Tuesday, January 31, 2017

UFT Executive Board January 31, 2017

 I was late for this meeting as I was coming from another.

6:05 Public comments-- Chapter leader from JHS 145 in Bronx talking about his school, and conditions, including no or one ESL teacher for large group of ELLs. Describes awards students have won despite disadvantages. Says students are on track for graduation at rate of most city students, that they are not failures. Says dirty pool was played by DOE in closure tactics. Says Success Academy is already advertising and measuring their classrooms.

Asks that UFT demand closing proposal be pulled, that UFT resources speak out, that UFT move PEP vote to JHS 145, or provide bus for community members to PEP, that Mulgrew participate in march next week. Says they have garnered a lot of community support.

Howard Schoor
—suggests contact with Rich Mantel.

Approval of minutes

President's Report—Mulgrew not here.

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr—UFT Black History Film Series starts tomorrow, with Chisolm 72. Friday, African Heritage dinner dance, Saturday middle school conference. People at PEP wanted to put out a resolution against DeVos, were 70-100 people. UFT spoke in support. If vote was 11-12 we have 2 votes and we need one more. Keep it up and engage others as she will be a disaster for public ed.


Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Congratulates chapter at Townsend Harris for delaying C30. Person who shouldn’t be principal likely will not. Superintendent and deputy showed horrible behavior. Have we raised that issue?

Schoor—Was investigating of C30 process, but is now reposted and going forward. We have criticized behavior of deputy superintendent. They say they can pick who they like.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—Are ATR teachers scheduled to stay at next school in which they are assigned? I’m hearing a lot of rumors about that.

Schoor—We will check that out. New person in charge of ATRs We are talking and looking to get to an agreement. May be true. Will try to get you an answer. (NOTE--Ellie Engler later denies rumor.)

Mike Schirtzer
MORE—Was hearing in ed. committee about retaining teachers. What happened? Who can we speak with about grassroots organizations looking to do day of action around immigrant rights? What about immigrant liaison

Schoor—See Anthony Harmon

Karen Alford
—DOE reps punted on fair student funding. Were there solely to talk about retention, didn’t have purview and hence no answer. They brought up parking, we said teachers should get spaces. Their numbers of teachers leaving do not align with ours.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—Previous reso about immigrants in support of DACA. Who is planning town hall event?

LeRoy Barr
—Don’t have reso in front of me, we are looking for date. Will likely be here.

Ellie Engler
—ATRs will continue to rotate. Rumors are being spread by principals.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action—Just finished marking Regents—How are teachers chosen? Is it systemic, haphazard?

Janella Hinds—DOE Office of Assessment responsible for deciding. We have proposed a resolution because we don’t believe that is the way to go.

Arthur Goldstein
MORE--Can we move that high enough on the agenda so it gets voted on?

Schoor—If we get to it we will bring it to deputy superintendent.

Marcus McArthur
MORE--Trump will nominate someone to SCOTUS. Have we done internal assessment about Friedrichs style ruling, and how can we and membership fight it.

Schoor—Intensely involved in that along w state and national union. We need to keep as many members as possible and you are now on that committee. CTLE—UFT is a provider of approved courses, as is UFT Teacher Center. DOE told us this week they will become approved, but they may not allow principals to give PD for CTLE credit.  May open up for vendors, like us, to give PD in schools.

Report from Districts

Tom Murph
y—Retired teacher chapters have meetings, are nervous about Friedrichs and also constitutional convention.

Karen Allford—New teacher initiative. We have a spring workshop series which offers CTLE credits. Created PTE partners through education to match new teachers with retirees. Now a monthly event, perhaps.

LeRoy Barr—UFT will hold a Town Hall in 2017 on immigration policy. Groups not named but we will keep you posted.

Schoor—Film 13 featured because of questions at this board.

George Altomare—Social studies conference—hard to get people to come out on Saturday, but this will be Feb. 11th with CTLE approved workshops.

Dave Kazanski—amazing turnout of UFT members at womens’ march. Never seen anything like that in size and scope and purpose. So many of us were there to support. Tips hat to UFT.

