Thursday, August 05, 2021

RETIREE FINAL LUMP SUM PAYMENT DUE TODAY

This is from the UFT:

Those who were eligible and received the October payment but are now on leave or have since retired will get their check on Aug. 5.

Pedagogues and paras who are on leave will receive their payment on Aug. 5 while H Bank members on leave will receive payment on July 22. All eligible UFT members on leave will get a paper check sent to the address on file with the DOE.

Please do not panic if the money has not yet been posted today. While I totally agree that it is outrageous that we have had to wait almost 12 years to get paid fully with zero interest for work we did in 2009 that other city workers were paid for back then and then this further indignity of having retirees wait an extra two weeks for money the UFT agreed would be paid in July just adds to the outrage, however, the experience of active members shows that the money will probably be posted today or tomorrow at the latest so be patient. 

Call the UFT at 212-331-6314 if you have concerns. I called that number and a representative said if we don't get paid by Monday, we should call the UFT. This is for retirees who retired after June 30, 2014.

I don't know when per session lump sum retro will be paid for retirees. August 17 is for active people.

USUAL EDUCATION PRIVATIZERS ARE FINANCING CRITICAL RACE THEORY

This comes from Matthew Thomas. I saw a link this morning at the Diane Ravitch blog.

Last week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CNN to discuss the emergence of critical race theory as the newest theater of the culture war. She began by noting that the term “critical race theory” refers to a particular tradition of legal and academic scholarship - one that isn’t taught below the college level, and certainly not in public grade schools. The right wing, she said, is conflating this term with any discussion of the role of race in US history and society, with the goal of inciting a moral panic.

All true so far. But then she suggested that the left shouldn’t just play defense on the question of racial pedagogy. Even if critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools, she argued that some other kind of anti-racist education should be, and questioned the motives of anyone dissenting from that opinion: “Why don’t you want our schools to teach anti-racism? Why don’t Republicans want their kids to know the tradition of anti-racism in the United States?”

I can’t speak for Republicans, but how’s this for a reason: the models of anti-racism now dominant in the education sector are an outgrowth of the charter school industry, funded by billionaires, and deliberately minimize the importance of class analysis.

Charter advocates have long appealed to concern for black and brown students in underperforming public schools to legitimize their push for privatization. But as the power of identity has grown in liberal culture, the industry has become the locus of a growing network of consultancies, NGOs, and businesses sowing the politics of race reductionism throughout the professional class. Back in May, I reported on Dianne Morales’ deep connections to these segments of the charter industry, and how her particularly intense brand of identitarian rhetoric was a product of that milieu.

So yes, there really is an elite conspiracy to turn public schools into re-education camps for a poisonous racial ideology. But as usual, the right is too high on its own supply to grasp the true nature of this phenomenon. It isn’t the cultural Marxists who are behind it, working to subvert the white imperium from within. It’s all the usual Draculas of the ruling class, looking to advance a goal the right itself has pursued for decades: the privatization of public education.

Thomas follows the money:

As it turns out, the project of anti-racism in education is being advanced by fortunes built on the exploitation of the working class, the immiseration of communities of color, the destruction of the environment, and the erosion of democracy. 

It's Gates, Bezos, et al who are playing divide and conquer masterfully as they bankroll anti-racism education. 

Ravitch comments:

Thomas’s theory is that the billionaires prefer to get parents and the public focused on identity politics and ignore class analysis.

To see how successful the billionaires have been in getting us to attack each other on the race issue, just look at the comments section on almost every posting on this blog. 

My advice is for all of you to stop hitting each other and punch upward.

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

WHY AREN'T THE UFT AND NYSUT DEMANDING CUOMO'S IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION?

 I relistened to the part of Michael Mulgrew's town hall yesterday where he makes fast mention of the Attorney General's Report where Latisha James concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo engaged in  “unwanted groping, kissing, hugging and making inappropriate comments.” Mulgrew in his report actually starts to say Cuomo is having a bad day and then pulls back. 

