Tuesday, September 29, 2020

UFT Executive Board September 29, 2020--Staffing is a Disaster and the Budget Looks Even Worse

Roll Call--5:54

Minutes--approved via email.

 UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr-- Welcomes us. 6:04

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Thanks members and staff for handling opening of 800 schools. Hotline only had 5 calls, missing plexiglass and staffing. Staffing will continue to be a problem. DOE not handling it well, and its members aren't happy about being redeployed. Thanks members, CLs, for figuring out what schools needed. 

Operational people at DOE have been good at getting PPE to school. Lots of schools test everyone who comes in. That's what I would do if I were on a BRT. Wall monitors work much better than handheld.

CSA did not like agreement on Friday even though they were in the middle of our conversations. MOA is a clarifying document. We considered these issues to be humane, didn't want undue burden on anyone, and didn't want to leave it up to individual schools. Some principals were very considerate and others were not. We understand the frustration of moving dates.

DOE has not responded in a helpful manner. We won't be apologetic about keeping things humane. 

How do we use this agreement to deal with operational complaints? Most are with staffing. We needed the MOA before we allowed SBOs. We didn't want unproductive SBOs. Debbie Poulos is helping schools engage in process. 

I understand some people want to work with all their kids, but I don't want it forced on anyone. We want live and remote separate, especially in elementary grades. We could've gotten one teacher walking around with a mask on broadcasting to 400 kids. 

Thursday HS and MS open. Opt out rate around 70%. 

Concerned over 9 zip codes with high rates. Mayor says rolling average over 7 days is citywide issue. Why should we wait for 9 neighborhoods to put everyone else at risk? They should be remote right now. We can't be putting politics in front of health crisis. 

Our members are wearing masks and following guidelines. I understand hugging, and saw it in lower grades. At least people are washing hands quickly. Heroes today are working UFT members. We did something no one thought could be done. But we won't stay open if we risk safety and will fight mayor again if we have to.

Staffing issues will probably lead to more classes going remote. They are redeploying people who are clearly not motivated.

Questions--We are going to train people to use SBOs for leverage in these times. Chapter Leaders are extremely stressed. Questioner wants shout out to CLs doing great job.

CSA put out vote of no confidence and opposition to mayoral control. That was their executive board. We wouldn't go into schools unless we thought they were safe. Asking the mayor to relinquish control is not the way to make it happen.

If staffing is not done correctly, we will have to do a resolution on school management. If they can't get the plan done, we will have to.

Hazard pay is in CBA. At this moment we're focused on getting schools open. Hopefully we will have vaccine by end of school year. We will deal with worst economies we've ever seen for next three years. Not dwelling on it as much because safety is first, but then we have to look at livelihood. Budget hole is very deep. City and state need to borrow 30 billion just to get even. This will be long struggle for this union. If current guy wins, he'll try to torpedo NY. If other wins, there's only so much stimulus and borrowing that he can do. We need to work on a plan to get through next three fiscal years. We're working on it but not there yet. I don't see a way for hazard pay right now.

I oppose state taking over city schools. They are not the mayor's schools. They are our schools.

Moment of silence for Elizabeth Langiulli. 

Once we get remote instruction--If you combine office, C6 and prep, could they do it at home?

That's what it means, unless there's an emergency. One day we'll have a vaccine and we'll all go back.

SBO has to be clear, and members have to be part of training. 

Debbie Poulos--Training for SBO will be done for internal staff. Will speak to borough reps about training DRs.

Mulgrew--You have to move fast.

Poulos--Will be done by this week, Finalizing guidance tonight.

Mulgrew--It's been a long time since elementary schools were open. Staff has been great, and it was great to see children lighting up and being happy. Good night everyone.

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