Schoor—Won’t be the last either.

Legislative report—Paul Egan
—Last night legislative reception in Albany. NYC and Senate delegation in attendance. March 14 Lobby Day.

Fair Student Funding—Liz Crowley has resolution calling on DOE to move back to old way when school hiring was sum zero game. Only issue was who was best for school as opposed to cost. Hoping that will be passed. Likely to go through, but members can make phone calls, thank Liz Crowley and push city council. But resolution not enforceable on DOE.

Two GOP Senators not clear on how they will go on DeVos. Now accused of plagiarism. This is what happens when we lose elections. Very little we can do on SCOTUS. We don’t have Senate. Another election in two years, but even this year 48% of Americans stayed home. Mayoral election likely decided in primaries—4 years ago was 18% turnout. If we reverse those figures maybe we won’t have so much to worry about.

Resolution endorsing Tom Brown—Mel Aaronson
—Says UFT should endorse Tom Brown for election to three year term. Brown is excellent fiduciary, watching funds. Advocate for teachers with problems dealing with bureaucracy. Educator of teachers by going to schools. Protects public employee pension plans. Asks for support.


Paperwork report

Debbie Poulos
—online reporting process, currently at 202 reports filed, 143 resolved. District with most is Queens High Schools, but they are getting resolved. 17 cases went to central committee. Can go to arbitration. One on OPW, where principals are mandating instead of giving a choice, activities that are non-contractual. One requiring leadership binders. Another doing two report cards, an extensive one in addition to regular. Many issues on curriculum, massive unit plans, pacing calendars. When reported to us they can be resolved. Also grading platforms about number of required grades. Bulletin boards an issue.

Resolution—Rich Mantel—supporting immigrant New Yorkers. Hard to believe we need this today. Last month’s DA resolution was presented. We took it and are presenting it to protect immigrant New Yorkers. Odd in country of immigrants.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—Proposes three new resolveds—UFT will consolidate curriculum developed by teachers that embraces our values as multicultural and multilingual community.  UFT will hold a free legal intake screening open to members, students, and families in concert with legal advocacy groups. UFT will mobilize members for a citywide day of action in support of our immigrant and Muslim students, members and families.

Love this resolution, it’s important to affirm support, but would like to make sure there are ways UFT can actively provide support. We can use this space for intake screenings. I’ve done this before with other groups. Several schools already planning solidarity actions.

Anthony Harmon
—Second resolved we’ve already participated in. We hosted big event in Bronx last year. Better in community than downtown.

Schoor—Can we say UFT will continue to hold them?


LeRoy Barr—Asking to strike first resolved, amend third. When we say UFT will consolidate curriculum, how do we make it work? Teacher center does this. Are we starting a database? AFT does Share MY Lesson, so maybe AFT can speak to this. Speaking against it because it would be difficult for UFT to do this. Asking to add, “in conjunction with our Public School Proud Campaign” to third resolved. Not a day of action but an ongoing thing.

Mike Schirtzer
MORE—On second resolved, you say we’ve done it, but are there plans to do more now?

Anthony Harmon
—Not immediate, but committees and other unions are getting together now. I will check for next meeting.

Schirtzer—On third resolved, I see your point, but what we’re asking for is day of action centered around immigration. Many students are insecure, would like show of support. We will do a day of action in our school. We need to get message out.

Barr—We can do something for a day, but this is greater than any day. It’s about being proud of who we are and our schools. We need to allow schools to do what resonates for them. Some schools immigration is front and center, some not.

Jonathan Halabi
New Action—Rising in support of resolution and second amendment to it. As for third, I read CL update. Strong piece looking for people to be interviewed. Maybe that could be one thing your school is proud of.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—What is current language?  Are legal intake screenings in every borough?

—We will vote one at a time, and look at third.

Harmon—Last year was first time, in April. Over 100 registrants. Several on path to citizenship.

—First resolution fails.


—Point of order—LeRoy Barr—Asks for amendment—Strikes “for citywide day of action.”


Whole resolution—passes

We are adjourned.
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