Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UFT DA March 2017--UFT President Shuts Down Move to Amend JHS 145 Reso

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Mulgrew thanks us for being here.  Moment of silence for UFT members who’ve passed.

President’s report—Michael Mulgrew

National—Says we’ve set out a strategy and now have to adjust to changes. We can now officially get rid of Friedrichs and say Janus, out of Illinois. On schedule for fall docket of SCOTUS.

Said our strategy has to be to protect NY from DC. Says he will call President 45. Plan to repeal Obamacare will be voted on tomorrow. Congressman Collins from Buffalo bribed for his vote. Still has to go to Senate, but if it passes Congress, it’s now shifted a huge cost, 2.4 billion, to NY State. Until we extend or expand millionaire’s tax, we already have 3.5 billion deficit.

We’re within 12 days of budget. If we have to put plan for additional 2.4 billion, it’s a big problem. Mayor and governor working together. NYC reps understand this. Points to Andrew Pallotta from NYSUT, says he’s working with us.

We are in constant attack politically, besides challenges in workplaces. Won’t be easy. How many times can we say Public School Proud and we have to do this and that. Says we are the leadership and we have to keep pushing or they will win.

If NY pols want to screw NY worse than anyone else, they will hear from us. Says he wants to show John Oliver but language is too bad.

Likes that we can use Trump’s ed. budget to say we told you so. ESSA is still the law. Once you pass a law, it’s then up to the agency, which sets regs. Law remains and regs give guidance. ESSA regs have been rescinded. Looks like they will leave ESSA rescind regs, and thereby enable budget.

Additional funds for Title one, without regs, can be a billion dollar voucher program. Title 2A is teacher PD, Saturday, after, summer school. Trump’s person said nothing proves after school or feeding children makes them do better in school.

They want to defund, destabilize public ed. and say it doesn’t work. Want more money for charters, no transparency or accountability. Says pols are either for local public school or against it. Says we now have the most famous Secretary of Ed. in US, for wealth and incompetence.

Says this relates to Lobby Day and we will tell state officials. Education and health care are biggest pots of money and we are working together. Thanks Paul Egan for reorganizing after blizzard. We need to say Feds want to destroy public ed. and ask if they are with us or against us.

Talks snow day. Says some people have to report. It is not contractual that you report. City makes decision school based personnel have to report. Mulgrew asks why others don’t, and is told they have to take personal days. Union didn’t and wouldn’t agree to this. We have no more snow days. If we get another blizzard day added on at end of school year. Next year’s calendar has two snow days. In my heart I stand with people who say St. Patrick’s should be holiday, but torn as union leader.

Tonight there is a PEP panel closing schools. You will hear a lot about Renewal Program in mayor’s race. Third doing well, third stable, and third moving down. Tonight they are voting on 145 in the Bronx. If no supports are offered we need to tell the tale. We have reformers saying public schools are failing, will use closing schools as examples. If nothing is being done by DOE behooves them to change what’s going on. I go to Banana Kelly which is all of a sudden in better place and see a happy staff with collaborative leadership.

Teachers. counselors and secretaries have bosses. We follow directions. Administrators also have bosses, superintendents responsible to chancellor. Fault rises up when there is failing leadership. If we don’t move all of our schools reformers us this against us.

Proud of mayor for saying ICE won’t enter schools without warrant, as students were fearful. You can’t tell us our job is to protect children and ask us to step aside when people come into our buildings. ICE said we will not enter buildings except under exigent students. We don’t know what that means but we’ll see. Parents have said they are fearful.

Despite all that Public School Proud working well, will push after budgets. Will report next month.

Vouchers and tax credits across country are unprecedented. Outside NYS people are disgusted. Fewer people in ed. schools. This isn’t helpful. Still we need to educate children.

Feds no longer fund community learning schools. Teacher choice, dial a teacher and BRAVE we will push.

OPW under teacher discretion. Exception when principal mandates something, Part of arbitration.

Speaks of success in paperwork complaints.

Says principals are departmentalizing everything, including kindergarten. From K-3 departmentalization requires SBO.

