Wednesday, May 13, 2020

UFT Delegate Assembly May 13, 2020--Voting by Phone

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--4:18---Thanks us for coming. Asks for moment of silence for 107 members who've passed from Covid.

Says there will be extension of health benefits and welfare fund benefits for families of members who've passed from Covid.

At last DA, all we could do was report and question period. Trying to approach normal DA via technology. Don't have everything at our disposal. Motion in front of you about rules for today. We will vote. Rashid will speak to how we do votes. Parliamentarian said we need a motion and two thirds vote. If not, will just be report and questions. Hoping we can go further and get all our tools back.

Technology limits us. Amendments, points of order and privilege won't be possible at this DA, but we can look at motion period. Ten minutes for motions and 15 for questions. Motions have to be submitted in advance. Automatically deemed seconded. Maker will speak to present. For this month person can just present, two thirds vote. For next month person can present, support, people can speak against. 15-20K people on phone so couldn't do live interaction. Resolutions also submitted in advance. No ability to amend. Hoping to move to place where we can do them.

For now, reso presented, will open phone line, you can raise hand and operators will answer. Only ten in speaker queue. Asking if you'd like to speak for or against. Not required but customary if we get speakers on one side to elicit points against. Five speakers per resolution.

Question period--Lots of people have questions. If you don't ask question during DA, we will make sure you get an answer and we'll get back to you. If you don't get through you can email us. Anything missing?

LeRoy Barr--First motion not debatable, but will accept comments.

Mulgrew--Question before you.

Rashid--We will conduct votes. For each vote you will press one for yea and three for nay. I will remind you and let you know when voting closes.

Mulgrew--Motion is before you to adopt these rules. Need a two thirds vote to do it. If yes we will move forward, if no, will be a report and question period. Yes to adopt rules, no to not adopt these rules.

Rashid--We will now vote on motion.

Motion passes 92% yea 8% nay 1280 people on line. Over a quorum.

Mulgrew--That is more than two thirds. First time we have done a remote vote on a motion.

President's report--Last DA spoke about challenges of remote learning. Still a lot of press on this. We need to have a transparent plan in place with safeguards now. We were able to close schools, but grievance process not working, moved toward operational process. Issues being rectified. Have met with focus groups, with remote learning we're a little more comfortable. Still challenges, but not as crazy as when we started off. Amazing what we've been able to do. NYC has 85% daily attendance. Others below 20. This is our work, not DOE, not mayor, but us. We also discussed two focuses--safety and protection of livelihood and profession.

Two fed packages have been lifelines. We needed first one which helped us. State budget came in flat as opposed to billion dollar hole for education. Inside of this budget it says if economy goes down they can make cuts. Has happened in past, but usually in November or later. State now is so desperate economy so bad, that they may put out cuts this month.

Lifeline number two for smalll businesses went through. For now and next couple of years, stimulus package upcoming will be a major thing. Governor of NY State says he needs 60 billion over two years. Governor talking about 20% cut to hospitals and schools. Every day we go further into the red. School personnel has seen 490,000 layoffs across country. Stimulus package tied to both safety and our profession.

Hoping to get through congress by next week. Asks members to reach out on social media and say we cannot let our children and schools be harmed. 82% of people approve this must happen, red and blue. McConnell said he wouldn't do stimulus for blue states, but red just as needy. We have to push so stopping package becomes politically untenable. We need money earmarked for education.

How can we do all they ask? How can we help children in social and emotional distress? You can't ask us to do more while slashing education. More requires money. This is a big fight. Hoping it happens in Congress by next week and goes right to the Senate. Will be an ugly fight. Will complain people shouldn't have pensions. NY State pays more to fed and gets the least back. Teachers of NYC are paying for roads in Mitch Mc Connell's district. This is a huge fight. We need this. If we don't get it, I don't know what will happen in terms of safety livelihood, and profession.

Town Hall next Thursday. Hoping this will be done and we can form coalitions.

State budgets are problem. We are pushing safety. Doing media and interviews about how we can open schools. Elected officials upset we're talking about it. They don't know what it takes. Usually we'd have been planning in April. Nothing has happened yet. If we open in Sept. we'll have to do social distancing unless there's a miracle cure. Elected officials don't want to deal with it now.

Governor's panel had no K-12, now consulting Gates and Bloomberg. None have been successful in education. Finally, they started saying unions would plan, but we'd already started planning. We've been in discussions with principals, custodians, and DC37. We have been making sure there's awareness about school openings. We don't trust the city to handle this because of what they've done previously.

