Monday, September 14, 2020

UFT Executive Board September 14, 2020 Goodbye Evelyn de Jesus, Hello Crazed Pandemic

Roll call 5:50

Minutes--approved via email.

UFT Secretary LeRoy Barr--Thanks us for voting on minutes. Speaks of a vacancy on board. We will take nominations at next meeting, and vote at meeting after that.  Educational VP Evelyn de Jesus was elected to serve as AFT VP, and will do that full time. 

Evelyn de Jesus--Bittersweet moment--I will be stepping down at UFT and will be first Latina as EVP at AFT. Started as para, to teacher, to CL, to DR, to borough rep, and now as VP. God sent me a great team, thanks all for their support. We started education dept. and had ELL conferences and will have a UFT university. We were able to negotiate with the Regents, love the team, proud of years at UFT. We defined who we are and how we want to be with curriculum and learning. We work with everyone and have created alliances with communities, especially Latino communities. Glad union has stood for ELLs. I was one, coming from Puerto Rico. Thanks entire board for allowing me to do work in Puerto Rico. Worked at Al Smith housing project--Smith was known as happy warrior, and that's what we should be. Nothing comes without struggle. Please vote, and tell others to vote. Our democracy is at stake. Please continue to be my co-workers, friends, and gracias. I want to bring what I have in my heart to the nation. Thank you for allowing me to serve.  

Barr--Known Evelyn 20 years, ed. maven, tough negotiator with everyone. She's a connector, brings people together. She watches over projects like a hawk. To me, she's a friend. There's no one you'd rather be in a battle with. As a young man I was in a lot of them, but she's the hardest dude I know. She brings everyhting to the table to get the absolute best of everyone. You're not going far but you'll still have a home here. At some point we will honor you.

Anne Goldman--Well said. You're a friend and a leader I've grown with. Thanks for making us better unionists. I'm honored to call you a friend and I want you to know I'm proud to have worked with you. Rarely can you say these things. Thank you.

Seung Lee--Evelyn has had a long relationship with our school. We've enjoyed our time together.

Arthur Goldstein—I was just sitting in the back of the room at some meeting, minding my own business. Evelyn de Jesus, who I don’t even know, gets right in my face and said look, if you're worried about your ELLs you need to come with me to NYSABE and meet people who care about them. You need to come to Albany with me to tell the commissioner what's going on. Evelyn is all let’s go here and let’s do this. Let’s go to a teacher protest on Long Island. It’s on your way home.

My favorite UFT event is the Puerto Rican Day parade where Evelyn screams at all of us to make sure we give fans and t-shirts and things only to young children and older adults. Evelyn is a person you meet once and never forget. She is a force of nature and I pity the person who stands in her way. Someone will do her job but she can't be replaced. I think I speak for a whole lot of us when I say I wish her well and I will miss her a lot. We're all trying to forget 2020 but we will never forget you.

Good luck in DC and don’t forget us either. 

Sterling Roberson--Congratulations. Met her years ago, call her the closer. Things we couldn't do she made happen. Her advocacy has helped us, but she's all about the members. Congratulations on what you've been able to do, and the things you've helped with. As a friend and colleague, congratulations and keep it up.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew-- Evelyn and I have been talking about this, but kept putting it off. Didn't want to see her go, but was unfair to have her do both things. With problems all over the country it was clear the day had to come. Very sad. Evelyn is like my big sister. When we met I saw her take her shoe off and threaten to hit someone with her heel. Not me. For what she's done, projects she's taken on, standing up for teacher rights, and her love, to protect all the ELLs. She takes that work with her. She's still part of our union. She's taking her work nationwide. All we have is each other, I love you very much, I want to congratulate and thank you. 

This will be a hell of a week. We opened up last week. We had 15,000 members tested week before. We did big push on PPE. Though we have problems we are working through. We have to stay vigilant. Were problems with location. Some principals wouldn't share on campus. Some wouldn't hand it out. 

D75 sites still missing PPE, but a lot has been rectified. 

Ventilation closed ten buildings, 21 schools. We will have to keep watching it. Ventilation is about exchange of fresh air. Both we and an independent company are following this. We have bathrooms without ventilation. 

