Wednesday, December 12, 2018

UFT Delegate Assembly December 12, 2018--We Resolve to Support OT/ PT Chapter, Oppose Toxic Politics

Michael Mulgrew—Welcomes us to last DA of 2018.

National—Speaks of craziness yesterday, says DeVos asked for same things she wanted last year, and they are horrendous. May be government shutdown. DeVos wants to cut money out of all we think is important and push privatization, anti-homeless, anti-Title 1.

Economy looks to be taking downturn in 2019. Education funding big issue for us. States that went on strike did so over funding. Proud NY State put more percentage wise into ed. than any other state.

We will have to monitor economy carefully. Shut down or not, there will sooner or later be a deal. We have to look at the profession, educators, and funding. We laugh at national situation, but it’s sad. No one wants this from government.

Interesting dynamic in Chicago charters. NY charters have tons of money. They don’t care if they have 8 kids in a class, or if they only graduate 17. Chicago different. CTU organized charters, and will not try to get their class sizes under 30. Teachers won right to 30-minute lunch. Their lunch was 20 minutes and included taking kids to and from school.

NY State—Proposal that elected officials get pay raise is all they talk about in Albany. For us, it’s education funding. We are happy Regents want 2.1 billion additional. Will see where it goes. We will have legislative breakfast this year. We want teacher evaluation bill passed. Regents discussed moratorium, which will sunset. Test scores become 50% of evaluation. Plan to vote on it in April. May be indicating they expect legislative activity around evaluation. If not done by April, likely they will extend it. People in office stated they would pass 8301, and we expect it. Want to concentrate on getting law changed, deal with lack of DOE plan to support instruction.

No NYC school has been put into receivership for last three years. Happy about that.

Implementation of Contract—Have started implementing pieces. Operational issues—curriculum, PD, paperwork for all, space and workload for functional live since December 5th. If there is a violation, you can file complaint, If not rectified in 5 days goes to DR and Superintendent.

Great tool for CLs and delegates. Don’t have to argue. Just state you’re making a complaint. After ten days it’s automatically escalated. Please sit down with consultation committee and come up with strategy on how to use this. You can empower your professional voice with this. Admin can no longer reinterpret contract. If PD not in alignment, don’t have basic instructional supplies, following too-long unit plans, file a complaint.

Before you file, there are trainings being rolled out in districts. There was never anything like this part of contract before. Figure how you want to use it. Don’t use it to harass. Integrity of program is making them comply with contract. Asks how many complaint people won’t get involved—says this problem is dealt with here. You can use it in committee, via email, via conversation.

You can say PD needs to be in alignment with educational needs of community. These must be rolled out and used as envisioned—to empower professional voice at workplace and organize the workplace. Don’t let it be open season. Make sure complaints are real. If people wish to file grievances, they decide. This is to enforce contract.

Use it in positive way. Harassment and retaliation hopefully will be done last week. Paraprofessionals are being brought back if they were unjustly taken off payroll.

Safety—Before we can roll out safety complaints we need to agree on standards. Will perhaps be finished by January or February.

Observation and evaluation—We’re frustrated and angry about them. Majority is meaningless, done for compliance late in year. There are new superintendents. They look at schools with low scores and determine instruction is no good, that it has to be moved. Then teachers get bad observations because they think that moves instruction. Then they push lesson plans. This indicates they don’t know how to move instruction.

A lesson plan template will not improve instruction. People sit in rooms making decisions and think this will work. Ridiculous. Teaching is ability to engage, make students ready to learn—not in lesson plan.

We have TAP—a teacher action plan, for teachers who don't qualify for TIP. Instead they say TAP. Teachers were overall effective, but MOTP developing. More evidence they have no clue how to move instruction.

Few negative ratings for teachers. We believe if you are in system, and system is moving, it’s because we did work, not because of TAPs or bad ratings. Contract says we have to develop program on how to train school system what observation system will be. Instead we have nonsense. They don’t know how to allow people to have constructive conversations. Of course we’re not at our best each and every day.

When they talk lesson plans it means they don’t know how to deal with educators. This will be a big push. We don’t get opportunity of other side agreeing we need significant change often. Are we willing to engage in this process? It can’t just be us objecting to people in classrooms. We can’t do that, state law says we can’t, old law said the same, so we have to engage.

We have an opportunity. This DA can change the horrendous paradigm of observation in city schools. it can’t be, “I’m effective. Leave me alone.” Says we should fight for intervisitations. Fear needs to be removed. Should be ashamed they’ve put us in meaningless system.

Remember first observation? We should have a session on that. I remember mine. Said I saw you in the hallway, so you did good.

