Wednesday, April 20, 2016

UFT Delegate Assembly April 2016

President’s Report

Mulgrew welcomes us. Gets applause for saying we have next week off and an impending raise. Makes jokes about Sterling R. which he clearly deems hilarious.


Mulgrew thanks all who worked for Hillary. Suggests general election will be nasty and ugly, and that stakes will be very high. Ridicules GOP candidates for portraying Cruz and Katich in relative good lights. Says AFT will push hard nationwide. Says if other side gets in, they just want us gone. Says now it’s about making sure we take White House.

Mulgrew says SCOTUS decided Friedrichs, and tie is in our favor. Says there will be copycats, are close to 27 cases making same argument. If I bargain for your raise, I have deprived you of freedom of speech. Says we have to support Schemer pushing for SCOTUS justice while Obama is in office.

Vergara case overturned in CA, though Mulgrew says FL. Says there was similar suit filed in Minnesota. Says one of major components in NY is Vergara in CA.

Mulgrew talks of supporting Verizon. Says we will do a resolution today.


Budget—1.4 billion in basic education, 1.8 billion total, second largest % increase. 525 million for NYC. When principal says he has no money next year, he is lying. There will be plenty of money in school system next year. Money must get to schools. Mulgrew speaks of UFT classes and importance of budget workshops.

GOP leadership threw 14 charter issues on table, says UFT fought back. Says they tried to hold up budget on these issues. Ironic GOP senators have no charters in their districts. Wanted districts to build buildings for charters. In end, they got 54 million increase but Mulgrew says GOP senators paid for it out of their own slush fund.

New group—“New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany,” set up by Students First, or Moskowitz, or someone. They were very involved in McGrath Cuminsky race. This group poured a lot of money toward McGrath, and bought commercials. Was not endorsement from state union. UFT did a push, as there are 7,000 UFT members and 7,000 more NYSUT members in that district. Said if you’re going to work with privatizers, UFT will oppose. Democrat won the seat.  Dem thanked parents and teachers who came out for him.

Regents—Several came to UFT and met with ESL teachers. Teachers told Regents they needed to know actual effects. Says they understood problems of Part 154. Says they were shocked that NYSESLAT was still being used in teacher evaluations. Says that’s why it’s important that they meet with real teachers.

At Regents meeting this week they will discuss alternate assessment and NYSESLAT. Says they are sick and tired of policies being changed on an annual basis. Says it’s very important that we get in “authentic student learning measures” for NYC going into next year.

Mulgrew says he had a “great legislative breakfast” this morning. Talks about positive learning as a result of debate on new discipline regs. Says under previous admin, if you reported incidents you were labeled “persistently dangerous,” so no one did. Says Bloomberg felt restorative justice and such was nonsense and cared only about test scores. Says he pushed “zero tolerance.”

Moving forward, Students First, FES, are saying our schools are out of control and unsafe. He says that’s because they can’t cite test scores anymore and that we are beating them on test scores. Says charter classes are half empty after third grade. They are left with this argument. Says schools are doing better but will never be ideal.

Issue for us is we need to get back to things that make a difference. Team approach to discipline is right approach. Refers to “positive learning collaborative” as great success. Says we want this program and we want to use it. Says restorative justice is helpful but won’t fix everything.

Evaluations—Basically HS evals are same as last year. Says we are fighting to change law because we “don’t want to go back to the principal is in charge of my life.” Says some schools have principal with 100% control, some are 80-20 and some are 60-40.  Refers all questions to Amy Arundell.

Family leave—we are continuing to negotiate. We will keep moving forward, city wants us to pay 200 million but should be closer to 20. Says city refers to “child acquisition.”

Next months DA to be moved to May 18th.

Tests still count for school accountability.

Paras will no longer be suspended without pay as a result of any arrest. City now has a different process in place.

May 7th is Spring Conference. Moderate applause. Says elected officials will come

May 4th—Wants parents and teachers to simultaneously do events nationwide. Says we’ve already done this in NYC, and that we meet with many varied groups. Says while LA is ground zero for charters, but in NYC we will move public education by being respectful and working together. Says there are 100 schools now cooperating.

