Friday, September 21, 2018


Same as with the Executive Board, Arthur Goldstein usually writes a report for Delegate Assemblies and the annual citywide Chapter Leader meeting. Yesterday was this year's Chapter Leader gathering. From Arthur's account of President Michael Mulgrew's report, things are looking mighty upbeat these days.

Let's take a closer look at some of the issues from the perspective of President Mulgrew.

First of all, Janus does not seem to be a problem for the UFT. The Supreme Court decision that made union dues optional has not even scratched, let alone dented, the UFT according to the President.

From Arthur's minutes of Mulgrew's report to the Chapter Leaders:
Last year was Janus. Says we did good job. There is no longer an agency fee payer. Last year we had over 2K AFP. By August were 410. Lowest number by far. Will update at DA, because we’ve been working on new hires. We put together aggressive plan, including two weeks of training. Before day one, 2600 of 4K had signed up. 

Further down we learn:
Right now there are fewer than five people who’ve dropped UFT. Says we did a great job. No one has had results like these in other states. 

This meeting last year we had Constitutional Convention. Once we got through that, we would prepare for Janus. We destroyed CC in every county in state, and came through Janus in a way that was unheard of, due to work of CLs. This year there is not as much apprehension, but we never know what will happen. We will plan and deal. 

So we went from 2,000 down to 410 non-members; we are signing up most new employees and the best news of all is that virtually nobody is attempting to opt out of  the union according to Mulgrew. This a UFT golden age then if this is the case.

There's no teaching shortage here in NYC either.
So far we haven’t been affected by teacher shortage like other places in the country. One Southern district needed 241, opened 110 short. States have defunded education, denied raises for a decade. In NY we have bucked trend and spend more.

Even if that extra spending doesn't seem to find its way to the schools Mr. President?

Only when talking about the Department of Education's 300 lawyers do we hear a hint that there may be major problems in the schools but even here the President is optimistic about the latest restructuring at the DOE.
We have contractual rights. Not all are implemented. We have to focus on this and enforce rules. Problems that you cannot solve should be sent to us.

Lawyers are controlling disciplinary system and central staff thinks their job is to support principal no matter what. We want to help children. We didn’t do this to be rich of famous. If leaders believe that, there will be better results. Big restructuring at DOE, and some decisions give us hope. 

I will attempt to translate from Mulgreweze into English this Mulgrew gem: "We have contractual rights. Not all are implemented."

The Eterno translation is the DOE and their army of 300 lawyers have no respect for our contractual rights. Unless you have an enlightened administration, the contract doesn't matter.

We have a wide range of readers who are teachers from across the city.

Please be honest answering this question:

Is the contract adhered to by the administration in your school?

If the answer is no, then why are we making nice-nice with the DOE?

Mulgrew gets the final word today based on this question from a Chapter Leader about new Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Q—What’s your relationship with Carranza? Good, fair positive, combative?

A—Fariña was not good to have public fights with. We’d had Klein, Black, Walcott and Bloomberg all together. We were looked at as people who just wanted to fight with everyone. For Carmen, we tried to restore respect for profession. We had issues with her management. Policies moved back into right direction.

Many members don’t remember bad times. Personally, chancellor is really good guy. But I do my job. What are we looking for him to do? We want DOE to support and help schools, not just control workforce via principals. Is it about control or education? If you harass and bully kids so they do worksheets, they don’t learn. We make decisions based on what union needs at that moment. We need to embrace and support working people at the schools. Bar was low when Fariña came in. Was comparison with Bloomberg’s last term. We need new chancellor to work with us to help. I’m optimistic.

Just because you get along, for example, with principal, doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibility to staff. 

Your turn anyone?


Anonymous said...

5 people opted out? Really? Only 5?

Anonymous said...

No James, my school doesnt follow contract. Now what?

Anonymous said...

Everuthing Mulgrew says it is predictable. He also loved the common core so much.

Anonymous said...

My school doesn't follow the contract either.

Anonymous said...

Fewer than 5 have opted out.

Anonymous said...

Not followed here either although we are a prose school you should see the open ended do what ever you want ballot the doe and uft approved, we are all working 8-4, school filled with newbies didn't realize they were giving the store away I guess when they went and approved it.

