Family matters kept me away from the January Delegate Assembly. Fortunately, Arthur Goldstein was there and filed a report.
You can read it here.
I will quote one specific line from President Michael Mulgrew's report:
UFT is largest most powerful union in USA.
Does the word delusional come to mind or are you glowing with union pride in hearing our President boast about our size and strength?
Here is what Arthur said Mulgrew reported about the NY State budget:
State—Governor rolled out budget. Good things about public ed. Got large applause when he said NY State would protect union and workers. Proud NY State spends more on ed. than other states. Says we have educated him, are highly effective.
Budget proposal—two year process—have to meet minimums from last year—1.5% increase in education. Came in with 3% increase instead. He’s signaling he doesn’t know if he can get much further. Also, health care 3%. Important for students and communities we serve. We will not get involved in fights with health care workers, will have mutual support.
More important is idea of restructuring taxes in NY State. We will get a huge budget cut next year. Governor has taken lead and said in this. Federal tax plan specifically goes after 12 states, donor states, including us. We pay for services, 48 billion more than we get back. Being used in states that got tax break.
Now we are punished for not supporting candidates who passed that tax bill. Will cost NY 14 billion additional next year. Governor trying to give us deductions back. Will probably be used to give governor and corporations tax breaks.
NY State will create tax credit for charitable funds. 10K limit for state, local taxes, and mortgagee. Other piece is payroll tax, still deductible. We may lower income tax and increase payroll tax to use as a deduction.
Feds will call It outrageous. NY is acting like a corporation. Sad we’ve gotten to the point we even have to look at this, but if not, we will be hurt—individually, and our schools will hurt too.. We will work with governor to not allow fed scheme to hurt us.
Governor now gets student of the month, star on refrigerator, we must keep him there.
Cuomo student of the month? Ouch.
Staff Director Leroy Barr later in the meeting spoke against a MORE resolution calling for the UFT to support Black Lives Matter week in February. Leroy opposed it because he claimed it was a splinter issue. (I think he meant to say splitter because it would split the membership.) Leroy as reported by Arthur then said, "Many years ago, Vietnam War was splinter issue. UFT said, we’re not going to politically engage in that.Would take us away from main issues. Membership must be aware of attacks coming in next three months. We need to stay focused to stay largest and most powerful union."
Here we go again with the "most powerful union" line. If we are the most powerful union, why do so many of us feel we are treated like crap by the DOE and city? We can't even get two observations per year like just about every other school district in the state has. We can't get ATR's permanent jobs. Powerful?
DA voted down support for the Black Lives Matter week. (Some of our right wing people who comment are going to be happy about that. Will you give the UFT credit?)
I will try to attend the February DA meeting but don't feel I missed much in January.