Sunday, November 29, 2020


NYC elementary school buildings will open up on December 7 for those who previously signed up for in-person learning and of course teachers and other professionals.

From NBC 4:

After previewing the return of in-person learning ahead of Thanksgiving, Mayor Bill de Blasio returned from the holiday on Sunday to announce the scheduled return of public schools starting with elementary and special education students.

The first school buildings will reopen Dec. 7, de Blasio said Sunday. City officials plan to reopen public school buildings in a phased approach, starting with 3-K, Pre-K and K-5 students. District 75 students of all grade levels will get the opportunity to return to the classroom a few days later on Dec. 10.

The city is reopening schools in phases, in part, to make sure enhanced testing resources will be available for returning students. The mayor did not offer a timeline of reopening school buildings for middle and high school students, saying the city was not ready yet to open every school.

School buildings returning to in-person learning, wherever possible, will transition to classroom instruction five days per week, the mayor said. When the schools reopen, weekly coronavirus testing will be in effect for students and faculty.

The NY Post explains how the opening only impacts those who previously signed up for in-person learning and how if there is space, it could be five days per week. I see some possible complaints here as more parents may have signed up for in-school learning if it were for five days per week but now won't have a chance to and if they did, there would no longer be space available in many schools for the five days a week model. From the Post story:

Kids in K-5 and pre-K programs — whose parents have already signed them up for hybrid learning — can head back to classrooms because there “is less concern about the spread” of COVID-19 among younger children, while the demands of all-virtual learning on their families are greatest, the mayor said.

He added that the system is pushing for five days a week of in-person learning.

“As we open schools in phases, wherever possible, we will, in schools that have the ability, go to five day a week for instruction,” de Blasio said.

“This is the students who already were in blended learning or opted in recently.

“For any school that does have the space and ability to move to five-day-a-week in-person instruction, for those kids, that will now be the preferred model.”

As for schools not spreading COVID-19, this is a pretty balanced presentation from AAMC. A quote from an expert:

“You can only open your school safely if you have COVID under control in your community.”

Benjamin Linas, MD, MPH Associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine

Whether COVID-19 is under control in NYC, is highly questionable. 

What is missing from the Percent of People Tested Who Tested Positive category? I looked up the page they link to. It shows a 4.21 daily positivity rate and a 3.9 weekly positivity rate. The city says this: "Due to a decrease in testing volume over the holiday weekend, single day averages may not reflect citywide trends." 

It does not look to me like COVID-19 is under control but I am no scientist. 

The Washington Post printed an op-ed from Leona Win (a physician) recommending that the USA should keep most schools closed for the duration of the pandemic.

Her conclusion:

With vaccines on the horizon, fall 2021 could well herald a normal school year. For now, and at least through the winter, schools should be closed except to those who absolutely need in-person instruction: children with special needs and the most vulnerable, for whom home learning is not possible. Some schools should continue to care for children of essential workers; staff there should receive hazard pay. Other schools that want to open should meet strict criteria to ensure that they have invested necessary resources and implemented critical mitigation measures. Instead of schools closing only when there are proven outbreaks, schools must prove they’re safe before they can open.

As a physician, mother, daughter of a schoolteacher and former city health commissioner who oversaw schools, I know that in-person schooling is crucial for children’s cognitive and emotional development. But loss of learning isn’t the same as loss of life, and we cannot put the burden of society’s failures on the people who work in schools. If we truly want to prioritize children, we need to drive down community infection rates and invest in safety upgrades in schools — not jeopardize the lives of teachers, staff and their families.

I have been advocating for hazard pay for volunteers who want to staff school buildings during the pandemic. These are the latest NYC school COVID-19 statistics from the Situation Room:


  1. What sayeth the UFT to this big ‘F**k You’ for the teachers of NYC? What happened to that UFT-deBlasio agreement of 3%? This is why teachers and retirees cannot put any faith into anything that Mulgrew agrees to with deBlasio. That ranges from this, to the retro, to the agreement of no layoffs for half retro. Again, there needs to be a dual no confidence vote from the rank and file, and perhaps the retirees, for both of them. Mulgrew and deBlasio’s disguised indifference to teachers (in deference to their critics) and their overall incompetence is and has been very dangerous.

  2. I strongly suggest you all refuse to go in.

  3. D75 once again the lab rat. I really don't want to commute to my D75 school in the BX to teach my remote class. They do this so I can cover classes during my admin. Apparently, union has no issue with this?