Mulgrew concludes report.

Leroy Barr—reports 5K run raised 15K to go to disaster relief, will send $ to Ecuador. Says UFT ballots go out May 5th. Please tell members to look out for ballots. UFT wants high turnout. Ballots counted May 26th.

Says we should post Union Loud and Proud posters. Wishes us good break.


CL—Asks about permanent certification. Will those with perm. licenses have to rectify?

M—Speaking of 100 professional hours, is a state issue, working with state to know what are the criteria for those hours. Says anyone under old criteria for 175 hours has to do that. Next year will encompass all teaching certificates and will be 100 hours. Believes PD should be in schools not in colleges.

Retiree—NYT had full page ad—says it’s looking to promote a third party. What effect do you think that will have?

M—Doesn’t think it will be successful.

Q—How can we bring new teachers in as we lose so many?

M—That’s why we have teacher leadership positions and PD. We need admin that thinks that’s important. Some schools people are valued, but in others they just say here’s the bathroom key and good luck. Says we want to keep 65% of this year’s teachers. Says we aren’t like other school systems. Teaching is always difficult but NYC has some of the greatest challenges and it’s harder here. Says those who come here understand what they’re getting into. Says we have programs to support new teachers, but it will be a long hard plan and we have to retain focus.

CL—Principal told us we were a focus school, and it is a problem. What is a focus school? Who can help?

M—About state test scores. Feds have changed law so now we have to change here. No state has yet changed law. We would like to be first.

CL—With passing of legislation in state for parental leave, how does it affect us?

M—Every person in state can pay in and pay for their own leave. Doesn’t go into effect for three years. Technically doesn’t work for us, but politically it does, because it’s becoming a big issue. Says Hillary spoke of it last night. Since everyone works, we need family leave. Same with retirement security. Says people are now asking these questions.

Q—Will retired teachers be required to get PD to keep their licenses?

M—Prefer not to discuss it, but we will look at it if necessary.


Delegate—for next month—moves to protect immigrant students. Says he passed copies around. I don’t have one, nor does anyone near me. Mulgrew makes many jokes about font on motion. Delegate reads motion. Reads a lot about concerns of deportation and need for services. Asks city to do more to protect students and welcome all. Bar ICE from entering buildings as has been done in CA. Asks for immigrant advisors.

Mulgrew asks to take this to immigration advocacy partners.

Delegate asks for vote, and for it to move to partners.
Dave Pecoraro—Has city got authority to ban ICE? Lawyer says no.

Motion is motivated.

Motion passes.


Sterling R.—Support of LA School District—Broad Foundation wants to convert schools into charters. Asks we support our brothers and sisters in that district.

Resolution passes unanimously.

R. Mantel—Michigan—Speaks of Flint water and Detroit Public Schools. Says governor appointed managers and results were a disaster. Says some people in Flint are being held accountable. Asks we support people in Michigan.

Resolution passes.

Emil P.—Speaks for resolution on discontinued probationary staff members. Wants to recommit that discontinued teachers have right to apply for jobs and go to work. Says they need a second chance.

Resolution passes.

Janella Hinds—Speaks in favor of resolution to support Verizon workers. Says they failed to honor NYC contracts, rejected offers to make savings in health care and job security and wants to outsource work, despite 39 billion dollar profits. CEO makes 200X wage of any employee. Want to eliminate benefits as cable and phone bills rise.

CL—If this passes, are we allowed to join picket line?


Resolution passes.

Emil P.—Supporting healthy workplace, anti-bullying, says this would give employee tools to deal with bullies. Person on my right, asks, “Does that include principals?”

Delegate—Contingent of 25 teachers were up in Albany, met with legislators, were told it’s best to sign a memorandum of support for the bill.

Mulgrew calls him out of order.

Delegate wishes to amend own resolution. Mulgrew says he is out of order but he is being lenient today. Asks we resolve to sign memorandum of support on healthy workplace bill.

Emil P.—says we are NYSUT and we support NYSUT’s memorandum. Speaks against amendment.
Resolution passes without amendment.

Mulgrew adjourns. Says May 15th we will see a raise.
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