Wednesday, February 12, 2020

UFT Delegate Assembly February 12, 2020--We Reminisce About Emperor Mike, and Many Resolutions

4:28 UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomes us.

—Impeachment’s done, DeVos wants to voucher everything. Horrendous. President’s SOTU v. budget proposals contradictory. Watching presidential race. Mentions former mayor running, gets many boos from crowd. Says we have worked with him, really know him. His ed proposal says he wanted to hold charters accountable, but never did that here. He wants unions with no power.

We are sticking to what we said—Census will start before next DA. 191 of 200 volunteers came to a weekend to be trained. Usually many people don’t show. Volunteers stand. Our budget issues wouldn’t exist if we scored 10 points higher on census.

State—Proposed budget is governor’s. Will be two more. We now have more people covered with health insurance. Governor wants municipalities to pay for anything over 3% spent on Medicaid. NYC has no control over who gets services and what it pays for. State controls these factors. County executives upset. Big issue.

2011 first year NYC put more money into ed than state did. Gotten worse every year. Cost shift. Every school district in state suffering. Last week started working with DC37 and others, saying there can be no cost shift to municipalities. Governor loves to fight with mayor, but this is NYC and others as communities. Cannot balance budget by making us pay more. This is unexpected.

Charter proposal ridiculous. Tuition allotment per pupil 830 charter student, 200 public school student. Parents were here, thought we were progressive state, disappointed. Governor’s office said it’s a formula. We had no input. This produces inequality and we will fight it.

We support ultra rich tax, most people agree unless they make 5 million or over. They’re at fund-raisers, say they’ll all leave if we tax them. We are losing, in fact, middle and working class people. They keep cost shifting onto municipalities, who cut services. This may be a big fight.

March 16, Lobby Day, union birthday. This year we will do Lobby Days for individual UFT groups, did specialized and private schools we rep, united community schools, nurses, and others.

Wound up negotiation with visiting nurse service, Was tough, ugly. Private sector bargaining getting worse and worse, demanding people pay for health care no matter how many billions they made. Now facing tough negotiation at NYU.

City—city budget affected by state. Will keep you posted.

You got letter? You can share it. That’s significant. Never happened before that we’re all saying same thing. May help with principals. Serious project. Albany remembers Common Core fiasco. For two year we testified what would happen. We are looking at curriculum.

Chapter leader community about how to help you do your job. We have focus group of CLs. We got community started.Next piece is inputting school info, like SBOs, to have record. This way no one can dispute what you did.

Consultation notes now pivotal. We’ve had movement and can prove we’ve tried to get things done. Shows CL dashboard. 1012 logged in, 580 have not. 1592 schools.

Curriculum inventory—Schools filled it out when people visited and talked to you. Please don’t do that. Majority of people believe we are an insurance policy, that we’re here to defend contract via grievances. We do much more. We want team at school level. Want inventory because tests are being changed, aligned to what students have to do. Will also get others involved. Don’t simply submit this by clicking boxes. Asks we wait and have conversations.

We know, for example, that Teacher’s College is not aligned. Majority of schools will use if for 3-5 ELA. How do we prep these schools for next year? In high schools, many teachers design their own. We aren’t monitoring whether you did it, but rather how to help you at school level. If you use non-aligned curriculum we need to see supplemental materials. Has to be appropriate.

PD committees—Will change language in contract to strengthen committees at school level. As long as curriculum aligned principal and supe get final say. We get to say whether or not it is aligned to curriculum. Many schools don’t have functional PD committees. Come June, if you don’t have functioning PD committee, you won’t have say in what PD is. 

We have over 60% signed in to CL community system. This is large number. We have people always trying to make it better. People who decided not only to help children, but also to help make better conditions for doing so. We will get to 100%.

Health care benefits—You may continue doing mail order, but March 1st, you can go to any pharmacy to get prescriptions. Thanks Welfare Fund. Some people like mail order, now will be option for those who do not.

Wishes us happy valentine’s day.

LeRoy Barr
—We have until Friday Feb. 14, to make changes to vote in this year’s primaries. Tomorrow, Feb 13 Back to Natu film, 16 ann school counselor conf. March 7.  Women’s Committee meeting march 6. CL training March 7-8, para luncheon March 14 HerStory brunch March 14. Middle school conf March 21. Early childhood March 28. UFT Jewish Heritage Labor Seder March 31. Next DA March 18.


Q—Last month spoke of dangers of Bloomberg nomination. Widely shared. We’ve seen ads. Rising in polls. Shouldn’t we consider following LA and Boston and making a primary endorsement?

A—Overall strategy among AFT is to get more engagement in states that underperformed last time. Have spoken with other locals in other states. If NYC endorses they feel members will stop engaging. We will consider what was brought up. He may be flavor of the month. People want Trump defeated. They have to consider how they feel about union and profession. Bloomberg is trying to pull wool over eyes about educational history. Just talks about money, not layoffs, mismanagement, efforts to break contract and fire union members. Not worker or union friendly. Everyone may say he’s the savior to beat Trump. We know better. We have to have other states engaged to beat current president, who has base in many states.

Q—Incidents—We have new safety standards. DOE says incidents and suspensions going down, but incidents against members happening. I know we collect data through incident reporting. What will we do to change narrative?

