Monday, November 23, 2020

UFT Town Hall November 23, 2020

By special guest Mindy Rosier


UFT President Michael Mulgrew % PM

Thank you for coming on. Thank you for all you are doing. I want to use today to explain what we are dealing with. We have a lot to cover. 

I really wanted to do this Town Hall this week because it's Thanksgiving. Be safe, follow advice of the medical professionals.  You all heard about instances of family gatherings and it spreads. 

When we first put our plan together, we also needed a plan in place to reopen. We fought for the cleaning, procedures, small class sizes, ple, we had guidance in place what would happen if the rates go up. 

There was no state plan until Oct. There are 2 different plans and its confusing. The difference is the city doesn't have the legal authority to shut businesses down. The state does. The city threshold was 3%. . The state is always recalculating. There are always two sets of numbers. They calculated things differently.  The state us right now a little lower in the city. A couple of weeks ago they were higher. 

 3 is the mayor's number. The epidemiologist said that was fine, though certain districts can shut the whole city down. 

We should have only plan. The state was closing schools at a very rapid pace in their system. We like it with the colors. Testing ramps up in yellow. Orange is when they start shutting things down and red nothing is working. 

The two plans look ridiculous to the public. Think of where we started. We came up with the plan and we have to follow the plan. The mayor did the right thing to follow this plan. But the state has a better plan. The city didn't want to do it this way. We knew it would be much better that if there was an area that's a problem,that area would close the schools of that area. The people in the schools, they are all doing their jobs keeping the schools safe. But we can't s control the community. We need to all work together. Schools won't stay safe if the rates go up. It is important we have a plan in place, having 2 plans do not make sense. The state did not have a plan before but the state is much more aggressive with testing. As we move thru this, there will be more challenges. Six or seven districts caused the whole system to shut down. The city plan was approved by the state. The state will continue to kove forward with testing and remote if necessary.  

Decisions need to be made to keep a of us safe and our families. These constantly changes, everything gets politicized. Vaccine info is looking good. We are going to see when this goes. When will we open? Everyone is getting very concerned and with traveling for Thanksgiving.  City expects the state to put the whole city in orange. We need to get the numbers down. That's the key to everything and its going to be tough.

Even when we do get back we need to be more aggressive with testing. Its not being followed the way it's supposed to. Mandated testing. My position, no one should enter the buildings without consent forms. My biggest fear now, somebody is going to make a mistake and others will be harmed. We need to make sure we keep people self all the way up to the vaccine. I want everyone to get thru this pandemic. 

As we get closer to the spring, its going to be very important to close down schools through microclosing. Moves at a faster targeted pace. We should only be looking at one plan. West NY's schools are closing left and right. 

I want to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job keeping the schools. Everyone is doing above and beyond keeping everything at bay. We could probably write a book on opening a school during a pandemic.  We will reopen. We don't know when. The numbers will tell and right now it doesn't look good. 

Medical Accommodation:

We thought it was ridiculous for the doe to ask everyone to reapply. We sent them guidance.  They are going to recognize the accommodations. We don't have to go crazy trying to get a doc note especially it maybe getting crazy trying to get an appt. 

200 operational issues have been resolved. CL will schedule meeting with uft rep and doe rep to help solve problems. There is a lot of misinformation out there. 

When I'm looking at social media, we are our own little word, we communicate, there is nothing easy about what we are doing. Nothing. We were hit the hardest. It is not easy at all. When I see animosity of people going after others for what they are doing. The world that we live in now, the way people talk about each other. We need more respect and we need to respect each other. 

NBC would do this week in education and it would be a national week of bashing teachers and the unions. We fought and we won that battle 12 years. 

You can be remote with a ridiculous class size or in person with a mask. We need to respect each other. We had mayors who never thanked us for anything. We fought through all the nonsense.  There are no easy solutions but we got a lot done. We can't, we can't allow that horrible behavior that our enemies have done to us, to be done on each other. Things will eventually be better but it will probably not be the same. Please, be respectful to each other. This is a tough job. 

Evaluations: The state is saying its a collective bargaining is needed and we will get a team together and work quickly. . We expect standardized tests to be waived this year. There's no way to do this test appropriately.  Admins can visit. If anyone says that they are going to write things up, let us know.  There is nothing in agreement now. 

Budget: All the unions are trying to do cost saving . Thank God we have the no lay off clause. We are in remote. In diff schools systems, people are  losing their jobs. 

