Monday, June 01, 2020

UFT Executive Board June 1, 2020--We Pass Resolution on Killing of George Floyd & Propose Day of Mourning

Roll Call 5:50

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us. 5:59--Minutes passed, resolution on killing of George Floyd passed, will be an amendment, resolution in support of school librarians passed,

Mike Schirtzer--add Resolved, the UFT supports a day of mourning in NYC for George Floyd, and will advocate with the DoE, the mayor, and other unions and community organizations to set such a day this month.

Barr--proposes we vote on amendment, send out new resolution.

Multiple seconds for day of mourning.

No questions or comments 
Amendment carries.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Thanks us for passing resolution. Had to be done quickly both here and at AFT. Maybe this will wake everyone up so they say enough is enough. Elections really matter. We're in the middle of a pandemic, economy in shambles, people dying. Very tough time.

Mulgrew reads names of six UFT members, five retirees and one in service, and adds George Floyd to be recognized.

Moment of silence.

Mulgrew--We have one piece of good news in all this craziness--We were able to get something for families who've lost loved ones. Worked for a full week for this. We got an extension of health coverage for families, and now, we have a death benefit so that their statutory beneficiaries will receive the pension at 50%. 33 of those who passed were pension eligible. Affects 71 people going through a tough time.

Frustration with DOE is growing. Can't even get Brooklyn Queens Day right. They said there would be no engagement, then said it was an instructional day. We still can't get them to move on how to open a school in September. There was an agreement that it was a PD day. People need to do their jobs competently.

Still no planning for end of school year, and not expecting much on PD for Thursday. I know they have prepared a few things, but I think it will be a frustrating day. Hopefully I'm wrong but my faith is dwindling.

We finally have a meeting for tomorrow with CSA and DOE. Principals programming like normal school year with no projected enrollment or budgets. Will see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully we will have more answers by DA June 17. Hard to be good partner when there's no one to work with.

Testified in governor's and mayor's task force. Message is we're behind and we need to move now. What is criteria for medical accommodation? We can't get answers from DOE.  Many questions need to get answered, things we've been discussing for months.

We continue to do our work. We know that today is dentist day, even for non-emergencies. Welfare Fund launched new system to deal with this today. You can call now, will go to center, and you can get answers you need. Processing for forms now faster.

Focus on federal package, safety of students is on how we open, if we open.

Anthony Harmon--We discussed engaging membership in campaign to tell feds education is a lifeline. It's time for teachers and first providers to receive one. 8,000 members have volunteered to help lobby Congress for this. They will take action on togetherness Tuesdays to help get this package passed. NY Senators are championing this on national level.

Members can go to UFT website, sign parent petition schools need to be safe for all, and call people in states where senators need a push to act. We're focusing on nine states. A lot of New Yorkers are from somewhere and may have contacts in targeted states. If you know people in red states give them a call. Points are on website, along with a hotline number provided by AFT directing calls to appropriate senators. Tomorrow we thank NY Senators for doing the right thing.

Mulgrew--We're working across country doing everything in our power. Hoping before end of June. DOE doesn't want to give enrollment numbers before budget, but we need them.

Question--Can we encourage parents to go to UFT website and use this?

A--No because they have to sign in.

Harmon--Nick Cruz will send email blast to parents on our contact list.

Mulgrew--Safety and livelihood are our focuses, so this is important. Discussed hybrid instruction with chancellor. We now have a small group advising both DOE and AFT on this, what it really looks like. Thankful we have those people.

Speaker said he expects Assembly back in Albany to do bills on law enforcement and civil rights. Very important and we will monitor it. Maybe we can finally move on this.

Been a rough week. Medical professionals freaking out. Demonstrations could spread disease.

UFT Central is ready to reopen as we can. Not same as seeing people in person. Will be strict protocols in place. Building is super clean. Can't have more than three people on any elevator. Important for us to do that, informs us on how to help schools do the same.

Summer school, at least, finally posted. Will be crazy, with civil unrest and pandemic. Some states reopening as Covid numbers rise. We have to figure out if we can open buildings, and if not, how to open buildings, how to do observations. We will need a temporary contract, because not all complaints can be operational.

