Day of wellness. How are new teachers doing so far? (I hear multiple vulgarities.) We’ve all been through it. Nice to have a day like this. Please get new teachers here. It’s getting to be that time.

Last, holds up poster on history of UFT. Asks to bring back to schools. Let DR know if you need them. While colleagues are losing, we continue to gain. These are things that improve education. Today is an historic day. November 7 is 58th anniversary of first UFT strike. That was because we wanted to become first teacher union to have collective bargaining.

Now some people are having it taken away. Asks founders to stand. Much applause.

LeRoy Barr—Wishes happy anniversary. Celebrating 100% attendance for delegates. 2019 HS Awards, 5th year, Friday April 12. Nominations due by Dec. 14. Next DA Dec. 12.


Q—New contract, has retaliation language—what should we be doing if we have that happening to prove that?

A—First, don’t file case until right is active. Grievance Dept. will make guidelines, will work with DOE. Some are 30 days after ratification—we want this there. Document it now, but don’t file until we have right.
Q—Mentioned we only had one snow day, Why so few?

A—Where holidays fall—contract says we report Tuesday after Labor Day, and school ends June 28. We love diversity, recognize it, so slowly we added more holidays. Now we have complete agreement that we cannot add any more holidays, unless we come earlier or work less. I want St. Patrick’s Day, but it is what it is. There is model where we have no snow days, once every seven years. Anyone want to give up a holiday? City always asks us to give up February break. I say no, and what’s it worth? We paid for that years ago, and that’s the end of it.

Q—Last week was violent altercation, colleague tried to help. What is role of CL in incidents?

A—First, were all safety plan procedures followed? CL can’t do job alone. We have safety liaisons. We’ve gotten along with DOE on safety. You break up fights to stop students from being harmed. Someone needs to know rules. Many times rules not followed.

Jeff Povalitus—You need to report incidents to union. OORS system not transparent. We don’t get that. We have our own mechanism at Someone will follow up.

Q—Follow up on OORs—you said CLs would have access. Can you elaborate?

A—Will be available, perhaps with redactions. 48 hours before safety meeting, you will get copy of OORS info so you can prepare.

Q—Parking permits—some of them will soon expire.

A—Get info to Howard Schoor.

Q—Can instructional coaches meet with staff?

A—Depends. You have your preps. Protect the prep. It’s yours. Professional periods, school may have SBO, talk to district rep.


LeRoy Barr—for this month. Asks if you have copy. Res to support racial and economic justice, support various groups that support social justice. (Reads too fast for me)


Res. UFT stands with OT PT chapter and supports their struggle for fair contract


OT PT chapter member—motion for next month—Moves UFT emails members they stand with OT PT chapter against anti union forces. Our chapter members don’t have similar salary to teachers, city said no to all demands. Want to stay strong.


Res 1 Janella Hinds—Motivates condemnation of Kavanaugh hearing—Hard to say Me Too for shame and ridicule, Dr. Ford passed through all of that fear and recalled sexual assault at 15. Nominee responded with partisan anger, prez ridiculed her. As K-12 educators we can contribute toward positive atmosphere. We must create respectful and safe environment. Need it from politicians too. Asks for support.

Antonio Jacobs
—point of information—looking at resolution wants to know if there was collaboration with office of equity and access.

Mulgrew—Yes there has.


Mel Aaronson—I was involved in the strike. Michael talked about it so I will not repeat what he said. Teachers had no right to go to employer and ask for improvements. We wanted to have rights similar to other unions. We wanted to have discussion—collective bargaining. We had a new organization. UFT was only a few months old. We were led by first president of UFT, Charles Cogen. We all have to thank him. They told him no. He came to members and said this is so important that we should strike for it. Thousands of members agreed. We went out on strike November 7th.

Discussions went on, and at end of second day, recommendation was—we have agreement for collective bargaining if teachers of NYC vote for it. Was accepted by members. Thousands risked their jobs. Less than a week ago, we agreed to contract which included many of our demands. Please recognize first strike and its heroes, leadership and membership.

Barbara Silverman
—Feels connected. Was HS senior. Dr. Gold stayed at door speaking to colleague. Said she can’t strike on Monday. I’m going on strike. Wife is going out. Do not know if I will have a job on Monday. Said he apologized. Should not have said that, and you cannot tell anyone. You have to come. We have to be missed.

Monday when I showed up I watched teachers walk around. It was snowing. They were out there and back on Wednesday. Felt I was part of it. 5 years later I became a UFT member.

OT/ PT chapter member—Rises in support. Our collective bargaining group voted no. While our brothers and sisters will reap benefits, we will not. I sympathize with colleagues who said no, but it was city who said no, just as they did to Charlie. Urges you support resolution and us.

Dave Pecoraro—calls question

Passes unanimously

Rich Mantel
—Marriott largest owner and operator of hotels in world. Pays many workers garbage. In 7 cities on strike because pay, benefits lousy, and eliminating jobs. We need to support them. My sister works for them and is paid crap. We need to support this resolution and these workers. Please vote in favor.

Dave Pecoraro—Adds resolved—Urge fellow unionists in professional sports not to cross picket line. Yankees crossed picket line in Boston and deserved everything they got.


Resolution as amended passes

Mulgrew—Not going to get all res. done.

Motion to extend for 15 minutes—


Mulgrew thanks us for donation $3500.

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