The part about the Governor starts at around the 17-minute mark on the recording. Here are my notes:

Governor

Attorney General's report has come out. It's pretty damning. NYSUT held a meeting about it. Governor says the report was all political that women misjudged him. We are basically saying he is unfit for office at this point. If it was a teacher, they would no longer be involved in education after an investigation. Governor said he was considering mandating vaccines for teachers. It is hard to deal with the governor's office today because of the report. They are preoccupied with sexual harassment which the attorney general says has happened.

Mulgrew gives the governor's side and doesn't use the words sexual harassment until the last sentence. He never says sexual misconduct. He then hides behind the NYSUT statement rather than demand that Cuomo resign now.

The NYSUT Statement:

The attorney general has detailed conduct that is repugnant and indefensible in any workplace and especially in the state’s highest elected office. Equally troubling was the governor’s response to the report. Sadly, both show he is unfit to serve in office.

We are basically saying he is unfit for office. No, he needs to resign immediately or be impeached forthwith! Case closed.

Mulgrew as usual is still a bit timid when talking about Cuomo. 

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has it right:

“F–king resign,” Williams demanded Wednesday at a rally outside the embattled governor’s Midtown Manhattan office.

“Governor Cuomo: if you have any decency at all, any at all, any at all, even a molecule of decency, you have any chance to provide, any chance to provide goodness in your reputation, f–king resign,” Williams fumed.

“Haven’t you done enough to the people of New York State? Haven’t you harmed and hurt enough people? Do not do this any longer, please. Resign. Get out. Leave,” Williams prodded.

How about some outrage from our union?

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

LIVE BLOGGING FROM AUGUST MULGREW TOWN HALL (Unedited)

 I have been connected in a timely manner today. Waiting for the meeting to start. We will take notes and post throughout.

Michael Mulgrew signs on at 2:05 p.m. He acknowledges Chapter 683 people work later but it is hard to get a slot with 21,000 on calls. He does work around the country with AFT. Colleagues in states with low vaccination rates are going through tough times. Members have been phenomenal. In-person learning is the best for children. Everyone knows that since the pandemic how important it is to have in-person learning. We're hoping that for the beginning up until December that this will be how we start. It's not going to be a smooth opening. There are more challenges than we thought we were going to have as of a couple of months ago. We will talk about medical accommodations too. Half will be on information and half on questions. Recording at UFT website tomorrow.

Virus

Strain causing havoc again. Meeting with independent doctors. They are not on our payroll. Strain is troubling. Working with people from hospital chains. Biggest fear is a strain will develop that is vaccine-resistant. Love the diversity in the UFT. The reason we were able to shut down the school system in 2020 and open it last fall is because we have stuck together. We will not say remote only but there needs to be a remote option. We have been telling the city this. After what our children have been through, it is imperative that we do everything we can to get kids into in-person learning. Mayor does not want a remote option. We agree we want the majority in school in-person. Doctors say to balance it toward in-person. Saying that freedom is freedom not to wear masks. Government can mandate vaccines. It is clear in law. We are not supporting that at this point. But, the only way and the fastest way out of the pandemic is for more people to be vaccinated. Our doctors telling us that. We can't say that unvaccinated people can't work. Mayor said proof of vaccine required for recreation. It is established law that a government can't mandate vaccines. It was established in 1905. Upheld many times as government has an obligation to protect the people. Those are the facts. Challenged last year in Democratic and Republican areas. It doesn't matter if it is an emergency authorization or a full authorization. We will defend our peoples' rights but we do not. Mayor has not mandated vaccination but. Teachers are mandated for testing but students can't be because there is no remote option. Test and trace people said they will try to stay to test vaccinated people. We are negotiating. We will have another town hall before school starts. Testing isn't mandated except for non-vaccinated people. DOE must make the testing available to the member during the workday or the DOE will have to give time or compensation to get it done. We have the testing capacity for 85,000 per week. Doctors say unvaccinated more likely to get and spread COVID than vaccinated. Strain we are now dealing with is more problematic than the strains we have had to go through. Prioritizing the non-vaccinated to be tested.

