Same as with the Executive Board, Arthur Goldstein usually writes a report for Delegate Assemblies and the annual citywide Chapter Leader meeting. Yesterday was this year's Chapter Leader gathering. From Arthur's account of President Michael Mulgrew's report, things are looking mighty upbeat these days.
Let's take a closer look at some of the issues from the perspective of President Mulgrew.
First of all, Janus does not seem to be a problem for the UFT. The Supreme Court decision that made union dues optional has not even scratched, let alone dented, the UFT according to the President.
From Arthur's minutes of Mulgrew's report to the Chapter Leaders:
Last year was Janus. Says we did good job. There is no longer an agency fee payer. Last year we had over 2K AFP. By August were 410. Lowest number by far. Will update at DA, because we’ve been working on new hires. We put together aggressive plan, including two weeks of training. Before day one, 2600 of 4K had signed up.
Further down we learn:
Right now there are fewer than five people who’ve dropped UFT. Says we did a great job. No one has had results like these in other states.
This meeting last year we had Constitutional Convention. Once we got through that, we would prepare for Janus. We destroyed CC in every county in state, and came through Janus in a way that was unheard of, due to work of CLs. This year there is not as much apprehension, but we never know what will happen. We will plan and deal.
So we went from 2,000 down to 410 non-members; we are signing up most new employees and the best news of all is that virtually nobody is attempting to opt out of the union according to Mulgrew. This a UFT golden age then if this is the case.
There's no teaching shortage here in NYC either.
So far we haven’t been affected by teacher shortage like other places in the country. One Southern district needed 241, opened 110 short. States have defunded education, denied raises for a decade. In NY we have bucked trend and spend more.
Even if that extra spending doesn't seem to find its way to the schools Mr. President?
Only when talking about the Department of Education's 300 lawyers do we hear a hint that there may be major problems in the schools but even here the President is optimistic about the latest restructuring at the DOE.
We have contractual rights. Not all are implemented. We have to focus on this and enforce rules. Problems that you cannot solve should be sent to us.
Lawyers are controlling disciplinary system and central staff thinks their job is to support principal no matter what. We want to help children. We didn’t do this to be rich of famous. If leaders believe that, there will be better results. Big restructuring at DOE, and some decisions give us hope.
I will attempt to translate from Mulgreweze into English this Mulgrew gem: "We have contractual rights. Not all are implemented."
The Eterno translation is the DOE and their army of 300 lawyers have no respect for our contractual rights. Unless you have an enlightened administration, the contract doesn't matter.
We have a wide range of readers who are teachers from across the city.
Please be honest answering this question:
Is the contract adhered to by the administration in your school?
If the answer is no, then why are we making nice-nice with the DOE?
Mulgrew gets the final word today based on this question from a Chapter Leader about new Chancellor Richard Carranza.
Q—What’s your relationship with Carranza? Good, fair positive, combative?
A—Fariña was not good to have public fights with. We’d had Klein, Black, Walcott and Bloomberg all together. We were looked at as people who just wanted to fight with everyone. For Carmen, we tried to restore respect for profession. We had issues with her management. Policies moved back into right direction.
Many members don’t remember bad times. Personally, chancellor is really good guy. But I do my job. What are we looking for him to do? We want DOE to support and help schools, not just control workforce via principals. Is it about control or education? If you harass and bully kids so they do worksheets, they don’t learn. We make decisions based on what union needs at that moment. We need to embrace and support working people at the schools. Bar was low when Fariña came in. Was comparison with Bloomberg’s last term. We need new chancellor to work with us to help. I’m optimistic.
Just because you get along, for example, with principal, doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibility to staff.
Your turn anyone?