Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DELEGATE ASSEMBLY REPORT (unabridged live blogging)

Mulgrew's President's Report

Debate about issues among Democrats last night. Good to see it is a national issue to put big pharmacy companies in check.

UFT in Albany testifying that receivership for schools is a bad policy. Janella Hinds (VP HS) was our person there. It goes back to Bloomberg closing schools.  Teachers in high needs schools are not bad yrachrrs if all kids don't pass tests.

Two Common Core commissions in Albany. A teacher is on governor's commission and UFT on State Ed Department commission. Some parts of Common Core are not developmentally appropriate. UFT wants commitment from state on developmentally appropriate testing for English language learners and kids with IEP'S (special ed). We need professional comments online when State Ed Department site for comments goes live.

SED must write regulations on new law. SED has approved emergency regulations. Board of Regents agrees there need to be changes. Teacher privacy regulation back. Teacher growth scores will always have outliers at the top and bottom.  Can't measure growth at top and bottom. State agreed. New Ed Commissioner agreed to put something in. We are working well with her. UFT still advocating for certain changes. 100 teachers being contacted as outliers in NYC.

UFT needs to negotiate with DOE to agree on a new evaluation system by Nov 15 or ask for a waiver from the state.  We are following law and negotiating.

War not over. These are just battles. 4000% increase in legal bills for UFT under Bloomberg. Small group trying to make us at will employees. Bloomberg was angry and signed contracts to make sure city had no surplus. Bloomberg said teachers would not get retroactive pay. Bloomberg helped us make friends in the community.

New mayor took over and realized money was tied up. Agreed to get it sorted out.

We got a large financial package. Never thought we could get this done. First installment of retro pay is tomorrow. No entitlement to retroactivity. UFT made sure people would be made whole. Mulgrew tells Delegates not to answer individual questions on their retro calculations. Everyone's package is different. UFT has specialists.

City said those on leave were not continously employed. We fought that and people will be made whole after they are back on payroll. We lowered rate on UFT dues for retro check. TDA: If you are contributing 10% into TDA, more money will go into TDA from retro. Everyone wants to know about their own calculation. It is a compound growth formula. 8% more each day.  Next check the money will be growing. Per session gets 8% on it also.

It will keep going up until 2018 when the full 8% is in our pay. Members need to talk to trained UFT specialists.  Tell members to fill in inquiry form.

Oversize class grievances down dramatically.  Huge financial boost in school aid from Albany. Close to 6000 new UFT members working in schools. Need to get Contracts for Excellence money from state from Campaign for Fiscal Equity case.  Settlement said funding should be based on need. State owes us over $3 billion. Class sizes lowered citywide but individual schools still have Oversize classes.

Same amount of reorganization grievances as in past. Half have been settled already.  Superintendents told to fix situations. This will free up grievance time for other matters.

UFT wants to retain 80% of new teachers.  Some new teachers have already quit. New teacher meetings in every borough. UFT met with over 1,000 of them. We should have committees to help them.

Building chapters is another initiative for this year and we need to celebrate schools.

Labor Education Institute. Designed curriculum. Delegates can take classes.

New battle. NEA, AFT, SEIU and AFSCME together to fight Friedrichs Supreme Court case. Many of our enemies now taking on Chicago and Los Angeles.  Cuomo approval down in 20's on education. Funding is where we will battle. We can take on Eva Moscowitz too.

Reforms failed. People understand that reforms don't work. Destabilizing unions a main goal of reformers. Reformers in big battle want to get rid of unions.

Friedrichs is scary hail Mary pass from reformers. Ten teachers in Cal. don't want to pay agency fee. Small group trying to destroy middle class. Organized labor is standing up to the few who want to destroy us.

Lawyers used legal maneuver to get Friedrichs on Supreme Court agenda. Teachers do not have to join UFT. Agency fee paid by non members for union services. Goal of Friedrichs is to bankrupt unions. 4-4 right now. Scalia on fence. Original decision called Abood was 9-0 back in 70s in favor of the agency fee shop.

Must educate our members and then educate public. A loss would turn country into right to work nation as unions could do nothing but organize if unions lose the cas. In spite of this, we must celebrate our schools.

Leroy Bar did Staff Director's Report. Gave some dates for upcoming events.

Next DA is Thursday, Nov 12.

Q Is mandating online grading ok?
Mulgrew answer: No

Q Can retired teachers help in chapter building?
A Yes

Q Dental going up. Why?
A Dental and drugs going up. We are covering everything and don't turn people down.

Q Will District 75 be on Common Core panel?
A Federal law says testing must happen for all students. We are trying to change testing mandate in DC. D75 concerns are taken into account.

Q How can members express disguist with John King appointment as secretary of education?
A: Common Core in NY a debacle so he gets promoted to federal secretary of education.

Q Sean Ahern asked about Rikers teachers being outliers. Two incarcerated kids passed Regents last year so teachers were highly effective. Kids gone now.
A We have to change what learning means.  Acknowledged work Sean does at Rikers.

Q Teachers make sure services are provided. We need to be acknowledged.
A We need to celebrate what we do.

New motions. Had to extend for ten minutes.

Jia Lee earth school made a motion for the UFT to help secure loans for people on unpaid leave who are not getting retro.

Point of order on procedure. Turned down

Jia presented reso on people on leave getting retro loans interest free. Medical distress should not
mean financial distress. She mentioned mothers at her school on childcare leave who could use money now and our friend John self rank who is recovering from illness and is on unpaid restoration of health leave.

Union's maternity person for Queens said people who take a child care leave made a choice and are on their own. She added that the union shouldn't get involved in securing loans for members.

Unity voted it down by a wide margin.

Mulgrew said they would look at maternity issues in the next negotition.

Time ran out. I briefly edited tonight. Commentary is next.


Anonymous said...

TDA: If you are contributing 10% into TDA, more money will come out. Everyone wants to know about their own calculation. It is a compound growth formula. 8% more each day. Next check the money will be growing. Per session gets 8% on it also.

Please, someone put this in plain english.

Bronx ATR said...

That should mean your increased TDA contributions, that should have been put in all those years ago, will have to be done so now with the interest due added on. That's what should have been done with all the money owed us because of inflation. The money owed to us is a defacto loan. I still don't understand how this contract passed by 77%.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew doesn't understand math/finance. "8% more each day?" We'd be billionaires. Maybe he means 8% divided by 360 (a fiscal year). And, he says "compound growth" like that's even a meaningful term when you don't even specify the frequency of compounding.

Jesus, we should make Mulgrew print his claims in a Schumer Box in the union newspaper. He spouts nonsense and laces his speech with condescension so that rightfully confused members feel too stupid to ask him questions that he can't answer.

Here's a question: why is our retro pay under the rate of inflation? I mean, I can understand missing that mark when negotiating a contract for the future when the inflation rate is unknown (even then, the bond yield on a t-bill would be a good estimate). But, this was a retroactive contract for which the inflation rate was already known. For heaven's sake, it's printed in the Beige Book published by the NY Fed, along with data about housing- a rather big ticket item for our members.

Mulgrew went in there with his drawers down. Jesus, they must have laughed at him after he left the room.

Anonymous said...

So what is that mention about union dues rate being lowered for this check? Does that mean they are going to correct it before checks are printed?