Governor

Attorney General's report has come out. It's pretty damning. NYSUT held a meeting about it. Governor says the report was all political that women misjudged him. We are basically saying he is unfit for office at this point. If it was a teacher, they would no longer be involved in education after an investigation. Governor said he was considering mandating vaccines for teachers. It is hard to deal with the governor's office today because of the report. They are preoccupied with sexual harassment which the attorney general says has happened.

Federal

Set policies to get people vaccinated. Make it more and more difficult to move around and do different things in life if unvaccinated. We go by what our doctors tell us. They tell us more people need to get vaccinated. 97% of breakthroughs do not lead to serious illness and the other 3% on breakthroughs have other underlying conditions. We are opening in September. Building Response Teams are the key piece. We will do training before school. It can't be "I don't want to be vaccinated or I don't want to wear a mask." Take a deep breath. Look at what we have to still accomplish. People criticize teacher unions. We set up remote classes and then we opened up during a pandemic. Enemies want to use things against us. 

September

Thanks thousands getting trained on what we are trying to implement in September. Five point plan. We have intervention teams, massive summer school that is staying safe, small piece on a pilot on lower class size. We have tried to legislate lower class size in NYC schools but courts have sided with city. Came up with changing the NYC health code and we think we will survive the court challenge. Planning process will start in September. We had a press conference and we are looking to get law passed. K-grade 10 literacy and numeracy screening of every child. Social-emotional diagnostic of every child in our school system. Students will demonstrate problematic outward behavior right away. Some will be shut down. We have a crisis team at every school. We had a building response team on paper before last summer and we made it real in every school. Crisis team becomes an important piece. Thousands have been trained. DOE has been good on this. We will do training to recognize trauma on the first two days of school. We will sent out a giant email with all of this in a couple of weeks. However, to do real diagnostic will take a couple of months. Literacy-numeracy: academic intervention team and professional learning team. Chapter leader and others who have time take these rules. Teacher center people have been trained. Most is computer-based training for a period. K-2 will probably not be on computer but will be 1 to 1. For everyone else, it will be on computer. This should not be an undue burden on everyone including schools. We want to make it as simple as possible. Schools can plan on their own. Do you want to do a pull-out program or a grade based program? Teams in schools have to put the plans together. This is not part of anyone's MOSL. Diagnostics (academic screens) start on September 27 and must be completed by October 22. Most are computer based. Makeups on last week of October. Social-emotional will start later. Mandatory masking coming unless 95% are vacccinated and virus goes down. Only 50 schools can't meet 3 feet distancing. Cafeterias will be very breezy. Hopefully by the middle of October our systems are there and we can troubleshoot. We dealt with problems like with masks and air purifiers quickly. There will be a lot of challenges this year. 

New mayor and our contract up by the beginning of next school year. We want every chapter to have a representative group on their own behalf. We are assuming Eric Adams will be mayor. We are talking to him. He knows challenges. School system opening. We can't have things from different ways because that's not how a union works. We're working with our doctors. They have gotten us through this so far. Hopes you are having a better summer than last summer. We hoped we would be beyond this. Last year it was about keeping this safe and keeping our livelihoods. This year it will be a different challenge. Schools will be a lot more crowded. Principals demanding digital classrooms but we said no. We started a collective bargaining conversation as we are technically not in an emergency at this point. Classrooms will be closed down as some of what we dealt with last year is still here. UFT showed people know how to get this done. We will fight what we need to get done to get through the pandemic. We will have fights if we have to. We are not sure whether we will have a remote option. Need a medical necessity. DOE doctors and our doctors will fight over medical accommodations. Medical accommodations this year will not mean work from home. You show courage on the job. We are different types of people. We believe life is about helping. 

Questions

Question: COVID protocols, Governor listed disinfecting protocols, random testing-how often, is there a protocol for closing a classroom or school,  if vaccinated teacher is in a closed room, do they get quarantined? 

