Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UFT DA March 20, 2019--Time to Shoot Tweed Into Space

4:33—UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomes us.

Spring officially starts at 5:58.

Moment of silence for founding mother of union, Ray Frankel. Did so many things and continued to work until very recently.

National—Budget proposal from White House—overall 12% cut in public ed. Private school choice programs. Even cut special olympics program. 207 billion cut to student assistance. Title 1,2, cut, 3 eliminated. Title 4 not killed because they want to arm teachers. Cut health care programs, Medicaid, Medicare, healthy work force. Wants to permanently extend tax laws that benefit high income US residents.

Important we continue to work with our nationally elected leaders. Schumer trying to stop it, but they want to gut public ed. Monday we lobbied for funding. Colleagues in other states helping with funding our future. Had we been in alignment with what feds are doing, would be terrible. We must let them know in NY we are funding ed, health care.

People angry upset. NY being targeted. Feds dropped priority of tunnel to NJ, and we are target of feds. Budget for state is tough, though we’ve pushed back on some things.

Great feedback on Lobby Day from elected reps. Spoke about teacher evaluation. Bill passed, in governor’s budget. Optimistic, but it’s Albany. On revenue, not as optimistic. State revenue moving downward according to di Napoli. Big issue is how much and does it go to need, foundational aid. Will be tough. Hoping Assembly and Senate increase by 1.6 billion, but numbers not there right now.

Pied a terre tax might pass. Loophole given to non-residents who buy condos. Trying to close. That can help. If trend continues, we will have much more serious problem next year, problem we haven’t had since 2008, when thousands of NY teachers lost jobs.

Mayoral control—holding hearings. We believe in it, don’t want school boards, but changes need to be made. Came up with them years ago. When Bloomberg left, people thought things would change. Didn’t happen. More money, better policies, but parent and community engagement has not improved. Parents say we gave chance, but didn’t get better. DOE nods, but does nothing.

NYC—DOE angry because I testified—We give funding to schools when you give it to us, but money gets stuck in DOE and doesn’t show in schools. DOE diseased, will never become well again, have to get rid of it, though we like chancellor.

Proud of Bronx plan, but think of what we had to do. Needed to be empowered. We had to negotiate in collective bargaining so school community could design plan and DOE could support it. We knew, without it, that DOE would never listen to a school. Chancellor says he wants changes, we see them, but urgency for us is more than for them. DOE wants to wait out chancellor.

Every time we have new issue, they hire consultants, study for months, have plan, have team. They all talk for months, then come to us. No one talks to schools, ever. That’s their problem. They have to go. Disease is their culture.

Principal’s weekly wants STARS in alignment with SESIS. Not make sure children get services they need. They say compliance is high, but it’s because they mandate alignment with SESIS. Would actual info match what school is doing for child? Instead of dealing with situation, useless people say look, we did our job.

Discipline—our position is simple. About allowing us to do work we need to do inside classrooms. We need to be able to do interventions. We need better systems in place, not sending kid to play in iPad all day and send back tomorrow. We should not be suspending students of color at this rate. We have our own program, which mostly precludes suspensions.

What happens to children who are victims, who have education impeded? Playing on iPad doesn’t help. We need evaluation for not only teachers, but also students. Can’t just pin this to instructional problems. We need clinical psychologists and social workers who can immediately evaluate students on site. Not enough counselors either.

I can find psychologists right now, but instead they want to debate.

We just rolled out new safety standards, and more than half CLs have been trained. Jeff Povalitis made plan to make this happen. You need to be trained in standards.

Consultation notes—Please put them in. Many more now doing it. Not everyone, though. We need to push to get there. You can empower yourselves and principals will pay attention. Long way to go.

Specialized high schools—Results have everyone talking about them. We understand this was messed up, were making inroads, but we have to do better. On simplest level—who thinks it’s good idea to measure anyone by single test? We don’t believe in that. Now it’s highly politicized. Just want adults to get out of the way and say if child has shown school community he or she can perform at high level, should be considered. NYC only school system to use single test for admission. Want to respect all communities.

Class size—We now have new language. Says there is a finite time for them to clean up. It worked. We have some schools with bigger issues, but all have been resolved except one school that wants to go to arbitration. Will see in September, but most people fixed.

Para luncheon, 50th anniversary, this Saturday.

Contract implementation—Safety moving, A plus credits coming, no longer have to use college credits for MA plus 30. Will be list. Might be PD, CTLE, or developed by us. Must be in place in September. Teachers can get up to six credits in A plus next year. Probably over 50K credits we have to offer. Are in meetings to develop catalogue.

Observations and evaluation—September should be training on what observation means in NYC schools. Finally got DOE—Every school should have basic instructional practices in place, and school should be able to analyze students, select curriculum, and align PD with this. We will update at future DAs.

We do more PD and training than any other entity, want to be accredited by State Ed. Dept., instead of making people go to private college. Most demonstrate we’ve already proven with a successful course. Need 20 people to teach, will offer CTLE and A plus, hopefully.

Nurses in SI North, probably handing strike notice across table. Be aware in SI and NJ we may be asking for help. Negotiations getting nastier as hospitals make more money. We help them get funding, they get 10% increases, additional billions, and CEOs double bonuses, to 8 million average. At negotiating table, they want fewer nurses. Nurses understand quality of care based on number of nurses. Employer doesn’t like to pay for care, only wants to profit. We may have a chapter on strike on April 1st.