Public Advocate race—In January, Tish James will become first African American female AG of NY. Many people want her current job. When there’s a seat open, everyone loves the UFT. We have decided to invite candidates to borough based forums. First is tomorrow in Queens. Manhattan 18th. Brooklyn January 10th. When it’s time we will choose who to support.

This is the official start of next mayor’s race.

Chancellor and I agree some people don’t know difference between prep and prof periods are and what they are used for. Put it out in principal’s weekly. Prep is unassigned, determined by the teacher. Professional period—teachers may only be assigned to one professional activity. Will be in writing. You can bring to principal. You can say chancellor sent it.

Next principal’s weekly we will try to do consultation. Some principals will only go with entire administrative team. We need to clear that up.

We have more challenges and fights ahead of us, but from beginning to end, we made it where we were due to union activity. Says we are an amazing group and not to forget it. You are this union’s leadership.

LeRoy Barr—Saturday coalition for homeless holiday party. 200 kids in temp housing will be in this room. Please participate at 11 AM. Will make sure each one gets toy. Kwanzaa celebration next week. UFT podcast flier available. On the record with Michael Mulgrew. Jewish Heritage Foundation having happy hour after this. At next DA petitions to run will be available. Jan 16. Happy holidays, happy new year.

Mulgrew—Podcast idea came from members. Fun to have conversations. Please send suggestions.


Q—With holidays comes snow. With only one snow day, what if we need more?

A—This is an issue every year. School districts around state eliminate breaks, extend year. We’re not used to that. Rest of state has done for years. Our position is it has to be added to end of school year. We have to meet state minimum, which is 180. This year we have 181. DOE will want to take from Feb. break. We need notice. Was same in Sandy. Then they will suggest Easter break. We will go back and forth. Was proposal in contract negotiations to end Feb break and end school year earlier. Day connected to eight weeks not as valuable as one in Feb.

Q—Will rollout of contract, concerned if union planning to train CLs on retaliation and harassment, and operational issues.

A—Yes. There is calendar date for training. We will roll it out. We may us DA time. It’s a lot.

Q—Last school year we focused on Janus. Post Janus how will we use membership teams?

A—CL’s decision. Now that operational issues are rolling out, would use them to help. CLs should not be on their own. Maybe they can vet complaints.

Q—Gratified we did so well in keeping membership. However, people want to know consequence of members withdrawing.

A—Number is very low. School based, number is 2. There are new things, like debt clinic. Members only. With law last year, anything paid for through collective bargaining process, anyone has right. If union dues, or outside of collective bargaining, they have no right. Lots of programs and PD that are not collective bargaining issues.

Q—School underenrolled, all newcomers, have to give back 150K, and we only get 90% of funding. Stuyvesant funded, but we’re facing excesses. DOE owes us money. What can I do to pressure DOE to fully fund us, and what can we do as union to make sure schools are fully funded.

A—Funding majority of union’s work. Hope because of State Senate that we get more foundational aid driven by need. Line aid not driven by need. We want 90% going into formula. Foundational funding not only NYC’s issue. Poor kids all over state would benefit. Working with state union to push this agenda, want 100% formula funding. Problem with DOE budgeting system. Was part of negotiations though we don’t negotiate school funding. We want to be sure basic needs are automatic for each school.

You can do an appeal process or help us advocate to shift system. Should be basic economic formula for each school Why does school with 300 kids have 4 APs? How much budget is for administrative per session?

We can pull your school’s budget and look at it with you. Principals often don’t want how they spend money revealed. Current system doesn’t work.


Dermot Myrie—Supports BLM week of action for this month’s agenda.

Mulgrew—no debate, needs two third vote.

Myrie—Resolves we will join with other organizations.


Rashad Brown—Already a resolution to deal with umbrella of organizations. Is this appropriate?

Mulgrew—Absolutely in order.

Brian Finnegan—For next month—

Mulgrew—majority vote

Finnegan—Wheras UFT moving back to grassroots organizing, resolved UFT will offer DA training in Robert’s Rules of Order

Finnegan—CL needs to organize chapter, important we train members they have voice. Important skill for future.



Karen Alford, VP—Resolution to unite with orgs against toxic political atmosphere. Supports. News stories horrible, frequent, don’t want it to become norm. Sacred spaces, of religion, and schools under attack. Don’t even want to talk about 45’s role. Let us stand against all kinds of discrimination and with orgs that speak out against it.

Mark Weller—Proposes amendment—Adds Anti-Defamation League to list of orgs. Given that of three cited incidents, 11 of 13 murdered were Jewish, other major religions repped.

Pete Lamphere—Supports resolution, opposes amendment. Doesn’t think union should support Anti Defamation League. Has worked against black lives orgs, and against Palestinian organizations. We should support all BLM orgs and stay out of Palestine-Israel debate. ADL sponsors police cooperation between US and Israel. Hurts communities of color.

