Wednesday, May 22, 2019

UFT Delegate Assembly May 22, 2019--Interesting Times

4:30 UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomes us.

Asks for moment of silence for DR Marty Plotikin.

Asks us to support Puerto Rican teachers, by buying shirts.

Contract—Important we make words on page real. CLs have to make it work. Only way to push DOE is to utilize contract. We are doing better than in the past, but we want every school using their voice.

—Besides President, we have 24 Dems and 1 Republican running. Passed resolution at AFT—All state and local affiliates should have conversations with all candidates. Later we will look at an endorsement. Spring Conference Gillebrand came. Tuesday, in Houston will be Joe Biden. Last week in Philly Elizabeth Warren. Will see where it goes. Politics gets touchy. This body may be more politically active than most. For us, it’s about our profession, community, and ability to take care of families. We see this as educational process.

We don’t like what’s going on in DC. Hasn’t heard anyone call DeVos a great leader. Major tools of those fighting us—Chaos, confusion, conflicts. This is what admin is doing in DC. AFT events all over will show us where to engage. Too early now, but we will have these discussions.

Tough issues facing SCOTUS. Janus ruling part of coordinated plan. Attacks on workers, education and women. 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed. and now we’re seeing them push defunding of ed. 100th anniversary of suffragette movement, and unprecedented attack on women. Not just about abortions, but limiting women’s health care options. Who thought we’d discuss this in 2019?

We have to be smart. We have to educate people, and members. Have to embrace diversity, but not let them use these tools against us. Need to prepare in terms of letting members know importance of union. Specifically targeting NY State so unions will lose membership and political influence. There are positive sides. It’s May. Holidays coming.

They don’t want us having benefits.

Jeff Sorkin—Welfare Fund—Union important, for example, health benefits. Covers 400K lives. Past fiscal year prescription drugs, provided 111 million dollars. Dental benefit—86 million in benefits. When you retire you take out optional rider, we offset cost with 47 million per year. May be surpassed by parental leave.

We cover drugs no one else does. Gives examples that are hard to spell. Fund saves a lot on member behalf. Members and dependents use these meds.

Parental leave—2837 members have utilized. 74% female, 26% male—paid out 29 million so far.

Most members have GHI or HIP, as do other city workers. We negotiate together. You may not have premium but someone is paying—NY City. GHI ind—9K Fam—21K by city. HIP 9K  Fam 23K. Would love to pass on costs. We won’t allow that.

2019 Express Scripts contract will expire. We want to save money and provide same quality benefits. Coming close to 90 day fill at local pharmacies.

Mulgrew—Asked Jeff to do this because we are always having these conversations. We have a commission to look at how we can work together to bring costs down. Difficult. We supply more drugs than any other union. Costs are mind-boggling. I hate pharma companies. I love research, but we don’t like anyone in health care. All about profits. We don’t want them just passing on costs to us.

Told you we would fight with hospitals. No more non-profit locals. Like five families. I was in Albany, pushing patient protection act. Law passed because ER non-network physicians gave huge bills. State stopped this. Physicians in hospitals can no longer do that. But hospitals can. If you go to out of network hospital costs skyrocket. Some really bad actors. Pushing to say enough is enough.

Insurance company has to make deal with hospital, make us pay out of network costs. Insurance companies and hospitals are problem. We want it to be about patients. Hospital negotiating for 20% increase they don’t need. Telling carrier they will drop them and charge 50% more. Money would come from us. Trying to push patient protection bill. Hospital and insurance lobbies against us. We want hospital to function, but not huge bonuses for CEOs.

Colleagues from around state are paying higher premiums every time they go to negotiating table. Small raises, and more health care costs. Working with state union, MLC, and the city.

Charter schools
—Thought it would be quiet without GOP in charge. Charters pushing to raise cap. We all have kids waiting for schools, not only charters. Have to pay attention to this. Not all charters. We know those four chains and they aren’t our friends. Have decimated public ed in other states.

