Monday, March 11, 2019

UFT Executive Board March 11, 2019--An Hour of Fun

6:00 Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us.

Speaker—Maurice Blackman—Essex St. Academy—Inspired that early UFT leaders were pacifists. I too am against violence. This is why I teach. Our works counteract it. Our system helps many, but has also failed many. High stakes tests cater to a small faction of our students. This is a form of violence our students experience. It is unacceptable.

UFT has history of acting powerfully. Your support is important. UFT is voice of educators not only in bargaining but in other ways. We need equity, restorative rather than punitive measures. In my work I’ve learned this generation demands more in education than previous. We serve 1.1 million students in some of the most separate but unequal schools in the country,

Integration is more than moving bodies around. Culturally responsive ed. is urgent. We can use work developed in NYU. What if all black and LatinX students had the same opportunities as others? Look at, run by several exec. directiors, students. Non-profit, affiliated with NY appleseed.. Thorough and equitable. Our schools guarantee free and appropriate education. What is UFT doing to honor this?

Our work is building character and inspiring curiosity. Hope UFT will support students who look to us and rely on us.

Schoor—We will look into that, maybe give our people your name so you can be involved.


President’s message—Michael Mulgrew—One house budgets happening today. Revenue issue. Lobby day perfectly timed, it seems. Just about full. Thanks those who registered. Having a tiff with city over discipline policies. Hate when NY Post agrees with me.

Everything you do in school is about classroom. If you are looking at it from afar you have wrong POV. We can’t have way over the top suspensions of students of color, but you can’t simply say make it difficult to suspend. So this is not working out.

If I am a teacher in the classroom and a student picks up a chair, what am I to do? If whole policy is only about child who picked up chair and no one else, we have an issue. What about child who got hit, and parent hears offender not suspended. Parents could resort to charters to be “safe.”

Bills in Albany to ban suspensions and mandate restorative justice. We train teachers in that but it is only one tool in toolbox, not something that fixes everything. In schools that use it, trained by us, suspension down 82%. Those schools can now ID students who need clinical intervention. These people ought not to be integrated into our schools. Will discuss with city.

In Albany, it’s a revenue issue according to de Napoli. Also bad policies. Single payer sounds great and we support it nationally but could preclude an education budget. We can’t take away health care and education. Difficult piece as we move forward.

CLs are putting in consultation, but we add a few hundred a week. If you aren’t doing consultation and reporting it to UFT we know members not having voices heard. We will have a real hard discussion because it will be time. CLs said they wanted these tools, useless if you don’t use them. Would like to report at end of month.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

LeRoy Barr—Friday asking that you celebrate 59th anniversary of UFT. Early childhood conference Saturday. Next week para luncheon. Want a great turnout. March 30 middle school conf. 31 Herstory brunch. Ballots go out March 25. Asking you to press members to look for ballots, vote right away and send back. EB March 25.

Schoor—Answer is they’re still working on it. Question about X 213. DOE regular answer.

Space—brought up to DOE—charters have form for space—said they do that because it’s the law. Law doesn’t prevent them from doing for us, say they’re looking into its


Jonathan Halabi—X 213—Did officers go to school.

Schoor—Yes, but principal puts sign on door stating personal emergency, and doesn’t see us.

Eliu Lara—We’ve been working with school for a while. Constant communication with supe. Will be there on 21st. Goal is to make sure we move school forward, resolve issues.

Schoor—Deputy chancellor said it was unacceptable. First paperwork issue to hit central committee. Checked budget, they have money, and DOE says they’ll do something.

Halabi—School advisory group yet?

Janella Hinds—Not yet.

Halabi—Fordham Leadership Academy—high turnover because of toxic environment. CL is friend of principal, new teacher, also COSA. Principal did not reveal during fact-finding that she’s married to Roberto Hernandez, involved in plan. Not revealing that, with CL who doesn’t rep members, this school slipped into Bronx plan. Was a mistake. We need to look from the classroom, not 14th floor. How can we remove this school from plan and protect members?

Schoor—Committee reviewed all schools that applied. We don’t pick CLs. CL and principal have tp agree to it. Asking Rich Mantel to explain.

Rich Mantel—We did look at turnover rates. Was a cutoff. School had high turnover and that’s why we put it in program. Met cutoff. Ran it by DR as well. Roberto did admit his wife was principal. We can’t remove school because principal is related to someone in DOE. Contract is still in effect. More voice now. We will watch them. They are on radar as all schools in plan. We think it will work out.

Eliu Lara—That school has a co chapter leader too. Was renewal school, receivership, so many are no longer in school. If I see the issue we will deal with it. If they let me know, we will take care of it.

