Monday, November 02, 2020

UFT Executive Board November 2, 2020--Elections, Elections, and Elections

UFT President Michael Mulgrew-- Operational issues getting resolved. DOE couldn't just keep saying "What could we do?" so they are moving along with various issues. 

Big focus on election. Coordinating very tightly with Florida. 80% of registered voters have voted. Majority who haven't voted are independent. Votes are counted before election day, and tomorrow eve they will report voting. Contingency plans--Governor may try and stop counting if Biden is ahead. Florida S. votes Dem and N. votes GOP. 

Will have more on governor next week. NYC won't open in red zones. We don't have the capacity for that much testing. Medical monitoring program--if student or adult says no you are going home. For adults it's a leave. 

Over two years ago we started in Florida, working with AFL-CIO and local federations. NY is blue state. We have some important races. Overall, it's PA, Nevada, FL, NC, and we're working in all those states. 

Tom Murphy--Worked on 8 UFT presidential campaigns. Since hanging chads, we've had to focus on FL. You'd think this campaign would be angst-laden, given 2016, but we're just putting noses to grindstone and working. 

Shows PowerPoint on FL phone banks--Made 9654 calls, 2282 conversations. Left messages for those with whom they didn't connect. 

Targeted friendly voters, dems and unaffiliated. Shared endorsed candidates and reminded them to vote. Over 94% had their ballots accepted. 

83% of registered Dems voted. 72% of registered GOP voted. 52% of independent voted. Will follow up on all sympathetic voters. 

In Florida, they can take rejected ballots and correct them so they are counted. 

Mulgrew--Great work being done in FL. We didn't meet goals because of COVID, but coordinated phone banks are helpful. Close to nine million voted before election day, and that's incredible. 

Murphy--Our folks couldn't travel as they used to but our connections have paid off.

Mulgrew--We have great connections in FL and Nevada. Everyone in FL comes to thank UFT for our work.

Cassie Prugh--CNN says 98 million votes cast nationally, 72% of votes cast in 2016. We may hit 150 million. Nine mil in Texas now, and it is a toss up. Biden up nationally by 10.  2.3 million early votes in PA. GA close to 2016 total, as is NC. Biden favored in many swing states.

Trained 194 retiree volunteers virtually. Our RTC chapter to local for AFT.

Angel Vasquez--Our 194 volunteers are here, and trained in house. We have been calling since 9/21. Focus on NYC priority races, LI, Hudson Valley, FL and PA.  Made over 8K calls.

Donna Coppola--Working for Max Rose, very optimistic, know it's very tight, watching closely. Tough, vicious campaign. Lots of lies spread. Hard to get a pulse on what's working. They feel good in Brooklyn and have more Dems than GOP registered in SI. Will have virtual gathering at end of night. Hopefully all will be well. Thanks retirees and volunteers.

Prugh--Began calling, texts, emails day after Labor Day. Sent mail in NYC priority races, used digital ads last month for Rose and Gounardes since early October.  Polls open tomorrow 6 AM to 9 PM.

Mulgrew--We get polling data, track everyone in pivotal states. Looks strong, but no one knows what will happen or how people will react. This is not something I've experienced--politics being such a straight up conflict. This is new. There is real fear about what will happen. I don't believe it will be anything horrendous, but people are preparing for it. Best thing is high percentage of voting. Will see where it goes. No predictions. We recommend based on protecting our families and professions. Confident we are supporting the right people on that criteria. Some people are upset, but based on that we are protecting families and professions. 

If FL goes one way early, that could end the election. FL already hearing crazy things about governor, and with such large early voting they fear he will stop counting. Fewer than 20% of registered voters can now vote tomorrow, amidst terrible COVID outbreak. Rose and Gounardes have been good for us. Gounardes helped with early retirement.

First day ever with 100,000 positive cases. No country ever hit that number, and we have to deal with this.


No layoff guarantee for this school year. With stimulus over 5 bil, we will get 2nd year.

Governor has shifted to micro targeting. He will shut down if it gets bad, but this seems to have worked. City and state still not doing well. Businesses have been open and we are improving. 

Budget constraints affecting special education--We are working on that. Issue for me is special ed, services already in budget. Problem is they need three different kinds of teachers. If they want more staff, have to tell us what they need. We have schools trying to double up teachers that have 13 comp time positions. They don't need them with fewer students in buildiIfng. I appreciate operational complaints. We have to stop shenanigans. Schools are scrambling. If teachers are doing too much, operational complaint is remedy. Problem that principals don't know how to manage.

If member visits loved one in hot zone, or state on our list--highly recommend against it. We may be able to protect you, but there is no guarantee. When you come back, you would need two negative tests in five days, or two week quarantine. Could be a fight. UFT nurses told if they leave state, it's on them. If you get COVID working here, it's a different issue. Please be very careful. I would appreciate it if you refrained from travel.

Hopefully we have very peaceful election. As soon as it's over, we'll plan to move forward. 

LeRoy Barr--Minutes passed, and resolution honoring work for Teacher Union Day has been passed, Thank you for calling in and don't forget to vote. 6:46

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