Anonymous said...

Milgrew shoild retire or just become an ATR so he can be harassed.

Anonymous said...


Have no idea what up you mean “my school does not follow the contract”

What do you mean by school?
Do you mean every single UFT employee and every single supervisor?

What do you mean “not follow THE contract”

The whole THING.

Do you get paid differently than the contract
Do you have different work year
Do you have different work hours
Do you not have a lunch period
Do you not have a prep period
Does the Principal Fire people at a moments notice
Do you clean and scrub your own classrooms
Does the Chapter Leader give up their Chapter Leader time

What exactly is the school not following.
Because if the school is NOT following the entire contract that is serious.
If the school is breaking certain parts of the contract than shame on you for not grieving.
If this has been going on for more than a couple of weeks than shame on you for not running for Chapter Leader.
The contract is only as strong as the Chapter.

Anonymous said...

Last year an AP tried to schedule a meeting during a grade's common prep. I wasn't one of the teachers asked to attend the meeting but I was approached by a teacher about it. (I shared a room with CL so the teacher looking for CL found me instead). I told our CL about the situation. Our CL sent administration an email stating preps were for UNASSIGNED professional work. The meeting was rescheduled for a Monday afternoon when we're mandated to attend meetings of some kind anyway. If I had a corrupt or weak CL, I'd run for CL myself. We try our best at PS 8X to enforce our contract but it all depends upon whether or not people let us know what's going on. Roseanne McCosh

Pogue said...

The contract is only as strong as its Chapter.
The Chapter is only as strong as its Leadership.
The Leadership is only as strong as its...

The Leadership is weak.

UFT Leadership and the NYCDOE/NYSED are like current Democrats and Trump...They feign the fight, but back the agenda.

Anonymous said...

By saying that my school does not follow or adhere to the contract I mean that there are many contract violations that occur daily: multi-page lesson plans, unit plans, instructional adjustments, lesson modifications, expected to check DOE email minimum of 4x a day, meetings during preps, tutoring during lunch, mandatory meetings after school (some paid and some not paid), bulletin board requirements, creating agendas and submitting minutes for grade meetings, subject meetings, inquiry teams, etc. I could write plenty more. I know that there are many more schools in the same boat.

Nobody in my school wants to be the chapter leader because they see how much work is required. We have one by default, but she is not well versed with the contract and really does not want to rock the boat, either. She also teaches 25 periods a week. She has told me not to say anything because it is worse in other schools.

The staff is also very aware of the preferential treatment of teachers who are liked by the administration and the "punishments" and anxiety bestowed on those who dare to express a concern. Needless to say, the staff is not united and willing to throw each other under the bus to move into the good graces of the admins.

I don't think there is an answer to all this. I believe this is the new normal. We either have to put up or get out.

Anonymous said...

Student shot in head, to death, on school playground, during school hours, in Brooklyn. What a great job we have. How safe...

TJL said...

7:47 you must be lying, there's a sign that says "Gun Free Zone"...

TJL said...

At my school the Principal gets away with contractual violations because:
1. He will say he only "asked" for things, not "mandated"
2. Danielson is used as a work-around the contract, such as the "scrubbing desks" referenced above or the bulletin boards, you will get downrated in Danielson Part 2 (classroom & behavior)
3. Newbies and brown-noses don't stand up for themselves.

For instance, the Principal asked for multiple copies of lesson plans, typed, modification, etc.; I don't do that, and haven't even been pressed too much on the issue because he knows I know the contract (lesson plans are for the teacher's use) and would grieve if the issue was pressed.

People have to stand up for themselves, and CL's who do their jobs are needed.

Anonymous said...

When I have stood up for myself, the following year I became a traveling teacher. I did not have a classroom. There are a few of us who don't have classrooms; it is not just me. That year, some rooms had smartboards, others had chalkboards and a third had a dry erase board. I had to be ready for all three. I really didn't think going to my CL would lead to such consequences.

The year after that, I taught 3 different math classes (Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II).

This year, I still have to travel but only in two classrooms. The Smartboards are currently not working. I am teaching three different courses, again. I have decided to just shut up, put a smile on my face, and just do what I am told. I have suffered enough and in turn, so has my family life.

