Monday, October 26, 2020

UFT Executive Board October 26, 2020---DOE Unilaterally Issues Grading Policy

Roll Call


UFT President Michael Mulgrew--City put out a grading policy. Not discussed with us. Should've come up with something more flexible. We will look at it and decide what to do. DOE hasn't done much work because it's very similar to last year's.

There are supposed to be four opt in periods for parents. We wanted parents to see how things were going. While in schools we have procedures, but they unilaterally announced people had to make decisions right now. Doesn't follow what's in state plan, and may lead to a fight. Newark just went into complete lockdown. Country had largest 7 day average ever. Not smart to force a choice now. Will be conversations. 

Operational side--complaints are moving and being resolved. Still have issues with superintendents unfamiliar with concept of work. Grievance dept. getting involved. DRs are pushing. Some districts have no issues, but others have many. 

Election will take up a lot of energy, hopefully for no longer than two weeks. Our retirees and volunteers are working very hard. We understand what everyone's facing so we're just relying on volunteers. We do have a lot, and I thank them. 

Angel ?--Did two rounds of calls on priority districts in NYC, SI and Brooklyn, and also union households in Florida. Working with NYSUT and AFT in PA, current focus. 55 retirees calling PA. Increase in in-service members also calling PA.

Mayor claimed to look for best practices around the globe. Got many amusing emails about that. We can't let our guard down. Virus growing in many parts of country. Newark is now where we were in March. This is what we're facing.


Union position on citywide grading policy--needs to be more nuanced. 

Too many members vote anti-union--That's a constant struggle. Politics is always tough. Members voting that way don't disagree about public ed. issues. They make own choices. President, all day, says if he lose PA system is rigged. 

No official discussions, but cause for great concern if we go over 3%. We are at 1.7 now, but some locales much higher. Very concerned.

DOE finally released attendance figures, 80-85%. No consistent procedures. They make many mistakes. 

Grading policy came out today. Is not ours. Only DOE's. Contact us with issues.

Observations--no word yet. We are ready to discuss this. Waiting for state guidance. Many unanswered questions.

Retro--please call hotline for salary rep. Should've been simple. Totals looked right, but not sure how they got there. 

Arthur Goldstein--On page 7 of the new grading policy, it says that the subsequent teacher will be responsible for resolving NX grades in the future. This appears to be extra work to which we have not agreed and for which we will not be compensated. Can you please tell the chancellor exactly what he can do with this idea? 

I will tell him. Only good press he ever gets is when he works with us. He does much better when he works with us. I agree with you and we will put that right on the table.

(in response to next question) Starting to get cold now, but you will have to leave windows open to some degree. I would keep them open at least a little. You need MERV 13 if you don't have enough fresh air, but if I had access to open windows, I would. Advise all to dress warmly if necessary. There are many myths about ventilation. We continue to test schools. We now have a way with an outside company, who gave a plan to get rid of old filtration system and replace it. If you have windows, safer to open them.

Melody Anastasia--Regs between how quickly teachers are informed about positive result?

We try for within 24 hours. There are confirmations that have to go on. Most schools have singleton cases. PPE seems to work. Most important safeguards, masks, social distancing, washing hands and with monitoring and tracing it's safer.

Medical accommodations--tough to get documentation, want to plan ahead.

Has never been closed. They seem to have slowed down dramatically. Since they announced they were furloughing management, we've seen distinct drop off in work. Started moving again. People have been hearing things over weekend. See doctor by early December if you wish to extend.

Michael Sill--I will find out how far in advance you can get documentation.

Mulgrew--If we're in shutdown I don't want to redo accommodation process.  

Sometimes parents tell us in morning children have tested positive. Once verified, then contact tracing should kick in. Reach out to Jeff Povalitus if that's not happening.

Wishes us good luck, says don't get too crazy watching election. Be safe and follow procedures. 6:29

Second Roll Call

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