4-6 ELA and math are posted positions but preference sheets must go out before decision. Departmentalizing anything else is SBO.

DOE is now approved CTLE vendor. We worked to help them because was in member interest. We can’t do their work for them. They have to do paperwork to be approved. They also have to get approved instructors. We have quite a few approved, but Monday PD is not approved because NYSED wants to know how DOE will be sure it meets criteria.

We started last June but putting CTLE together took a lot of work. DOE doesn’t work as fast as we do.

We have to stick to our plan, insulate NY, push people on public ed., renew coalitions. Saturday this place was full of guidance counselors. Thanks chapter. Saturday PM 1100 paras celebrated. Previous Sat. early childhood. College and career fair last week. Thanks Janella Hinds.

Says this is righteous fight. We’re right, they’re wrong. We’re good they’re bad. Says we take fight to them, support friends, we win. 5:10

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr

College and careers called future in focus 460 students, 26 unions, made sure children are college and career ready. Thanks Janella Hinds. Early childhood conference, guidance conference, para luncheon, March 25th, Men in Education Forum starting at 9. CL weekend. Please call and fax and thank those who participate. PEP meeting tonight, asks people to leave and show support for this school. Rich Mantel there now. We have resolution there. Go to Tweed and show support for school, against Moskowitz Academy. Enjoy break.


CL—DOE hired Randy Asher. Is DOE really trying to help ATRs or will he try to fire them?

We try to protect ATRs. We went five years with no contract and didn’t sell them out. Would have made us at will employees. Have spoken with Asher, willing to work with him. You could utilize existing agreements. I don’t know their intent. We’ll see where it goes.

CL—How can we coordinate with other unions against constitutional convention?

We are coordinating. We’ve done more school visits and may be ahead of curve. They say we only care about our pensions. Of course we’re concerned about them. Shows they don’t understand constitution. Pension is agreement. We pay this, you pay that, and this is what we get when I meet conditions for retirement. Reason is that many people didn’t get what was promised. NY State said agreement was agreement. Pols used to protect working people.

You will see this amp up after budget is settled. Great piece in New Yorker about reclusivee billionaire, donates to Trump, and a lot of money for constitutional convention.

CL—Charters—original concept was collaboration, laboratory, been eroded and made negative. Can we put forward Shanker’s view instead of DeVos’?

This was not Shanker’s idea. He changed position when he realized it was about privatization. No one remembers that. We have many examples of good ideas being mutated into bad ones. DeVos thing led us to good place with state officials. If charters solve problems, fine. If they make money or don’t take all kids we don’t want them.

History of vouchers was to avoid segregation. Some in south closed public schools and gave vouchers. Deprived African American students of school. This history will be told again. You don’t have choice if voucher covers pittance or if you’re cut out. No choice when you destroy public ed.

CL—Members worried about TRS letters saying they are at a deficit. They are receiving lump sum based on retroactivity, Pension contributions problematic.

Don’t freak out. Retro can’t be included in final pension, but is part of pay that must be included in pension. Ask Tom Brown and we will help.

Delegate—CTLE hours. Paras concerned. Having hard time getting to UFT. Issue is it’s good idea but it’s coming so much during our time. Paras don’t get paid on our level and teachers not paid on level of being constantly certified. Police laugh at us. We are giving away a lot of time. can we do this during school hours?

One of the reasons why we helped DOE become CTLE certified is this. We have four more years to get 100 hours. We will develop more in regular day.


Paul Egan—UFT supports proposal to keep people in homes and save people millions. Home stability. Passes.

Peter Lamphere—MORESupports JHS 145 and DA adjourning to join PEP in solidarity. Defeated

Political Endorsements—Paul Egan—Recommends endorsement of Stringer for Comptroller. Record as great advocate of our union. Stands up for our pensions and NYC fiduciary responsibility.

Michael Freedman—CL—Says he defeated Moskowitz for Manhattan borough prez.

Marjorie Stamberg—opposes Democrats and Republicans. 40% of people prefer socialist.

