CONTRACTS FOR CITY UNIONS
President Michael reported on Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference saying he would negotiate contracts since all the city unions were now working under expired contracts. stated that the mayor won’t offer retroactive raises.
President 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.
OPTING OUT OF TESTING
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.
SCHOOL BASED OPTIONS
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. reviewed the SBO process and said District Representatives and Amy should be contacted on SBO’s.
CHANCELLORS’ LETTER TO PRINCIPALS
reported on the letter from Chancellor Walcott that said in part that the talent coaches were experts on . disagreed with the Chancellor on this and other points.
ARBITRATION ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS
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.
LEROY BARR'S STAFF DIRECTOR’S REPORT
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 .
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: disagrees with much of the premise of the question but our relationship with the families is what is keeping the school going.
NEW MOTION PERIOD
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 for Staten Island Borough President.
Manhattan 3 Corey Johnson
Manhattan 4 Daniel
/Bronx 8 Melissa Mark-
Manhattan 9 Inez Dickens
Bronx 13 James
Queens 21 Julissa
Queens 23 Mark
Queens 25 Danny
Brooklyn 36 Kirsten
Brooklyn 44 David Greenfield
All are Democrats.
The rest of the meeting was on the mayoral endorsement which is covered in an earlier posting.