Today is the final Delegate Assembly meeting for 2015-16. Since I am doing this from my not so smart phone, I apologize in advance for any errors.
President Mulgrew started by asking for a moment of silence for Orlando victims. He said there will be a ceremony Thursday afternoon for Orlando at building next door.
Woke up to see Trump is sinking in polls. Hillary called Mulgrew to thank us for primary win.
California has runoff where final two candidates face each other. Teacher Union backed candidates losing in California local races. Ed reformers winning out there with outside money.
Detroit fought off turning schools over to charter schools.
AFT convention this summer. Must tell colleagues from around the country about NYC community outreach UFT does. We help community with their concerns.
Presidential race looking good but we have plenty of work to do.
Being attacked at state level. Tough 24 hours in Albany. Senate has charter school strings attached to mayoral control. Assembly won't go with it.
New bill introduced to stop unions from competing in state elections that would stop independent expenditures.
Another bill about pension forfeiture. Public employee convicted of felony would lose pension. They also want to be able to lower pensions without constitutional amendment. Legislature wants all public employees subject to new government ethics. Putting nasty things in bills.
Education in Albany
Regents met. Child with IEP needs a 55 grade on ELA and Math Regents. If they sit for 3 other Regents but do not pass, a teacher, principal and superintendent
can all agree to give a local diploma based on course work.
Waiver for independent observation. Only those rated ineffective the prior year must be observed by an outside observer. We need to agree with DOE on the waiver.
Teachers Choice up to close to $150. Community learning schools funded and there will be more diversity in specialized high schools.
Relations better than under Bloomberg. We have more collaborative schools than 4 years ago but not all of them. For next year we will move school system forward by getting better management. Want respect for teachers. and full funding. UFT worked for big funding increase for next year. Principals getting more money per child.
Superintendents ignoring teacher turnover rate. We don't want high and constant turnover. When principals and staff work together, people want to work in schools. Churn rate survey will be given to UFT leaders. We will do survey on this. We could publicize results. We want well managed, supportive schools where employees are respected and each school is fully funded.
UFT Election and other Goals for Year
Wanted 10,000 more to participate in UFT election and we were successful. Thanked Delegates who are leaving.
Members look at union as an insurance policy.
New teacher program successful. We won on Friedrichs. For next year it is Hillary time. Mulgrew thanked Delegates for work we do. UFT is beacon for what public education should be.
Staff Director's Report
Leroy Barr said it is two school days to file a reorganization grievance even if it is a tentative program.
Tomorrow is pride event at 50 Broadway. We will march in pride parade on 6/26.
UFT gave out $1 million in Albert Shanker Scholarships.
Thanked Delegates again.
Question: Lisa North asked about Save our Schools March July 8. How do we get on UFT bus?
Answer: Contact Brooklyn UFT to get on UFT bus.
Q Our position on sexual abuse legislation?
A from Mulgrew: We support it.
Q New PD rules and registration?
A Working with SED on what counts for professional development. On registering with state, a specialist came up to say people need to register on their birth month. UFT sending document with instructions and answers to questions.
Q Pension forfeiture bill. I thought constitutional convention was needed to diminish pensions?
A We will be in court if they try doing this through the legislature. Public debate was on ethics of elected officials and not civil servants. Including us in these bills is wrong.
Q New Paraprofessional line. Paras want to know criteria and student teaching requirement?
A Amy Arundell answered that details of position are in Principal's Weekly. All paras can apply for student teaching leave.
Mulgrew came back to mic to say this is part of career ladder for paras. 2/3 paras have BAs. DOE will pay for 12 graduate credits at CUNY rate. Paras now must take leaves to student teach. Under agreement 100 paras will be paid to student teach.
Rona Freiser wanted to add a Solidarity with Orlando resolution including support for an assault weapons ban.
It carried and was put on agenda.
Motion for October on four components for evaluations. Principal had 3 African American teacher fired. This principal had preconceived notions before observing teacher.
Emil Pietramonaco spoke against saying this was not the right forum. Resolution failed but Mulgrew spoke saying new system with matrix will take a lot of power out of principal's hands. We won't try to change it.
Resolution on longer rotation for guidance counselors and social workers in ATR pool was next. Nobody was able to speak against. Someone said they were opposed but they didn't speak against. It carried. (I voted no because teachers were not included. I tried to speak out but was not called on. I guess I could have called for a point of order but I was not fast enough.)
Rona Freiser gave a passionate speech on behalf of showing Solidarity with people of Orlando.
A Delegate asked for a lengthy amendment basically calling for UFT to use this to work for LGBTQI rights.
Anthony Harmon opposed the amendment saying the resolution was about Orlando and this was too broad.
Someone else spoke in favor of the amendment saying now was the time for this. No new DA until October.
Pat Crispino from Unity spoke against.
(It was surprising that the Unity folks opposed the amendment.)
Resolution carried but amendment failed.
Mulgrew then called for new AFT convention Delegates to stay behind. (Unity leaders I guess have to tell them which way to vote on resolutions.)
Mulgrew wished everyone a good summer and the meeting ended