Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chapter Leader Citywide Meeting

Mulgrew wishes us a happy school year.

Moment of silence for student. CL passed this year. Bob Ostrowski passed.

New CLs stand, are applauded.

Mulgrew says we are as crazy as they are but we like it because we make a difference.

Puerto Rico is a disaster. We have donated and helped AFT. Have helped in Texas and Florida. UFT has office in Florida, and our retirees are largest local.

Puerto Rico is Katrina happening again for US citizens. UFT organized Puerto Rican teacher association. UFT organizer there now, and we worry anyone we send there will have to be saved. Are coordinating with mayor and governor. Feds should take care of PR, but we won’t leave our family members and connections in their hands.

Trying to use teacher association building as distribution point, but FEMA is doing nothing. Hospitals lack diesels for generators and President tweets they need to pay their bills. We can’t get supplies to people who need them because feds don’t do their job.

Collection is taken for Puerto Rico.

Mulgrew says second arbitration on SESIS completed. First was because people worked outside school day, and it was impossible to work during day. They had records of every minute spent on SESIS. Second was about failure to make SESIS easier to work with. Caused undue burden on those who interacted with it. Settlement based on anyone who used it. Checks coming, majority 9/29, some 10/6, retirees being worked out. Minimum requirement you have to have averaged 5 minutes per week on SESIS. Some did all SESIS work in school and took all other work home.

Lump sum payment due in October. If you received it last time, will be more, because continues to compound and gain.

Consultation—Everything this year is about consultation.

Paperwork process now empowered. Almost 400 worksites got paperwork changes because CLs followed process.

According to DOE, every admin is respective and collaborative. There are some pretty atrocious admins who swear they’re collaborative. Wants consultation agendas reported to UFT. If some things are not being resolved, you can report what’s happening at our consultations. Worked well for us because I could show chancellor principals and supes were lying to her. Records of consultations show principals knew about things.

We can’t have admin slip into bad habits. Even after consultation, some admin falls back into bad habits. They’re all on record.

Chancellor says she will get all superintendent consultation records. Important they have ours. Consultation is about school wide issues. Individual grievances should be dealt with privately.

Important issue is class sizes. Many don’t get resolved until February, March or even April. There are very few real exceptions. Only person who can deem it exception is us with them. We are using this as a primary issue. They always say they’re fixing it morning of hearing. Everyone agreed that was stupid. Chancellor says principals are to fix class size grievances. Must be agenda item in consultation.

I bet they don’t care what chancellor says and will do whatever the hell they please. Use paperwork and class sizes. If principal doesn’t schedule consultation, contact district rep.

Family leave—We’ve been trying for 2 years. Teachers started petition and I love it. I’ve made numerous proposals, but city wants to make money off of us for it. Managers in NYC “were granted” family leave. They have no union. It was forced upon them and it cost them a fortune. If they could’ve voted on it they would’ve voted it down.

We are using this to push forward. We will pay for what the benefit costs. Mayor says he wants city workers to have it. Since announcement, zero workers have gotten it, because they insist on ridiculous things where they profit from us. If they don’t settle it we will go on a campaign and push it. City talks like superintendents and principals.

Some members say they already had babies so don’t do anything. It’s called a union, not a union that only wants to do what’s in my interest and no one else’s.

Members gave up something to get class sizes in their contract. They made that decision and thank God they did. In the past, there was no enforceable grievance.

We will do this fairly, and we will not be hoodwinked. We need to take this opportunity Last mayor probably thought you have a baby and you’re fired

CTLE hours—2.5 years ago, in Albany, teachers said they wanted to be treated like professionals, fought over eval, and some people were required to do professional hours. We got number down to 100 over five years. Kicked in last year. We asked DOE to come up with a plan so everyone could get them during school year. City didn’t care. We became a certified provider.

Now, DOE is trying to work with us. They need to work with us but they know what’s best, at all times. We helped them become a certified vendor. State requires that you submit and get approval of a curriculum. You must show instructor is CTLE certified, keep attendance records. DOE knows, but says it isn’t their responsibility and they won’t do it. Fear is that four years from now there will be members who did hours with school and they won’t be able to prove they’ve met requirement. They will have summer to fix or lose certification.

We’re working, again, with DOE. We have to pay instructors. We keep accounts for members who do hours through us. We can pull up records and send them to state with them or for them. Would prefer we didn’t have to do that. We charge small fee because we pay people to work. 85 people volunteered over summer to become certified. UFT charges because they built this and had to pay instructors.

Goal is to create PD for everyone in schools. Monday PD not certified because DOE won’t do paperwork. They say they’re looking into that, and meanwhile we have to take care of member needs. Four years from now, we may need two week crash courses for 100 hours. SED doesn’t care, will blame school districts. We will do what we can, but we have to push DOE harder.

How many principals are doing meaningful PD? SED wants to know too. DOE wants no responsibility. Teachers are DOE employees and are their responsibility. CLs need to give correct info. Much bad info out there.

Teacher evaluation—our favorite topic for last 8 years—within one year of RttT, districts were using new evaluations. States needed the money. Politically, test scores were the fad. Problem I had was passing percentage. Made me nuts, because we always had standardized testing and were looked upon as horrible. Rest of state doesn’t teach same children we do. How long would some of our colleagues around state last in our classrooms?

Remember when we recruited teachers? Many couldn’t understand how children were allowed to act certain ways and left quickly.

There were no good old days of teacher evaluation. Ratings were based on how principal thought of teacher. Did nothing to help us develop.

Decided if we were going to move forward it had to be about growth—where does a child come in and where does he leave? That is what validates our work, not whether he can pass a test. Not same work teaching AP and at-risk. If it’s about test score, I’m putting myself at risk by teaching at risk.