Question called.

Endorsement passes.

Egan—Recommends Laticia James—Didn’t defeat Moskowitz but has great track record in NYC.

Question called.


57th Anniversary UFT—Resolution—Mel Aaronson—In 1960 UFT formed through merger, and many other groups joined. Teachers all over America benefited from our work in becoming first local in country to have collective bargaining. Took a lot of work including three strikes, but this thanks those who came before us. Pledges our continued fight for what we look forward to, better ed., civil and labor rights.  Further supports fact we will support each other in safe and healthy workplace. Urges everyone to support.

Dave Pecoraro—calls question

Mulgrew asks veterans from 1960 to stand. Much applause. Standing ovation.

Regents Grading

Janella Hinds
—This resolution covers scoring for Regents exams. Says what happens in January and June is waste of time and resources. We seek better system. We would like tests moved and people to remain in their schools. Asks for support.

Arthur Goldstein
MORE—For the last few years, midyear Regents exams have been a mess at my school and others. One year the principal decided that we would proctor school midterms that week. It was a disaster, as no one remembered that ESL students also take tests, and administration for students with special needs was virtually impossible at this volume. We had a new and improved plan this year that also did not work with members, who had a ton of mandated projects and no time to grade them.

This will also save the city a ton of money, which could be used for a whole slew of purposes more worthy than correcting tests. The state raises cut levels to make us look bad, and lowers them to make politicians look good. I understand that they might therefore assume we are as corrupt as they are. I’d argue there’s no reason we shouldn’t grade our own students, but since regulations rule that out, I’ll argue there’s no reason we shouldn’t grade other students from our schools. In fact, smaller districts all over the state do just that. Honestly if we aren’t honest or capable enough to grade papers, i have no idea why they even hired us.

But since they did, I urge you to vote for this resolution and restore some small degree of teacher autonomy.

CL Bryant Georgia ?—speaks against, says this is opportunity to meet other colleagues, says principals will pressure teachers, and there’s good per session.

Retired teacher—Says if tests are changed and moved, doesn’t believe principal of one school will ask you change tests for other schools. Saves money and makes sense.

Question called.


Carmen Alvarez
—Support of Immigrant New Yorkers—Speaks of undocumented and fears. Federal threats chill our young people and their families. Asks we support them.

Marjorie Stamberg—Wants to amend. Would like to add to stop broken windows arrests, which undercut claim NYC is sanctuary city. Would like to not permit ICE or other immigration officials in our schools, will stop deportations.

Stuart Kaplan—
opposes amendment—says resolution speaks to supporting immigrants. Says it supports families. Amendment would take away from nature of what resolution is written to do. Says we should stand with what DOE says.

Retired teacher—Understands amendment is illegal. If ICE has subpoena they can come in.

Speaker supports reso opposes changes. Compliments Stamberg. Says reso says to city you are doing right thing.

Question on amendment called.

Amendment defeated.

CL—Asks to close all matters.

Resolution passes. 5:55

Karen Allford—Supports Juvenile justice reform. Our goal is to make sure all kids read by third grade. We’ve seen coaches, libraries, after school programs but with 1.1. million kids some may be incarcerated. We don’t want 16 and 17 year olds with adults. They are children and we must support them to raise the age. Only NY and NC do this. Please support.

Question called.

Passes unanimously. 5:57

LeRoy Barr—Supports Resolution in support of JHS 145. Spoke about this a lot. Don’t want it replaced with Moskowitz Academy. We should attend tonight and make DOE do their job. A school that wants to succeed needs opportunity to do so. Please support.

Delegate from Adult ed.—Was heartbreaking to see students, former students and teachers say what they had not had. DOE sat there and said it was done deal. Moskowitz has already advertised she has space. Didn’t make a difference. Time to become rowdy.

Dave Pecoraro calls question.

James Eterno calls to amend—

Mulgrew says it is a courtesy—after back and forth rules Eterno out of order—doesn’t allow him to speak.

We are adjourned.

Update: Here is Eterno's proposed amendment.
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