There is no help from Washington. Looking at Jan and Feb. Will the govt help us out of suffering? We are going to have tough years ahead of us and it comes down how the new administration works things out. Everything is going up, unemployment,  everyone is running out food. There will be a horrendous winter,  no money, food, can't pay rent.. There is going to be a very bad winter. We will see if we can help with food. We want to be front and center helping communities out. 

If you want to work in school, we expect the vaccine will be mandated but we will get to that bridge. Its going to be ugly. You all go above and beyond.  We got done so much. Attendance is low and the mayor put in the iot in period and there was a low response. Its under 350,000 students who opted in. 

We will be there to help our communities. Please, I want you all to give thanks for each other. 

Do not call on a Sunday to open on a Monday. We need to be able to gave time to shift. That's how the DOE likes to work but not us. This winter is a big challenge. Hopefully by next September we can have a party to celebrate that we did it. 


Q: Some people still haven't gotten any confirmation but the extension of the medical accommodations.  Is there anything anyone should be doing? 

Mike Sill: Their email system does not go out all at once. They go out in a rolling order. It takes several days. There are no exceptions except for those pregnant who has to reapply. Also, primary care givers are being extended.

Mulgrew: if you didn't get the info by Dec 7, call in. 

Q: I'm up for tenure this year. Whats going on with attaining tenure? 

M: Last yr the govt. put put guidance that no one would be harmed because of covid. We are assuming this will happen again this year. We are waiting for it to be official.  Hopefully by January.  We will keep everyone up to date. 

Q: I'm a CL and frustrated with class sizes that no one wants to listen. My members are insulted that money is being thrown at them. We are in District 3. It's at central now. I've made proposals. My staff is amazing. Nobody wants to listen to us.

M: I have consultation with the Chancellor tomorrow and you are now on the agenda. We will get back to you tomorrow. 

Q: You have become such an advocate and rockstar fighting for us. I really admire what you've been doing. I'm a senior member, 27 years teaching, any hope of an early incentive or retirement? 

M: We now have an early retirement legislature. During the fight of the lump sum we came up with legislation to push forward. This will also save the city money. If we get it pushed thru, then we negotiate with the city. This will be one of our priorities in Albany. 

All the unions are getting behind it. 

Q: Since everyone is remote and teachers are allowed to pick up stuff. Can they also teach in schools? 

M: I'll bring it up. All the schools are being cleaned again. The operational side of the doe has worked really well with us. I will ask.

Q: Is anyone considering elementary school s are in the neighborhood but the HS you travel all over the place. 

M: We don't have zoned HS here. Kids travel everywhere at the HS level. Attendance hasn't been that great. D75, early grades, are fine to open whenever they can safely and  open first. We'll see what the mayor says and in our conversations.  With D75 all the work you do, all the PPE, great work. It's the ppe that's the most important thing. So yes, we are having these conversations.  

Q: Whatever happened to the virtual content specialist?

M: We just finished it. The doe didn't want it. This was agreed to. Its a $12,500 stipend.

Q: What will it look for students who have not consented?

M: Pre K will not be tested. The doctors said that mandated testing would have to be done. The doe was doing wink wink with the testing. We had a lot of reports about testing not being done. When we reopen, we can't have this again. The consent must be there and ratcheted up and do weekly testing. The situation room has been really good.  There's no playback on how to do all of this in a pandemic. We shut down about 500 schools and if contact tracing wasn't being done, they couldn't open. But we want those consent forms done when we reopen. 

Q: Doe device issues. People are still waiting for devices and its a long wait. 

M: I wrote an editorial about this. I don't know ow why they didn't order the devices ahead of time. 

Q: circular 6; We are told that 8 period schools are 7 period schools so Circular 6 doesn't happen 

Sill: Not true.  

Q: I'm very upset and concerned about our students about housing, food, and anything else they need. What are we as a union going to do and what are we going to say to the mayor? 

M: At the end of Dec the non-eviction notices will lift and there will be evictions across the nation. The advocacy on the federal package will have to keep on. We are seeing the damage now, we understand this better than anyone. We will have lots of work to do because all of the damage. Everyone is hurting one way or another. The city will have a challenge with all the homelessness. We are tied into the community. The better we can make it for the students the better off they will be. Our member assistance program is swamped. We are all hurting.

Q: Teachers with young children, what is going on with Learning Bridges?