Chancellor Rosa put together a group of all K-12 issues to work this through. Safety is one focus. How can we enter a school building, how much cleaning, hand washing, etc. If we use schools for two sessions, there are complications. Between groups you have to clean. What equipment? Inventory of broken sinks and faucets. Social distancing--what's the number of square feet? Elementary classroom only 800 feet. Maybe three groups. One way hallways? Students stay in classrooms? Distribution of food? Use auditoriums and cafeterias as classrooms? Busing?

How will we check people coming in? Thermometers? Handheld or walk in?

Instruction biggest challenge. State tries to make it seem that all we're doing is online classes, or we set up a camera, and all kids just sit there nicely and everything gets done. Some say one third will show and other two thirds will watch from home. We are great at live instruction. We have years of positive progress. We are the experts. Google and Microsoft had no idea how to make this work.

If we have time, we can do training. We have many teachers who can discuss what they've learned. Which platforms should we use? We've found that schools with internal support structures moved faster than others. When you hear Bill Gates will re-imagine education, and governor giving 600 students to teacher, you see they don't know. We have to look at hybrid models. Can't just say a teacher will be in building, plus be responsible for others watching later.

How do you program a school building if you're doing every other day? Parents say their kids have to all go on same day. We can come up with guidelines, but since every school is different with different number of students, programming will be difficult. When you layer on that all the related services, with students in building at different times. complications are immense. Elected officials beginning to understand. They have to see, because of social distancing, that we are not babysitting service.

End of year--We can't do our own schedules well without understanding. Hoping DOE will put out a calendar, even if it's subject to change. They can't foresee future, as we don't know whether buildings will open. Even if we continue remotely we have to work things out.

SED asked for APPR to be null and void, but Cuomo has not yet granted waiver. If we don't get it we'll have to move quickly to figure out rating via remote. Hoping that won't happen.

SBOs--Without calendar, over 700 schools have expressed desire for SBOs. Close to necessary technology. Hoping it's done by Friday.

Excessing--Will be a lot of it. Hoping for joint document and understanding with DOE. Excessing is not layoff. We do this every reorg period, but not to this scale. Fellows program canceled, and only hiring in shortage area. We need everyone to play by same rules.

We also need process for people to enter building to close down classroom. Custodians have massive cleaning to do now.

Will continue to put out targeted info for specific members.

Thanks DOE nurses for all the work they've done. Federation nurses were being overrun. DOE nurses were redeployed into support centers and into hospital facilities. We believe we have answers for your issues. Will get to you with today's results.

Elections--Two resolutions today are about endorsements. We have to help people vote and involve them in political process. Everyone needs to participate.

Cassie Pruett--Governor directed that all eligible voters get postage paid envelope for June primary. If you're in NYC, go to, and fill out application. Everyone else and you can download, fill out and send to board of elections, or you can call. We have communicated on that, and there will be others. On presidential primary, state board decided to cancel, US court decided cancellation was unconstitutional. Now being appealed. Arguments heard on Friday. We will keep you posted.

Mulgrew--We have a lot of endorsements. These are recommendations. We ask how they feel about education, to support education and union, and are they electable. You of course make your own decision.

Tomorrow teachers will start getting their pay increase. Many snarky articles about it. They will say what they say, NY Post thinks we should be frozen. Oddly, they don't say freeze corporate bonuses. With 30 million Americans out of work, many two paycheck households now one paycheck. Will see raise May 29th.

We need to focus on federal stimulus. We need you to engage. On Thursday we hope there is a plan in Congress. We need to focus on both that and safety.

What do we do with both children and staff who shouldn't be going to school? Parents want to know children aren't bringing virus back to homes. With children getting sick, parents don't want children out in public.

We need calendar done, year-end business done, and we need to take control of our profession. We're the experts on face to face, on remote learning, and we will be experts on hybrid. We don't want Google, Gates, and DOE telling us what to do. They don't know. They've never taught remotely, and think they're experts. We have to take control. Thanks those spending time planning. We're not afraid of what we learn, or finding things that don't work. Not everything will.

Finally thank you again for being here, for all you've done, for making people understand that our schools are open and in session each and every day. Thanks to your leadership and to the members who voted you in.

Staff Director--LeRoy Barr--We resumed CL update this week. You should've received it. Will continue. On petition, we want to make sure there are plans and funding. Not too late to sign, to share on social media for the maximum possible signatures. Don't forget to fill in census so we can get state and federal funding we've been missing. Last week was Teacher and Nurse appreciation week and we thank you for your work. June 17 next DA.

Mulgrew--Aplogize for callers who've had difficulty. We are learning as we are going. Scheduling big meeting on census. All money is driven through census. NYC performing better than last time, but still worse than other cities. We need a long game and we have to be above national average. Will have meting with stakeholders.


Rasihd--press zero to get in queue.

