Monday, November 16, 2020

UFT Executive Board November 16, 2020--Medical Accommodations to Be Resolved by Next Week, Working on Incentive, Going Remote at 3%, UFT Opposes NYSESLAT This Year


Roll Call 5:50

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--All resolutions passed. BLM resolution, endorsing Julie Menin, and opposing NYSESLAT administration (text below) this year.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--Watching numbers to determine whether or not we go remote. Some people question rate in schools, but our plan, designed with doctors, says we need to stop virus from re-emerging. We can't allow schools to be places where it spreads. Schools could spread virus into neighborhoods, and no one can deny we've done correct thing. Not changing course now.

Same folks who didn't want schools open now don't want schools closed. They can shut down restaurants instead of tweeting at us. We're one of few places able to come back using aggressive tactics. Sure you've seen lines at City MDs. This is not over, virus has nothing to do with election, and is running its own course.

Getting email from members who want to open, and members who want to close. We will follow the plan. We finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, real possibilities of major vaccines. We need to ge through the winter. Other states are completely out of hand. We remember March, and how we got through it. Everyone stayed in and that's what we had to do.

Hoping city will take this seriously. Saw good signs. NYPD great, breaking up house parties. We've done our part, but community spread rate needs to be controlled. Rules being followed in schools. Will be issues, but I will keep you informed.

National--been involved in meetings. There are two real problems--virus and economy. Economy is bad. City MD lines are one thing, but I've never seen food bank lines, which are now in every borough. At least now some people recognizing this at national level. We need to vaccinate and fix economy ASAP. 

At least now we are having conversations. Biden team quite serious about transition. Economy will take a much longer time than the virus. There will be debates about people not wanting to be vaccinated, but governor is bringing in panel of experts, something I'd like to see done in education. People will have strong opinions, but if independent experts say they're good to go, we have to make sure we and nurses get access to vaccine. 

Good we aren't a swing state, and don't need to wait on counting that many votes. Those states seem to be breaking toward blue side.

DA Wed. should be well attended. Will be more red zones likely. Many tests happening in NYC. Was holdup because nurses had to be trained. We made sure they had right equipment. Over 10K tests a day in city schools. Heard about games people are playing--let us know about issues. 

Membership has been phenomenal. Members puts selves on line, was a lot of hard work, COVID response teams have done good job. We have to maintain procedures. Ventilation improving, MERV should be finished within month. 

Will continue to meet with doctors. Told us October and November would be second wave, clearly happening nationally. Pretty bad, and getting tougher in NYC. Because we've been through this, causes real anxiety. Some nurses being told to report, or use sick days. In NY we are focused. UFT members have done their jobs. Now it's time for everyone else to do theirs. If you want to keep schools open, you have to keep city safe. If not, we're going remote. We rely on medical experts.

Operational complaints--Many are now being resolved. A menu of how to resolve them has gone out to principals. We have ways to resolve class size issues. Thanks CLs and DRs. Hope to have more competent administrators who don't feel they rule the world. 

Debbie Poulos--Progress on complaints sent out to DRs and will go out to CLs


Teachers and counselors looking at mental health, not sure about DOE. There was training. Many principals tried to make members do it election day. We stopped them. This is big issue. Many students have acute issues. Much work to do after pandemic. Children isolated for months.

If Cuomo opposes school closings we will do what we need to do.

If we could get equity with all chapters, it would be great. When chapters came in, and what was in initial contract is key to where you can take chapter in future. Bargaining is two way street. If one group is in place A, other group might be at C. Always want to help all chapters.

Issue with testing is there's no criteria to go back. We wil have to work through this. Goal right now is to get us through next three months and then reassess. Initial vaccinations should be Feb. or March. Massive ones in April. 3% is 3%.

We don't have an evaluation agreement. Waiting on guidance from state. I don't believe you can administer a standardized test in a valid way. Administrators may enter classes, but not record without consent. If they interfere with teaching, report it to us. 

We are doing pension guidance. UFT offices will be open even if schools close. Pension dept. scheduling and doing counseling. We are working very hard toward early retirement incentive. We have city's written support, but not yet in place.

If you need remote teaching training contact Mary Vaccarro. 

If anyone is filling a program as sub we want them kept on if schools close, and are talking to DOE about that. Working hard to make sure they continue. Remote would likely be temporary, as long as we can get rate back down. Evidence says procedures work. 

Joe Biden will try to dismantle what Betsy DeVos did. Many schools closed throughout country, but largest system in country open, because we worked together with city.

Rashad Brown--Member having hard time getting mentor hours--Teachers still have time during day and need to meet. 

Mary Vaccaro--Haven't discussed with state.

Mulgrew--Tell CL to arrange virtual time. 

Medical Accommodations--Believe it will be December 1st through Jan 1st. Not finalized yet. Trying to see if people with chronic conditions can bypass reapplying. Say we will have answer by next week.

We'll talk on Wednesday. Be safe and stay strong.


WHEREAS: NY State has canceled January Regents exams due to safety concerns, as well as systems that will ensure administration that is fair and equitable for all students, and;


WHEREAS: the safety of our students is paramount, and;


WHEREAS: the COVID situation is unlikely to improve dramatically between January and April, and;


WHEREAS: since the COVID shutdown, schools have transitioned to in-person, blended, and remote course instruction which has resulted in a diversity of student educational experiences, and;


WHEREAS: we cherish our newcomers just as we cherish all our students, be it therefore;


RESOLVED: that the United Federation of Teachers opposes the administration of the NYSESLAT exam during school year 2020-2021, and be it further;


RESOLVED: that we will seek the support of our brothers and sisters in NYSUT, and be it further;


RESOLVED: that we will seek the cooperation of the NY State Regents and our state representatives in the cancellation of this year’s NYSESLAT.

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