Wednesday, February 13, 2019

UFT Delegate Assembly February 13, 2019--Show Us the Money

4:24—Michael Mulgrew asks for moment of silence for departed staffer Denise Costa.

Candy distributed for Valentine’s Day, but Mulgrew says there will be no beer in March.

Strike in Denver over merit pay. Problem is percentage. We don’t work as heavily with Denver as other places.

Donald Trump Jr. calls us loser teachers who are indoctrinating the youth of America as socialists. Upset students support strikes and fighting for public education.

You can go on NYSUT website to see new state deductions for teachers. It seems like ten states targeted by tax program pay about 9% more, which will affect us. Sadly, this money goes to other 40 states to pay for their services. Will affect state and city budgets.

AFT Exec. Board was last week. Passed resolution about next presidential race. Allowing all state and locals to work with anyone running for President now. When deemed strategic they will call all leaders together to come up with a final determination over what’s in best interest for public ed., health care, and working people. Not about who we like the best, but rather our basic focus on worker and union rights. This may be one of the ugliest political years in our history.

State—Shortfall in budget right now. When Tom de Napoli says it we know it’s real. Billion dollar increase for ed. but we want more. Going up on March 18th. Please no drinking on bus because we have to lobby.

APPR will get done, and if there is a problem we will rise up across the state. Decoupling, no more mandating use of state test scores. Students will no longer have scarlet letter if they don’t do well on tests.

Governor says he wants all ed. funding at local level based on need. We agree. Ran numbers with his method. We agree with intent, but not methodology. Says only local districts have to fund by need, not state. If we did it right now, 80% would be cut and only 20 would increase. We don’t want to hurt student A to benefit student B. There would be shares, blocks of money sent to school districts. We don’t think this will work and we don’t want this issue. No one at hearing thought it would work

Governor says CFE is dead, but we don’t think so. When we are lobbying on 18th, we will try to get that piece done.

We want teacher choice to continue. We know it’s a direct payment for supplies we need. Want to solidify so we don’t have to fight for it every year. Our collaborative programs, like Dial a Teacher, are very successful. They reach students and community.

NY put more money than any state into schools. Do you see it? Where does it go? Lawyers, consultants, management, executives… becoming more of a problem.

Met with CEC presidents. They’ve learned because they are acitivists—upset about special ed. non compliance and budget. Why are we not getting what we need? Why doesn’t special ed. money go to children? We file special ed. complaints every year, have many schools repeatedly out of compliance.

We understand there is overhead and fees, but we don’t understand why we don’t see money in schools. They’ll say it’s teacher salary, but that’s just a piece. It goes way past the chancellor. Tweed is the land of Tweed, with a lot of little castles. There isn’t a single school there, and we don’t need the castles either.

Want to focus on percentage of funding that gets to schools. Mayor’s office announced a cut, exactly same number as outside consultants. Do you think they will cut them? Many previously worked for DOE, were administrators. Believe this will not be just consultants. Hopes he’s wrong, but probably cuts will be felt at school level.

Enough is enough. Tired of parents having no special ed. services and principals saying they have no money. Not true. 13 years ago, Bloomberg gave principals control of budgets, and that’s when this started. How can you have a phase out plan for special ed. classes?

Hoping at city and state level we can fix this. Worthy endeavor to push for this. We met with city council, which agrees that when we give UFT money it gets to schools. We need our own APPR committee for our new contract. Mulgrew reminds us raise will cover only one or two days of pay period because it begins tomorrow.

DOE has to design, with us, a training which lays out the purpose and objective of evaluation for a year as well as the cycle. What are responsibilities for admin and staff? Training must be done in beginning of next school year. First we have to design it. We’ve never had this before. It’s ours. We build it from scratch.

Will be two observation cycles, beginning and end of year. We will start committee, asking VP of education to send out info, need reps from each level. Has to be manageable. We are not there to fight. I will do that if need be. Committee will design training. Law dictates purpose, and they cannot reinterpret. Will send out on Friday.