Q--Have there been conversations about how social distancing will change student experience, groupwork can't happen, shared supplies, equipment passed around, shared laptops--and how do we evaluate teachers?

A--We've been discussing that. doing research, speaking to countries that have answered. Young kids like to hug. HS kids pass things, teachers use groupwork. That's why we're now discussing it and taking social distancing into account.

Q--Last Friday heard mayor, asked directly if teachers would be compensated for giving up spring break. Praised teachers and said we were already compensated with CAR days.

A--He doesn't read the agreement his agency signed which specifically says the opposite. We have in writing that we can ask for full compensation. DC37 and CSA have it too. Hopefully he gets better info. Will go to arbitration if necessary.

Q--Staggered session--What happens with my own children who don't have the same session? Who will be home with them?

A--That's a major issue. While we're developing this we'll have to figure out a program for childcare for teachers and other parents. We need facilities with protocols. like ones we have now. We need to work this out. We understood need for support centers, for children to be safe. If buildings open, we'll need the same thing.

Q--Is UFT aware that teachers are being tasked with coming up with policies to determine NX grades for school?

A--First I've heard. This should indicate child is not ready to move on yet. People think they're responsible for students for next school year. Not true. Child may do summer school, or academic intervention. Send this to your DR.

Q--What does 683 look like for summer?

A--They're going to have to run it. Whether or not it's virtual will be the question. Problem is city has to make final decisions and it's just not happening. Mayor thinks we have months, and that's just not true. Were hoping for summer school answer by now. Will discuss it tomorrow. It will run one way or another. Probably virtual with condition of NYC.

Q--Clerical day, Memorial Day, will we be with children?

A--Memorial Day is federal holiday. If I get an inkling there's an issue, I'll let you know. Clerical and PD days could be used for planning for September but we don't have enough policy decisions right now. Chancellor thought it was right idea but we will need decisions.

Q--100 hour requirement--Will that be pushed back?

A--Things have been extended. Will check on that. Most things have been extended. Regents looking at it now. Certification and licensing issues pushed back because of Covid.

Motion Period

Mavis Young--for next month. Res. for solidarity with postal workers. Ask we support union brothers and sisters in postal system. Postal system in danger from 45 agenda and personal vendetta about Washington Post, making Amazon pay more. Mail in voting important, president opposes, postal workers risking lives, go where FedEx won't, bailed out industries and Wall St. but don't want to bail out postal system. Play vital role as essential workers. Please support and back them.

No speaker against.

Yes 96% no 4% Passes

Jeff Andrussa--this month--Temporarily suspend DA and SBO voting until thorough explanation of process is done.

Yes 25% no 71% Fails

Leon Wilson--this month--UFT take stance to advocate more for tuition reimbursement for students in private schools.

Yes 49% No 50% Fails


Rashad Brown--Resolution to endorse Eric Bottcher--Corey Johnson chief of staff, supported anti-bullying, gay rights, tenant rights, fought for public school funding, for City Council.

Seung Lee--supports educators, teachers choice, dial a teacher, community schools, connects and listens to us and our students, understands our issues, qualified politician.

Antonetta Fuccio---need allies at this point, was born and raised in Brooklyn, knows our system.

Donna Coppola--UFT candidate interview process intensive, interviewed by members, confident they did due diligence.

Yes 92% No 7 % Passes

Elizabeth Perez--Committee interviewed Darma Diaz. Democrats in East Bushwick already selected her. Only person on ballot. Familiar with area, great experience, ally for working people and community.

Camille Eady--Strongly supports. Supported homeless centers, delivered food and PPE to community. Need action oriented person. Proven woman of word, puts community first. Advocates health wellness.

Jospeph Supree--Supports. We need individuals that sympathize and empathize with community, and support education. She is right person, asks you vote yes.

Jonathan Halabi--In this district was a very progressive candidate, Sandy Nurse. In this era Brooklyn machine up to old tricks, only one left in ballot, pushed off others. Host of community organizations want to support Sandy next time. Shouldn't cooperate with voter suppression. Opposes resolution.

Ryan Brookenthal--Unfortunate dirty political tricks that got Sandy Nurse off ballot. Should not endorse Darma, and rush into supporting someone who isn't number one fighter. Recommends no vote.

Marvin Reesin--Supports Darma Diaz--Was present during meeting with Darma and Sandy Nurse. Darma did exceptional job of presenting herself and issues of community and family. public school grad, understands community, has lived there whole life. Sandy Nurse was removed not by committee, but my Board of Elections, approved by appellate division. Want to make sure we have representation. Diaz extraordinary person.

Yes 74% No 26% Passes

We are concluded. Mulgrew thanks us, asks us to safely enjoy nice weather 6:11
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