I am monitoring today's Mulgrew Town Hall. He is basically repeating what he stated yesterday at the DA in his report.
Mulgrew says working in a pandemic is tough. Walking into schools seeing amazing things. We must prepare for all battles.
Hear from members all the time. Doing the best we can for as many as we can. DOE is insane now. We work remotely on Election Day.
Mulgrew states that questions go through based on the number of people who want to talk about a particular topic.
Question: Thanks Mulgrew. Teacher qualifies for medical accommodation but hasn't gotten an answer for her application and there is already a positive case in her school.
Answer: Operator has her name and the operator will send information to Michael Sill and his office will call you. Process has slowed down and we will see where it's at.
Question: Operational complaints. D26 has a lot of operational complaints. When will they be addressed?
Answer: We gave DOE a small amount of time to hire people and now we are moving operational complaints forward. Chapter leader will get a call on technical information. Trying to resolve them over the next week or two.
Question: Early retirement incentive: Any specifics in terms of age or years of experience?
Answer: If we get it done, assuming it will be for the beginning of fiscal year which for city is July 1. Last one we did was 2002. Apply during the summer. We don't have it done yet. Still not passed by legislature and signed by governor and negotiated with city.
Question: Status of medical accommodation after Dec 31; payment for spring break?
Answer: That will be the first arbitration we file when arbitrations are back. Medical accommodations were processed faster than at any time in history and now slowing down. On Dec 31, everyone will have to do another one for January because assumption is not that medical condition lasts forever. Get more documentation in December.
Question: Speech provider concerned by excessive amount of paperwork as children change from remote to in-person?
Answer: Kids cannot switch back and forth between remote and in-person.Kids going back and forth need more paperwork done. Working out the RAD and then in-person. Special ed people at the DOE try to make our members work harder while they do very little.
Question: Random testing of students and parents in a building, principals say pre-k,3-k, k and D75 exempt?
Answer:pre-k and 3-k exempt, k in dispute, D75 not and never was exempt. Have to figure out how to get D75 testing done. Majority of D75 in buildings with other schools and should not be treated as separate. That violates federal law. That should be resolved in a week. K is still in question. Testing is proving to be invaluable. Non-invasive swab now. SUNY doing 75,000 tests a week with spit test.
Question: School got calendar saying we are going to school but kids are remote on election day? Does everyone have to wear a mask in D75?
Answer: Please send Mulgrew that calendar. Students and teachers who can't wear a mask have to have medical accommodation. Most are wearing shields and masks. Send to special ed VP if there is an issue. This is a health emergency. That child may have to go remote.
Question: ERI, how would that effect members in 25-55 program?
Answer: It might get you to retirement faster. Until we have the particulars negotiated, we can't say for sure. Hopefully, it would help you get to retirement. City always wants us to pick specific titles. They don't want math, science or special ed teachers to retire. We don't split up our members. We will have fight over one or two retirement incentives. They will want less credit.
Question: Principal is insisting that his interpretation of the agreement is correct. He doesn't want to hire someone to fill remote class. When do we find out about operational issues?
Answer: It will be resolved in the next week or two. Individual interpretations mean problems. We knew it would be a crazy world so we put operational issues into effect. Pay you double or teach class himself.
Question: Thanks Mulgrew for everything he does. AP comes into Meets. We are remote school. Admin has nothing to do. Written feedback. Non tenured people worried. Kids not getting everything they should be getting. Hearing anything about observations?
Answer: Operators pushing right issues. We don't have an evaluation system. First, we must straighten out operational complaints. Administrator can come into a classroom. Thank them for written feedback. We can't move forward while people are in an untenable working situation. We must first resolve operational complaints first. Representative teachers from different levels will be part of it. Observations and evaluations are a shield for us as 99% are rated positively in a given year. No agreed upon evaluation system as of yet. Live and in person fine. Majority of school system is remote. We believe it is above 60% not going to school on a given day. 80% of instruction is remote. No evaluation system as of now.
Question: Thanks for hard work and dedication, paraprofessional responsibilities? Remote going from period 1-8 with no breaks. It is impossible. No lunch until end of the day. Guidelines? Call students, input into skedula and SESIS. Calling parents. It's overwhelming. D18
Answer: Stuff there that shouldn't be happening. Have you filed operational complaint? No. Administrators afraid of people sitting around doing nothing. They need therapy. One person not working, can't punish everyone. Have to get breaks. What paras did in the spring was phenomenal. More than half of the DOE disappeared during the shutdown. Small group involved. Most DOE were nowhere to be found. School system back semi-open and people nowhere to be found are back and accusing people of sitting around doing nothing. Para chapter leaders on phone. Will deal with this with the Chancellor.
Question: What is the procedure for people who feel that their school is not being cleaned or prepared with proper PPE?
Answer: Reach out to us and we will take care of it right away. Custodians frustrated because they couldn't do what they had to do until the summer. Frustrated with some people who have to know it is not their buildings. School must be cleaned with electrostatic cleaner every night.
Question: ENL teacher in a room in the school with no students. Do lessons online?
Answer: You can do that work from home. If students are not in a classroom, you can do that work from home.
Question: Someone in our building tested positive today, how do I know contact tracing is taking place and that myself and our students and their families are safe?
Answer: Once you find out, contact tracing is already happening. Asking the principal about other possibilities. We are teaching contact tracers what to ask. We get a report. Some people may be told to quarantine. Email Mulgrew who will give it to Ellien Engler who monitors the entire city. Over the last two or three weeks, we are more confident in the city's ability to do testing and tracing. They are not DOE people doing the tracing. Positivity rate is very low in school testing and we are doing a lot of testing.
Question: Update on learning bridges program?
Answer: Update by the end of the week. Moving to switch so that you the essential worker has a safe place to put their children.
We are the only large school system in the country open. It's an amazing accomplishment.