Monday, April 13, 2020

UFT Executive Board April 13, 2020--More COVID News, and Other News

5:50 roll call

6:00 UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr welcomes us. Speaks of Howard Sandell repping nurses on MSNBC. Says they've been doing great job last few months.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew-- Reads names of about 20 members who've passed since last week. Reads names of about 10 retirees who've passed since last week. Asks for moment of silence for all.

Another tough week. Welfare Fund and others are there for all members with paperwork and other challenges. DOE finally started tracking numbers of those who've passed. We do not agree that DOE was following protocols on school closings. We will deal with that in the proper venues when we can.

Have been in school communities when they suffer that. Profound impact in loss, and even harder while we're isolated. Just sent out something to membership recognizing DOE was finally doing its job. We've been tracking it ourselves. Schools are scrambling to deal with this.

We have to remain laser focused on getting through this thing.  Mayor and governor are playing games, but for us this is no game. On TV people present themselves as experts but aren't. Largest percentage of asymptomatic carriers are people under 21. They shouldn't be gathering together. Disgusting to hear them speak of schools as child care. We are so much more.

For us to move forward, we will need a system in place to make sure not everyone in building will be spreading virus. Good that governors are coordinating. But I don't want to read more names.

We are in official non-Spring break week. We are plateauing, but that's cold comfort with people dying.

Thanks all who came up with program for this week. Transition from Zoom to Google incomplete, thanks those who helped and supported one another. Best support is member to member. When you go above, it doesn't work out so well. We will continue in this direction.

Did town hall with parents and chancellor last week. Was important for him to get different POV. Parents said we give way too much work. Chancellor heard it for himself now. Will continue to do more focus groups. Last week OT/PT and speech. Thinks we're getting some movement.

Difference is teachers working together, but therapists and clinicians don't have enough peer support. DOE was just telling them what to do, but people telling them had no experience. Will have focus group this week with new DOE person.

We will need a grading policy. Some teachers have worked with some officers.

Many have asked that APPR get waived. Smart thing to do. We are learning new things every day. We have no contractual provisions, it's a law, and there is nothing collectively bargained for this. We have enough challenges right now and should focus on them. Will require executive order.

If we do not come back for school year, many people will need more materials, and may need to retrieve them from buildings.

We were supposed to be off this week. May go to arbitration. Four days for our CAR have nothing to do with compensation for working seven extra days. Cuts ought not to be made from OMB, We think schools should be isolated from cuts. They don't know what they're doing. We will be very careful as we move into city budget. We know there will be cuts for next school year.

Hopes people had a good Passover and Easter. We will continue to get work done. Most people thought we could not pull this off. Not working this well in many places. We don't want other districts' lack of success to be used to set policy that can hurt us.

We don't need a 180 day waiver. We are working enough days. We lost some, but gained more this week. Schools are in session. That's a fact.

Thanks us for getting it done. We had no capacity ahead of time, and that says a lot about our ability to be nimble and smart. Thanks us again, is confident when he says school is in session every day. No one would have said we could do it, but we did.

Questions--(pre-submitted, so some answers)

Can they take away teacher salary? No they cannot. We will not work without pay. State workers raise withheld--will see what they do. There is only one time in history of NY State, Nassau County in 1970s, after they'd laid off, done layoffs and gone to court. Other places tried, has never been successful.

Approaching tough stuff, but people pointed out on social media in 70s, in crisis, people got raises.

Staff reorg, excessing, open market--We have to work this through, but rules should stand. Anything being done will be like in a regular school year. Working with DOE, best way to do this is stop supervisors from interpreting things their own way. M. Sill will speak to DOE about that.

My question--Like many teachers, I work in a building over 200% capacity. Given the pandemic, and the potential for others, wouldn't this be a good time to point out how fundamentally insane that is, and wouldn't this be a good time to press for reasonable class sizes as per C4E so as to at least partially ameliorate this situation?

Mulgrew--Crowded schools are a big, big issue now, good time to work on this. Before crisis, we were getitng movement. Good time to push all of it. Fed package, 2 trillion, and already need another. We need a substantial recovery package and then we can argue against schools at 200% capacity.

Was issue with city not following protocols. Was not up to DOE. Was DOH and City Hall. Was their decision. Will say they followed a procedure of waiting for State DOH. Was not in order. Automatically meant days before confirmation.

Summer? School is in session now, and they can't afford to extend it. They can make us work, but they would have to pay for it. We are already doing 182 days, fulfilling requirement.

Next DA on 22nd, important we continue to meet constitutional obligagions. Dept. of Labor not friendly to unions, will not combine with Town Hall. Need people who understand DA, but will be another Town Hall.

Four CAR days--Will show up by end of week. Everyone getting them whether or not they are used, unless you were already required to work, in which case there are two.

Receives news now that school nurse has passed. Silence.

Thanks us. Asks we stick to themes this week. Wants students to have fund with learning. That is the most rigorous learning there is. 6:37.

Second roll call. Ends 6:40
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