Wednesday, January 06, 2016


President's Report
New state regulations.  Mulgrew says we have to negotiate on replacing growth scores in evaluations. State Ed Department doing revisions of English language learner and special ed. standards. Looking for way to get teachers from NYC to help write these.
UFT has committee on this.

Family Leave
Mayor looking to make it work. We will be negotiating with city on paid maternity leave. Some  who have older kids don't want to pay for this. We can be creative on paying for it.

Collaborative Teaching
Chancellor surprised with results of survey from last month. Something should come out next week. Some principals not spending money properly. Chapter leaders need to understand budget.

Student Discipline
Looking for balance between zero tolerance and not suspending anyone. New regulations on training. There are some extreme cases. Have to help kids. Cannot teach if schools are out of control. Quick survey on school safety introduced. Mulgrew then did survey with Delegates.

State of the State
Cuomo speech is next week. Our agenda in Albany is the following:
City needs to follow Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement to lower class sizes. Funding important in Albany. Must push in Albany for charters to stop taking only top students. Focus on education.

Governor's approval rating down. We have a plan. Strategy and judgment important. Should get a break in Albany.

UFT Election
Election Committee report next month.

Other Items
Only one snow day on calendar this year. Lunar New Year is a day off...Friday, January 8 deadline for spending Teacher's Choice.

Friedrichs Supreme Court Case
Adam Ross, UFT lawyer, gives a history of Labor unions in the 20th century. Public employees not covered by federal labor law. Taylor Law in NYS is  like federal law in saying non union members pay agency fee to cover collective bargaining, not political activity. 9-0 Abood decision, US Supreme Court upheld agency fee. Recently,  Justice Alito ranted against Abood in a case on agency fees. He asked for another case. People sued and lost on purpose to get right to US Supreme Court.  4 justices said they would hear the case.

Plaintiffs arguing union is doing political work when negotiating contracts. Everything we say is political speech according to them. Everything is free speech. This argument has been rejected by Supreme Court in Abood. Agency fee is fair share fee. State's rights argument.  NYS has right to collective bargaining but we cannot strike. Illinois can strike.

Justice Scalia says free speech rights are limited for public employees. Free speech limited so should plaintiff's free speech rights. Plaintiffs submitted no evidence in lower courts. No hearing on what unions do with money. Look for questions judges ask. Ross concludes by saying it is all about weakening unions.

Mulgrew returns and says rich feel they should not have to listen to us. Nobody gives us anything. Must fight for rights.

Staff Director's Report
Leroy Barr gave so dates for future meetings and said Jan 31 is deadline for UFT Scholarships.

Question Period
Q Teachers being paid extra for inter-visitations. Can they be mandatory?
A Unless it is decided by school, it should not be mandated. Work with DR and Superintendent on this.

Q How can music teacher be rated on Danielson?
A Negotiating on evaluations for this year and next. Administrator needs to understand subject.

Q What do we do if principal abuses budget?
A Use School Leadership Team to tell parents they are entitled to money. Up to school to decide how to fight.

Q  In transfer high schools, can January and June Regents results be counted?
A UFT will ensure January results are counted.

Q How do we answer when principal constantly refers issues to legal?
A Tell DR to tell Superintendent. Principals should call Superintendents not legal.

Q Para asked to do lunch duty?
A Para must get duty free lunch. If it is one to one, Para can get relief from another Para during lunch.

Q School Segregation is a problem.
A Mulgrew happy that teachers from PROSE schools who came up with more integrated admissions policies. We are for diversity.

Q Receivership school. What is it a renewal school as opposed to receivership?
A Get information out. Blaming staff in schools for failure is not acceptable.

Motion Period
Motion to support CUNY teachers fight for a contract for next month. Put on agenda

Special Orders of Business
Resolution against terrorism.
Someone wanted to amend by subtracting a whereas on terrorist attacks becoming more commonplace as did someone else. Amendments failed and original resolution passed.