Announced 50 schools in first cohort of Bronx Plan. It’s what we say it was about. We know school communities have been neglected for decades. Principals’ union quite upset and filed with PERB to stop it. Sad they weren’t trying to stop it but their paper says otherwise. This is how people are when they’re always in charge.

Clear to me that principal union not happy about contract, Don’t like empowerment, voice or options. Might not be your principal, but union thinks they’re in charge and they make all decisions. Thinks DOE shouldn’t talk to them unless they aren’t in good standing. We will hold our ground. There will be a small segment that push back to silence us and not allow us to implement. Happy about rollout, and quick speed of it. Schools will be visited this week.

We’re trying to show that when it comes to this student population, no one has reacted to the challenge. Professionals in building need to be supported, not have outside people walk in and tell them how to do their job. It is your plan, what you plan, that will be supported and the responsibility of the DOE to make it happen. Support coming from UFT and DOE.

Student debt clinic—
This is a members only benefit. Not just enough to support them when they come into profession. Many members face economic hardship. Even city now has dropped revenue projections, but our contract is done. When committee said we should move forward now, you were all right. Technically, we’d have started on Friday. We don’t have to wait now.

More than half of membership has student debt loans. Started looking into this, working with AFT, and decided we needed to support members. Because we are in public ed. or health care, we can enter into different programs. From last June we looked for law firm and student debt service business, brought them together. We designed this service. Members can do initial analysis, and then you can work with business. Can restructure yourself or they can do it for a fee, reimbursable if they can’t help.

Started off slow, have never advertised, but they fill up in a day when we put it on calendar. All five boroughs have one in March, already full. We will change times union is open and focus on it in summer. Only had one person come because it can be on phone, but not while driving.

We had a member paying $700 a month for 30 years. That’s common now for student loans. Got it down to 288, still for 30, but now, after debt clinic, 220 for ten years. (gives other example). These are real dollars in member pockets. You will have to be patient with us as we’re just beginning. Thanks advocates.

Last, implementing contract. Main piece of voice and empowerment is consultation and operational. Consultation is good. As of two Friday’s ago, you can put notes online to us. We want all, good and bad. DOE will say it doesn’t work, but it does in majority of schools. This is not an operational complaint. Just because you discuss something doesn’t make it a complaint. You have to say you have a problem and you want it rectified. We need it online to show what is working. This is professionals working together. When leadership doesn’t work together, it doesn’t work.

CL may file complain on paperwork, curriculum, PD, supplies, workload, space or safety. They call this an anonymous grievance process. But it doesn’t matter who brings it up. We now have agreed upon safety standards. Principals just got them recently.
Detail situations, upload documentation and request specific resolution. Strategize with team at school. CL needs to have a team. You can’t do this alone. You must attempt to resolve issue. If you cannot, you tell principal. Principal has five days after it is put online, at UFT website (gives instructions on how to file complaints).

Will be joint training for safety for CLs and DOE shortly.

Knowledge is power. You need to use contract or it won’t be worth anything. We need system to know it must be responsive all the time. This is about day to day operations. Don’t confuse consultation form with operational complaint. Be sure to file right form. Use it to organize and engage members. Is PD aligned to curriculum?

Q—Do you file complaint of first day or on fifth when they don’t resolve it?

A—First day, but tell principal it must be resolved in five days. Tell them UFT legal says we have no choice.

We have our week off coming up. We got here without use of snow day. Getting worried that it’s been so nice. More than halfway through, raises come in tomorrow, contract was early, state and city are getting cuts, we are set for 42 months, and it’s our job to implement this contract.

Thanks us for what we do each and every day. We will make our school system stronger and get support we need.