M: We may have to open our regional support centers again. The Learning Bridges, they made some adjustments but its been so frustrating.  They broke the cardinal rule, did not talk to the people who would be using it. Crazed at keeping kids where you live rather than where we work. Their hours didn't always work. Its not where it should be. Hopefully more changes can be done. 

Q: Because of MAP, I received so much support and thank you for that. Concerned about the virtual sizes are going to increase and in person will have less kids. 

M: We should take this period of time and reprogram where we can. See what makes sense. There's a Mayors' race coming, we are going to roll out our political plan in the next few weeks. How are you going to blow up the doe bureaucracy and make it so that our schools are supported? 

Q: If we expect the numbers are going up, why can't we say we will be closed thru January so parents can plan?

M: Should the schools remain remote till January? The mayor and gov don't want to make that call yet. I say if we go up to 4 after Thanksgiving, a decision has to be made. But we don't want to open and then close down again. A lot of conversations have to happen. We do not think the numbers will go down.  Doesn't make sense to have restaurants and bars open when schools are closed. 

Q: As we come into the holidays, can you encourage members to donate blood? Centers are so low. There are no school drives right now. Please encourage people to donate. 

M: You are 100% right. Nurses have told us these challengers are there. The blood issue is real. Its the right thing to do. We are going to help with the food, for coats, we are still figuring out how to get things done. We will figure out what we can do.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be safe! We can't forget who we are and respect each other. Things will get scary and frustrating. I want everyone to remain safe and to your families have a great Thanksgiving.  

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Lesson for Those Who'd Vilify Teachers

It's always edifying to get the libertarian point of view, and it's not at all surprising to find it in the pages of the NY Post. Writer Matt Welch sheds copious crocodile tears over how schools are failing poor children. You know who they are. They're the kids UFT teachers wake up every single day to help and serve. Meanwhile libertarians fight to make sure they don't get health care, because that would be the end of western civilization. 

Welch is horrified that school buldings are closing. Why? For one thing, it's clearly inconvenient for him to care for his children:

I would have reacted sooner to the news that New York City is planning to shut down its public-school system, perhaps sometime this week. But there is a small kindergarten class in my house today, and I have a bunch of parent-teacher Zoom meetings scheduled for the middle school that my eldest has attended all of seven days this year.

So it's November now, and evidently Welch will be burdened with caring for his child even more than seven days over the next few months. Obviously, that's intolerable for a guy who needs to sit around and think of Very Important Stuff for Reason magazine. But his outrage doesn't end there:

Over the past month, the New York City school system has randomly tested more than 71,000 students and 42,000 staff, from 3,000-plus schools. Only 189 came back positive.

I'm thinking the libertarian press hasn't got time to research this stuff to thoroughly, and relies on publications like the NY Times (which Welch quotes). For some reason, the Times has a reputation as liberal, but for decades I've felt they hate teachers and everything we stand for. They have a history of hiring reporters who can't help but editorialize in news articles, and who never, ever talk to working teachers.

In fact, there has not been random testing in New York City. There's been voluntary testing, and every teacher in New York City knows it. Last I looked, only 15% of students had given permission to be tested, and no student has been removed from live instruction. I'm quoted in the Post today, in fact:

“The DOE testing is not random. It’s self selective,” said Arthur Goldstein, a teacher at Francis Lewis High School in Queens.

Teachers are asked to volunteer to be tested, he said. “The people who don’t want things stuck up their nose don’t get tested at all.”

If Welch had visited or researched a public school rather than bemoaning the undue burden of having to care for his children, he'd know that too. Of course, as is the case in articles like this one, we finally get around to seeing who is actually to blame for the horrible fate he suffers:

As the Reason Foundation’s ­director of school choice, Corey A. DeAngelis, has documented, the single biggest factor in determining whether a school system opens its doors is not the underlying COVID-19 rate but the comparative power of the relevant teachers’ union

That's us, and that's inevitable, of course. Who but teachers, the people who dedicate their lives to children, are ruining everything? Why couldn't we devote ourselves to productive punditry and podcasts, as Welch did? How dare we worry, simply because random testing simply isn't happening, and Welch's figures are absolute nonsense?

Welch, of course, has a very clever turn of phrase here, describing de Blasio's decision to close at 3%:

How did he arrive at that 3 per­cent figure? Let me put this as delicately as possible: He pulled it out of his ass.

