Monday, June 08, 2020

UFT Executive Board June 8, 2020--No New UFT Covid Casualties, APPR Canceled for this School Year

 Roll call--5:53

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--6:05--There is good news--For the first time in twelve weeks, there are no passings, and no moment of silence. NYC went into phase one today. We'll wait to see, and in two weeks we may be in phase two.

Did candlelight vigil yesterday for George Floyd. Important moment in history, and at same time we have to figure out how to open schools in a pandemic. We have members saying we should get police out, we should keep them, some saying we should stay out until there is a vaccine, many POVs. We are going to focus on safety, and protection of livelihood. We also need to focus on advocacy to push changes for the better.

Someone will always be unhappy, but real change has to happen. We believe in putting money into social services and that will reduce crime. Some disagree. We will support changes that will happen, following lead of Floyd family, and we believe there will be change. There is real hope that things will get better, even in the middle of this pandemic.

Angel Vasquez--Focus on bills that passed Senate and Assembly--police reform-First makes use of chokeholds a crime---Second establishes that reporting a non emergency incident involving a member of a protected class be considered a hate crime, permitting civil action. There are reports that courts now have to make publicly available and new bill makes more available if misdemeanors and violations involve police. Attorney General wants office of special investigations for matters of police killings, not yet passed.

Mulgrew--We hear these bills will all pass this week. This is the beginning of real change. We will go from there. Some members upset, others feel it doesn't go far enough. City of Minneapolis has gone to whole new place and we are watching carefully. In NYC, there is call to put less into police budget and more into social services. Mayor has not been specific on this. Social services now needed more than ever.

Idea of giving school safety back to DOE is problematic. If there's another entity, maybe. Police officers still need permission if they want to come in and arrest a student. We know, though, what DOE control means, and the idea of them running safety in addition to everything else is quite frightening. We are open to constructive ideas, but back to DOE will lead to bad results.

Tomorrow there will be our candlelight vigil, our day. Our web team and communication team are ready to go. We can show our support for things going on. Some members don't want to participate, and that's their right. We don't always have to agree, but we have to protect everyone's right to speak.

We did a lot of work on how to open schools last week. Frustrated with City Hall. Working with principals, looking at possibilities for social distancing. We know how many square feet in every building. By tomorrow or Wed., we want to talk about communication with principal. Procedures will vary by building. We still need nurses in every building.

Principals working with us are those we respect. Took a lot of useless info from DOE and corrected it. We are pushing for clarity from Albany. We now have allowance for face to face in special ed. WSJ said remote instruction has failed. Not true. Just not meeting same effect as live instruction. We always knew it would not be a replacement.

WSJ always favored online learning, huge number of students per teacher, but has now changed its tune. Of course people are apprehensive, and parents want kids in school every day. Others say they don't want kids in school. We have to continue to try to find a way to assure people schools are safe. If not, we'll be standing outside saying it isn't.

We know there's been issues vis a vis special ed., and that many students are suffering. Order says we may do it, not we have to do it. We want to survey parents of students who get yearlong education. We have to make sure people are safe. We're at a good place in NYC, but if it starts up again, there's a problem. It's not over.

Timeline is tight. We're looking at July 6. We have only one month to have everything in place. Construction authority making sure everything is running. They know we need handwashing equipment in buildings. You will be hearing from principals about social distancing.

Other executive order saying there is no teacher evaluation this year, and anyone up for tenure who had three good years can get it. No school district can be penalized under APPR law. Unions can negotiate evaluation system, but we're not inclined to do it. We want to simply freeze everything and do no harm. It would be impossible to figure out and implement within three weeks.

We will push DOE and do a town hall about September, We have rough ideas. We can't figure out how exactly to alternate kids, or whether special ed. kids will be coming in regularly. Discussion are more and more focused. If we open, it will be under social distancing. We've trained teachers and made them available to speak of hybrid learning and what it may look like, or what continued shutdown will look like.

None of this works without the federal package. It will be really difficult to open safely unless we have a new stream of revenue. There's no way schools can take the burden of comples scheduling without it.

Thanks retiree chapter for taking this on and working with other states. Thanks AFT for help. DC will try anything to not help so we have to keep pressure on. Lack of aid will hurt most needy communities as well so this ties into civil rights.

Questions/ answers

OTTP summer school 683 could be whole new position, whole new negotiation.

With great possibility of hybrid, can we survey members? We want to have criteria for medical accommodation while Corona is in pandemic mode. Members may then file. Individual schools will have to do that survey, and also ask students. Schools should ask who wants to work remotely and who wants to come in. Better by school than by entire membership. Everyone at grade and subject level needs to work on same curriculum.

Cuomo said schools can have drive by graduations. No one can be mandated to attend. If school community wants to, if they're safe, they can do it. There is guidance from governor's office for remote distancing graduation, can be found online.

School nurses--What steps are being taken to include them in discussions--hoping they will provide us with general guidance about PPE and emergency rooms.

What happened with CSA-DOE meeting on openings? We are in agreement with CSA, but we need criteria from central, entering, exiting, when inside--programming, social distancing, and we have to design hybrid for every school.

Will DOE impose conditions? We don't think so now. More frustration with City Hall right now.

Are there jobs offered on Open Market?

Mike Sill--Problem is schools don't have budgets yet and can't determine vacancies. When they have budgets, it will populate.

LeRoy Barr--Still waiting on calendar. We will keep reaching out.

Mulgrew--Schools concerned with exec order--how do we know special ed. students will keep masks on, and how will we be protected---This will have to be determined. Some students may have inability to adhere to guidelines so we may have to use additional protections. We are thinking about this a lot. How can we teach children to play together when they can't use each other's toys? We are trying to figure this out.

Order is only through July 5 for D75. We deserve better. I think final exec. order says throughout summer. We are discussing this, but nothing has been decided. We do not want safety issues this summber.

How does money get allocated for students based on attendance in hybrid mode? We have that question at both state and city level. We think if student is engaged, attendance should be counted, whether live or remote.

Will there be amendments to contract or MOA for this period? We are learning week to week, so we'd rather do temporary MOA. Big focus groups are teachers talking about new tools and tech. They are useful, but we want to be thoughtful about placing them permanently inside our contract. Sometimes quick agreements can be problematic. At this point, we can discuss it, but not yet make it permanent. DOE wants only live instructional minutes, recreating classroom on computer screen. They don't know anything else.

What if members are arrested during protests? Report it.

If you are in your fourth year of tenure, and had three good years before this year, you can still be granted tenure. Many place have granted it. If you were going to get it, you still can.

Perhaps ultraviolet tools can be used to sanitize toys quickly. We're also considering boxes that take temperature. Much easier than individual taking of temp.

Last week with crowd clearing and holding up of bible may have been turning point. We have challenge keeping everyone safe. It will be us. We have little faith in others. Thank you and I hope you participate in peace and justice for George Floyd. 6:53

Second roll call--We are adjourned  6:55
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