LeRoy Barr—March—2.3, CL 3 weekend. March 9 counselors conference. Early childhood March 16. March 23 Para luncheon. Asks for push for paras to sign up for 50th anniversary. March 30 middle school conference. March 31, Herstory brunch. UFT election ballots go out March 25. Have to turn out vote. Pride committee having raffle for Bway tickets following DA, Happy Valentine’s Day to all.


Q—Members upset about a plus credit, concerned it was mandatory.

A—Not mandatory. Option instead of college credits. Doesn’t start until September. Not all college courses, but will be CTLE. Must adhere to need of student population or program taught in NYC. Developing courses now. Trying to make it less costly to get MA plus 30 while giving relevant courses. Can still go old way.

Q—Before last consultation, principal said we had to have AP at consultation. I said they were only there if we invited. Said CSA was urging him, and he backed off. Do other CLs have this problem?

A—Yes. If you have agenda item that needs AP, then submit to principal, but it’s at your option. You can settle in different venue. CSA wants all APs in. They’re acting out. Will keep doing stupid things. If adults are forced to say what is or isn’t working, it’s a good thing. They don’t want to do it. They want to discourage consultation. Don’t let them do it.

We have schools that beat the odds. They have real support and collaboration. There is teamwork approach at these schools. Also they have the arts. Not only principal. Some just want to be in control even if research says it won’t work. They seem okay with that, judging by actions.

Q—Where is community learning school money going? We have managers in building not under same management structure, who seem to get more money. Seems DOE does this to hire people who aren’t repped by union, do same work for half the money, at-will employees. This affect students and community.

A—This causes them to be unsuccessful. Not our biggest budget issue, but we need to look at it. We’ve taken legal action against DOE on this.

Q—Option PROSE with observation system. How does 2 observations impact?

A—Up to you what you want to recommend. Required waiver at time. Have a conversation and come up with something.

Q—Can you update us on election for public advocate?

A—Many candidates, seems that forums were helpful. We’ve had groups inside UFT complain about many of the candidates. Recommendation to see what happens and then get involved for actual race after special election. We have more people pushing against than for candidates. Best we do no endorsement now.



Resolutions—Mel Aaronson—Retired Teacher Chapter—to honor those who founded UFT—remembers collective begging. There were several organizations. HS teachers thought they deserved higher salaries for have MA degree. Leaders on both sides came up with compromise, that HS teachers would be getting salary based on degree, and elementary teachers could get same if they got degree. Seems simple now, but wasn’t then. Came together and on March 16, 1960 UFT formed. There was election, between UFT, NEA, and Teacher’s Union, and UFT won right to collectively bargain. Urges vote to honor founders, some of whom are in room.

Question called

Passes unanimously

Tom Brown
—teacher member TRS—supports resolution to elect Debra Penney to TRS board. Is smart, competent asks lots of questions and understands responsibility. Dedicated to ensure benefits remain strong. Defends defined benefit pensions. Attends conferences. Has complete confidence. Urges support.

Dave Kazansky
—Rises in support. In three years, has made mark, presented on panels, impressed with knowledge, diligence, communication and compassion. No question our pensions stronger with her. Asks for unanimous passage.

Question called.

Passes unanimously.

Paul Egan—To Increase NY Participation in Census—Every ten years there is census. Apportions congressional seats. In danger of losing two. Census designed to count number of people not citizens. Trump admin wants to scare people off and hurt blue states. 700 billion in federal funds determined by census figures. Involves, public ed, bridges, snap, emergency preparedness. We have to get everyone counted but we have 61% return while national is 76. We have 38% immigrant population. Felony to share census info with anyone in federal admin, including ICE. We need to educate members and school community to fill in census.

?—OT PT, rises in support. Says they just voted up contract. Turning up is everything. Largest turnout in history of chapter. Turning up and being counted is everything, Urges support.

Peter Goodman
—Also affects representation in congress, and money from fed affected too.

Gloria Wingrad
—calls question.


Passes unanimously. 5:55.

Mulgrew does raffle. We are adjourned.
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