Monday, February 10, 2020

UFT Executive Board February 10, 2020 UFT Visiting Nurses Avoid Strike and Now Negotiate with NYU

Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us 6:02


Betty Godfried
—Retired adult ed. teacher—Diane Jenkins passed, taught many years, was forced into retirement, great speaker. Retirees vilified for speaking out. Received high praise from Danny Dromm and others. Never received accolades from union, but was held in high regard by colleagues. Was 69, will miss her, fought for her colleagues.

Barr—Moment of silence.


—Friday CTE ceremony, went well. African Heritage Dinner Dance that same evening was successful. This week, DA Wed. Feb 12 is Black History film series, getting packed. Back to Natural film. Herstory, March 15, Sunday. Next EB Feb. 24th.


Mindy Rosier
—Friday, 14, last day for voter registration to change party or address. Will this be brought up at DA? We want as many members as possible voting.

Barr—I will make sure that is part of my report.

Arthur Goldstein—Our grievance process is problematic. Among several outstanding grievances, I have a black letter grievance about a letter in file that went to step two at least two years ago. The member was reluctant to file. Trying to persuade, I accompanied the member back and forth to Manhattan. We either got rejected or no answer, and it has not gone to arbitration. Another grievance I filed has sat in a black hole for years, even as I emailed every possible person I could to ask about it. For about a year they told me they were thinking about it. Now no one tells me anything. I have a friend with five co-teachers. He grieved because that was an excessive number of preps. The principal said one prep was the same even though it was attached to three different teachers. It’s absurd to assume three different teachers do the same thing day after day just because the course has the same name. He’s been waiting over a year for an answer from the grievance department, and the issue may be moot because this year he has five new co-teachers.

What can we do to improve the grievance process, and what can members and chapter leaders do to get substantive answers about outstanding grievances?

Barr—We worked on this on last contract, particularly in class size. We were successful in resolving many things. David Campbell will respond.

David Campbell
—It is true that in the past we had a long backlog. We are becoming more speedy. Many cases we don’t take if we don’t have much of a chance to win. Last won you mentioned was a reorg. We take most of them that come through. We would definitely take that one. We have won those from time to time. We do review cases and say no to some but there is an appeal process.

Goldstein—I’m aware of that. Not what I’m talking about.

Barr—We do want to be responsive. Please get us specific cases.

Reports from districts—

Ann Goldman
—Shares a success. Have been bargaining with Visiting Nurse Service. Have achieved on time contract in lieu of strike. No doubt there is a target to destroy union. Bargaining divisive contentious and underhanded. We are allowed to strike, private sector. We showed attacks on seniority and UFT to pit vets against new hires. We showed our cohesiveness. We would have failed if Mulgrew didn’t have outreach politically to show what it would mean if we hadn’t achieved contract. Thank you for support.

Wendy Walker Wilson—African Heritage Committee scholarship dance, 200 people, honored a teacher, her students did dance selections. Honored Anthony Harmon and Donovan Richards. Thank UFT and everyone who supported us.

Rashad Brown
—Pride Committee, 2/28. workshop pathways to parenthood, for LGBTQ members. Second event last Thursday, 90 members of Greek organizations from HBC organizations and others. Many UFT members part of this. Want to partner with other orgs to visit college. April 2 next meeting.

Ellen Driesen—Wonderful meeting with legal group providing our new legal benefit. People doing divorces and wills, getting papers in order, will slowly roll this out. Great benefit.

Janella Hinds
—Repped UFT at NEA gala for ed excellence. Bronx teacher was finalist for Horace Mann award. Al Hassan received award as national teacher of the year. When he gave his acceptance speech, he thanked NYSUT and UFT. Was proud to rep UFT.

Deshanna Barker—Thursday Jan 30 had panel to discuss building strength and power at chapter level. Were very powerful stories. Amy Arundell was moderator. Was important because after event I was will Mulgrew and others for political team training. A lot of people at that panel continued our discussions. We looked at fear, at things as basic as having coffee with members. We let principals know what we stand for. Let members know it was about integrity, working for children and fighting for kids as well. Looking forward to another panel.

Sterling Roberson
—Friday was CTE awards. Honored 73 educators for work they did. Added academic officers who supported them. Was important because of impact in schools. In regard to policies, our teachers do incredible work and put out incredible effort. Over 400 showed up, had wonderful time. Thanks to all who attended.

