Monday, October 07, 2019

UFT Executive Board October 7, 2019--Class Size and More

6 PM—Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us.


Barr—DA next week, Oct.16, please wear pink. Breast cancer walk Oct. 20 9 AM. all boroughs. Same day, Teacher Union Day at Hilton. LGBTQ youth empowerment dinner November 21. Want to raise 30K for scholarship fund. November 4, names added to Wall of Honor downstairs, will be shortened Exec Board.


Arthur Goldstein
—Given our new class size process, can you tell us how this year looks citywide, particularly in comparison to last September?

David Campbell—Generally far fewer, so far, appears process has forced DOE to do all they can to equalize. Principals have had pressure because day 14 would go to superintendents. Mulgrew will report further.

Mike Schirtzer
—Where are we with special ed. compliance?

Mary Jo Jinese
—We want to put pressure on DOE and file complaints. They have hired more staff but we want to keep the pressure on if we can’t resolve at school level. We hope for in house resolution where possible, and less finger pointing between FSC and principals. Will get numbers

Schirtzer—Presidency and upcoming election—AFT called on locals to create process, members want to get involved, can we do an online poll, perhaps events to encourage engagement?

Barr—Mulgrew will speak on that, but perhaps not tonight. AFT wants locals to engage with any candidates they wish before their exec. council meets. Encourage locals and members to engage as much as possible. Right now you may work with anyone with whom you wish. At some point AFT will ask us to get  behind one person. We want engagement now to increase awareness. We are having a Democratic Debate Watch Party October 15 7:30-11. We encourage people to come out. In the next 12-13 months our lives will change and we certainly hope it’s for the better, with more engagement. We cannot afford silence.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew—Wants to thank Anthony Harmon and those who participated in CL weekend.

Class size—Our focus is on making new provisions work. All DRs have made this part of consultation, borough reps with executives, and me with chancellor. Many leaders did not know about these provisions. Chancellor agreed—why should we have oversized classes in April when these things can be solved. DOE legal doesn’t like it but everyone is doing a very good job. We used to have 800 schools day 10. Have slowly cut it to 400, and this year was 350. As of today we are down to 105 schools, best we’ve ever done. By week’s end we hope to clear up much of them. Many fewer will go to arbitration. We want to finish by Thanksgiving. Amazing how people figure out how to solve things when they’re actually told to solve things. That’s how we make our contract work. Thanks to grievance dept. Still issues with overcrowding.

DOE announced Imagine Schools. Idea is to site 20 schools in 18 months in crowded area. They want teachers, communities to say what they want in a school. Creative scheduling or focus possible. We want existing schools to opt in. Not about schools in need of improvement. We should tell schools to come up with plans and submit.

Next year assessments will change. Second change, next year to “Next generation NY State Standards.” They are out. Looks like we will make same mistake as common core. Has anyone been trained on this? (No hands) How many schools have checked if curriculum is aligned? (One hand, says it isn’t aligned.) This bodes ill for tests next year. Whole system looking at it.

What would our enemies do if our achievement schools dropped in one year? We can’t wait for DOE to do job. This is party of my conversation and consultation. We have to awaken principals. Their evaluation is tied to those test results. DOE says they’ve trained thousands of people. We don’t believe it. Maybe they trained a few principals or superintendents who were looking at phones.

Corrective action plan in NYC due to non-compliance in special education. Do you think principals understand? Principals stilll say they haven’t got money. Superintendents say it’s support center. Issue will grow and inaction will put our system at risk. We didn’t fight all these years to allow incompetents to set us up for a beating. We need to put this in consultation agenda at every level of union.

Amazing we are still getting stupid answers. They can’t just say it’s not my job. It is their job. We will focus on and fix these things. We must be the ones to protect our school system despite their inactivity.

Reports from Districts—

Mike Schirtzer—Five screened HS in NYC changing admission system to encourage diversity including Leon Goldstein, trying to attract ss from other zip codes. Also chancellor formed culturally relevant curriculum committee, per session. We need UFT people on it. Important that we be part of curriculum review.

Keira Pena—Wants to thank district reps for class size reporting. Really positive—class size numbers gone down. Stipulations reached with many superintendent, who’ve opened new classes. DRs had advantage. In most cases were able to teach superintendents.
Rashad Brown—Youth empowerment dinner—November 21st, will support Daniel Dromm scholarship, Trevor’s project, hot line for troubled youth.

Tom Murphy—Campaign 2020—75 retirees may run as delegates. AFT doing town hall meetings, 9 so far. Julian Castro was in Las Vegas. Census—we can lose two members of Congress, and funding. We are conducting training here at UFT by census bureau, must reach as many people as possible. Will also find retirees who have presence in Florida and turn out vote there.

Serbia Silva—October 16 pink day. Please take pictures send to District 4 hit by a lot of suicide. Last year we started a team. Every school in district on Mondays will have suicide awareness to see signs. Maybe other schools can do this.

Barr—We have collected funds for Dorian—There is a link. Also a link to donate to children and families coming across border. Working with Catholic Charities. Both on UFT web page. Asks members to contribute.

Mike Sill
—lump sum payments update—This month money will come to a lot of our members. People who took ATR severance should receive payment shortly, before lump sum payment. This year most people will get same amount of money they got last time. May 1 we got last 2% raise and were no longer accruing money. Some people won’t get same amount, if they were on leaves they will get more money. If people were overpaid the will have deductions. Pedagogues, para Oct 15. Retired a week later. Different banks post at different times. Could be matter of a few hours. H bank—October 18. Ret H Bank Oct 17. In service per session Nov 1. F status Nov 20. Retiree per session Dec. 5.

If members are on parental leave, they will get paid as long as they return to service, on March 15. Some will get both payments this year.

Hard to staff Bronx Plan schools October 31st.

We are adjourned 6:42.
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