SED—We have a Regents on June 27 this year. You can’t have this. We have to be more diligent. They have reasons, but it’s not supposed to be about their bureaucracy. Should be about schools.

We have ideas about NYSUT RA, since it will be in Albany next five years.

Spring Conference—Great time, 2000 people, will have to start capping. Many elected officials. Had great conversation with three assemblywomen. Largest turnover of city council next election. Want UFT members elected. Amazing opportunity. Want to utilize all our assets and skills. Endorsed Farah Lewis in Brooklyn. Opponent said she supported charters, tax credits. Members were concerned. Lewis won, despite predictions otherwise. Happy we did things differently. We not only won, won by landslide.

City Council breakfast was here—almost all of them came.

Had to change name of Community schools to UCS.

Pushing Dial a Teacher, would like Teachers Choice permanent. DOE gets 32 billion and we still don’t get supplies. They get receipts, can audit. Speaker Corey Johnson agrees.

Lesson plan letter—available when someone tries to reinterpret. Went out to principals as well. Same exact letter word for word. Sick and tired of admin reinterpreting purpose of lesson plan. Trying to move observation and eval. should be at least able to clear this up.

They talk about how to improve instruction. Collecting lesson plans doesn’t do that. Just makes people mad and gives less time to write and change lessons. This will be part of training in September. DOE wants to talk about implementation of training. We asked about training itself. They brought out things they’ve been doing for years. Contract is about resetting culture. Why would we do things that we know don’t work? Danielson turned into weaponized nonsense.

We will not stop on this issue. Chancellor and Mulgrew told teams job is to come up with training.

New dean positions in new contract. Says shall be done by central posting, agreed upon. DOE wants principals to change however they wish. DOE sent this discussion to teachers by mistake. We will get a centrally agreed upon posting. If you have the budget, use it.

Calendar—December 23rd—Legal interpretation—we are strongly opposed—city has right to set calendar Tuesday after Labor Day to June 28. 23rd has never been used as report day. Very expensive to open a school for one day week. Makes no sense. Our issue is at state level. Regulation says a school needs to use minutes and not days. We did not agree, and don’t, because there is still a law that says there are days.

In NYC, there are some schools that don’t count some minutes. There is a reinterpretation. We are in midst of big fight right now. Calmer heads are saying this has to be straightened out, we think before school. We meet mandate under law is UFT position. We will have real conversation with Board of Regents, but they only meet once a month.

You need to pay attention to session time memo when it comes out on June 10th. You will see minimizing passing time, using homeroom as instructional, and maximizing instructional time. In original calendar, they weren’t even covering Passover. Believe with calmer heads we will get to a better agreement.

UFT has no official relationship with AFLEC. Don’t believe them when they say otherwise.

SBOs—Principal cannot tell you to do it. We will give you guidance. We can’t have an SBO to raise or lower hours. DOE would ask for money back. Clarity is important. Don’t hide it. Put it out.

Official ATR number 650, lowest in 15 years. For 30 years we had between 3 to 500 in excess. Went up to 2K. Down now. Please send consultation notes. Tracking number. Very happy to report 74% of schools now actively engaged in consultation. Makes huge difference. Principals have been told not to stop it.

Janus—Humbled and proud, but also glad election is over. It is my honor to be reelected. Didn't want to speak of this before.

Labor relations board in DC not very union-friendly lately. Didn’t do Janus prep because could be construed as electioneering. Non-membership 0.18%. That’s your work. We have to move a little faster to educate members.

Millions spent against us. Campaign active now. Strategy is to get people to fill out survey so they know how to get you to opt out.  They claim to be independent and objective, funded by Koch, Walton, DeVos. No independence whatsoever about these people. Door knocking upstate right now.

We want something to put on doors. We see union proud stickers everywhere. Had 3000 fee payers and 5300 new members. Now we are at 0.18%. That’s the work. They want us killed on health care, out of politics, but we don’t use union dues for that. We use COPE.