You see what he did there? That was the nicest way he could put it. Imagine what this guy is like when he's angry. Now I don't know exactly how WHO and Andrew Cuomo came to the 5% figure. Why not 4? Why not 6? Is it that precise that it absolutely must be five?

What I do know is we started out in September around 1.5%. It's now double that, and the way this virus goes, I'd be surprised (albeit relieved) to see that number suddenly jump the other way. In fact, the UFT, unlike our counterparts in other cities, pushed to open school buildings, and did so despite vocal opposition from a good percentage of actual members. For that, of course, we are slimed by the likes of Welch. Perish forbid we should worry about our safety, or that of our students and families.

I know teachers who've died from COVID. I know teachers who brought it home to their elderly parents, with deadly results. They'll have to live with that for the rest of their lives. I'm not a huge fan of Mayor de Blasio, but acting with an abundance of caution in the face of a deadly pandemic shows actual thoughtfulness, and does not merit Welch's juvenile insults:

The only reason de Blasio came up with such an artificially low number is that it was the best this dolt could do in ­negotiations with the United Federation of Teachers.

In fact, the United Federation of Teachers had nothing whatsoever to do with this number. I've written for papers and I've been fact-checked. Clearly Welch was not. I'd argue pulling figures out of your ass entails making things up of whole cloth,  and that's precisely what Welch did in that sentence. 

I'm bone weary of being vilified for the twin crimes of devoting my life to teaching the children of New York City and demanding fair working conditions. Welsh is quite audacious to call his publication Reason. Given what he writes, Pulled Out of My Ass might be a more apt title.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Public Service Announcement

will be no reapplication process for most people on accommodations. Only people who were accommodated on the basis of pregnancy would have to reapply if they a) are still pregnant, or b) if they gave birth but have an additional condition covered by the CDC. All others will automatically be extended through June.

Another Message from Our Esteemed Chancellor

Dear Colleagues,

This has been an eventful and challenging year on so many levels. Not for me, of course. I’ve been able to not only sit in my office at Tweed, but also stay home and not even get out of bed over the past several weeks. To date, we have seen a COVID-19 positivity rate of only 0.19 percent out of more than 120,000 students and staff tested. This has been a reassuring sign that testing anyone who felt like getting tested, as opposed to actual random samples of people in schools, has been an effective measure. 

Indeed, the Times and Post are full of columns saying we ought to stay open, but the teacher union is insisting we follow the damn agreement. What do I care? I sit here regardless.

As you are aware, the City as a whole is experiencing elevated rates of COVID-19 transmission. As you may recall. President Trump said the problem wasn’t too much COVID, but too much testing. By avoiding actual testing, we’ve proven him right. If you just test the same handful of people over and over, you can make it look like the spike isn’t happening.

As of this morning, the City has now reached this threshold of test positivity citywide and, as a result, the DOE will temporarily close down all public school buildings, effective Thursday, November 19. This action, along with other city-wide measures, is a key component to address the concerning rise in COVID-19 transmission rates. But don’t get too comfortable with it. First chance we get, we’re dumping your asses back into those filthy buildings.

Despite this temporary closure, our important work continues: we have to all pretend that this isn’t utter chaos caused by my utter lack of vision. Our students and families are counting on all of us - whether we work at schools or sit in central and field-based offices and don’t work at all - to wholeheartedly pretend that the tall guy I work for is somehow in charge. To guide us, we have sent a communication to principals saying they may handle this any damn way they please, and school-based staff should reach out to their principals with any questions specific to how they may please them. We have not encouraged principals to ask employees to perform unnatural acts, but we have told legal that unnatural acts are not specifically prohibited in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

While school buildings will be closed temporarily for in-person instruction, staff will be able to access their buildings. Certain staff, such as School Safety Agent(s) (SSA), Custodians, Skilled Tradespeople, and School Food employees, and others will be required to be on-site at DOE buildings. Other school-based staff members can pick up stuff and carry it, or do other such menial tasks as we see fit. Please discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding your work location with your principal or supervisor. Of course principals may set certain conditions for visits, such as pre-interviews at the Comfort Inn, or eating 50 hot dogs.

Our DOE community has been our greatest asset at this time of crisis, and without us sitting around Tweed, I’m sure none of you would be able to function. We know that for many of you, our staff, and our students and families, a transition to fully remote instruction – even for a brief period of time – is challenging to hear. But we’ve found no matter what we ask you to do, we’re able to continue sitting around Tweed, and let me tell you this—it beats the hell out of doing actual work.

