Monday, November 09, 2020

UFT Executive Board November 9, 2020--City Not Saying When Members Need To Reapply for Accommodations

Roll call 


UFT Middle School VP Rich Mantel--Reports that Thanksgiving Drive requests donations online for coats and scarves for children in temporary housing. Asks we share flyers in schools to help more kids.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew--We've been involved with politics last week, thanks retirees and volunteers for all the work they did. Though Biden didn't win Florida, we have organizing efforts down there. PA efforts were important. Educational platforms were very much in conflict. Trump wanted privatization, tax credits, protecting predatory lenders. Biden wants to expand Title One, add psychologists in schools. Wife's influence important. Started as special ed. teacher before moving on to college level. Will work as teacher while First Lady. Focus will be on education. 

We will at least have people who understand substance of challenges we're facing. Still haven't received stimulus package. Focus is on GA. Over 100 million will be spend. We have people there. 

We have a lot of races over our state that haven't been called. NY doesn't count absentee ballots until next week. May take three or four weeks. Then we go into largest election cycle in NYC. We have aggressive plan on City Council, Mayoral Race. Will have group of people interviewing candidates. Will organize our members. Number of races very large. 

Thanks Anthony Harmon and those who helped with parent conference on Saturday. Parents frustrated at lack of info and callbacks from DOE. We want to work with parents, help when we can and direct anger in right place. DOE likes to blame union which is nonsense. 

COVID numbers are inching up. We're ready if we have to go remote. Can we improve it? Yes, but that would require a citywide plan which they've never done. Rates low, but once it goes higher schools could become spreaders. 

Numbers high across US, Jersey having issues, and we will watch NYC very carefully. We will stick to plan. We will act with an abundance of caution and put safety first. 

We have so many challenges. At least we won't have someone in White House trying to destroy union and public education. This was an easy call for us, perhaps the easiest ever because it was so stark. Of course members may vote as they wish, but in terms of public ed. and workers' rights this was the way to go. Saturday was a special day. At least we will now have an admin more focused on what we do every day. If you read educational platform you will see they meet our needs.


Ventilation-City putting out its guidelines, we will put out ours. You do not need MERC 13 necessarily but we like it as its very effective. Schools will be a little bit colder than normal. Custodians need to keep outside air and heat blasting if there's no other ventilation. If I were teaching I'd keep windows slightly open. We are checking ventilation and doing CO2 checks. That part has been working well, unlike most of DOE. 

Grievance process--We will reinstate ASAP.  We will help people who have issues with lump sum payments.

We will get through this. You've heard about vaccine, and we will go back. We need to decide how we think tech will be used.  

We are still waiting for DOE to say how much lead time we need for medical documentation. We understand people will need to reapply. Not all conditions are permanent. Waiting on appropriate time. We will keep pushing them. 

Content specialists--City hasn't hired anyone yet. Will keep you posted.

Operational complaints moving quickly. We are seeking special compensation for members burdened with improper programming. If DOE had come out with clear guidance schools would've been programmed properly. Has been a mess all the way through. We have stayed focused and are now getting results.

Early retirement--It's out there. City in complete support. We will see where it goes. It's a process and we will keep negotiating.

Attendance procedure--Some schools saying if students complete work they must be marked present--

Mulgrew--There should be one simple process for each school. Did they participate in class that day is what state wants to know. City should have put out a single way to do this, they have not, and this is turning into a mess. 

Thanks for all work and help, especially those who helped on elections. Let's respect all our veterans this Wednesday. 

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