Monday, June 15, 2020

UFT Executive Board June 15, 2020--UFT Suppports Black Lives Matter, HEROES Act, and a Not Insane September

5:50 Roll Call

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--All resolutions and minutes have been passed via email.

Reports from Districts

Janella HInds--Sterling R. and she just hosted HS committee meeting, over 500 members, discussed September other things, 90 minutes.

Rashad Brown--Pride Committee met, will have drag queen story hour to celebrate diversity and pride month, will be drag queen bingo. 

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Second week in row--No new Covid deaths in membership. Moving forward, we have some resolutions, but we're very focused on September. People seem to think there's an imperative to open school. Oddly, it might be safe here, but in the rest of the country things are moving backward. Will be around until there's a vaccine.

Our budget is in peril. We need the HEROES act. Senate constantly on break. We want the package before July 4 break. If not, city budget will have significant cuts. How can we open schools with all these cuts? That won't work. City budget has to be balanced by July 1.

DOE sent out info on square footage. Most useless, from Blue Book, flawed for years. That's why we want walkthroughs. You can enter buildings with request. You should coordinate with principal. Even if we just do in person teaching, there isn't enough staff to split in half. Looks like each school will need at least three cohorts. Some may go to four. So walkthrough is necessary, and soon.

I don't know if we will open, or if we will be able to work with DOE. Either we have a vaccine, we go remote, or we social distance, which is most complicated. Without HEROES Act, I don't know what will happen. We're still pushing safety, livelihood and profession.

Injustices keep piling up, but majority of Americans are saying enough is enough. We have a resolution, NY State is passing good legislation. If they move school safety to DOE it's not defunding police, but simply moving a division's payroll. City Council upset at lack of response to City Hall.

This week we have a DA, and there's a lot of anxiety on school openings. Entire MLC has asked city for early retirement incentive. We'll see what happens. We are trying, We have to get both city and state to act. We'll see where bill goes, but I don't want to give false hope. Last retirement incentive was in 98. Many elected officials don't like them.

Medical accommodations--We've asked state and want to make list of which will be acceptable. If we are opening in a social distancing school setting, then UFT and students may need them. We will need more home schooling. There has been some movement, but both CSA and we would like more. I only want to talk to them about school opening right now.


September--Teachers talking about masks. Necessary?  Yes it is. They are essential if we are in buildings.

Will students keep masks on all day? We don't know. Talking to DOE.

When principal declines walkthrough call DR.

DOE and school say people are returning. What about cleanliness in school? How do we know they're sanitzed? They've been there for three months. There is no Covid there now.

If schools follow criteria we lay out, then that should be enough. We have an agreement that ILTs are not officially recognized by us. ILT is now being subsumed by PD committee, which is made up of a majority of teachers.

Principals will not be left to own devices in school openings. We will check that each school had a mutual walkthrough. If there is no collaboration we will step in.

Childcare--very tough. Hoping schools figure out a lot at their level. It's never been done before.

Safety walkthroughs should consider ventilation and other factors. UFT may ask safety to check buildings as well. Air exchange ratios must be as high as possible.

Will DA meet over summer? Possibly. People will be quite concerned.

What will we do if members believe buildings are unsafe? We will check it out and do what we have to do.

Doesn't believe 683 will be in person. They're not prepared. 

CDC says accommodations will be granted. Who will evaluate? If you need accommodation, you will get it from your doctor.

Members who live far away and have children may cause us to change what we have to do. We may have to do something dramatically different.

In Europe, they did K-8 live and HS remote. Some have done the opposite. Thinking NYC would want K-8 as much as possible.

We will extend open market to accommodate budget. If we don't get federal package, I don't even know how we'll open safely.

We have DA on Wednesday. Will try to answer as many questions as possible. People upset, angry, wish I had better partner than DOE.

For us, we only hit our remote groove in May, but how can we plan with no budget? Regardless, we focus on safety, livelihood and profession. We will also work on social good. We will miss a lot of end-year events.

We'll have a big party when we have a vaccine.

Q--What do you recommend teachers and CLS focus on?

A--Breaking up into cohorts. You may have ten classes of ten, but only eight teachers. Not sure we can even cover in person learning. When you get to three, we can finally cover it. We will have to come up with something different.  We need to focus on what we can cover.

Q--683--Guidance is all of us have to be live two hours, but when you add it up, with other specialties, they have many others. Will be in front of screen all day.

A--Won't work. We will clear up.

We still have a dramatic shortage in some areas and there will be new hires. We will have a package for them. IT department free, just finished project with Welfare Fund. 

 Thanks everyone for work, for input on resolutions, and we will talk Wednesday. 6:32

Second Roll Call. We are adjourned 6:40

Motion:        To approve the following:


Whereas, the United Federation of Teachers reaffirms Black Lives Matter, and 

Whereas, the statement Black Lives Matter means that until people of African descent are treated with dignity, humanity, and respect in all areas of our society and the barriers to their safety and health and full participation in the economy and wealth creation are dismantled, all lives do not matter, and

Whereas, our work is grounded in the fight for fairness so that every person we serve achieves their highest good, and 

Whereas, throughout our history, our union has demonstrated that belief, time and time again, through our collaboration with and support for local and national organizations working toward the equity, access, and empowerment of every student and family we serve, most recently affirmed in a resolution passed by the UFTs Delegate Assembly on December 12, 2018, and 