September will be a new thing. We will negotiate through summer. Still no agreement on APPR, but not too worried, since if they insist on it, we don't have measures than law requires anyway. As far as we're concerned no one should be harmed. Anyone who developed a remote learning class should be highly effective.

Questions--(some just answers--Not all questions were read fully, and some were too fast for me.)

We will have to work out observation plan. We have it on our radar and will see how we observe hybrid situation.

Can we prioritize students and members who have prior medical conditions in September? We will have something in place for medical accommodations. Some teachers may just do remote learning. We may have grade teams in elementary. Some in person, some remote. We'll see how it goes. The more time that passes, the less creative we can be.

Can we lay to rest rumor we'll end early? Cannot do so yet.

Will get back to you on summer observations.

What does teacher have to do on final grade of NX?  I don't believe there will be a standardized form. We are meeting them and discussing this. If they came up wth a form it would be something. NX is up to summer school teacher, or if there is valid credit recovery, would be up to teacher running it.

Parents still upset mayor and governor dropped ball on Covid---Elected officals act like they've never done anything wrong. Greatest challenge is whether people are trusting and willing to send kids back. If they don't see we're working on it, it's tough. When mayor says we have plenty of time, it's frustrating. Waiting so long to plan will have adverse effect on people's feelings about safetly. I remind them, and they don't want to hear it.

Layoffs--No discussion about layoffs. If fed package doesn't come through, we can get through this year. Package will get us through another.

If we stay in remote learning, we'll need more centers,

DOE is supposed to supply school with meaningful work. They say it will be out by tomorrow PM. You don't have to supply lesson and do PD.

Early retirement? There are conversations with Municipal Labor Council. Don't think it's happening, but we are discussing it. Please don't count on it. I don't think they'll be able to get it done.

Can staff update DOE machines remotely--We will bring it up.

Couldn't get into last DA--Is glitch fixed? We apologize. Had to use different system. We have a team working on it. We think we know problem.

Barr--Lines were insufficient. We will have people call in early. We will put several things in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Mulgrew--We will try new procedure at Exec. Board before DA

Pre-existing conditions--Is there a focus group of members with mitigating factors on returning to work?

Mulgrew--Will set up this focus group and figure that out. That will be tough. Not everyone will get answer they want. Will have 10-15 people.

I will be proud to go to Mayor and ask for a day of recognition for George Floyd. We will honor him and say enough is enough. Thank you for coming, and hopefully we will get answers from DOE. 6:47

Roll call for latecomers. We are adjourned 6:50.

Resolution on the Police Killing of George Floyd

WHEREAS, George Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, while he was handcuffed and lying face down on the road; and 

WHEREAS, Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng also helped restrain Floyd, who is Black, while officer Tou Thao stood nearby and looked on; and

WHEREAS, the killing was recorded by bystanders and those recordings show Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe; and

WHEREAS, Floyd’s death comes on the heels of the deaths earlier in the year of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman in Louisville, Kentucky, who was shot multiple times during a no-knock police raid on the wrong house, and Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man in Georgia who was chased, shot and killed while jogging by a retired police officer claiming to perform a citizen's arrest; and

WHEREAS, a National Academy of Sciences report found in 2019 that African-American men and boys are two and a half times more likely to die in an encounter with the police than their white peers; and

WHEREAS, the senseless killing of George Floyd has sparked widespread outrage and calls for justice nationwide; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, the United Federation of Teachers stands in support of George Floyd’s family and the thousands who have engaged in peaceful protests across the country; and, be it further

RESOLVED, the UFT supports the American Federation of Teachers, which condemned the killing on May 27, and asks whether this would have happened had Floyd not been Black; and, be it further

RESOLVED, the UFT demands the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of Floyd’s killing be thorough, complete and independent, and the union further avows that the nature of these acts require serious charges; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT supports a day of mourning in NYC for George Floyd, and will advocate with the DoE, the mayor, and other unions and community organizations to set such a day this month.
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