  4. You will all go in again. Some will get sick needlessly. Mulgrew and de Blasio are not as stupid as they look. They know elementary school teachers and others in the elementary schools are the weakest link and will say yes ma'am or yes sir when told to report and then will call Mulgrew superman.

  5. The dumbest of NYC. Yes, all of you teachers.

    US breaks record for daily COVID-19 hospitalizations

  6. If the elementary teachers lay down and accept this while the UFT silently watches, then do not scream to the heavens and expect any change or even a modicum of respect when illness and death make an unexpected, unannounced classroom visit. Teachers, we need to start respecting ourselves. If we don’t, no one will respect us, and that includes the POS that’s the president of the UFT and the POS that’s the mayor of NYC.

  7. I am excited it’s you welcoming back many of our students to in-person learning, as opposed to me, and I am so grateful that none of us at Tweed are doing any actual interaction with students. I know our students and families are too.

    You are all suckers.

    In unity,

  8. I do not want to hear a single word from Mulgrew until 52 Broadway is open to visitors. "Rules for thee but not for me". Secondly, this WILL TOTALLY pit elementary teachers against middle school/high school teachers. This job is a fucking joke.

  9. What deBlasio is doing is continually encroaching on teachers rights until they start screaming. When that happens he stops, like he did recently when he closed the schools. He then waits for things to calm down and he starts all over again, from that previously encroached position. What is less noticeable is that UFT was the entity that used to do the screaming, now it had to come from teachers themselves. Recognize that fact and don’t look to the UFT for anything except optical and dental forms.

  10. The only way out of this dysfunctional relationship with the UFT is to stop paying dues.
    By paying dues you enable Mulgrew.

  11. What are the consequences of opting out of paying dues? I'm seriously considering it, just not sure if it affects anything in particular.

  12. There are no consequences. You can't use uft lawyer if they come after your job. Can't go to uft to ask questions.

  13. You can't leave until June. Stay and fight for a better union.

  14. You can’t leave until June and it’s irrelevant if you stay or go until then because they will still take out their dues. (Don’t forget all those teachers that lost their lives to ensure those automatic withdrawals for the UFT.) There’s no fighting for a better union unless you ignore the fact that there isn’t one. Act as such and fight deBlasio accordingly. Totally ignore and disregard everything that comes out of Mulgrew’s mouth and that is mandated and/or agreed-upon by UFT. That is the only way the teachers can have a real union.

  15. To Anon 3:05...I think diblasio never thought we would reach that he had to follow his rule, he wants to change the can they say things changed and we need to change metrics?virus going up, so why did they close if they are sending us back when it worsens?muldoo is likely paid off or promised something.what other reason would there be for him to become a turncoat??time will how do we protest all this without uft backing?it is a lost cause.dont want to be evil, but maybe the big shots need a case of covid to get back to earth.

  16. It is easy. Tell your principal you won't be in on Dec 7. If enough people did that, schools close.

  17. What happens if you leave the UFT and are retired ? Do any benefits disappear?

  18. What happens if you leave the UFT and are retired ? Do any benefits disappear?

  19. It's time to seriously consider another strategy. There are not now or in a month, 6 months or even a year from now enough NYC teachers capable of standing up and refusing to go in. My bet is 10 years from now teachers' rights will have been further eroded and there will be less not more teachers willing to stand up. I think it's time to strike against dues. Hitting the UFT bank account is all Unity cares about. It's easier to convince teachers to drop dues than convincing them to stand up to their principal or the chancellor. I respect James for standing his ground and saying stay in union and fight but I don't see it as a practical winning strategy. Also, high school teachers and elementary teachers rarely if ever interact. If there's any resentment no one will notice. I once naively asked a UFT district rep who spoke at my school why scabs who didn't strike back in the day were welcomed with open arms when the strike was over instead of being booted from union. I got a response about unity. As I got a little older I came to understand it was all about the dues. The UFT doesn't want a strong membership, they just want dues payers. Our dues are the only leverage we have. I disagree with James on this but I respect the fact that he hasn't stopped advocating for active teachers in his retirement.

  20. When do you think middle and high schools will reopen?

  21. "New York just had its highest rate of positive COVID-19 tests since May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

    Cuomo — who has said the positive-test-rate figure is the most accurate in terms of predicting worrisome potential spikes — said the state’s percentage Saturday was 4.27, up from 3.9 the day before."

