Monday, August 10, 2020

UFT Executive Board August 10, 2020--What the Hell Is Going On Here?

Roll call--5:50

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--welcomes us 6:01 PM. 

Minutes--approved via email

UFT  President Michael Mulgrew--6:04--We need to look at numbers within last two weeks. Appears that there's no neighborhood at 3% or over at this moment. We will continue to check. 

We are considering legal actions, and we need to say there's a clear and present danger to prevail. Anything we went to court over would simply give city a month to fix it at this point. 

We must prepare for either opening or remote. We have to do all we can to keep everyone safe, hold city's feet to the fire. They have a plan, but not many details. We know what we need, but it isn't there yet. We will train 100 people as COVID task force. We've already started visiting schools. Largest problem is ventilation. 

We need eyes on PPE, eyes on processes at school level. Thanks 100 people for taking on this process. 

As far as strike or job action, we are prepared to do whatever we need to do if we don't feel things are safe. Everyone has to understand, if we go to court and fail to get an injunction, members need to understand what striking means. We will talk about them. We're not near that yet, but we need to give people good information on which to base decisions.

We will be in every school building in NYC before they open up.

Around rest of country, we see school after school closed right after they open. These states are on fire with COVID. We aren't near that, but we shouldn't open unless we are safe. City Hall has completely lost our trust. We will continue to do our work and prepare. I'm prepared to face whatever penalties if necessary.

15% of teacher have medical accommodations. 20% or more of students have opted out. Parents can opt out at any time. These numbers will continue to grow. 

21 districts opened today with high COVID levels, and are closing quickly. How can we insure we won't go through the same thing? Should we test everyone who enters a school building? Probably. We have no agreement with city yet. 

Doctors say we need random intermittent testing to quickly shut down program. We have no agreement with city on testing or tracing, no evidence they can actually trace. Didn't work upstate and school was quaratined two weeks.

Instructional--No program yet. Goal is, if we open, we want students in, to do their learning and get home as quicky as possible. We want the same for our members. We still have to work out special ed. services and IEP. We have to focus on remote. Numbers will get higher. Over 70% of instruction will be done remotely, and there's a large possibility we will switch to all remote, if we don't start there.

Right now everyone gets out 30 minutes early. This will minimize time in building. We want you to spend the least amount of time in building. We want to coordinate as teams. City wants teachers to work full day and then do remote later. That won't happen. City will be short on teachers, and we don't have federal package to help. 

Instructional lunch--we can't move children in and out. All children facing forward, students would work and eat, and teacher sits in back of room.

Mayor says everyone will be in pod, but that's almost impossible in middle and high schools. We are emphasizing PPE and cleaners. City has enough ionizers, 1400 now and 2000 on order. 

Town Hall this week. Press will spin it all sorts of ways. We are planning for every contingency. We need to insure schools will be safe. We have evidence city didn't follow rules in March. We need to know about testing and tracing, so far unsatisfactory. We are working on educational platforms and pacing. We need curriculum in everyone's platform, but we don't think city is up to it. 

If school doesn't have curriculum off which everyone works, schools can't coordinate. We need to be on same page, but plan is lacking right now. We may start meeting weekly now. Things will get very tight.

We will stand by demands for safety and papers can say what they like. We have access to doctors who work with us and give us great advice. 


Does new schedule supercede SBOs in multisession schools? 

Debbie Poulos--There will be some SBOs we cannot implement, but we hope they will begin in Fall, but others can be implemented. 155 minutes not implemented, for example. 

RSPs taking students out for therapy--Still working on that. PPE will need to be particular to those people. Working on caseloads whether remote or in person. Special ed. issues are very difficult. Principals are inventing policies that won't last. Late planning made this worse.

No survey of people who contracted. Info is protected. We are demanding school nurses for every school.

Medical accommodation approvals have begun going out.

We will get you protection needed, and we will get lawyers to back you up if schools don't comply.

We will hopefully begin testing at beginning to school, but we need to test everyone because some people are not symptomatic.

Michael Sill--There will be two forty minute meetings first and third Monday, as in multi session. No parent engagement, or OPW.

Staffing shortage will be next crisis you will hear about in media. Any issue with programs will be operational.

We will not have people in classroom with 12 kids and livestreaming to others. Broadband won't support it.

Teachers up for tenure next year--We don't want to harm anyone and people are still receiving it.

High schools will try to do grab and goes. Teachers will not eat with students. Teachers will have to social distance. 

Nobody is teaching six periods. If you are in those blocks you don't have to be there the whole time. 

We don't believe city has buses. Contracts are settled very late. Buses are controlled by DOE and they don't want to talk about them.

Mike Schirtzer--Ventilation--If systems work as designed would that mean theat of covid gone?

A--Can reduce but not eliminate. Custodians know there's a way to deal in newer buildings, pushing up airflow. Best thing still open window. 

 Arthur Goldstein-- I have a friend who's a middle school CL. He's very concerned about the six period day set out by DOE. He says they would teach six one day and four the next, rather than six every day, and the DOE program shows six periods a day, in violation of contract.

A--There are six periods available for school to use in blocks. No one is teaching six periods every day. CSA is just as frustrated as we are with bad information from DOE. 

Michael Freedman--Does Cuomo want to see every schools plan and have five meetings in large districts?

A--He said NYC has to have five public meetings, one specifically for teachers. We need to be present for all. 

Mindy Rosier--We need social distance, but none go far enough to protect D75 with spitters and biters. We will need to assist students. We can be super spreaders going to different classes.

A--We've been talking ICT over two months. There's no way they will be safe at this moment. Upstate was a special ed. building, and many more had to be quarantined because no one was able to handle a pod. We haven't touched D75 because we can't even get past ICT. You need gowns, face masks and everything. 

?--Many nurses have questions. In March, nurses weren't included in remote program. Where will we be in September? And where is calendar?

A--They're afraid to put it out. If we're back in, then nurses will be in schools, and we need more nurses. If we are remote, there will be some kind of child care program. Tough on nurse chapter, but no one got sick, thankfully. Right now we'll continue talking with city and keep you informed.

We agree to weekly meetings going forward. 

Mulgrew--Dealing with city is quite frustrating. Not sure why mayor thinks number of opt-outs is good thing, and that number will continue to grow. Chances of opening still not so good. We are severely short staffed and have limited time. 

Thanks us and says goodnight. 6:55

Closing roll call.

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