Will the city live up to the challenge? Union will have to make decisions this week on what strategy. Number of full remote going up--I think city is suppressing it.

Staffing major issue. No posting for virtual content specialist. This makes it even worse. Over weekend we got 500 operational complaints about staffing problems. DOE is facilitating fights rather than making progress. We will move very rapidly to get these complaints done right away. 

You can't have everyone doing in person and remote. Maybe the last person could get that. 

By Saturday there were 26 positive cases of 15K. That is an extremely low rate. But after they lied to us, and after we know they hid things, it's a problem. We've made a lot of noise about it, posted rates, and now finally the city is doing it. But we still have a lag.

If a member has a positive case, we need documentation. If not, we won't have evidence. We want a doctor's note, a lab test or anything. Now the city will have to recognize it under our agreement. DOH is not part of our agreement because they suppressed positive cases in March. Anything with DOH we want nothing to do with. 

There are over 20 specific sites to fasttrack DOE employees. We get the results from them in agreed upon time. We are now getting them back quickly. City has a situation room. They know we aren't stopping.  There is still something going on and we think they are still using DOH to confirm. This violates our agreement. We will not have them deny lab results again. We don't need same idiots from March.

You have to give permission to be live streamed. Chancellor doesn't like it, but supes telling principals to do it anyway. Just one lens and teachers will walk in an out of frame. We are stopping that when we find it.

We had over 550 responses to safety survey by 4 PM. We may need to meet again this week. I think you all know what that means. If a school feels they have a positive test case, if building isn't disinfected and cleaned, we need to say no, we aren't going in. I don't believe most schools can be cleaned and disinfected on nightly basis. City cutting custodian budget. 

If your school is dangerous, sit out. Let DR know. We will help and make sure school gets support it needs.


Why weren't members getting PPE first day? No confusion. Not on as needed basis. Contact borough rep. PPE is essential safety equipment.

Protocol for notification if day care in building has case--We will get back to you and take care of it. In this case, DOH may have records. We will check. Should be automatic generated letter to all in building, no names. We are seeing it now.

Is union pushing unlimited sick time? If you are diagnosed with Covid or have to be quarantined, it will not come out of your CAR.

Can principal force teacher without accommodation to do in person and remote--Have to be given either or. Perhaps one person in school will get stuck unless breakage, the last person available has to. Can't be done as matter of course.

Mayor announced 2,000 new staff members, redeployment. Everything is taking forever. 

D75 CLs with multiple sites should get reports shortly. Many were finished today. 

Last week many chapters stood strong, did right thing and were well-covered in press.

Such an ugly time, compounded more by wondering what it would be like if we had partners who worked with us. City Hall didn't start working until August. Made things worse.

There are a lot of challenges right now. National election will let us know if there's light at the end of the tunnel. Statewide impending cuts could be very large. Some districts have already started layoffs. In March and April we knew this was about safety and livelihood. We knew protection of our jobs would be a great concern. We have a great plan, but not a great partner in trying to implement it.

We have to figure out a way to do both safety and livelihood. Layoffs would cause damage on multiple levels.  

AP said all teachers working from home were expected to create two google classrooms and contact all parents tomorrow, taking two full loads of different classes. Referred to Mary Jo Ginese and Mike Sill.

Jeff Povalitus--SAVE rooms---can't mix kids from different pods. Will have to think it through.

Mulgrew--Thanks Evelyn for all she's done. Wishes her luck.  UFT will always be your home wherever you go.

Katie K.--Says it's a dark time, but wishes Evelyn well. Honor and joy to try to keep up with you. Love that you lead by example. Glad you will bring advocacy to national level.

Tina Collins--Honor to work with you, but you will be a great asset to national conversation.

Joe C--Worked for three other VPs but you were the best. You will be missed. Wish you all the best.

Shelvy Abrams--Thanks for all the work you've done for paraprofessionals. We will miss you.

Monica P.--Wishes Evelyn all the best.

Janella H--Thrilled you will rep the UFT in work you do across the country. We will see you in the future, happy to see you thrive.

Final roll call--7:03

blog comments powered by Disqus