There are ways admins can follow the contract and still make it miserable for teachers.

The CL is a nice man but of no help. He, too, is intimidated.

I know that I will not last much longer in this school. I will either try to move to another school, or leave the NYC public school system. Are there any administrators who care about education? Who care about students? Who are mentally stable?

Anonymous said...

There are many schools where new teachers are forced to work after school and Saturdays for FREE. Don’t like it? Say No and you are denied tenure and you’re discontinued. Teachers are slaves.

Anonymous said...

Mulgoon is happy because the dues checks keep rolling in. He does not give a shit about our working conditions. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a fool. I hate his guts.

Anonymous said...

Watch what they do not what they say. Case in point refer to the prior lump sum payments and the one coming up in October. Did the UFT dip further into the first two lump sum payments? Will they do this again in three weeks? Was there a history of double dipping on dues prior to 2015? If everything is with dues why continue to double dip? Did the Executive Board approve the double dipping again?

Anonymous said...

I work in a school where the principal adheres to the contract and most of us are relatively content. I know we are lucky. I have friends elsewhere in the system. I know it is hell in some schools.

Anonymous said...

We have a new principal this school year, old one retired, and he follows the contract as much as he can. It is nice to have a strong CL in our school that sticks for the teachers. Even when the CL doesn't say something, often times the veteran teachers speak up and CL follows through on the grievances or other problems. Hearing some of these stories here, our only problem are the 1% crazy the students themselves, not the administration. Praise the lord!

Anonymous said...

1% crazy students? Where do you teach? Come up to the South Bronx and get some real deal students.

Anonymous said...

90% is more like it. SPED and ICT all over, disrespect all over...

ed notes online said...

To Unity/UFT troll: The district rep is supposed to know about what contract violations are going and address them not wait for something to fall from the sky.
At Ex bd meetings we hear lovely reports from the districts by many district reps - no mention of what's really going on in the schools that the union should be addressing.

Anonymous said...

You just can't admit here that teachers are for the most part satisfied with the job. You folks are in terrible schools. That is not the norm.

Anonymous said...

We have a wonderful CL who stands up to the awful principal (and APs) again and again. Two major problems: Prin has harassed many senior teachers out of the building and replaced them with new hires who roll over and play dead every day. Second, when people do file complaints and follow up, the DR drops the ball in most instances. A simple program grievance is allowed to fester for 6, 8 or 10 weeks into the semester. No accountability here. Appointed by Mulgrew to give upbeat reports at meetings. I have long complained about the vote for DR being taken away from CLs. And CLs become the fall guys when the DR does as he pleases. God help us now that Exec Board has decreed DRs can be appointed from outside a district.

James Eterno said...

Valid points 8:12. I think if the DR fails, go to the borough rep and then to the divisional vice president and then to the staff director. Keep going up the ladder and demand they do their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Fair student funding is responsible for age discrimination , including but not limited to : negative observation ratings, being told harassing lies during your post-ob , being over-scrutinized on a daily basis as administrators look for anything they can call a problem even when it isn't a problem, being treated differently than younger teachers and told you didn't do enough of something during the lesson, false accusations, principals having derogatory conversations about you with parents in an effort to gang up against you, closing schools and dismissing only older teachers who have to go on interviews that they will never win, being unfairly targeted for termination charges, being ATRed and therefore sent like a bag lady or man from school to school. And the list goes on. And this is ALL the result of Fair Student Funding

Anonymous said...

The DOE will still be allowed to have two lists of ATRs. The first list for ATRs who came from closing schools or programs and the other for ATRs who survived their 3020-a discipline hearings. Based on past placements, the DOE only recommends hiring from the first list and only when there are no ATRs left on the first list will ATRs who won their 3020-a termination hearings be offered a vacancy. To ensure that ATRs who won their 3020-a hearings are not offered a position, the Scarlet Letter (red flag) remains on their file for principals to see, even when the ATR was found not to have committed the charge. The average age of an ATR is around 53, so this qualifies as age discrimination. Many fellow teachers that are being hired have not completed their masters, or are completely inexperienced. There are rumors that Tweed had encouraged Principals to target their more senior staff, and field supervisors are also coming with an agenda.