Thursday, April 18, 2013


President’s Report 

President Michael Mulgrew reported on Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference saying he would negotiate contracts since all the city unions were now working under expired contracts.  Mulgrew stated that the mayor won’t offer retroactive raises. 

President Mulgrew said parents are upset that kids are being tested on material that they were not taught.  He said there is no substitute for curriculum but the Department of Education got rid of the curriculum departments but still won’t accept responsibility.  He added they are going to re-baseline students but parents see their kids as guinea pigs. 

Mulgrew stated that UFT is not advocating either way when it comes to parents opting their kids out of standardized testing.  He will just give information and leave it up to parents who have a right to do what is best for their children.  He spoke to counsel on this matter.

The President recommended that Chapters that have principals who won’t work in a collaborative way  with the chapter  should think very carefully about agreeing to SBO’s, particularly SBO’s that are the idea of the Principal.  Mulgrew reviewed the SBO process and said District Representatives and Amy Arundell should be contacted on SBO’s. 

Mulgrew reported on the letter from Chancellor Walcott that said in part that the talent coaches were experts on Dainelson.  Mulgrew disagreed with the Chancellor on this and other points. 

Mulglrew noted that we would have a new evaluation system by September and that it will be a mess.  He continued that the budgets, scheduling, buses will also be a mess so September through December will not be good.  He stated that Central DOE is getting worse by the moment; they are out of control and there will be a big transition after December 31.  He continued that we are in arbitration, grievance and PERB on so many things that it’s ridiculous. 

The President said that fact finding is moving ahead but the city is trying to slow the process.  He added there will be a report before the mayor leaves.  The mayor is telling people that the city can’t afford a raise for any unions but the fact finders will say the city can afford increases. Mulgrew added that city unions will not be lining up for three year contracts with no salary increases. 

The chair stated that Occupational Therapists/Physical Therapists just got $2.7 million in payments from the SESIS case.  On April 30, 30,000 members will get north of $30 million in SESIS payments; some will get over $30,000 and many will receive between $8,000 to $14,000. 

The Staff Director announced that Share My lesson launch will be Saturday at 9:00 am at the UFT and also coming up are the Secretary luncheon and Spring Conference.  He also said that the UFT election ballots are due back to the American Arbitration Association by Tuesday, April 24 and that the next Delegate Assembly was moved to May 22 from May 8. 

Question: Test scores impacting on ratings and progress reports this year and next year . 
Mulgrew Answer: New system not in effect this year.  Next year we need not worry because 7% statewide should be rated ineffective, 9% highly effective and the rest in the middle. This year only 6% of city teachers would be ineffective based on the test results as we deal with the students with the greatest needs.  As for progress reports, 85% are based on test scores and this must change. 

Question: What is the UFT strategy to fight the mayor’s no bid contracts? 
Answer: We are working with comptroller’s office as he has the power to cancel the nine year contracts. 

Question: What can we do about principals who always consult DOE legal and then are told to do anything they want? 
Answer: DOE legal rationalizes anything and then blames principals when things go wrong.  The DOE has 300 lawyers and we have 3. 

Question: How can the UFT talk about opposing charter schools when the UFT runs a charter School?  Will we think about giving up our charter school and restoring the UFT’s reputation? 
Answer: Mulgrew disagrees with much of the premise of the question but our relationship with the families is what is keeping the school going. 

There were no new motions. 

SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS (Scheduled Resolutions) 
There was a resolution to support the May Day march and rally for labor, jobs for all and immigrant rights that passed unanimously.  This was followed by a resolution to support the campaign by fast-food workers to unionize which also carried unanimously.  There was also a resolution to stop President Obama’s proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid which also passed unanimously. 

The following candidates received UFT endorsements: 
Republican James Oddo for Staten Island Borough President. 

City Council: 
Manhattan 3                                          Corey Johnson 
Manhattan 4                                          Daniel Garodnick 
Mnhattan/Bronx 8                                Melissa Mark-Viverito 
Manhattan 9                                          Inez Dickens 
Bronx 13                                                  James Vacca 
Queens 21                                               Julissa Ferreras 
Queens 23                                               Mark Weprin 
Queens 25                                               Danny Dromm 
Brooklyn 36                                             Kirsten Foye 
Brooklyn 44                                             David Greenfield 

All are Democrats. 

The rest of the meeting was on the mayoral endorsement which is covered in an earlier posting. 


Anonymous said...

Julie takes a stand to back movement against high stakes tests. Mulgrew talks to a lawyer and stays neutral. I want the person with guts running the union. Glad I voted MORE.

Anonymous said...

For the life of me, I have not idea how a "new evaluation system will be in place in September". Cuomo is breaking the Triborough Amendment by imposing his own evaluation when according to the law, our current evaluation which is in our contract must stay in place until a new evaluation is VOTED AND AGREED TO by the rank and file. His imposing this new evaluation will set major labor precedence that he can simply change legally binding contracts at the drop of a hat. Labor unions can be destroyed by this fact. The UFT should be gearing up for a lawsuit if a new evaluation is imposed on us that is not attached to a contract. (And if a new evaluation is attached to a contract and voted down by the rank and file, it should not be binding) We pay big bucks for UFT dues and it seems to me when need a lot more than 3 lawyers to fight this.

Unitymustgo! said...

Just making sure I understand Mulgrew and Unity/New Actions positions on a few issues. We should be ok with 6% or in real terms thousands of teachers being rated ineffective? I’m uncertain of the exact numbers but aren’t there something like 70,000 teachers, 6% is 4200 teachers. Question to Unity/New Action do you really believe that there are that many ineffective teachers?? Second, with all the dues you collect you can only afford 3 lawyers? Maybe you guys can cut back on the perks a little and hire a few more lawyers to help out in the primary purpose of a union, defending the rights of it’s members. I know he was likely being factious but come on that’s a lame answer.

Anonymous said...

There are far more than three lawyers to "defend" UFT members. But they are NOT UFT lawyers, they're NYSUT lawyers. I always wondered why this would be the case. I just recently learned that the UFT doesn't actually employ lawyers for defense of its members, lest the union wind up being sued for unfavorable outcomes. Given what I've seen in some of the cases I've watched, they maybe have good reason to worry.

James Eterno said...

How about some paralegals to do our own investigations to counter the bias OSI and SCI investigations? This is something Jeff pushed for when we were on the Executive Board.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Good choice.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see Julie Cavanagh at this DA. What's the MORE/ICE/GEM/NYCORE/STD/TJC/Socialist Worker excuse for this month?

Anonymous said...

It was another waste of time.

Anonymous said...

How is it that no one else at this delegate meeting questioned the statement about having an evaluation plan in effect come September? Is this Mulgrew's way of saying Cuomo will be determining the parameters and most likely it will follow the horrible NYS plan that Mulgrew and Unity helped formulate??

Raving Lunatic said...

Let's define our parameters. First of all, there will be no discussion of the upcoming evaluation plan, at least until after the election. Also, there will be no discussion of year 5 with no raise, at least until after the election. And the notion of the UFT hiring lawyers is off the table too, at least until after we at 52 Broadway get a raise. Quail dinners don't grow on trees, you know.

From now on, we will only discuss who failed to make it to the DA, and which unnamed MORE members did hard to other unnamed members.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Anonymous said...

Got it Raving

Anonymous said...

Next year hold a Real DA at a local bar. The more Julie avoids the useless DA the more respect she garners.

Anonymous said...

DA is a total waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Complete waste of time.