Debt clinics UFT running, which we are paying for, for members only, There is debt relief program for us. We sued at national level, but not enough. We asked law firm to help. Found a company and we built program. We can now offer to help them understand and take them through process of getting them to better place. Did soft opening, beginning in December. Saw significant results. People paying much less.

We pushed for debt forgiveness for teachers and nurses. Doubled registration for next month. Completely full. Members showing up in droves, standing room only. We are seeing major changes in people’s lives. Teacher who paid 1100 a month, heading to bankruptcy, is now down to 400, paid off in ten rather than 30 years. We have waiting lists. We have people retiring this year, still paying loans. Want to make sure that never happens again.

LeRoy Barr—Para luncheon Saturday, want big turnout for 50th anniversary. Following weekend middle school conference, March 30. Last Saturday, elementary school conference, packed house. March 31 Herstory brunch, women’s history, 10-2, honoring Ray Frankel. CL training April 6-7. Please participate. Labor Seder April 9th 5:30-7:30. Academic HS April 12 4 PM.

—Ballots go out Monday March 25th. We need everyone to vote. Turn out the vote. Don’t put it away. Next DA April 17.


Q—NY State has holiday bill with six new holidays. How will that impact our calendar? Will we lose breaks?

A—I understand need to respect holidays, but if bill passes, we’re screwed, We have longest school year because we have more holidays. Would have to teach before or after school year. This year we had one snow day. Used it. Will be a problem if it passes. DOE would come to us and say they want February week. I gave up on St. Patrick’s Day recognition. We will make sure anyone can take day for observation. Sometimes numbers are numbers. Either we give up Feb, or add time. Can’t break state law.

Q—Erasmus campus in papers, one of my 10th graders shot in entrance of his building, Wrong place, wrong time. It doesn’t get easier. Like city being on fire. Fire Dept. can’t help. Got many calls from members in tears. Reached out to DR James Duncan, called from vacation. Called borough office. Reached out to MAP services. Did great work. Never saw better proof of value of union.

On Monday, when we showed up, kids needed us. No one sit’s in that student’s desk, even after a month. DOE sent two people in suits to badger principal about safety precautions. Asked for extra counselors, but MAPP was there for us, 10 AM Monday morning, there for hours, for all of us. Stayed in close touch. Only two grief counselors for 1600 schools. We need more than that. Shouldn’t be on union. DOE should send people.

Can we pressure DOE to get more, and can you hire more MAPP counselors?

A—MAPP program has been doing God’s work for 8 years. Happened as a result of rash of suicides. I’m frustrated with city. Helped a little, but never wanted to partner. Our members, but their employees. Teachers who used MAPP contacted us. Counselors volunteered, went to schools.

Now superintendents call us. When we pointed it out to DOE they said their crisis teams respond, wasn’t true, and then they designated untrained people as crisis teams. When they show up, they screw things up, get in the way, look officious, and talk about safety. Was part of our last negotiations. I tell city they have responsibility to employees. MAPP counselors have huge caseloads.

Maybe we should campaign to mayor. Why are we only union with which they don’t collaborate? They think teachers don’t have problems. They think we have summers off therefore we don’t need paid parental leave. We will hire more MAPP counselors.

Q—Signed on to letter urging Amazon to come back, in spirit of democracy, why didn’t you survey members?

A—When Amazon said there would be no unionized workers we said that would be a problem. Amazon realized it was a mistake and was backtracking. They knew workforce would have to be unionized. We had a plan for LIC school, wanted substantive support for education. Worked with other union leaders to try and put that together. We signed on, though there was huge possibility they would not be here. We demanded union representation and more support for schools.


Howard Sandell—UFT nurses—Resolution for today—in support of nurses at SI hospital. Submitted 10 day notice to strike,

Passes—on agenda

Motion period closed

Mel Aronson—Ray Frankel passed away. This union would not be what it is today if not for her and others that founded our union. Please pass a resolution to honor her work and memory by keeping this union strong and vital.

George Altomari—I worked closely with her. She’d work until 11 PM night after night. Always in background. There are members that don’t get the glory, but are glorious. We have to recognize the quiet people who do so much for this union.

LeRoy Barr—Wanted to raise my voice for Ray Frankel. She was involved in all our elections. She wants to not just to get it done, but also to do it right. I learned a lot from her. She was one of our first chapter leader. Term wasn’t created by UFT, but by Teacher’s Guild. When they were organizing on west side of Manhattan, they all went to her school so we could organize UFT. She is an original, one of the reasons we are here, why we have rights and power, and we should commit to doing what we have to do for next Ray Frankel.

Resolution passes unanimously.

Janella Hinds—Rises to motivate resolution number two, calling for human trafficking prevention training. People are physically abused, in servitude, and this grows. Our young people are being forced into this. One common denominator for our youth is school. Education will help us support students and prevent expansion.
Resolution passes unanimously.

Howard Sandel—UFT Nurses
—Rises in support of SI nurses. Nurses have been part of union for 40 years. Nurses represented by this union provide care in all five boroughs to give most advanced care available. We have given ten day strike notice.

Asks UFT to stand in solidarity, asks that no one crosses picket lines.

Passes unanimously.

Thanks us. 5:54. Four minutes to Spring.
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