Monday, April 27, 2020

UFT Executive Board April 27, 2020 Building and Budget Woes

 5:51 Roll Call

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us 5:59 PM.

Minutes--approved via email

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--6:06--More people have passed, though fewer. Does not help anyone dealing with loss. A total of 90 members have now passed. 54 in service. 36 retired. Mulgrew reads names.

Moment of silence.

Thanks us for being on call. Thanks all who participated in DA and Town Hall. Happy we are able to communicate. Don't have all answers, but will try to get them.

Governor today talking about extending NY Pause in some areas but not others. No talk of opening schools anywhere in US. Our petition has 56,000 signatures so far. We need social distancing, school by school, due to different sizes and some having over 200% capacity. We need to discuss this.

We didn't prepare to close the buildings, but were able to pull it off. We now know more about remote learning than anyone at DOE. We need to think about what it looks like if we have no vaccine or cure. These discussions have to happen. Testing, medical investigations, temperature, social distancing, needs protocol.

People in other states will be saying same thing. Safety is a key focus and we need to drive the conversation. Feds will have to support states and people need to know those walking into school buildings will have to know how to avoid spreading the virus. Different schools will need different methods. Can't be one set plan.

DOE talking about grading policy. Some parents want everyone to pass. Some want rubric. Everyone has a point of view. I understand. Still, grades mean something to us. Does this child have ability, or meet standards to move ahead. HSs have many different policies. Many plans coming from DOE. Some say no grades, everyone passes. We're only looking at end of year grades. Now saying this week, tomorrow, but no one knows. Don't believe what went out Friday to be policy.

Middle school teachers say they will treat students humanely, all on their own. Don't want engagement and participation to be irrelevant. Will have negative consequences. We're getting the work done and we ask DOE to do no harm with grading policy. Our children are engaged and we want to keep them engaged. DOE distributed 250K iPads. Impressive.

Calendar should be finalized this week. May 15 we can start doing SBO votes. We believe platform will be in place to make sure voters have right to vote, and vote is anonymous.

Excessing--We will do training. There will be timeline. Principals don't have budget. Everything must be looked at, comp-time positions, long time since very bad budgets. Governor announced 10 billion dollar cut. DOE and UFT will put out joint document with rules to be enforced.

When McConnell says blue state bailout, it's about first responders, police, health care workers and teachers. We have a large contingent of blue and red state governors saying we need this. This is about our livelihood. We need this package.

Due process system should get started soon.

Summer school still up in the air. Will likely be tied to grading policy. Teacher needs to use judgment as to whether students need academic intervention or full summer school.


Mentoring--Still going on? How will hours be made up? Don't know yet. Will have answer next Monday. Many things have been extended in certification. Evelyn DeJesus working on it.

Overcrowded schools--Can't be blanket plan. Overcrowded schools will need individual plan.

If governor doesn't meet safety demands what will we do? Already started with petition. Very important we keep coalition of teachers and parents.

MS Teams, Google--lacks features.  Want to put together a group of folks to talk about what tools mean, can and cannot do, things that need to be changed.

Can detailed excessing rules have training?--Yes. Will be training for DRs, CLs.

Will nurses be required to work in summer?--Hopes not. Hospitals starting to move down, but hopes that rec centers and schools get a break.

DOE released a survey on remote learning--Difference is this survey doesn't require code. Trying to figure out whehter they still need devices. At first didn't believe us when parents said was too much work.

Evelyn de Jesus--Had over 20 questions, cut it by half, asked how can we support rather than does teacher support. Need to know which kids really need tech. Trying to target need.

Mulgrew--DOE still thinks they can just tell everyone to do. What they need to do is support us. Their culture is that they know everything. But they know nothing about this. That's why we continue with focus groups. We keep hearing about how paras are doing great things. DOE has no idea. They are a lifeline to families. Trying to change culture. Will see where it goes.

Hoping we will say teachers, rather than communities will decide. No, a principal cannot mandate you to teach live.

Does NY Exec. Budget place health care in jeopardy? No, we have met our savings goal. Can't predict what will happen in next two years, nor can anyone. Hospitals now have waiver and can't be questioned on what they do, due to Covid emergency. Greatly concerned, Have been having many phone calls about health care. Will be great challenge. Health care costs are through roof, have to deal with insurers, hospitals and doctors.

Fed package could help, and could help with budget and health care.

Parent teacher conferences being mandated by some principals? Waiting for DOE to tell them what they are thinking. Our recommendation is two PD days should be used for schools to meet. No ones set up a schedule before without seeing one another. Many teachers are in contact already. Teachers can reach out and make themselves available. 

Mulgrew sends condolences and sympathy to all schools and school communities that lost people. Thanks us and wishes us all well. 6:37

Final roll call.

We are adjourned. 6:38
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