A—Never okay for people to get hurt. We pushed for teacher attack to be a felony. Some principals don’t get it. When CL contacts us we ask if there is student removal process. Some principals make it almost impossible and we need to know. Problem with system is it needs to be streamlined. 20 years ago there weren’t all these lawyers. No one talks about what child did or needs, or what happened to other children.

Q—NYT piece about homeless students—1 of 10. Anything more we can do to combat this?

A—We’ve gone to city agencies responsible. Having meetings to come out with overall plan. 70% of homeless shelter challenged now working families. Working with Women in Need, met with cardinal, Catholic Charities working for them. Mayor and governor spoke about what they’d do. They always say that, tell each other to pay, blame each other when it doesn’t work. Homeless children rate gone up every year for 20 years.

Q—Primary—Seen events AFT put on in other states. Is there plan for event like that here?

A—One was considering coming to para luncheon, at last moment dropped out. Candidates moving around. Will see what we can do. Have offered various candidates.

Q—How is it in member’s interest that TRA did away with inflation protected fund? Almost a betrayal.

A—I will get an answer.

Dave Kazansky—Was one fund that was changed. We saw it wasn’t performing as well as we’d hoped and was very expensive. Decided for cost, and fact there were other funds with better ratio, it was unnecessary and expensive.


Point of order
—Makes motion, ruled out of order.

Dave Pecoraro—Motion to amend agenda, move item 8 to 1, and 7 to 2.


Motion—Mike Sill
—6 and 9 to 3 and 4.


Motion period closed.

Mulgrew steps down, speaks to 8—Bridget Ryan—Proud she decided to run. She’s running for city council in Brooklyn. She has advocated and won more money for children and teachers of the city than anyone else. Endorses strongly. Let’s make her council for children and teachers of NYC.

Rashad Brown—stands in favor, chairperson of Pride committee, Bridget has been advocate and supporter, especially when we started Danny Dromm scholarship fund. Has been involved with our committee, recommends support.

Michael Friedman—Known her since 94, has worked to make union strong, what she did for union she can do for rest of city, strongly endorse.

Peter Goodman—I appointed Bridget as CL, performed well, made us all proud. Hopes others engage as she had.

Question called.

Endorsement carries unanimously.

Bridget Ryan enters
—Says she will be city council member. Thanks Mulgrew and others for making her what she is today. Will represent all of you. Will make you proud.

Eric Dinowitz endorsement
— Mary Atkinson—A Bronx teacher running, for District 11. Public school teacher for ten years, former CL. Knows what public schools need, friend to public ed., supports smaller classes, mental health, please support him.

Michal Friedman
—Knew Eric all his life. Will make great City Councilperson. Went K-12 public, Has degrees from CUNY, SUNY, will be great for community. Endorses reso.
Endorsement carries unanimously.

—These are two candidates, but we want to see more.

NYC Teachers Retirement Board Endorsement
—David Kazansky—asks body to endorse Assistant Treasurer Tom Brown to TRS board. Knows pension plan better than anyone. Trustees support him for third term.

Carries unanimously.

Eric Gonzalez endorsement
Brooklyn DA—Liz Perez says he’s been a friend to UFT. Not UFT but married to UFT member. Helped us close jail pipeline. Asks endorsement.

Carries unanimously.

Tom Brown—Supports reso to improve social security COLA. Asks for better calculation to reflect retiree needs.

Carries unanimously.

David Kazansky
—Asks for support reso against hate attacks. Many incidents of people being attacked. 23% rise of anti-Semitic attacks this year. Physical expressions of hate up against all groups. Our job to care, educate, make better world. Must speak out against hatred and bigotry.

Dave Pecorara
—amend—add Resolved UFT calls upon leadership of our country to end language that fans flames of hatred. Says self-explanatory.

Jackson Farrel—We use word tolerance in many resolutions. Understanding better word. We knew in 1977. Could we find some way of replacing “tolerance” with “understanding.”

Calls question on amendment.

Amendment passes.

Resolution as amended passes.

Liz Perez
— Since earthquake hit PR have been over 200 tremors. Largest strike in century. Psychological damage extensive. Thousands fearing ground will never stop shaking. Still recuperating from Maria. Imagine having to sleep in car, to flee to stadium, or sleep under trees fearing homes will fall. People need your help. Over 5K homeless and growing. Losses over 460 million, just from earthquakes. Asks UFT to partner with NYSUT and AFT and give aid.

Passes unanimously.

Mark A
.—Offers substitute resolution. Resolved UFT will ID and work with community leaders to offer French and Haitian Creole in all exams.

Kate Martin Bridge—Familiar with translations. Instead of saying all tests, will be pushback with ELA, which is never translated. All exams except ELA exam.

Suggestion—all exams that are currently translated. Accepted.

Janella Hinds—in favor of reso as amended. Wants all HS students to have opportunity to be successful. Asks for support.

Dave pecorarao—calls question


Rich Mantel
—60 years of UFT. Resolution to celebrate UFT’s 60th anniversary. Asks founders to stand. Diamond reps 60 anniversary, sheer strength, like union. Asks everyone to support.

George Altomari Speaks of solidarity, courage. UFT wasn’t inevitable. Speaks of courage, sacrifice, beginning of union. Speaks of collective bargaining and its importance, risks of strike. Will keep union strong. Happy birthday UFT.

Carries. We are adjourned. 6:10.
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