Mulgrew Answer: Not that much of a change on cleaning protocol. DOE people have been helpful on cleaning. We did 1.2 million tests last year. That is the minimum for this year. Difference is we will have 600,000 more people in buildings.  Committing to testing each school every other week. Want people who want to get tested, tested. Classrooms will shut down. It is 3 or 4 to shut down a building if they are related to spread in the building. We will send all of this before the start of the school year. We are in conversations about vaccinated teachers' quarantining.

Question: If we are parents with children under 12, what if our kids are quarantined?

Answer: DOE is saying no CAR days if child is quarantined but this is being discussed with the Municipal Labor Council. This is a bigger issue than just the DOE as it goes through every city agency.

Question: Unvaccinated teachers will be tested in school or on our own?

Answer: Mayor mandated vaccine or testing so employees should be compensated or have tests done during the workday. Waiting for city answer as city agencies are different. City can't tell us it's complicated so the mayor has to make this happen.

Question: People with medical accommodations, will there be options in September if someone who doesn't want to get vaccinated like a leave of absence cause of COVID.

Answer: We have had these conversations with the city. Our position is people should have the option for a leave. This is important as we are supporting someone's individual rights. We are working on that.

Question: If students refuse to wear a mask, what happens as there is no remote option? Teachers Choice?

Answer: Teachers Choice is on the books. Divide pot of money by how money by how many people are eligible. Mike Sill comes on to say spending can begin on August 1. We will have the specific amount per titles as soon as possible. We have asked the city the mask question as to what we will do if kids refuse to wear masks and the city said they will get back to us on that issue. City has to be able to enforce mask mandate. 

Question: Programming, should we be programming based on kids changing classes or staying in the same room?

Answer: You need to make sure the 3 foot rule is being implemented. Many schools using non traditional space as classrooms. In high schools it will be a big challenge as students move from class to class. It is a larger scale this year as compared to last. How you are making 3-foot distance rule work is a building issue.

Question: Protocols for isolation room?

Answer: We haven't heard that isolation rooms are being removed. Last year building response team covered this. We will train building response teams on this. We have done that work last year and building response teams will make decisions.

Question: Person who was on the float on the everyday heroes parade-what efforts are made that there is a permanent school nurse in every building?

Answer: It is a huge effort and this is one of Eric Adams' main priorities. We hope to have it done by this September but we should have it done by next September.

Question: Jay Werner from Solidarity: Arbitration for spring break?

Answer: City is upset that we filed it and they are upset that we are getting legislation on class size. Mayor made us work and now he has an obligation to compensate us. This one will be scheduled by the end of September. Mayor will say the governor made us do it and then he will say we got 4 CAR days and we have a piece of paper he signed that said we could go for full compensation and we are doing that.

Question: Google Classroom, told to set it up in email?

Answer: Forward to District Rep or UFT President as this is not a mandate. We have to get back to basic labor laws and collective bargaining. People don't have to do it. It was their choice before COVID emergency. This is a collective bargaining issue now. 

Question: Diagnostic analysis, who is responsible for that?

Answer: Professional learning team that has to be in each school and has to have majority UFT on team as we want schools to come up with plan based on our training. Inform us if it isn't done the right way. This has to be done as part of instructional time, that is work time. These are diagnostics, it is more like proctoring. It is what we do when we get the information that is important. School has to come up with plan. If something becomes problematic, you need to let us know. Specific people go to specific schools. We will have models when the school year begins. Doing it computer based, which is 90% of it but then it is how we react to the data. It is not high stakes. 

Question: 3 feet distance, what will happen for lunch as non-traditional space is being used for classrooms?

Answer: We had craziness in summer school with masks and social distancing. Expectation in a large system is we will have some problems. Are cafeteria workers coming into classrooms and putting people further apart? If something is not right, contact the Union.

Question: Can we get a video on how to best ventilate a classroom, particularly in cold weather?