  22. The UFT is on board with the mayor's plan. The plan is to claim that they opened schools, that they did everything they could to open safe schools. What schools will open? Schools with babies and toddlers, with young children, with special need children and only those that had previously opted for "in person instruction" and are now willing to submit to weekly testing. How many will that be" Maybe 10% of the school population? Maybe less.

    But they, the UFT and the Mayor will claim victory.

    What are the risks and why are they taking the risks? The most vulnerable teachers will not be going back to schools. The accommodations have been extended. But the virus is surging across the country and is elevated in neighboring states, and the post-Thanksgiving surge will probably push NYC above 5% positivity by Christmas. So why do this now? While it is true that we know more about how to treat covid and have made substantial progress in treatments, preventing deaths, and while we have also learned how to mitigate the virus spread, to risk lives now makes little sense.

    What is behind this stupid decision? It can't be the economy. The retail sales holiday economy is not going to get a boost from this. This plan won't help working class families find work or earn money. And, while it's true that online learning is failing the most vulnerable students and families, putting people at risk to serve 10% of the student population is foolish. I scratch my head with this mayor and the president of our union. Why? What motivates these guys? What are they thinking?

    If Mulgrew only cares about dues, getting as many dues payers as he can, for as long as he can, this plan makes sense for him. No layoffs and add more teachers who pay dues. Add nurses who pay dues.

    The UFT, as I've pointed out several times, is a weak union, not Chicago, not LA. And its size and its money makes it weaker. Yes, weaker.

    So what recourse have we got? He has a monopoly on power and money. He has taken advantage of the crisis to increase his autocratic and anti-democratic control of the UFT.

    Reform is not possible. Unity will not be defeated or reformed.

    If we all pull our dues in June we will get their attention.

    It's the only strategy that will work.

  23. Fuck this. I want hazard pay if I gotta go in as an elementary teacher while middle and high school teachers get to stay safe at home.

    1. We are not first responders. I am ms and want to open ASAP. It’s not fair you get to go in nor is it equitable.

  24. Are most schools really safe. Give me a break. We do the best we can with masks,shields, and the students washing their hands. But it cant stop the dumbasses out their going to functions with lots of people or the asswipes going to bars. We will see if they really enforce the students and their consent forms. This union has been a joke for a long time. They cant settle good contracts or keep us safe.We should be closed until they get a vaccine. Lets open right after thanksgiving when all these dumbasses were meeting at familys houses. Real smart dumbo.

  25. “I work until midnight each night trying to lock and load all my links, lessons, etc. I never get ahead,” one anonymous educator wrote. “Emails, endless email. Parents blaming me because their kids chose to stay in bed, on phones, on video games instead of doing work.”

    Erica L. Green
    Teaching in the Pandemic: ‘This Is Not Sustainable’

  26. 944,

    It isn’t our job to work until midnight. This is why principals abuse people bc of those who work 16 hour days.

    We are not essential workers! We are not saving lives. We are teachers. We don’t make 7 figures.

    Work from 8-220 each day, then call it a day. That’s the job.

  27. I agree with Shelley. I am no longer a dues payer.

  28. So let me get this straight, you guys are totally against going in to the schools in any capacity but then at the same time talk about how useless and ineffective remote learning is. You guys want a strong union but then advocate for opting out of dues for the union at the same time. This is the typical conservative stance I used to see on Chaz's blog all the time. You guys have no solutions but are quick to complain about everything. You don't care about the school, the students, or your fellow teachers, you only care about how it affects you. You guys are the reason teachers constantly get dumped on. I'm sure I'll get piled on here in this echo chamber but you guys make me sick!

    1. @10:33am...
      You won't get piled on. They will probably just assume it's W4S responding as "anonymous".
      P.S. I agree with you.

  29. Chaz for the record I don't ever think advocated for quitting the UFT.

    If thousands stop paying dues in June, it will just weaken the UFT even more.

    We have data from Wisconsin and other states that went right to work before Janus was decided by the Supreme Court. When large numbers of union workers defect, unions become weaker and working conditions become worse.

    I have asked repeatedly here for one example, any example, in history where masses defected from their union and then working conditions improved. To this day, nobody has provided one. The UFT will not be the first.

