Wednesday, April 20, 2016


President's Report
Michael Mulgrew thanked everyone who worked for Hillary. We're worried about Republicans. Must win election in fall.

4-4 Supreme Court tie goes to workers but 27 other cases are in courts that use the same free speech argument against us.

Tenure decision overturned in California so tenure is restored in California. NY anti-tenure case is largely dependent on California which we have told court.

Funding up for schools by second greatest percentage increase ever from state. Principals lying if they say there is no money next year. Money for community learning schools. Senate Republicans brought up charter schools on 14 issues but we won. Charters got new money from Republican discretionary funds, not from CFE money.

We got involved in Todd Kaminsky Senate race on Long Island after charter school group pumped major money in. UFT got in late. We have told people in Albany we will get involved when people go against us. Todd Kaminsky won last night. Kaminsky thanked teachers and parents.

Board of Regents
We met with 5 or 6 Regents on ESL issues. Regents shocked that NYSLAT test is still in teacher evaluations. Regents want package of changes in evaluation. We need to get in 5 authentic student learning measures.

City Council
Great legislative breakfast. Danny Dromm here as was speaker and many others. Moving forward with city council issues. We want $250 for teacher's choice. We want money for community schools. Bloomberg didn't want incidents reported but wanted zero tolerance. Many suspensions. Now Students First group saying schools are unsafe.

We need team approach on student. Positive learning collaborative for 15 schools that had trouble. We want to push this as restorative justice has its place but won't solve everything.

Evaluation System
UFT does not want to go back to principal being in total control of ratings. High school teacher ratings same as last year. Other schools different.

Family Leave
We say cost is $20 million. City says it is higher. We are working on it with city.

Next month's DA moved to May 18th to accommodate middle schools open school night.

Test scores still in school accountability.

Paras who are arrested are no longer automatically suspended without pay because of arbitration.

May 7 is spring conference.

May 4 national day for teachers. NYC using day to celebrate how we are moving public education ahead here. NYC leading the way in how you make public education work.

Staff Director's Report
Ballots mailed out May 5 for UFT election. Members need to look for them in mail at home. Ballots counted May 26th. We want a high turnout. Leroy Barr reported on other dates too.

Question Period
Question-People with permanent certification having to re-certify?

Mulgrew Answer- 100 hours of professional development not in for this year. Some have to do 175 hours of PD. You know who you are if you have to do the PD. Talking to state about next year.

Q Teacher retention.  Half at Math Science High School nontenured. What are we doing to keep people?
A We need administrators to understand teaching. We want to keep 65% of those hired last September. Teaching is tough; teaching in NYC is very challenging.
Teacher leadership in contract. Meeting with new teachers. It is a long, difficult road. In the end, we must take care of each other.

Q What is a focus school?
A It is based on test scores. School must be looked at in terms of climate and support. Overall, it is a category of schools that need improvement. We have a program that helped get many renewal schools off the list.

Q How will state parental leave law affect us?
A It works for us politically but people have to pay into it and it won't take effect for 3 years. Political changes have moved in our direction.

Motion Period
A motion for next month to protect immigrant students.  Home raids up, many facing deportation so UFT should have a petition to de Blasio and Farina on behalf of immigrants. Mulgrew wants to take question to immigrant groups to see what they think. Point of information if Mayor has authority to keep immigration control agents out? Answer is they don't have authority. Nobody spoke against so it was placed on agenda.

Special Orders of Business
Resolution to support Los Angeles schools where charter people are trying to take over. It carried unanimously.

Resolution to stand in Solidarity with people of Michigan and to hold officials accountable for Flynt water crisis and Detroit public school issues. Need to
make governor held accountable. Resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution to support discontinued teachers. Recommit to getting a fair and just system where people get a second chance in other districts. It carried unanimously.

Resolution to support Verizon workers on strike.
It carried unanimously.

Resolution on supporting healthy workplace bill.  Stop work place bullying.  Amendment to add a Memorandum of Support on healthy workplace bill.
Unity says amendment not needed as NYSUT already supports this. Amendment failed but resolution passed.

Mulgrew closed by saying May 1 salary increase will be in May 15 check.


Anonymous said...

So, basically, he doesn't give a rip about teacher retention. Teacher turnover is the highest I've ever seen. The spike began upon implementation of the Cuomo/Mulgrew evaluation system. But, to him, that's just a coincidence. Okay, great. You know, this was the first meeting where I began to think he was just biding time. At least in the past he seemed concerned about one issue or another. Today, he was checked out altogether. Time for new blood.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Thanks for the report, James.

You write that Mlgrew says test scores are still part of the school report card; aren't they still fifty percent of our evaluations, as well? Correct me if I'm wrong, but my sense is that Randi's ventriloquist puppet is trying to make it seem as if that's not so, but the law embedding it has not been changed.

Am I correct?

James Eterno said...

You are 100% correct Michael. Next new evaluation system starts in the fall. It is still 40% test scores for most of us for this year.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of that, when is the Lederman decision expected?

James Eterno said...

Don't know.