New Yorkers have proven they are ready and willing to do the collective work to fight back this virus, and as long as we can continue to collect paychecks for doing nothing other than write occasional flowery email messages, we’re willing to allow New Yorkers to continue this sacrifice. We are relying on every New Yorker to do all they can to maintain our jobs sitting here while you do all the, you know,  work stuff.

Thank you for continuing to ensure our children have the best educational experience. Again, we are so grateful to be sitting here doing absolutely nothing while bouncing you and all the students back and forth like a million ping pong balls.

In unity,

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

UFT Delegate Assembly November 18, 2020--We Are Remote, BLM Reso Passes and Have a Careful Thanksgiving

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Welcomes us. Says we've hit 3% threshold and are going remote as of tomorrow. Some think we need to open and some think we need to close, but there's also a correlation to which community you serve

Federal--Economy is in bad shape. Concerned about transition. Remarkable what happened in Michigan. We don't need vitriol. We have serious problems and have to focus on what people are dealing with. We have to move forward. Education transition team for Biden will have NEA and AFT people. Biden and wife have been vocal on education policy. Wants to triple Title One, support raises for educators, add pre-K, 3K, opposes federal funding for charters and vouchers. Says he will appoint teacher as Ed. Secretary. 

Economy--We're fighting for stimulus. Very partisan, but some are trying to bring back momentum. Tens of millions of Americans suffering, but government has let us down. Only thing they're willing to do is keep government open after December. Feeling like no elected official should get paid while millions suffer. This will be the worst winter, given pandemic and unemployment. You see food lines, even here in NYC. They're all running out of food. Families wait in cars for hours. You'd think it would shame elected officials, but it doesn't.

COVID--EUA process--Looks like two companies will met benchmarks. Emergency Use Authorization will allow their use. Clearly COVID is tricky and aggressive. Was developed very quickly. If independent medical experts say it's good to go, we'll agree. When will it be available? This will likely happen during our school year. Pfizer may have 44 million doses before Christmas. Medically fragile people, health care workers first. We hope teachers will have availability in second or third wave.

We are one of the safest states now, as COVID explodes across the country. Treatment improving, but 1700 deaths yesterday. Two or three weeks from today, this can get worse. We have to remain vigilant. We were hit first and hardest and we should have learned. We will keep a close eye on all of this. We hope everything works out. We will follow independent medical review process.

State--Budget's a disaster. NYC doing a little bit better, but not out of the woods. We worked very hard, pushed refinancing, has saved 100 million, but without bailout we are in bad shape. Nothing is good in terms of economy. Mid December millions will lose unemployment insurance. Good thing we aren't a swing state. Our count, still, isn't done. We still have many state races pending, counting paper. Andrew Gounardes is now pulling ahead by over 1,000 votes.  Looks like NY State Senate may have a supermajority. We have to give a lot of credit to poll workers. 

City--political--MLC working with city budget. Millions toward food distribution already gone. We have to help. Many people will have food, rent, heat issues. We've always helped the community. Will call on people and big players to help. We can't solve everything, but it is going to be a horrible winter and we have to help.

Education--NYSED suspended standardized tests in January. They are simply not possible with any validity. Has to be given to all at same time, and proctored by trained teachers. We can't do that. Assuming they will do same thing for all tests. We already have inequities. No substitute for what we usually do

Teacher evaluation--waiving student learning requirement, but have kicked it to districts to come up with something via bargaining. Admin may come in and give feedback. No formal evaluation process for now. We need to reach an agreement. If you have issue, let DR know.

Medical accommodations--We told city anyone with chronic condition should be recognized. If not chronic, we'd like December 1st to be time to resubmit. City doesn't move quickly.

COVID--We said in March and April safety had to be first. We will stick with that. We are happy for those who are active. It's not us closing the schools We submitted and fought for a plan. This 3% number came from city, not us. Our doctors said 3% is fine. Looking at city as a whole is an issue, but that's how city wanted it. We think targeting communities may be smart. We fought for PPE, cleaning, testing. State number was 5% for district. City went with 3. State has now made orange 3%. They close at 3%. Lots of politics around this. 

Many of those who wanted to stop us from opening now want to stop us from closing. We believed we could open and stay safe. BUT if positivity rises we can no longer guarantee that. We literally hit 3.00, and plan kicked in. We haven't moved any numbers.

