The February Delegate Assembly has started so here we go and with an apology in advance for any errors since I am doing this from my smartphone which often has a mind of its own and I am a bit late.
State fight over charters this year. Missed the rest of state report.
Safety: Looking for something that would work between zero tolerance and nobody getting suspended.
Family leave: It will cost money. Trying to navigate through this in talks.
Special ed: People have tools to fight special ed violations.
Half the school year is over. Did not want to close schools for blizzard because of tight calendar. Lucky snow fell on Saturday.
We have many chapter advocates going around to schools. They are building chapters.
Renewal schools: For over 50 years nobody has figured out how to solve problem of schools in communities with a great deal of poverty. Community learning schools on path to solving problem. Chancellor at UFT conference. If this model is mandated, it won't work. PROSE combined with renewal schools. Collaboration is a key ingredient to success of both programs which are based on trust.
Friedrichs: Mulgrew shows video with him talking to teachers but video does not work.
Mulgrew then tells Delegates that Friedrichs is an opportunity. Action campaign on Friedrichs. Email asks us to sign up to be activists. After people sign up, push grassroots stuff to social media. Get everyone to work so by May we have maximum energy. UFT hands out buttons to delegates.
We must stand together if case goes down. (Mulgrew didn't want other stuff about Friedrichs plans out so I won't say anything more.) Wisconsin unions that were prepared for Scott Walker assault are ok. Those that were not are gone.
Staff Director's Report
Leroy Barr told Delegates it is national school counselors month. March 9 lobby day. He gave some other dates of upcoming events including next DA on March 23.
UFT election season starts today. March 10 petitions due. May 5 ballots out. May 26 ballots counted.
Question: NY times article says pensions in bad shape. What is the truth?
Answer from Trustee Mel Aarronson: Pensions in good shape. Cannot manufacture investment results. New Comptollers always ask how to get most out of pension system. Sufficient money to pay all of us pensions for the rest of our lives.
Q: What is going on with diversity resolution on declining African American and Latino teachers?
A: Leroy Barr said we are working with an outside group and DOE to get young people in teaching. YMI getting money from city to get 1,000 teachers of color in addition to what are already being hired by 2017. President Obama working on this nationally too.
Q: Can principals get UFT buttons? Can we wear them at work?
A: Yes for principals and technically no on wearing them at school
Q: Discrimination at Brooklyn Tech. Uncover patterns in one school, can we make an issue of racism and seximt citywide?
A: Up to school community. We can deal with difficult stuff. Need to do it at school level.
Q: What happened with Campbell Brown case?
A: Appeal on whether case can be dismissed is being heard at appellate court.
Q: What is our position on State Ed Commissioner's position on timing of tests?
A: Test is shorter but no time limit for kids. School community should talk about it and let administration call time instead of us.
Mary Ahern raised a point of order on how to raise a motion. She said the way it is done at the DA is against Robert's Rules. Mulgrew accepted it but Leroy Barr protested based on policy and practice of the DA. Mary appealed but Mulgrew ruled against her and put it to the body. The Unity majority agreed with Mulgrew.
(Editor's Note: Mary of course is completely right but it doesn't matter. She could have argued her case on the appeal but did not and what would be the point? Unity's super majority can vote on any rule it wants and there isn't much anyone can do. Stopping the madness requires having over 1/3 of the Delegates but most Delegates don't show up.)
Motion to support state bill against workplace bullying.
It will be investigated.
Time ran out before other motions could be raised.
Special Orders of Business
City Council Distict 17 endorsement of Rafael Salamanca came next. It carried.
Next was a resolution to recommend putting Debra Penny to replace Sandra March on Teachers Retirement Board. It carried unanimously. March spoke.
Mulgrew then spoke on behalf of March.
Next there was a special ed mandate relief resolution that carried easily.
Resolution to mandate paras join the pension system was next. Some paras don't join. Need a bill in legislature in Albany for this to happen. It carried unanimously.
Time then ran out.