Wednesday, February 16, 2022

UFT Delegate Assembly February 16, 2021--Much Ado

UFT President Michael Mulgrew
-- Welcomes us, asks for moment of silence for Lowell Wayne, Michael Levine, and Edwin Hines, father of Janella.

Federal--Midterm elections prime interest. Looking at smaller version of Build Back Better. Want to pass Climate Change measures.

State--All district lines finished, will be court challenges, but legislature will move quickly. Need to move up lobbying efforts. Expect on time budget with most issues resolved by end of March. We will have a Lobby Week beginning March 7th. This was traditionally Lobby Day. They need to see us, but capital closed to all but staff and elected officials. We will  meet with officials beginning the 7th. Want UFT presence in capital entire week, albeit virtually. Foundation aid fully funded. Mayoral control is up. We don't want current version. One of mayor's appointments is head of SUNY charter panel. Needs to be checks and balances. 

Every mayor has used mayoral control for politicial, not educational purposes. Made bad errors with testing, COVID. They say if we change it, it isn't mayoral control, but no other cities use this version. All others have checks and balances. We will have UFT presence Monday to Friday. 

Also, endorsement season coming, state and federal level. People asking why NYSUT endorsed Hochul. There was a process and recommendation at state level. Any local president can put forth a resolution for endorsement. Once AG said she wasn't running, NYSUT Executive Board endorsed.

(Disconnected for several minutes)

NYC has record reserve of over 6 billion, exceeded revenue projection by over two billion. Wall St. had great year and no millionaires left. 

But budget raises are scheduled as zero for two years. Says all raises based on efficiencies and work productivity. Every mayor says that. At least they are not saying city is broke. Now it starts. 

Negotiating committee will meet at mid March, in person only. Hopefully when we are negotiating we'll be post-COVID. Key in NYC is the pattern. Arbitrator will work with that. We have a union in arbitration now that hasn't received last contract. We have to know whether pattern is set before we negotiate. Unions place pressure on one another. Important we start process. 

Individual chapters need to come up with own demands. Mulgrew shows 1962 contract, says it's very small. Top salary for teachers after 15 years was $10,400. People have used larger contract as a negative. But there's a story about every item in this contract, work rules, voice, support, mentoring. Once they got it done the first time, we built off of it. World is changing, and every chapter needs own demands. 

We are finalizing committee now, between 4-500. 

Vacation Days--Had to go back to arbitrator. 4000 had negative CAR balance. Award did not speak to it, but DOE decided it didn't have to turn four CAR days into vacation days. We know arbitrator will agree with us. Award says clearly it's to make sure all who work receive full value of what they put in. CAR day not equivalent to vacation day. Many folks with negative balance either decided to have a family. Some had medical crises. That's the majority. We want all made whole, and will share decision when we get it.

Many people got notices of termination. We fight for what's in contract. Doesn't matter what you believe in vaccinations. Some say we're giving up rights and others say we're giving up union time. None to both. Cannot say a teacher can be terminated for refusing vaccination. Untenured have article 78 protections. We can't let people be terminated at any time with no due process. We can't give them a foot hold there. We will do our work to make sure our rights are protected. We're all adults and make our own decisions.

We have a group of members who have provided evidence of first shot and not second. As soon as city sets deadline we will be doing outreach to all those members. We want them to remain employed. We need to know if there are errors, and give people way to provide evidence.

We want support, and smaller class sizes from city. We also want to know what city wants. Mayor focused in dyslexia. Mayor and chancellor talking about career tracks. We would support these things. They say they want system to serve schools.

When it comes to negotiations, a few weeks ago we resolved one for Visiting Nurses. We're in an ugly negotiation at NYU. Hospitals ran commercials about their brave hero nurses, and now treats them poorly. They are short staffed all the time. Lost 330 nurses. Hired only 200. Want fewer nurses on floor. They don't bill us less. Not for profit hospital industry is really for profit. Not even discussing money yet. Filed 2,000 grievances at NYU for lack of support. They thought we'd take unenforceable work rules and some money. We won't. Will keep you updated.

In two days, you get vacation. We come back on the 28th. No days off in March. And then we head into standardized tests, calendar, preference sheets. We have a chapter leader hub. Have a focus group. We want to give CLs all paperwork, preference sheets, SBOs, grievances and everything organized there. Over 2,000 SBOs a year. Some schools reinterpret them in September. We need a clear record.  We want it ready April 1st, and hope you utilize tool. Trainings, handbooks, searchable contracts available. 

Pandemic--At lowest number .43, staff at .05. Some optimism we could be near end, but must be vigilant. NJ made announcement. We have not changed our policy. We all want to take masks off, but in a prudent manner. Members all over the place on this, but no one wants to be sick or die. Maybe we can remove them for outdoor activities, but place them back on before entering. We will see and keep everyone informed. 

Everyone will get test kit Friday. Every teacher and student should go home with a test kit, and test before you come back. That info will drive policy. Breaks cause rise in rate.

Attendance--Students can be marked present with a code when learning asynchronously ONLY for COVID. 

Salary Dept. at DOE--Problems with sub teacher work and per session work. Asking they be moved immediately to arbitration. Many issues with new situations. DOE claims they didn't know there was a problem. There are also attendance issues with COVID.