We will continue to do what we have to. We will go remote now, and it's much better than it was last year. DOE instructional people could have brought us to better place, but left it up to schools to figure out again. Had they provided support, we might be doing better. 

Schools closing daily. State closed more schools than DOE under red and orange program. If there are problems we go remote. We closed 114 schools last week. Some for 1-5 days, and some for quarantine periods. We are constantly following plan.

There now seems to be a finish line, but we have to get through this winter. Doctors are petrified of Thanksgiving, assuming spike next week. Certain states won't follow rules because they don't follow them now. Many people are paying the price. Let's continue to do what we have to and put safety first.

Remote is not permanent. Hoping when we open we are even more aggressive toward virus. We see a finish line. We need to double down as we go forward. Will push city to be even more aggressive with testing, get through next few months. We can't stumble and fall. We started in last place and should finish in first. Then we can get back to what we love to do.

If city wants schools open, we have to do this together. We have to wear masks, social distance, keep students safe. That's our message. I know it's hard for Thanksgiving, but hopefully we rejoice in July 2021.

LeRoy Barr--Winter coat drive, go to in campaigns to support students. Training workshops now through Jan. SRP day yesterday, do something special for them. CTE HS fairs Nov. 19-Dec. 5. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Stay safe and well.

Mulgrew--Thanks to all for coat drive. We will continue to help community, 


Q--Testing--In my school it's not random. Is this all over city?

A--We have to really make sure agreement is adhered to. That's not acceptable. Mayor says testing mandated for all students, but somehow people turn blind eye. Positivity rate rising, and this has to be done right. As soon as schools get back in, I will insist people not come in without consent form. I understand no one wants to send kids home. But we have to be diligent. There is an end in sight and I don't want people seriously ill. We have to say you can't come to school without consent. We have to check our instincts. We don't want to embarrass or send kids home, but we need this change.

Q--Medical accommodations?

A--Not yet finalized. We're saying after December 1st, but asking why anyone needs to go through process with chronic conditions. Not even sure they can process all this. As soon as this is done, we will get it out. We know it's important.

Q--In HS, in person attendance very low. Any plan to give principal opportunity to change cohort model to allow less staff?

A--Sometimes people don't want change. There's no book on how to program a pandemic. We'll probably be remote at least to Thanksgiving. Now we know what does and does not work. Creating a period of time to do adjustments would be good idea. HS has low attendance. We get reports of more students showing up around the building, which could be problem. I would open discussion. Some blended things could be altered. We have operational complaints and menu to solve major issues. Should be resolved quickly. Hopefully we never have to do this again. We knew nothing would be perfect.

Q--Are school nurses remote tomorrow? Some being told to report.

A--I will have an answer. Have a meeting later tonight to deal with these issues. Frustrating. School nurses have been phenomenal throughout this ordeal. Thank them whenever you can.

Q--Budget--Our school had budget based on Dec. enrollment. We've lost over 100 students. Do we have to give back money?

A--We've asked them and they haven't yet responded. Haven't yet taken money from schools. I have consultation with chancellor. Will get answer. Traditionally you'd lose money. Did your school request more staff? 

Yes. Have hired extra staff.

That might offset givebacks. 

Q--Parents and students can't access third party software on DOE devices. Many short of devices. What can DOE do about that?

A--I was told there was new support structure. Has anyone called?


I will reach out to your DR and he will get you info. Tech support has been horrible. They put together something, and said things were better. Would like to see if we could get that fixed.  

Q--CTLE hours--Members are checking status--There was discussion of suspending this requirement. What is status?

A--I want answer as well. 

Mary Vaccarro--Right now must be done by end of year. Teacher Center has courses and workshops if you need help.

Q--Learning Bridges...

A--Last year we had to open rec centers for childcare. It was heavily utilized. They won't shut down. It's for all essential frontline workers as child care service. It will continue to run as we go remote, just as rec centers remained open all last year. It will continue.

Q--Tenure process--Any changes?

A--No. State was clear they might have to deal again. Last year people were granted tenure. No one should be harmed because of COVID related issues. As we wait for standardized tests on elementary, we hope for same resolution as last year.

Karen Alford--Email just came in, DOE will temporarily close down all buildings. Includes all pre-K centers including Learning Bridges. Will get further clarification on other non pre-K sites. 

Q--Union should mobilize on GA runoffs.

