Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Apologies for smart phone errors.

Presidents Report
When I arrived, President Michael Mulgrew was talking about Betsy DeVos' one year anniversary as education secretary in DC. DeVos is talking school choice. Our Union pride campaign is ongoing.

Puerto Rico governor trying to use storm to privatize education there. Mulgrew introduced people from union there.

State Budget
Need revenue in Albany. We favor millionaire tax. Something will spring up late on charters. We will have big budget cuts in Albany from Trump tax changes. Members happy with tax cut. People will be unhappy when they do income taxes next year. NYS biggest donor state to other states. We will have a significant deficit unless we make up for what federal government did with tax code.

Anyone who won a Broad prize should be automatically disqualified as a possible chancellor candidate.

Visiting Nurse Service
Tough negotiation. Ready to strike if we had to. Leadership of VNS settled contract.

Negotiating Committee meeting March 1. Brooklyn Collegiate won and is not closing.

Door knocking campaign ongoing. Preparing for Janus. Only pro Janus people given permit to protest outside supreme court for February 26 oral arguments.

Koch brother spending $400 million against us. Enemies know what they want. They plan. We must educate membership. Oral arguments in Janus will be publicized. Many members tuning out news. Kim from NEA in Wisconsin fighting back. Colleagues around country depending on us.

Kim Kohlhaas NEA Wisconsin introduced and addresses DA. She thanked NYC teachers. Scott Walker's Act 10 took away collective bargaining rights. Lost seniority, lost prep time, class size up, mandatory meetings every day throughout the year before school, $11,000 cut, no contract, no grievances, and more. All teachers on one year contract. Charters and vouchers statewide. Voucher students get more money from state than public school students. Huge teacher turnover. Online course for 15 months to be a teacher.

How to build back political power? Fight at local level before State level. Unions stronger and have better relationships with members.

Hortonville has horrible bully administrator. About half of teachers left. Parents reacted. 400 parents showed up at school board meeting. Board didn't listen because we did not file proper complaint. We ran parents for school board and took out school board President. Principal resigned. Teachers doing grassroots organizing. Local has identity. Amazing stories. Fighting to defend public education in Wisconsin. Union gives us voice to do our job.

Mulgrew back. Hears about apathy. Wisconsin traditionally strong union state. Taken years of damage to get back. Kim says they never thought it could happen to them.

Question: Is Kim's speech on video?
Answer from Mulgrew: We have a policy of no video at DA but we have video of Kim elsewhere.

Questions to Kim: What was contract like before?
Answer: It was 54 pages and now it fits on a post it note.

Q:What happened to pension?
A:It is sound.

Q: What about Scott Walker and race?
A:Scott Walker anti worker. He was tool.

Q: What is support from labor movement?
A: If not affiliated with AFT, we would not be here. You must keep your local strong. Keep the smallest locals strong.

Q:How to keep younger people active?
A: Listen to them. We had very good conditions because union went on many strikes.

Q:Public opinion in Wisconsin?
A:We were seen as elites in certain communities. Seen as babies because of finances. Wisconsin became a state of "I don't have it so I don't want you to have it too." Mean spirited.

Q:Being at will employee?
A: Renewal contract each year. Hard to advocate for kids as an at will employee.

Q:What can we do to help?
A:Keep local strong.

Staff Director's Report
Films at UFT HQ
Rally Feb 24 at Foley Square
More dates including next DA March 21.

Question Period:
Q: Internal debate last month. We must stay together. What can we do to keep internal debates from getting to press?
A: This is our discussion. DA passed a policy to not video. Debate and then we vote. People have right to free speech. Some things we say will be used by our enemies. Negotiations secret. DA taken many stances. Proud of them. Op-ed done the other day. Respond that we are proud of public education. Sometimes even our allies don't like what DA decide.

Q: Congestion pricing?
A:Should not have adverse impact on people who work in schools.

Q: ATR said to Delegate union does not help her?
A: UFT fought us being at will employees. Placing ATRs. ATR pool at lowest level in years. Keep chapters strong as Kim said. DOE talks about how horrible we are for standing up for individual employees and schools. Need to look at retention of teachers.

New Motions
Sterling Roberson made a motion to wear red on Feb 14. It was added to agenda.

I made motion to lobby to get rid of the teacher evaluation system. I will post it later. It failed

Special Orders of Business
Resolution to wear red on Valentine's Day passed unanimously.

Resolution to renominate David Kazansky for TRS Board. It carried.

That's all folks.


Anonymous said...

Janus oral arguments are Feb 26th at the Supreme Court. Unity UFT and Mulgrew are watching this closely. The teachers in the trenches are examining how much money they can save in union dues come June 2018.

JR said...

Um, uft leaders got us to this failing point, oh well, drop dead.

Steve said...

The school i am in has 1 hour periods but only a 45 minute teacher lunch. Is that the contract being important. We have to do coverages for free on our c6 period too.

Anonymous said...

Keep chapter strong? - ATRs don't have a chapter. The UFT is doing nothing for ATRs. Please don't knock at my door - I gave at the cesspool.

Harris L. said...

OK, you gotta be of a certain age (which I am) to appreciate the wonderfulness of "The Music Man" but truly, ain't nothing but a lotta talk:

"Pick-a-little, talk-a-little, pick-a-little, talk-a-little, cheep-cheep-cheep, talk-a-lot, pick-a-little more....."

Anonymous said...

The UFT was born out of members voices being heard by leadership, and will die because leadership no longer listens.

Michael Fiorillo said...

Thanks for the update, James, but a point of clarification: did Mulgrew say no one who's won a Broad Prize can be Chancellor, or no one who's "graduated" from the Broad Academy?

If it's the latter, good.

If it's the former, then my cynicism meter starts ticking, and I suspect he's covering himself because one of those monsters is under consideration.

Anonymous said...

Who’s that? The goofball from Miami?

rt said...

Remember, you cant sit the students in rows, we are an inquiry school. Is that contractual protection? I could save the $1,402 and get abused.