Resolution on controlling drug prices. Mel Aaronson argued that certain drug prices are out of control. Federal Government can't negotiate drug prices because of 2003 law. Support resolution for allowing medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. Resolution passed easily. I think it was unanimous.

Time ran out before resolution on receivership could be discussed. See you at next month's DA.


Anonymous said...

Union dues are not being used for political speech? If I am not mistaken, I believe that the AFT already endorsed Clinton for the presidential election. That sure as Hell sounds like political speech to me. It is union behavior like that which will cause many people to not pay union dues if they are not mandatory.

Anonymous said...

Someone should sell tomatoes before these DA meetings, only problem is no one would throw them - just eat them (with a little caviar, of course).

Anonymous said...

Does Mulgrew actually see what's happening? He acts so surprised that all of a sudden he is seeing less of an assault from legislators over the 6 months. . . Dude, the assault stopped the day the Supreme Court issued it's Writ of Certeriori in the Freidrich's case. That signified that it's done - the 9 justices are about to do the dirty work that ALEC had been paying State Legislators to do. Except now it will be done with no fuss. No electeds have to risk their neck battling unions b/c the Justices are about to stick the knife in our backs.

Even our lead Counsel basically said he expects we will lose the case. So of course we have radio science from Albany and elsewhere. The fight is over. The *only* bright side of Mulgrew's rambling is that he did seem to understand that, historically, the role of labor unions have been to keep the peace. So, on some level, he must know that when the UFT loses it's tacit charter as peace keeper, then the proper role changes to rabble-rouser and street-fighter.

I think neither Mulgrew, nor Janilla Hinds fit that role. Frankly, I had hoped she would be our next union Pres. But, now the reality of Freidrichs has set in. Now, I think we need someone new entirely. We'd need a *whole* new mindset. I get the sense that we are not, as a union, at all ready for what's about to hit us. We should be girding our loins for a major battle. Instead, I looked around that DA and saw a bunch of sheep that were somnolently walking towards extinction, totally unprepared. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Since we get nothing from this UFT, we should pay nothing. I'm looking forward to it.

James Eterno said...

Political contributions (COPE) are voluntary.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:12:

So you get nothing from the union. So I guess you will look forward to year round school. I guess you will look forward to different licenses getting different pay. How about we pay PE teachers at a lower rate then say a social studies teacher, of course they will pay the common Branchers the least of all.

How about merit pay, How bout only getting Per Session if you are the second cousin of the Principal.

How about contributing to health care like everyone else in the USA. How about employment at will.

You get nothing from the union. You got everything from this Union. Everything!

You have no idea what life without the union is like, thank the good Lord.

Anonymous said...

Unions are wonderful...when they work in the best interests of its members.
UFT hasn't done this in a long time.
How long did they think they could fool everyone?
It's unfair for members to keep paying dues to an organization that will not defend members when they need it most.
Teachers have hired private attorneys to fight the DOE. How do you explain THAT? ??

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just my current state of mind, but this month's Delegate Assembly left me feeling more annoyed and discouraged than any I've attended in years. The resolution on "terrorist atrocities" seemed to have been written by a 3rd grader (apologies to any 3rd graders who may be reading). I was so tempted to ask to amend the resolution by changing it to:

RESOLVED; The UFT wants to know, "What's so crazy 'bout peace, love, and understanding?"

Hard to believe we wasted so much time on a resolution that is basically meaningless. We're opposed to terrorist atrocities... big deal.. who ISN'T opposed to terrorist atrocities? Why don't we focus on issues that we actually can do something about? Issue that concern our members? Instead we get fluff and nonsense.

I actually had two motions I wanted to make. One concerned retroactive payments for terminally ill members and the other was for the UFT to work with the city to change the restrictions on donating days from our CAR banks. Speaking to them would have involved bringing up the situation that a terminally ill coworker faced and given that she passed away last week I didn't know if I would have been able to keep it together. I guess I'm a little annoyed at myself because I should have at least tried. Maybe next month.

Mary Ahern