Marjorie Stamberg—supports Lamphere. Says labeling people who support Palestine anti-Semitic is slander.

Michael Friedman—Strongly disagrees. About helping people in need. ADL deals with anti-Semitism , rights of gay people and black lives. All orgs have issues we may or may not support. We may disagree on some areas but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the good work they do. Supports.

Jonathan Halabi—May I add second amendment? Would like UFT to include Trump’s speech as hate speech. Supports resolution. Important to say what’s going on, and that environment has to do with President’s speech, which has emboldened those who take these actions. Closely associated with what he says and inspires.

Antonio Jacobs—Standing in support of resolution. Supports adding ADL to resolution. We’re a union and we need to work together with other orgs. Excluding ADL feels like opposite of that. Not everyone believes exactly same things. We need to include orgs for solidarity.

As to amendment two, we don’t need to speak specifically to 45th president. Feels very ad hominem.

Mulgrew—Wants to be very careful. This union is first and foremost about this profession. We have right to own political beliefs. Urge all of you to not be like those outside this room when we debate politics. I don’t want issues that will hurt union. Want respectful, open and transparent discussion.

Pat Crispino
—calls all matters before house.

Mulgrew—addition of toxic 45.


Adding ADL—


resolution passes as amended.

Mulgrew—Our enemies will do anything to divide us. They are nefarious. We are the leadership and we have to be careful how we deal with political issues.

LeRoy Barr—Resolution in support of racial and economic justice—Purpose is to highlight great work UFT has been doing for decades, that we continue to do. Umbrella resolution saying we appreciate all who help children and parents to appreciate racial and economic issues.

Educators in unique position to teach of intolerance, bullying, discrimination. We want kids to start from even playing field. We want positive learning collaboratives to reduce suspensions and incidents. We have been involved in specialized HS task force. We were involved before it became issue for mayor. We fight for equity.

NYC men teach involves us. We want to hire men of color. We aimed for 1K by September and have doubled it. We work with today’s students, tomorrow’s teachers. Want to increase numbers by working with them.

Young men’s Initiative also works toward this.

We work with groups, and ADL and BLM. We support any group coming into schools working with kids to improve education. We don’t believe everything any group believes, but we support any group working with positive change. When you ask we support BLM week, we do in this umbrella.

Akeel Williams—This is a no-brainer. We want to produce caring individuals, global citizens, and we need to emphasize this on a daily basis. UFT has been strong in the past, it’s time to stop, think, renew and revisit. Let’s keep moving forward.

Amendment—Resolved, UFT will encourage other unions to also use culturally responsive practices. This refers to institutional racism affecting students on neurological level affecting ability to learn. Other unions should use these practices too. Urges support.

Rashad Brown—supports amendment—UFT has been champion in social and economic justice. We are raising future citizens. We are diverse and we deal with diverse students.

Pat Crispino—calls all matters before house.

Question called.




passes unanimously

Motion to extend—

extended for one resolution

Jeff Andrusen
—author of resolution 3—What happens when resolution doesn’t go through?

Mulgrew—It moves to top next time, usually.

Andrusen—People are still trying to get contract settled, OT-PT. We have to protect everyone at all times. Supports their chapter and fight for fair contract.

VP OT-PT chapter—Poses substitute resolution. Resolution to stand in solidarity through renegotiation process.  Sub resolution speaks to 3 and 4. Brought by exec. board of functional chapter. Reso. 3 was not brought to our exec. board. We have a structure in place, a board and delegates in place, elected by chapter.

This is our fight. OT and PT are often quiet and unheard professionals who work under prescription of physicians. Work with fragile and vulnerable children. 19.7% of students have disabilities. We make sure they can go back to your class for instruction.

OT/PT voted no because NYC repeatedly said no to parity with everyone in room. Therapists now are behind everyone else when it comes to salary, retirement, top levels and more. Some of us have doctorates and get no additional compensation. Right now we are vulnerable, alone, doing service, and leaving. This is why we voted no.

We need support of everyone in this room. Will stand in solidarity with you. Work, fight, march with us.

Katherine Spunt—OT at large, exec. board—reads resolved that we unequivocally support OT/ PT, and educate on value of union in shadow of Janus.

Mulgrew—We are debating whether to substitute motion for 3 and 4.

Point of Information—Great resolution. What tangibles do you expect? What are you looking for?

Mulgrew—Resolved is what they are asking for.

Andrusen—We should go with sub resolution and work as union.

Debra Halt—Fully support resolution. Witnessed that staff has been valuable asset in helping students. Please support.[

Nina Tribbel—calls question on all matters

Sub resolution passes. 6:14 Mulgrew wishes us happy holidays.
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