Monday, January 11, 2021

UFT Executive Board January 11, 2021--The Elusive Vaccine

Joined in progress 6:05--Mulgrew--Will have more .possibilities for funding with new Senate.

Very sad week for US this week, lost clout internationally

Positivitity rate inside schools very low. There is usually a small bump after holiday. We are still closing schools under emergency provision. Today 190 schools closed. Monday always worst day because that's when we get results, but this is how we keep people safe. We will continue to do that. 

1B has officially opened up. Vaccine had been being wasted, not going where it needed. We have been working with providers and will get doses. Getting calls all day, and many orgs already running out of vaccine. This will happen for next two weeks. Biden will release all reserve vaccine day one, will use defense act to ramp up production. 

Whether or not you want to take it, we need 70% of population to take vaccine. Some people don't want to take it, and it's not mandated. This is a state issue. 1B pool is over 4 million people. This means you need 8 million doses and state only gets 300K a month. We matched 6,000 members today. 

Recommend you take either vaccine. Doctors say no difference in terms of quality or side effects. Governor said union could set up own process, and we are now the only ones who've done it. Scarcity will be an issue. City seems to have issue getting out what they have. Of 400K they got, they still have 90K sitting in refrigerators.

We've prioritized people working in buildings. Those who would be, middle and high schools, are priority two, and then the rest. 

Our school nurses were the first to get vaccines. They have been on front lines.

We negotiated two hours release time. Document says if you can give three days notice, show you have appointment, you can get two hours release time. You may have to show you got vaccine. No database at city level. Members going Wednesday won't be able to give notice. Principal may not say no. 

If you have adverse reaction, and this will be very low %, you have ten days of COVID leave. If you have cough, shortness of breath, etc., you may use this. If you have fever less than a day they will add two days. Fever over 24 hours can add 8 days. Depending on symptoms. DOE tried to reinterpret, but we fixed it.

If state rate goes to 9% in NYC we will have to go to war with mayor. Legally they have right to change rules, but they're still wrong.  Hopefully it won't get to that. We will see moving forward. 

We still have politics to take care of. Normally news cycle would be city elections. Primaries in June. We have six endorsements for City Council, will be more. We are doing interviews and thank all doing work.

City putting together budget, and they may talk layoffs. We will have challenges for minimum 2-4 years. We will have 3 or 4 mayoral panels. We will build out what our educational platform is during these panels. We will probably do panels in Feb. and March via Zoom, and open to membership. 

We will then come up with list of finalists and do a panel.

Comptroller, borough presidents, will be borough wide. DA Manhattan is one of most powerful law enforcement official in country. 

We need people who will work with us. Financial issues will be tough.

Post COVID plans are good, but we have no way to finance them. Eval. and special ed. issues are in process.  Special ed. and legal people at DOE want compliance from us, and don't want to admit when they are. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Lester Young first African American Regents Chancellor. We have good relationship with him.

If you want vaccine, use every area you can find. We are getting members set up, but there is a lot of stuff going on.


Can there be UFT event around inauguration day?

That will be tough. We're working very hard to match people up for vaccines. That's been our main focus. Still this is tough time. Students are watching things happen in real time. Every teacher's got to answer student questions. We need to focus on getting people over 75 vaccines.

We will have updates at DA Wednesday. We will set up sites for teachers to be vaccinated.

Do you expect an evaluation agreement?

We have no choice. We're required to have a MOSL. Lots of elementary schools use running records. Do we want to develop a MOSL for five months? Of course not. But we have to. DOE is pushing Danielson, but how can that work? DOE wants to focus on student engagement. How can you do this when you're an in person teacher of 5 students, or you're on Zoom? They have no idea what they're talking about. They're saying parents want to know why we're not engaging kids. They make us grade kids who never show. 

Thank you all for coming.

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