March will be CL training. Moving toward going away overnight. We have a number of different hotels but will limit people who can come. If you request and we cannot fulfill you for first weekend, we will accommodate you on the second. We will do same thing with Spring Conference. We will have to limit it to about a thousand people. In 1962, MLK received Dewey Award. We want to celebrate 60th anniversary of this. 

Effective March 1, increasing optical benefit from 125 to 175. Hearing benefit from 1,000 to 1,500. Retiree optional rider from 780 to 840. This is using negotiating power at Welfare Fund.

LeRoy Barr--Tomorrow, conclusion of Black History film series, on Marcus Garvey. Discussion afterward has been great too. Women's History Month--March 3rd Criminalization of Girls in Public Schools, March 4 Herstory, virtual, March 17 domestic violence film. HS town hall March, cte awards, elementary coference, counselor conf..March 17, election petitions due Friday.

Mulgrew--Christine Tewksbury kept school together for two year harassment case and kicked principal's butt.  It was straight up, unequivocal union animus. We will see what happens, but keeping staff together through that is great work. 


Point of order--Camille Eterno--Robert's Rules says officers make no reports. 

Mulgrew--Out of order. This is an agenda approved by this body. 

Eterno--appeals ruling. 

Point of info--(I don't really understand it.)

Mulgrew--UFT has made this our agenda. Chair does not have authority to change what UFT declares to be its agenda. Roberts Rules adapted by different organizations.

Barr--Wants to speak against. This body based on tradition. We've been doing it this way since beginning of school year. This happens to coincide with other union activities History of union not based only on this year. Goes back 20, 30 years or longer. Can change it if body decides. To say, in 2022, that President cannot make a report is against what we do. You have an obligation to vote against this appeal. 

Mulgrew--We want to make this as orderly as possible. We are here to get information. We will bring appeal to a vote. 

Eterno--Page 19 of Robert's Rules, union 80% women, man saying I can't be heard.

Mulgrew rules her out of order.  Chants of "let her speak."

Mulgrew says there are people on line. If you want to make speeches, do it outside. This body is to do the work. If you don't wish to do it, there are others who will. There are over 2K online.

Cross shouting between Eterno, who refuses to surrender mike, and Mulgrew, again calling her out of order. Mike is turned off, I think,

Michael Sill--not just tradition, but voted on. If someone just showed up today, not surprised they don't care about tradition. 

?--Exec. Board--Member of union, 30th year. Active unionist for last 25. Embarrased by this forum. We are here to do work. Purpose of DA is to work and vote democratically. everything here out of order.

Someone else from EB, saying we have job to do, we are all adults, move agenda forward. Lots of cross talk from other mikes. 

Mulgrew--Debate on challenge to chair, question called. 

(I am disconnected again. I don't get to vote.)

Mulgrew explaining clickers to hall. 

 total 786 yes 279 no

Sorry if anyone had question. Send them to me. We are way past time. 

Vote on challenge to chair. 

total 887-184 Chair upheld.


Point of information--How are agendas set?  10 minutes for motion not enough.

Mulgrew--You can extend it by...(Conversations are inudible)

Resolution--To commemorate Women's History Month--contributions immeasurable, UFT, majority of women honors creativity, impact of women...for this month.

 total 937 yes 218 no

Question--What are rules for making sure people heard both for and against? Only one side heard...

Mulgrew--You are out of order. 

Motion to move quorum from number 6 to 3. 

total 63%--does not move.

Motion to suspend rules---

Mulgrew--Out of order. Majority says they want to get work done,

Resolution 1--Tom Brown, supports Deborah Penny to retirement board. Respected and trusted, advocate for pensions. Currently chair of TRS, oversees investment and board meetings, has presented on panels. Impressed by knowledge, diligence and compassion. Pensions stronger and safer with her as trustee. Asks DA to pass resolution nominating her for re-election. 

David Kazansky--Supports resolution and Deborah Penny. When many members were ill at onset of covid she contacted every member, worked for state covid benefits they would not otherwise have received. 

Peter Lamphere--Motion to suspend rules.

Mulgrew--Out of order. I know you think you understand what you're doing. You do not. I went back and checked. Yelling out to suspend the rules can be out of order so chair can continue business. Recognized you because I thought you would continue debate. You chose not to speak for or against. 

Lamphere--Appeals ruling of chair.

Anthony Harmon--Everything here should be on resolution at hand. All else out of order.

?--calls question.

894 yes 71 no. 


922 yes, 40 no

Janella Hines-- Rises to motivate resolution on healthy relationship education, eradicate domestic violence. 2019 we resolved against domestic violence. Heard many stories of abuse. We are tired of this. We still accept family primary school for love--but that often eludes us. We can create space to talk about healthy positive relationships in schools. 

?--Survivor of domestic violence rises to support. Victims often feel silenced, are not believed. Imperative that we support this. Time for us to break silence and give every survivor a voice. Tell abusers we will take no more.

Marie Baker--Rises in support. 49% of males report using violence, gives other stats. Need to reach out to youth coalitions. 

Question called.

Mulgrew--Says please be safe during time off, and find time to relax. Thanks us.

860 yes, 38 no


895 yes  18 no

We are adjourned. Wishes us safe and peaceful week off. 

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