    Either organize to fix the union or move to decertify it and start a better one. Those are the only options.

  30. Refuse to go in. Why is this so complicated? There will be no students in most buildings anyway.

  31. If you think it isn't safe, refuse to go in. If enough do this, school buildings will stay closed. It is that simple. Get on the phone and get the ball rolling.

  32. The right wingers here make me sick too and that is why I avoid the comments often. 10:33 is right.

  33. 10:33 has a point with people talking out both sides of their mouths but what does that have to do with being conservative or Chaz's blog? And going to a bar makes one an asswipe? The bars and restaurants I went to near my school before the closure were very appreciative of my business and tips and that I made it a point to patronize them.

  34. Use the power of the union for the one thing it is good for right now, power in numbers. You are in a union, you have a contract that states you have a right to safe working conditions, these conditions are not safe for you or your students. Refuse to go in, you are protected.

  35. Over 98% of teachers in NY State are organized and pay dues. What if that number dropped to 90% because 10% decided that the unions did not represent them and were merely a front for the anti-worker movement of the two dominant political parties who are bought and paid for by the corporate interests that have been outsourcing, offshoring, and automating work for decades?

    Less would be more. If the UFT had a 10% reduction in dues it would need to fight harder for the dues it was still collecting. Fight harder to get the non-dues payers to come back, and fight hard to prevent more from fleeing.

    As things stand the money is so easy to collect , so easy to spend, so easy to use to pad and protect the Unity/UFT and not serve the members by cleaning out the corruption and anti-democratic machinery that there is no incentive for any of kind of change that will serve the members better. Indeed, what we have witnessed through his crisis is an emboldened UFT that lies, deceives, and politically maneuvers itself into position to serve power at the expense of membership.

  36. 10:33 We don’t have a strong union. we will never have a strong union until UFT leadership starts representing us instead of themselves. I’m tired of funding Mulgrew. I tried for years to get my colleagues to unite and stand up for what’s right. It didn’t work. Cowards content being cowards. So yeah, at some point I said fuck it, I’m looking out for me and the 3 or 4 other teachers in my building who aren’t cowards. The majority of nyc teachers are cowards. That’s the root of all mistreatment.

    James, you are correct. Working conditions have never improved with mass defections. But the goal of opt out is to defund a corrupt union. If the defund the UFT ball got rolling, Mulgrew and company would have to change or face extinction.

    11:07 not all teachers are liberals. We deserve free speech too. Sorry we make you sick.


    "We're going to have a problem in the hospitals. I'm telling you right now." - Cuomo

  38. If you stop paying dues do you lose dental insurance since that comes from the union?

  39. Mulgrew is destroying the union. Not those who decide to opt out.

    The teachers who decide to opt out are making a rational choice given
    Mulgrew's incompetence and malfeasance.

  40. No you don't lose dental. I've been out for 2 years, lost nothing.

  41. I looked at opting out as the only option. I tried the other ways for 20 years. Pretty clear nothing is changing.

  42. Our union dues and for those foolish enough to contribute, the COPE monies are wasted on political influence that fails. As James has noted here several times, the democrats, favored by our unions, be they in Washington, in Albany, in NYC have not served the teacher unions well. The republicans are worse only because they want to privatize public education, lower teacher wages, reduce and eliminate teacher benefits, and our unions have done a good job of convincing members to support the lesser of two evils. The money, an apparent strength, is a weakness for membership because our unions wastes it pretending to influence education policies they can't influence and fearmongering members into thinking that they have saved us from the republican assault on our jobs. The Janus scare was nothing more than a ploy to fool members into rallying around the union flag. In fact, the threat to dues was quickly spotted by the unions and patched over by the democratic governor, not to keep the members strong but to keep the weak, paying for nothing, maintaining the political status quo in NY.

  43. Theoretically, Shelley, you may have a point but in the real world, that is not how things work. A weakened union with thousands of fewer members who are not unionized in any form is just that: a weakened union. Do you honestly think Michael Mulgrew is suddenly going to become Eugene V Debs because thousands of UFTers stop paying dues? No, he will just have an even better excuse to do nothing. The UFT will cut staff and blame all of you who defect for the lousier services and even weaker contract they will negotiate. That will lead to even fewer services if more defect. The cure for a sick and corrupt union is not to decimate it further. You have to repair it. If you can't repair it, you have to organize to start a new union. Those are the only viable options.