Mike Schirtzer—Re NY Post and Mulgrew’s response—idea that students can initiate investigation on a teacher, perhaps falsify report. Student has to get permission from parent to go to museum, but not to launch an investigation. Maybe we should think about it. If you need permission to see dinosaur, maybe parents should see complaints first. Sometimes principals don’t want context, say UFT member did this. Context is important. Can’t just say teacher raised voice. Might have been trying to stop fight. Should we think about parental consent for these reports, or DOE mandating context?

Schoor—OEO, SCI and OSI investigate. SCI most dangerous. Outside agency. We use lawyers with them. I can’t answer. We will ask our safety people and lawyers to report on investigatory bodies. Connected with what Mulgrew was talking about.

Arthur Goldstein
—We have an interesting situation in Queens. We have a principal said sleep in front of the school to check who shows up early, who seems to find pot smoking in the halls to be a subject of enduring hilarity, who appears neither to shut his bathroom door or open his office door, who thinks one to one tutoring is wasteful, who rides the halls on a unicycle and juggles, and who puts forward the notion that he’s principal and therefore can do any golly gosh darn thing he likes.

I’m very happy that UFT Forest Hills is fighting the good fight. Still, we have a lot of other principals and assistant principals who are less flamboyant but equally undesirable. As long as we have administrators like that we’ll have assessment issues, whether we use S and U, Danielson, or whatever new things come down the pike. As long as we have people with visions, that preclude perceiving what’s actually going on we’ll have a flawed evaluation system. How are going to address the issue of unreliable, disingenuous, and vindictive administrators going forward?

Schoor—We have some people here who have had and will continue to have problems. When they hit the papers things change. Parents have organized and members have organized. New superintendent there. DOE wants to do something but they have issues. Principal has rights they  say. We will continue to fight that fight. We had good resolution on CPE and Townsend Harris. You can read about our success in NY Teacher.

Sang Lee—elementary—What is union’s position on death of SESIS?

Schoor—About time, should have happened years ago. State is asking city for info, and city is looking into it. Can’t give them what they want because SESIS doesn’t allow it. Couldn’t get UFT to do extra paperwork. New system won’t be there for at least a year. SESIS could never do what they wanted. We won arbitrations over it, but city has to do reporting. We will be involved in new process.

Kate Martin Bridge—SESIS not dead yet, is it? Will we get training?

Schoor—No. it isnt. We will get training.

Kate Martin Bridge—Will we survey members?

Schoor—We will be involved and make sure it’s a success. When they work with us, they succeed. How many of our members are on paid parental leave?

A—Have paid out 20 billion so far. Not sure of number of members.

Reports from districts

Tom Murphy—RTC—Feb 28 40th annual luncheon, Mulgrew spoke, FL association pres. spoke.

David Kazansky—In schools are petitions for Debra Penney’s re-election. Must be signed and returned before April.

Priscilla Castro
—Last month D75 had great team building. Bowling 40 of 60 CLs went.

Rosemarie Thompson—CL school counselors—thanks everyone for support.

George Altomari—Apri 13 will be annual UFT social studies conference. Has been around for a long time. Have had nobel prize winners speak. Mario Celenti, pres. NY State AFL-CIO this year.

Schoor—Mulgrew wants to confirm Monday is Lobby Day. 1000 people going.

Resolution for prevention training of human trafficking.

Janella HInds
—Affects many different communities. We have schools where young people trafficked for servitude, sex, labor. We want wide ranging prevention training to all our educators to protect our students. Asks for support.

Kate Martin Bridge—Corrects line.

Passes unanimously

UFT Election Report—Amy Arundell—Election committee met Feb. 28. UFT staff brought all submitted petitions for review. Two things came up. A caucus submitted xerox copies. Same exact petitions for a number of candidates. Was no official request for this. I was asked, and said it was original signatures only. Committee decided not to accept these petitions. Was not a number that impacted caucus’s slate statue.

Mike Shulman—was 13.

Arundell—One person only voted to accept. A caucus had petitions electronically signed, Again, no motion was ever presented prior to being submitted, therefore no other caucus had opportunity to utilize this technology. Motion was passed not to accept with one person voting against. Again, a handful, did not affect slate status. Election committee voted to accept all other petitions.

Four caucuses have slate designation.

Last Thursday, March 7, we had a draw for ballot order. For each section of ballot, we drew order. Ballot can now be printed.

Suggestions for election “dos.” Create a tree on a bulletin board and every time someone reports put a leaf. Similarly a thermometer. Asks the union to print I voted stickers, relying on self-reporting.

Halabi—How are individual petitions scrutinized?

—Reps of caucuses took a look. Membership checked status. Made sure people were in correct division. Did not check every signature, but did spot checks.

Schoor—We will vote separately on xerox and electronic.

Xerox—in favor of not accepting.

Electronic—in favor of not accepting.


Vote on accepting totality of report.


Motion to accept report.

7 PM We are adjourned.
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