A--We have AFT working very hard. We have great relationship with GA AFT President. We offered our retiree chapter for support. Concerned we don't go down there as carpetbaggers. Could be counterproductive. We'll be doing a lot. We will follow lead of GA teachers. Will be most expensive Senate runoffs in history of US. 

Q--Timeline for reopening...

A--No matter what we do, there will be a problem. Decisions aren't easy, and they all have problems. We would make it smooth for all if we could. We have to look at numbers. Hopefully they come back down. We'll look to make things easier. We have to do the best we can, but there will be bumps in road.


1. Reimburse teachers with excessive case loads--for next month. Teachers fully remote have excessively high classes. Keep adding students every day. Have classes of 83, Add 3-5 students a day. Teachers have over 200 students on caseloads. Can we get these teachers retroactively paid for overages? Maybe this will encourage admin to fix our programs in IS 24. 

Mulgrew--In template now, we have agreed upon resolution process, and one of the things you're asking for is already on list. We will check with legal, and make sure it doesn't interfere with collective bargaining. 

Mordel Minor--In person teachers don't receive hazard pay. Already enough division between in person and remote teachers. Don't think this is an option union should support. 

Parliamentarian--Voting on whether or not this should be placed on agenda. 

68% yes

Mulgrew--I understand point of speaker against--Division because some are working from home and some from school--we need to own this. Should be no animosity toward one another. These are unprecedented times. Major issue we had to fight for was medical accommodations. Second was Learning Bridges. Let's all remember, we're all frustrated, under pressure, but we can talk about things. Not easy for anyone. Let's avoid animosity. News is all nasty and negative, but we need to be better than that.


BLM resolution--Three different groups came together on a resolution.

LeRoy Barr--Passed by Executive Board. CLs across political spectrums agreed to support BLM, culturally responsive practices, and support teachers and students of color. We wanted to add 13 principals at end of resolution. We believe this is comprehensive. Urges support. 

DeShanna Barker--Rises in strong support. As CL, Unity Caucus member, believes it's time for us to reaffirm support for BLM in schools. Educators foundation of society, supporting this movement opportunity of lifetime for members, will help lead nation. Urges you read 13 principles and reaffirm cognizance of racial inequity. For our ancestors and future generations, please support.

Dermot Myrie--History is our witness. Thank you President Mulgrew, UFT body for having us at table. 

Question called.

90% yes

Endorsement of Julie Menin for City Council--

Dwayne Clark--Speaks in support for Menin in primary. Manhattan office interviewed candidates, Menin supported millionaire tax, opposed Cathie Black, partnered with us in Census efforts, and other reasons. Asks for unanimous support.

Gloria ?--Rises in favor. Lives and works in district 5, was part of interview committee. Important land use in D5. She has experience, and every inch counts. Is great advocate. She was far and above other candidates. Asks all to support. 

93% yes

Resolution on police killing of George Floyd--Janella Hinds--May 25 2020, George Floyd was killed. Next day people took to the streets in honor of Floyd and others, calling for humane treatment. Asks for your support in resolution calling for unity in communities and fair treatment. 

Speaker--Violence against people of color happening for hundreds of years. Stand against all forms of racism. 

Adam Stevens-- Rises in support. Opportunity to reaffirm this. In some schools, students have to come through only one door, process of criminalization and racism. We as a union can make our principles real by calling on DOE to remove metal detectors from all our high schools, where Black and Latin youth gets message, we don't trust you, we need tech to watch us and keep us safe.

87% yes

Karen Alford--Support of school librarians--My summer youth job as student in Brooklyn Public Library. Public school librarians have varied responsibilities,  We want our students and teachers to have access to librarians and make sure they are in all schools. 

Roy Whitford--Rises in support. Aren't many librarians out there. State regs not strong enough, We help improve literacy, help provide resources. Students need a place for books, virtual or physical. Librarians can aid in other ways, and are front and center getting parents and students what they need during COVID. Many being pulled from our programs, waiting on operational complaints. 

After vote--Mulgrew--Librarians can be some of the most important people in our schools, especially now. They can be the pulsing heart of a school building helping people coordinate services.

96% yes. 

Mulgrew--Wishes Happy Thanksgiving. Warns fear is very high. If you're going to gather, please get tested, wear mask, be safe. It's tough, but we can do this. Wants everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving. Please take precautions, avoid large gatherings. We will knock down challenges.