Bloomberg presented a formula to us that said 85% was about passing a test. They didn’t know about variables for special ed. They used one variable and did not consider different disabilities. They were all business majors. We continued that fight. Test scores should not be only thing we measure. We pushed authentic student learning when Cuomo’s rating plummeted.

We do not want to go back to when principal decides if he likes me or not and gives a U or an S. We wanted something that gave a true understanding of what we do, and needed a check and balance against the principal.

If there is evidence about student learning, and principal says I’m bad, then principal’s word is not valid. City would never agree. Mentions matrix, to applause. Blogs said matrix would kill us. I read all the blogs. We have a lot of smart people. We got this into the law because we won the argument in Albany.

I know it looks a little weird, and I heard all the jokes, and said just wait until it kicks in. I know we were onto something because now they don’t want to negotiate overall rating. They want just MOTS. We say no, they must use overall rating. We are not gloating.

When this started 8 years ago, my own experience was there was no support. The only reason I’m still a teacher is because of a teacher I shared a room with. He said I needed help. We don’t have a system that helps people understand how difficult our profession is. We force administrators to do observation in a way that they have to talk about our craft. We take children at all different levels in September and we move them. It’s not about a test. I wanted to validate what we do in NYC.

DOE is way behind on how to do observations correctly. Some schools have collaborative processes.

25.88% highly effective this year. Up from 22.
71.1% effective down from 81.
2.68% developing down from 6%
.34% ineffective down from 1%

(Note--I'm told last year's figures add up to 110%. This could easily be because I copied wrong.)

Post will lose its mind, say we hoodwinked them. Some people want to go back to “good old days.” We took journey and figured out basis was student growth. For first time, NYC outperforms rest of state of NY. We’re better at it because we have more experience with children with disabilities and ELLs. Those are areas of growth. Are those kids being educated in schools that say they’re better than us?

Wrote an op-ed about Moskowitz, who says she’s 100% about everything. Her oldest class is a junior class, claiming 100%. Started with 78 kids. Now there are 18. If your school did that, you’d be looking at closure.

Teacher asks what happened to other kids, Mulgrew—we have them, and we’re happy to have them. Says this happens in every Moskowitz cohort. Compare her to our school system. You’re not 100% when you lose 75%, you’re 25%.

Constitutional Convention—Vote No. Tells us take bumper magnets. Asks about lawn signs. Wants pictures of members with lawn signs.

Did town hall at church, standing room only, people screamed liar. This is not about greater voting rights, or more ethics. We have ways to do that without it. Everything we do have is in jeopardy if we get this. People have spent tens of millions of dollars against us. They’ve come after us everywhere. Do you think they’re going to preserve the greenlands, strengthen social safety net?

They will attack pensions.  There will be millions against us. Proud to say I’m protecting pensions. Not something we are given, but something we earned. In NY every worker has a right to unionize and collectively bargain.

Only 17% of people voted in primary.

Monday SCOTUS goes into session. They will be hearing JANUS, which will make US “right to work” country. Has happened in other states. Takes away ability to get decent working conditions and pay. Only reason we have what we do is because of strength of union. In every right to work state more and more is being taken away. Their conditions are getting worse. Paying more for health care and getting less services. We could lose ability to advocate for public education.

We are now outperforming state, grad rate higher, dropout rate lower.

CC first, then Janus. Let’s use tools—paperwork. Let’s hold principal’s feet to fire in consultation. Part of agreement. Don’t care about personality.

Last, we have many brand new teachers. We had lowest number of vacancies. You have to take them, hold them, squeeze them and love them. We have new teacher program. Came in during summer. Got 1500, need to find 3000 more. They need help with the profession. Bring to borough offices. We will help.

Longest report I will give this year, next DA October. Wear pink.

Mulgrew says we raised over $5,000 for Puerto Rico.

Q—Can we wear black November 7th?

M—What if we win? Let’s come up with a color.

Q—My chapter says since duties, responsibilities growing online it’s adding work. Would it be possible to bargain for two prep periods.

M—I’m game for it. I’ll ask for three. I agree. Certain schools have cracked code and made life easier.

Q—Our school’s under massive construction, draping over building. With heat, has been horrendous. I know de B spoke about AC. What about electrical work required?

M—We’re working with city council. This is negotiations. We posed this to them. I said schools first, not DOE offices.

Q—We now have literacy coaches, but nothing on their responsibilities, especially if they consider themselves admin.

M—They are not administrators. We’ve had numerous attempts by admin to use them that way.

Q—English teachers want to know why their choice is algebra Regents when they teach English.

M—Talk to Jackie Bennett. We track this every year. We look at how MOSL decisions affect final ratings. Schools that choose only one measure probably making mistake.

Q—Rumor is CC is on back of ballot and if you don’t check it’s automatic yes.

M—Not happening. It’s a rumor. Prop one is on back of ballot.

Q—Any prospects on better parking? Permits good for only certain spots.

M—Howie Schoor will negotiate with DOT. Post lost their minds over permits. Was because of legal action taken against city. They only have to honor designated parking. We don’t have enough. Some schools have none. Only way to get more parking is through City Council and DOT. People in neighborhoods don’t like people getting more parking.

Q—When Sandy hit, was huge increase, 8% in school population. Many displaced families. Given hurricane season we may see influx from Texas, Florida, PR.. Can we lobby to push back census, so we don’t eat costs after 10/31?

M—We expect large # from PR to NYC. We need to put this on the table right now. I will make sure we start doing that.

Q—something about CTLE.

M—We’ve given more CTLE hours than anyone, and our largest group is paras. We’re creating more para-centered PD. We’re trying to help them because they don’t have time.

Wishes us great school year.
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