Monday, June 22, 2020

UFT Executive Board June 22, 2020 --The Future's Uncertain and the End Is Always Near

5:50 Roll Call—

6:00 UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr
—Thanks us for calling in.  Minutes have passed via email.  Reminds us to get out and vote tomorrow, that it’s important to have our voices heard.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew—Sadly, we have lost three members this week, two retirees and one in service.

Moment of silence.

Last full week of school. Thanks all CLs who’ve been reporting on walkthroughs. DOE at first thought it would program all schools from central, then they thought 70-80% of students would show. Failed to account for number of teachers, but are moving toward reality.

Childcare issue is a challenge for city,  must come up with solution for parents, including teachers.

DOE is not moving on this issue or others. Blue book square footage fails to account for desks, walls, various and sundry. CLs saying numbers are not correct. We have to take control.

There are some good people at DOE but they’re stuck in political agendas. We need to break schools into cohorts and programs. Not often CSA and UFT are in agreement.

Had school safety meeting today with Jeff Povalitus, Janella Hinds and CLs. Every person on phone said square footage was wrong. We need to figure how to program with social distancing. Data from walkthroughs important.

Trying to start process for medical accommodations, but we must maintain confidentiality. This is a very straight process, not open to interpretation. We will follow CDC guidelines, hope for a process to send out to membership. Principal cannot ask people about medical status. If schools have to adjust, they have to adjust. We won’t get info on time and can’t wait until October.

Virus exploding all over SW US.  Hospitals starting to gear up for Aug-Sept. second wave. Will spread quite a big and likely bounce back to NY. Some people still think masks are political. Virus knows no politics. Hoping it doesn’t happen but we have to prepare for worst case scenario.
Tomorrow is election day. If you haven’t voted you need to vote.

HEROES Act—Met with city council. They need to understand we can’t open without it, and they now seem to. Members now understand it more than elected officials.
Budget—City not transparent with city council. School safety in the middle of all of this. Problematic. We have no issues having a conversation, but moving safety from NYPD to DOE is not defunding police. We don’t believe DOE can manage safety. PBA doesn’t even want it, and would be happy to not be responsible.

We will support different actors. We need to be thoughtful. Peace and justice needs to be real and not rhetoric.

Anthony Harmon—Many people have signed up to campaign to get Senators to take HEROES Act seriously. McConnell has been uncooperative. We are in touch with union leaders around country. AFT thinks we need 115 billion to safely open. Urges we call US Senators. We ask people do high five, contact five people in states that need some pushing. We have this on website. There are twenty identified states that need pushing. We will have call tomorrow with retirees around the country. Everyone needs to get involved.

Senate going on vacation without taking this up. We need to shame them. Some states are facing furlough, out of money due to Covid 19. Schumer and Gillebrand championing issue, but we need to apply pressure in south.

Mulgrew—This is our number one summer priority. Everything contingent upon it.
Janella Hinds—We had a meeting with people recommended. First focus was move of NYPD out of school via school safety. Also discussed partitions, class size, repurposing rooms. Will get together again in a month or so. Will have two meetings over summer and reconnect in September.

D75 summer school?

Mike Sill—Yes. 683 happening remotely.

Will union do remote training? Yes.

You can’t know if staff member is positive. Supervisors may come into online classrooms. If they’re doing it constantly may be harassment.

How do we hold DOE accountable for not closing in time? There will be legal action, especially since so many have died. We were able to procure death benefit, but there will be a lot of litigation. Will fill you in when it happens.

If 500 people can’t gather, how can we go in? Remains to be answered.

School admin mandating check in and rigid schedule—Late question. Should’ve been taken care of under operational complaints. Has been solved in many places, but you have to bring it forward.

We will explicitly talk about responsibilities of paras and counselors. This will be part of our summer work.

Discussions with DOE on 180 mandated days—SED has recognized all days are worked, we still have to file for reimbursement for seven additional days. Possible next year we open and then go back to remote. Minute system doesn’t work.

Barr—Last official meeting today.

Mulgrew—We should continue to meet. Will discuss next Monday. We cannot go silent. We will speak quite a bit during the summer. We somehow made it to end of year. Focus on HEROES act, so we can fight for what buildings need. If that doesn’t work we will go out on streets fighting. Very sorry. Was hoping for no more members passing, but that was too hopeful.
Report all issues to DRs and district reps. Thank you all.

Second roll call

We are adjourned 6:37
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