Answer: We did that last year and we will put out the video again. Video explains what it is like in each type of building. We want schools retrofitted with federal money for ventilation and green schools. Zero School on Staten Island is using less energy than it produces. Video will be out.

Question: Itinerant teacher, how will that work for us? Would we get tested in every school or would we need to be tested in each school?

Answer: They can't put you in crowded places. You will get a whole load of PPE. Team of people working on that. Need to be tested if not vaccinated. We have a good working relationship with test and trace people. Rules changed under COVID and they ramped up testing. 

Question: Per session retro checks, when are they coming out?

Answer: Michael Sill says they are coming in the next couple of weeks. It is August 17 for active members.

Question: Early Retirement Incentive, will it have to start over?

Answer: City unions are all disappointed. The city was afraid too many people would retire. Many new hires already. NYSUT attacked for not supporting mandatory vaccines but on ERI, we don't know how many kids are coming back. We will know on September 15 and October 31. Extra funding will run out in two years. There might be another opportunity in a year or two. Many hours went into the ERI and we were all sad. Sorry, we couldn't get it done. Sponsors in Albany are upset too. If we see the opportunity, we will do it again. 

Thanks everyone for taking the time on an August afternoon. Questions help Mulgrew and the Union. We will have another town hall before school begins. Hope it is a better summer than last year. Hope you are all safe. Thankful NYC has all of you to take care of its children. Be well be safe. 


For those who want to listen to the town hall recording, click here.

NYSUT AGAINST VACCINE MANDATE

Below is a statement from New York State United Teachers opposing vaccine mandates for k-12 staff. 

“We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one. We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate.”

The UFT last week supported Mayor de Blasio's vaccinate or be tested weekly policy for city employees, including teachers.

Maybe we will get a coherent policy from Michael "We've reached herd immunity" Mulgrew at this afternoon's UFT town hall. We will try to live blog.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

WBAI OPEN MIC ON TALK OUT OF SCHOOL AT 1:00 PM TODAY

This says tomorrow but it was sent out by Leonie yesterday and I saw it this morning. Tune in. I will.

If you missed it, you can listen here.


IS CITY-DOE-STATE BLINKING ON REMOTE OPTION FOR FALL?

This is from the NY Post:

City officials are considering a remote schooling option for kids with immunocompromised relatives, a source told The Post Friday.

The Department of Education previously said that students who themselves are vulnerable could learn from home — but the city may now extend that offer to kids with family members at elevated risk, the City Hall source said.

News of the proposal drew skepticism from some educators. A Bed-Stuy middle school teacher warned that expanding remote learning eligibility could complicate the resumption of classes in September.

“It’s going to be difficult to know where to draw the line,” she said. “I can see that becoming a headache for principals if it’s not handled properly or clearly.”

Meanwhile, state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa wrote in a Thursday memo that districts “may work with students and families to offer remote options if it is deemed to be in the best educational interest of the student.”

The UFT has been pushing in-person learning this summer after UFT President Michael Mulgrew prematurely declared that we have reached herd immunity against COVID-19 in June. 

This is from a different NY Post piece:

In a recent email to members, the United Federation of Teachers offered to pay $25 per hour to make house visits “to encourage a return to in-person learning for all students during the 2021-2022 school year.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced back in May that schools would reopen this fall — without a remote option.

However, since there is a surge in the delta variant of COVID-19 and many parents are still not comfortable sending their kids under 12 years of age who cannot yet be vaccinated back to school, even AFT President Randi Weingarten may be backtracking a bit.

This was sent to me from Twitter:


Thursday, July 29, 2021

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS INTRODUCE BILL TO CHANGE SQUARE FOOTAGE REQUIREMENTS IN NYC SCHOOLS TO LOWER CLASS SIZE; CHICAGO DONE WITH MAYORAL CONTROL OF SCHOOLS

 This is from the NY Post:

The City Council announced a new bill Thursday that would lower Department of Education class sizes to protect against coronavirus transmission and bolster overall learning.

Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger and Council Speaker Corey Johnson want to raise the minimum per student space requirement from 20 square feet to 35 square feet in all grades over the next three years.

“The world has forever changed because of this pandemic and there’s no going back,” Treyger said in a statement. “We need to ensure our city’s building occupancy codes are up to date with modern science and public health data.”

Pre-K and kindergarten classes already adhere to the 35 square foot minimum, but Treyger said the standard should apply across the board.

To help make sure that public school classrooms remain safe places, we need stricter space limits for all students, not just the city’s youngest,” he said.

Officials said most city classrooms range in size from 500 to 750 square feet. The new guidelines would cap the number of kids in a 500-square-foot room at 14 and 21 for a 750 square-foot space.

City high schools had roughly 26 kids per class last year, according to DOE data.

The legislation would require all city schools to comply by September 2024.

Even if the bill passes over a mayoral veto, I find it very difficult to believe it could be enforced, particularly with a new mayor. Eric Adams or Curtis Sliwa hardly look like supporters of lower class sizes. Since the mayor controls the schools in NYC under current state law, which does sunset in 2022 and then must be renewed, I can see the mayor saying the new ordinance goes beyond the power of the City Council and this ordinance will be fought out in court for God knows how many years. 

I still don't understand why the UFT can't demand lower class sizes in the one place where there are mechanisms to enforce it: the UFT contract. Some of the extra federal and state money the city has gotten should be used for lower class sizes and not be deducted from potential teacher raises in the next contract.

If anyone is interested in changing the schools fundamentally, look at Chicago where a reform group called CORE won an election to take over the teachers union in 2010 and there have been two teacher strikes since 2012. Chicago is where mayoral control was pioneered in the 1990s but today the Governor of Illinois signed a bill into law creating an elected school board for Chicago. Why does democracy exist in well over 90% of school districts in the country but not NYC? It's time for the people to run the schools.


Chicago Teachers Union Statement:


Elected school board is an historic achievement for Chicago's students, families and school communities

After more than 150 years of appointed boards of education in Chicago, the road to the city's first fully elected representative leadership has come to an end.

CHICAGO, July 29, 2021 — The Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement in response to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature of House Bill 2908, creating an elected representative school board for Chicago Public Schools:

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature today of HB2908, the historic bill to create an elected representative school board for Chicago, caps a decades-long fight by parents, rank-and-file educators and community activists to provide our school district the same democratic rights afforded to every other district in the state of Illinois.

Students, families and educators will now have the voice they have long been denied for a quarter of a century by failed mayoral control of our schools. Chicago will finally have an elected board accountable to the people our schools serve, as it should be.

Our union is grateful to the grassroots movement that led with us in this fight. We owe special thanks to state representatives Kam Buckner and bill sponsor Delia Ramirez, Sen. Rob Martwick, Illinois Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. All were instrumental in getting this landmark legislation to the governor’s desk.

We are also thinking tonight about our beloved President Emerita Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT. This victory is hers as much as it is a victory for our city. Here’s to you, Karen.

UFT UPDATE ON MEDICARE PRIVATIZATION (MULGREWCARE)

This is from the UFT. They never mention in their literature that moving 300,000 NYC retirees into a privatized medical plan sets the cause of getting a universal healthcare plan for everyone back considerably. Certain goods should be public goods. Healthcare should be one of them. We all have a right to quality healthcare. The US is the only wealthy nation that does not guarantee this right. Universal Medicare for All is what we should be striving for. In addition, how is the UFT going to argue against privatizing public education when they endorse privatizing retiree healthcare? 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY OF EDUCATORS UNANIMOUSLY CALLS FOR UNITED SLATE TO RUN AGAINST UNITY IN THE 2022 UFT ELECTION

ICEUFT met today via Zoom. There were over 20 UFTers, mostly strong union activists, along with a couple of newer teachers. The vast majority on the Zoom were active teachers and a paraprofessional along with a few of us retirees. 

