I am no longer a Chapter Leader so I will not be serving as a member of the UFT Delegate Assembly this year. My school closed so now I am an Absent Teacher Reserve. As an ATR, I belong to no UFT Chapter so I am not eligible to serve as a Delegate. This is totally unfair and I believe it is illegal. Many of us are out there pushing to get an ATR UFT Chapter. (See Motion Period section below to see how we didn't have any success convincing our union's leadership to do right by us.)
No points of order from me but I spent the afternoon in the visitors' room at the Delegate Assembly and blogged from there live. I came a little late.
Mulgrew was talking about federal and state elections. It is us v Eva Moskowitz for control of the NY State Senate. Races in contention are north of city. We will be up there with busses to Hudson Valley. We want Democratic control so we have friends with two of three people controlling state government.
Referendum # 3 on ballot is for 2 billion dollar bond act for technology in education. This is not about replacing teachers with computers. 703 districts in state. Many don't have tech infrastructure. Hoping to use technology correctly. We are pushing a yes vote on #3.
Regents will make CTE industry certified exams as part of a pathway to graduation. They can replace certain Regents exams but not Math and ELA.
Very good response rate on school surveys.
88% of schools had professional development committees. Most are favorable.
Majority (52%) have curriculum for all 5 subjects.
We worked on social studies curriculum which many like.
Our challenge is to build a great school system. Joint letter from Chancellor and Mulgrew about judging lesson plans along with lesson. Paperwork committee working.
62 PROSE schools. It is working.
Guidance Counselors getting hired.
Secretaries: We created criteria to hire new secretaries. DC 37 people doing secretarial work should stop. We won this in grievance.
Mulgrew thanked Delegates who had 100% attendance.
Networks have no authority. Many Superintendents have been replaced. Chancellor giving Superintendents authority they have under the law.
Need education experience to be Superintendent.
DOE and UFT must work collaboratively at central, district and school level. Need to have consultation committee meetings. Chancellor told Superintendents teachers are not the enemy. She expects Principals and Chapter Leaders to work together to resolve issues. Borough based Chapter Leader training. Priority is to make schools places where we can have a great school system. Trying to get to where we want to be after surviving Bloomberg. We must uphold contractual rights.
Staff Director's Report:
Staff Director Leroy Barr announced many dates including DA for Nov 18, a Tuesday, at 5:00 pm. Sabbatical deadline is Friday as is the ineffective appeal deadline.
Question: Concern about students taking cellphone pictures
Answer: Our policy is not to have a citywide ban on cellphones. Ban cannot be enforced. Schools should set policy. School Leadership Teams should decide cellphone policy. DA final authority and our position is leave it up to schools.
Question on parent engagement.
Answer: Struggling with professional development and parent engagement. Principals having difficulty with parent engagement and PD. We have a voice now. We are trying to make it work.
Question: Is Tuesday only day for parent engagement?
Answer: We have to be professional. Some teachers are coming in Saturday (SBO Vote) to do parent engagement. We should be flexible.
Question: Why meet on PD committee if principal has final say?
Answer: We need to document if principals are not listening.
Question: MOSL Some kids can't grow. Scores are too high to start with (kids in Advanced Placement classes for example). What to do?
Answer: We want MOSL based on growth. We are an effective school system. MOSL moved some people up and down. How can someone score 5 of 60 on observations but get 40 out of 40 on MOSL?
Gloria Brandman from ICE - MORE: Resolution to place on next month's agenda for full representation for ATRs. The motion is asking for an ATR Functional Chapter. Gloria motivated it by saying the ATRs have no elected representation. ATRs are not going away. ATRs are not part of her school. ATRs cannot build relationships. ATRs cannot be Delegates in highest policy-making body in UFT. ATRs cannot vote unless they are in a school during a week Chapter Elections are taking place.
Leroy Barr opposed it. ATRS have full representation. We do everything to make sure ATRS have full rights of teachers in school. They have full voice and have support of chapter leaders, DRs, etc...
It was voted down clearly from our limited view on the 19th floor. (Funny how Leroy didn't mention any of the democracy issues.)
Update from the Floor
As a non-Delegate, I was forced to sit on the 19th floor and watch the DA on a TV screen. When the vote on the ATR resolution was taken, the camera only showed the center rows of the DA where Unity is strong. Mike Shirtzer of MORE made the following observation: "Leroy Barr stood and spoke against the ATRs having a Chapter. He carried the entire center of the room (strangely that's where the unity caucus sits). We carried the wings and back very strong." Mike estimated that we achieved maybe around a third of the vote. Not bad when we have no patronage to give out; we can't count on people obeying a loyalty oath like the majority Unity Caucus requires of its members. We are just rank and file teachers.
No time for any more motions.
Update 1- Resolutions
Resolution on 1960 strike passed unanimously.
Resolution to support Philadelphia teachers who had their contract voided passed unanimously. Busload will go down there to rally.
Lowest number of ATRs in years according to Mulgrew. Also, before I arrived Mulgrew reported on tenure struggle and pointed out how we are much better shape than some other locals because of our parent outreach.
Nothing much has changed in UFT land.