President’s message—

Michael Mulgrew
—Thanks everyone for reports. Thanks Anne Goldman. Private negotiations are getting worse and worse. Our side faced other side bravely. Glad we were successful, but right into negotiation with NYU.

Last weekend political activists came up for weekend. 200 people said yes, 191 showed up. I will take political volunteer over paid consultant. Brought passion to room will follow up. They will engage at school level with census, work with community, will be hub to connect everyone. We have moved toward first establishing political action committee. After census is elections. We will move forward with that.

State—Had big meeting here Friday, very concerned with budget, huge inequity between charter and public school student, get 4X as much. We will fight. We have a Medicaid crisis. We know since 2011, state shifting costs to municipalities, mostly NYC. We’re saying state cannot continue to balance budget by shifting costs to counties and municipalities. When MA did tax cap they knew it would require state to raise further revenue. NY did opposite. Put tax cap, then spending cap.

They just make up a number. We were in Albany for two weeks. Other unions joined us. No more shifting costs to NYC. Blew up on Saturday. Said UFT attacks governor. Put out op-ed Saturday. Too bad if they don’t like it.

We are on our biggest educational project—curriculum survey.

Chapter leaders need to sign in to UFT CL boards. All hands on deck. We need our members to see we rep their professional interests, support they need to do their job. We need curriculum, and PD aligned to it.

Superintendents and principals say they will release staff to do inventory. We need to get it done. If we don’t finish it, we’re full of it. We need to fix this by June and have in action by September.

We are having fights over budgets. We need CLs signed up to new communities. Will be main conduit of information. Next all your records will be there. February will be very tough month, and March is Lobby Day. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

Duane Clark—Endorsement of Brigitte Ryan for City Council.

—Special order of business—Asks we take this out of order.

Clark—Ryan understands our work. She has done great job in borough office Ran many things for members. Phone banks, parties. Supported org at large, including Teachers Choice money, many initiatives for community schools, positive learning program. She has most money of all the candidates already raised. We need to have friends. Will be changes in the future, so we need new ones. In Albany Brigitte is well known. She knows how to navigate in political arena. Asks for support.

Michael Friedman
—She was great for union, will go beyond, strongly support her.

Vin Scaglione—She is a successor of mine in Manhattan Borough Office. I support her entirely.

Rashad Brown—Rises in favor. She is a presence in City Hall, in UFT. Whenever she needed me I was there. She drove relationship with Danny Dromm. Helped with scholarship brunch.

Passes unanimously

Liz ?—Michal said much of what I was going to say. He will go to Albany and ask for raise in ed. budget. Will support learning schools and PLCs. Hosting discussions on Regents. If you want to attend, have positions and share testimony.

Resolution—NYC Retired Teachers endorsement.

Dave Kazansky—No one knows our pension better than Tom Brown. An asset to board. Living embodiment of what a fiduciary could be. Couldn’t be in better hands. Asks for unanimous support.

Passes unanimously

Resolution for NYSUT RA

Mike Sill
—Move six reso for NYSUT RA, Stonewall Riots Commemoration, expand voting rights, Students observe Ramadam, lower drug costs, Medicare right to negotiate, raise awareness about census.

Barr—Will do all five if no objection.

Sill—They are there for your perusal.

No questions.

Barr—Have all passed in this body at some point. Want to make them NYSUT policy as well.
Motion carries.

—Two more reso.

Mary Atkinson, for Eric Dinowitz—teacher running for office Long time teacher, former CL, knows a lot about public ed. Strongly supports union rights. Wants to support small classes, mental health outreach. We need friends to help us with programs. Asks for your support. City Council District 11.

Michael Friedman—Knows Eric since he was born. Very fine person will do a lot on council. Went to city schools and SUNY. Fights hard for community. When there were problems even outside ed. he fought hard. Believes in school and community.

Eliu Lara
—Was his DR. He is pure leader, always present Lobby Day. Organized his chapter. Democratic district leader for NW Bronx. Advocate for accessible subway. Great advocate. Always helps member and makes contact. I support him.

Carries unanimously.

Elizabeth Perez for Eric Gonzalez
—True Brooklynite, wife is teacher. prosecutor 25 years, presently Brooklyn DA. Created young adult court. Commitment to send fewer people to jail and more to rehabilitate. Asks for endorsement.

Carries unanimously.

We are adjourned, 6:55
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