Monday, May 18, 2020

UFT Executive Board May 18, 2020--No Direction from DOE

Roll Call 5:50

Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us 6:00.

Minutes--Passed via email

Reports from districts--

Tanisha Franks--SI UFT office coordinated with food pantry for drop and go food drive. Collected and delivered for local food pantry. Had workshop for over 60 members, will do again.

Donna Coppola--Had a session for essential and excluded workers all over SI. Worked with other unions and community orgs to try and protect all workers, make sure they're safe. Organized with Zoom and Facebook live.

Melody Anastasio--AFT digital leaders had a showcase. Had 75 people and 11 presentations.

Servia Silva--Secretary honorees got certificates and gift cards.

Debbie Poulos--Finalizing online voting for SBOs. Chapter leaders will receive email explaining. Every borough has staff to support CLs. There will be voter lists making sure all are on the list. Will need private email or cell phone number. People will vote via link or text message. Voting will be one day from 6 AM to 9 PM. We only need to vet lists.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--6:10--Fewer members passing, total of four this week. Reads names.

Moment of silence.

We can use same SBO system for comp-time. Will be official record of both votes and comp-time positions. Supposed to happen on a yearly basis. CLs have to have conversations about this. Budget cuts, and they have a lot to do with federal bailout, can affect schools a lot. Schools may or may not choose to keep comp times. Should be part of consultation. Budgets will be bad news and school year will be challenging enough. Make sure you're having conversations about budget priorities, what gets cut and in what order.

Town Hall Thursday, package went through Congress, McConnell said it doesn't matter and there's no rush. We have a plan of action working with other local and national organizations. We need to start saying it's time to protect schools, children and communities as opposed to playing politics. We will roll this out on Thursday.

DOE may have answer on summer school, hopefully tomorrow. Assuming it will be remote, traditional six weeks, may be another cohort. 683 will be fine. We will share info as soon as we have it.

State--Westchester on down hasn't started to open. NYC hit a number, hoping in next few weeks will slowly reopen. Will determine what will happen in September. Either there's a cure, we're open, we're staying in remote, or we're doing a hybrid. We don't think it would be smart to go one or two days and then switch classes. Longer time, though will mean longer time children aren't in school.

We need to determine what we do if people get sick in school, or have sick family. No matter what framework we develop it's extremely complicated. Some teachers may be remote teachers to help students when they aren't in classroom. Big challenge especially in lower grades, and they probably need parents with them.

Elementary focus group today. Was a lot of thought. How do we help the greatest number of children, and then how do we help smaller groups like those who need special services. Supervisors who have never done this work are problematic.

Right after Memorial Day we hope urgency kicks in at City Hall and DOE. We still haven't had any specific training on anything we've been doing. We still have school switching week to week on what they're doing.

By and large, we've done a great job, but there's a lot of frustration with lack of constructive work from DOE. In the end it will be us who figure it out.


Many SBOs have to do with things that may vary. Why vote to change days if they may be different? Can be done later in year if you like. Some schools like to do things and we want to make sure they can.

PE teachers--If we return how do we social distance? You will not have 100 children in classes. Social distancing includes gyms.

Superintendents visiting classes--Should teachers be notified? They have always had ability to walk in, but it's professional courtesy to notify. Bring it to consultation.

Members with pre-existing contditions--can they work remotely? On the table.

What are the most current proposals being floated for September in the joint DOE, CSA, UFT meetings?We program in cohorts--will it be one week a one b, three days a and two b?

Health and safety--CL and consultation committee will be a major piece. CL on safety committee. There will be regulations. Schools will have to adapt individually.

Greatest challenge in negotiation is that City Hall and DOE can't seem to make timely decisions, don't understand that we, not they, make decisions.

Mulgrew--Will likely be run on WF fund for dental and eyeglasses. Had over 11,000 issues to deal with. Lots of people on spouse's health care, but spouse lost job. We have to support them.

Will break from this meeting next week, as it's a holiday.

Mulgrew thanks us, wishes us a great three day weekend.

Final roll call 6:32

We are adjourned. 6:34
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