Love when they say union spent money. Don’t say they spent double, from wealthy donors. Trying to take our voice away. We won’t let them. They had a Janus event in NY and 7 people went.

Mindy Rosier stands for having picketed Betsy DeVos. There is video. DeVos didn’t have a good time walking in. We know what they’re up to. They put up fake unions with low dues. They use Julie Andrews in pic, who was a union member.

We will send out a lot of info. We have to be ready. We aren’t as prepared as last year, but will get there quickly. Must let them know what this is all about.

We will have access to new members. DOE supports us. Imagine if Bloomberg were mayor?

We have this challenge ahead. Members will be crazed, because it’s May and June. Will get you up to speed on Janus. Want 0.0% non membership.

LeRoy Barr
—June 1, Pride lunch. Scholarship for Danny Drumm. Leslie Uggams will be there. Glen Scarpelli. Collecting money for scholarships. Extra copies of chancellor lesson plan letter. District 26 has 100% consultation notes. Next DA June 12.


Q—December 23—seems like we may stay longer next year. How many snow days? If we get it, will they want something back for 23rd?

A—Officially we have four snow days. Anomaly year. Muslim holidays in summer, others on Saturdays. Will be many years with one or zero snow days. If they want us to give up something, we will have a discussion. My position is no. Hoping to fix it a different way. When minutes issue came up, was concern for small districts that needed flexibility. Good with that, but don’t want NYC hurt. We have June and July Regents meetings. Hope to resolve and move forward.

Q—NYSESLAT—Can UFT revise or reform this. Four part untimed test. Very difficult. Held against schools. Have Muslim students taking it while fasting. Can we do anything?

A—Working on waiver. Being raised at state level. Open to fixing. State never put in waiver. Other states have. Focusing on Part 154. Have ELL working group. Will get it done.

Q—Health care, driven by profit—Our union has a position for single payer. What’s our position on single payer in NY State, and in presidential race?

A—For state, not for it, needs to be fixed on national level. Hasn’t been brought up yet. Issue at state level is amount of money would blow hole in state budget. Would not have enough money to run schools. We would lose our own health care system, would have to go into whatever state provides, would cause 43% increase in state taxes. Love idea of national single payer. Do not have a model yet. This will be one of top, if not top issue in presidential race. Number one issue in US is lack of affordable health care. At state level not smart. NY State, talking 300 billion dollar cost. Will be no state budget. We should cover 5% not covered and then fight in DC.

Q—If member injured, can fill out LODI, must be within 24 hours. Teacher slipped on floor, tore hamstring, rehab for months, thought she could come back, but couldn’t. Fortunately filled out form and had medical pension. This week teacher filled incident report. Told him to LODI form Principal refused to sign. What is recourse?

A—Send it to us. We had similar problem earlier this year. Principals were saying we had to prove causality. No such provision. Like we blindfold each other and push ourselves down stairs. Ridiculous. We don’t have to prove causality. If they think we did something reckless, they can work on it. But they can’t say they don’t approve it.

Beth Norton—We discussed decisions that say you need to state injury happened in school in line of duty. They can investigate and prove if they think there was reckless behavior. Send unsigned forms to


No hands. closed.


Nicole Puglia
—Endorse Michael McMann—public service 18 years, friend to schools and members. anti-bullying in schools, too good for drugs campaign, anti-date violence program in HS, supported attacked nurses, prosecuted attackers. Running unopposed.


Jeff Matt
—Speaks in support of Melinda Katz—strong ally for school communities in Queens. pushed tech upgrades, eliminating trailers, supported Townsend Harris and Forest Hills.


PS 25 remaining open.

Rashad Brown—50th anniversary Stonewall Riots—LGBQ discriminated against, people got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Still have long way to go, we have marriage equality, scholarship, but this year is world pride. Want to stand in support. Promote inclusion and awareness. Reception June 20. Pride march Queens June 2 Brooklyn June 8.

?—Rises in support, important we stick together no matter what background, orientation or belief, Urges support.


We are adjourned 6:02.
blog comments powered by Disqus