Whereas, representation of and participation in heterogeneous communities allow each of us to grow in our understanding of the human condition and establish our role in the improvement of our society, and 

Whereas, the UFT supports culturally responsive educational practices, including but not limited to, efforts to diversify New York City’s educational staff so that it more closely reflects its student population, and the expansion of Black studies as well as Asian, Latino, and Native American studies programs and LGBTQ history in our P-12 classrooms, be it therefore

Resolved, the UFT reaffirms our commitment to policies, initiatives and movements that promote respect for and inclusion of Black students and educators and move affirmatively to make it a reality, and, be it further

Resolved, that the UFT continues to urge its members to amplify our demand for justice, change and equity by supporting activities in the schools throughout the year, including but not limited to, Black Lives Matter in Schools week scheduled for February 2021and, be it further

Resolved, that the UFT seek reapportionment of city and state funds to bring resources into Black communities to foster self-determination through education, entrepreneurship, home ownership and the means to reverse the generational economic disparities and, be it further

Resolved, that the UFT proactively engage in the necessary work to dismantle inequities in our systems through its coalition partners so that our students and families have access to, including, but not limited to affordable housing, quality healthcare and healthcare coverage and youth employment , and, be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will continue its advocacy on behalf of making sure our students and communities are not discriminated against, or profiled and, be it further  
 Resolved, the UFT stands in solidarity with Black students and educators as well as all communities of conscience, in the struggle for a more supportive, equitable, and fair school system and society.


WHEREAS, the federal Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act is designed to provide broad financial relief to individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state and local governments devastated by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, nearly one-third of reported coronavirus deaths occurred in nursing homes, and we must fund resources — including testing, drug treatment and personal protective equipment — for workers and residents at long-term care facilities; and

WHEREAS, the HEROES Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a partisan majority on May 15, 2020, and was sent to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to take it up; and

WHEREAS, over 885,000 jobs vanished in New York City during the COVID-19 outbreak, the city’s budget hemorrhaged tax revenue and now faces a $9 billion shortfall next year and the city is not expected to begin a recovery until 2022, but McConnell stated on April 22 that he would rather see states that are struggling to fund public employees’ pensions declare bankruptcy than provide federal support; and 

WHEREAS, the possible development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine is a long way off, yet McConnell opposes the use of mail-in ballots for elections, thereby exposing walk-in voters, especially the immune-compromised and seniors, to potential coronavirus infection at polling sites; and 

WHEREAS, AFT President Randi Weingarten initiated a letter to McConnell, signed by retiree leaders throughout the United States including the UFT’s Retiree Teacher Chapter Chair Tom Murphy and UFT Treasurer Debra Penny, asking him to introduce and support the HEROES Act; therefore, be it 

RESOLVED, that the UFT reaffirms the message of the Weingarten letter to McConnell; and be it also

RESOLVED, that the UFT affirms its full support of the HEROES Act and similar pandemic-related funding for the nation, and urges NYSUT, the AFT, the AFL-CIO and the Association for Retired Americans to join us in working for passage of the HEROES Act; and be it further 

RESOLVED, that, in addition to thanking those federal legislators who already support the HEROES Act, we strongly urge all UFT members to take action by asking friends and family in other states to call and email their Republican senators and representatives to persuade them to support the HEROES Act. 


June DA will operate with the same remote rules of order as implemented in the May DA. In addition, we propose the following amendment:
  1. The Question period will be extended to ½ hr.

Motion:        To approve the following:


WHEREAS, the United Federation of Teachers’ Delegate Assembly will not meet until Sept. 2020; and 

WHEREAS, unforeseen legislative and political contingencies may yet develop that could affect the interests of our members; and 

WHEREAS, there could be unpredicted vacancies of New York City Offices; and

WHEREAS, political organizations, campaigns and candidates are still engaged in ongoing activity to win the general election on Nov. 3, 2020; and 

RESOLVED, the United Federation of Teachers’ Delegate Assembly authorizes the Executive Board to consider, make or modify endorsements during the summer in order to have a timely impact on any such campaigns.


Motion:        To adjourn.

Respectfully submitted,

LeRoy Barr


WHEREAS, even as New York City begins emerging from shutdown measures intended to constrain the spread of COVID-19, the disease remains a public health threat, with rates of both positive test cases and COVID-linked deaths in the city rising in the first week of June; and

WHEREAS, the de Blasio administration plans to return students to New York City public school classrooms on Sept. 10; and

WHEREAS, to follow the social-distancing guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the number of people in each school building will have to be significantly lower and well have to establish practices and policies in schools that keep the intermingling of large groups of people to a minimum; and

WHEREAS, to reopen, schools must have widespread access to coronavirus testing to regularly check that people are negative or have immunity, a process for checking the temperature of everyone who enters a school building, rigorous cleaning protocols and personal protective gear in every school building, and an exhaustive tracing procedure that would track down and isolate those who have had close contact with a student or staff member who  tests positive for the virus; therefore be it

RESOLVED, the United Federation of Teachers asserts that our members should not return to schools and our members’ other worksites unless there are protocols and procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of the staff and students; and, be it also

RESOLVED, the UFT will work to ensure policies and procedures are in place in September that allow UFT members to fulfill their professional mission as public school educators while safeguarding the health and safety of school communities, and will hold the city to account in this process.
blog comments powered by Disqus