We had current chapter leaders, former chapter leaders, unionists with UFT Executive Board experience, delegates, and past delegates on the Zoom. It felt like old times at ICEUFT as there was a robust discussion on what is occurring in the schools. We agreed we need to work hard to educate UFTers on what a real union is supposed to be doing and the rank and file's role. 

After our lengthy deliberations, a resolution was presented on running in the 2022 UFT general election. We all agreed that the best way to move the UFT ahead is to unite the groups opposed to Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus on areas where there is common ground and then to seek to work together for next year's campaign for UFT offices.

Below is our resolution and then the rationale that was presented this afternoon. 

We urge all UFters to join what will hopefully be a movement for a real union, the kind the UFT was when it started in the early sixties. Email us at ICEUFT@gmail.com if you want to be a part of it.


RESOLUTION FOR A UNITED SLATE IN THE 2022 UFT UNION-WIDE 2022 

As passed unanimously by the Independent Community Educators at our meeting of July 27th, 2021

Whereas The UFT Leadership Unity Caucus, the ruling one-party system that has suppressed democracy and stifled member participation under a 60-year hegemonic, unilateral control of the UFT, has failed the membership on a number of issues and can only be seriously challenged by a united opposition,

Be it Resolved: The Independent Community of Educators urges all UFT opposition caucuses and non-affiliated independents within the UFT to come together and form a full and united slate to run against the Unity Caucus in the 2022 United Federation of Teachers union-wide elections. 


The Covid 19 pandemic, with its challenges and life and death consequences for our union family, has forged new relationships between opposition caucuses, groups and independent union members within the United Federation of Teachers.

A growing consensus and collective spirit towards greater cooperation has blossomed among those opposed to the Unity leadership and have found common cause in fighting for a better union and safer schools during the pandemic.

This cooperation has been evident in seeking to mutually coordinate around vital issues for rank and file members fighting against the privatization of Medicare for our senior retirees; and mobilizing to organize and cooperate within the Delegate Assembly for common agendas.

It is our fundamental belief that only a full and United Slate in the 2022 UFT union-wide election can challenge the ruling one party system that has suppressed democracy and stifled member participation under the 60 year hegemonic, unilateral rule of the Unity Caucus.

This United Slate will be formed by UFT members who believe a better, democratic union is not only necessary, but presently possible. Our union leadership must energetically and responsively involve, engage, and educate its members at all times. Together we can fight for this!

The goal of the United Slate would be to challenge the Unity Caucus in order to ensure they are responsive and transparent to our members. We will use the election as a platform to educate all union members about the dangers of an increasingly isolated leadership that makes decisions for us, not with us. If we were to win seats on the Executive Board, which historically speaking is very possible, we would work in concert to give voice to members of our union, bring member’s issues to the leaders that they have otherwise chosen to ignore, and speak truth to power. 

The members of Independent Community of Educators, which in the past has won seats on the UFT Executive Board in coalition with other groups and as founding members of MORE, will assist in providing logistical support for the union-wide elections through completing petitioning efforts, canvassing, electoral analysis, media promotion and distribution.

We also call on all caucuses and UFT members opposed to one party ruling Unity Caucus to come together now when there is common cause at UFT district/borough level Chapter Leader meetings, Delegate Assemblies, Executive Board meetings and to secure a better contract for all members during the upcoming negotiations. 

We need not and can not work together on every one of our platform/program points. There are political differences amongst the groups, but on issues where we find ourselves under the same banner, and we know there are many times when this will be and has been the case, we ought to find the means to coordinate for the betterment of our union, its members and the families we serve. 

INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY OF EDUCATORS ZOOM MEETING TODAY AT NOON

We are meeting today on Zoom at noon to discuss the state of the schools, the 2022 UFT election, and the privatization of retiree healthcare. We should have a report later.

For those who wish to be on our listserve, email your name and school to iceuft@gmail.com. I will forward the information to Norm Scott.