    We have hard data on what happens when union members can defect and do stop paying dues. Working conditions worsen, benefits are taken away and the workers have fewer rights at work. Please look at Wisconsin as a great example of what happens when unions are weakened. Scott Walker went one step further than right to work in Wisconsin by passing Public Law 10 which forced public-sector unions (except police and fire) to have to recertify each year which made it super easy to stop paying union dues and having a union.

    Here are the results when people left their teachers unions en masse:
    "In the year immediately following the law’s passage, median compensation for Wisconsin teachers decreased by 8.2 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, with median benefits being cut by 18.6 percent and the median salary falling by 2.6 percent.5 Median salaries and benefits continued to fall during the next four years so that median compensation in the 2015-16 school year was 12.6 percent—or $10,843 dollars—lower than it was before the passage of Act 10."

    Shelley and some of the conservatives here want us to do the Republican's dirty work for them and voluntarily weaken the union. No way. Fix it or decertify it and start a new one. That is the answer. Having thousands of workers outside of a union umbrella has never led to better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

    Clearly, I am doing something wrong if I am attracting people who want to weaken the teachers union. I believe in union and am fighting to strengthen it.

  44. UFT???

    DOE guidance gives D75 Parents an opt out for testing: " For students with disabilities who cannot be safely tested in school due to the nature of their disability,
    you will be able to submit a separate request for an exemption.

  45. LOL at James. So Mulgrew does nothing. If we opt out, he has an excuse to do nothing...Oh, ok. May as well opt out and save the money. Last chance before they triple charge you for dues during the July retro.


  46. Scabs are back in full force here. When we really need to be a united force, scabs want us to kill the union once and for all. Lower wages for all and even less safety. Fucked up the max.

  47. James, the truth is you don't have a viable option. You describe yourself as someone who has been trying to repair and reform UFT for decades and has failed. You've outlined how the UFT has gotten worse with each contract and each new power grab and abuse of its members and yet you are quick to label those of us with a conscience, with principles, those of us who are willing to fight the corruption by striking at its Achilles Heal disloyal.

    Please don't patronize me with lessons from your real world. I don't live in an ivory tower. I'm not talking about abstractions, theories or ideas. I'm talking dead presidents. Dollars. Cut the green from Mulgrew and get his attention. Nothing else will work. You've tried your options and failed. I say, try mine. And please don't use meaningless terms like conservative (whatever that means) to describe me or my position on this. I want a union. You've offered one--the UFT. No thanks. Not interested. I'll keep my money and if you manage to reform it or start a new one I'll give it all back to you or whoever it is that is collecting it and representing the teachers. Right now Mulgrew is content to take my money and represent the parents, the children, the mayor and his chancellor. The teachers merely pay and pay.

    We are not in Wisconsin. That's a fearmongering tactic. It won't happen here. The problem there was not money. The weakness in Wisconsin is and was bargaining power.

    We are not weak on bargaining, though we are not as strong as we could be and we can improve our bargaining here in NY by giving members an active voice and a democratic process.

    Your argument that cutting dues will only give him excuses, more excuses to provide even less doesn't make sense because that is what he is doing and will continue to do. The man has excuses for his excuses. The idea that if we cut dues he will have a legitimate excuse to cut services or representation is circular.

    Stop paying these people to sell you out.

  48. Let’s get teachers to sign a petition stating schools are not safe and see if the mayor responds. The rate is 3.8% and rising. We are sell outs and lied too constantly. I’m so angry

  49. I’ll use my car analogy again. If your car gets you from A to B, but runs like complete garbage you either fix it or get a new car. You do not say oh well I’m going to just walk everywhere now.

  50. Shelley,

    I will respond one more time and then call it a day on this discussion which has very little to do with the original posting. I do understand member frustration. I get it. I asked for an example where union workers have pulled out of their union en masse and then gotten better benefits and working conditions, I am still waiting for an answer and I will wait for a long time because there are none, zero.

    I never called anyone "disloyal" for wanting to opt-out so please don't put words in my mouth. Go if you want to. What I am saying is it will have very little if any effect on how the Unity machine operates the UFT. The UFT is a top-down one-party state type organization that is in business to perpetuate itself. Having less money at its disposal will not change that reality.

    Shelley says about me, "Your argument that cutting dues will only give him (Mulgrew) excuses, more excuses to provide even less doesn't make sense because that is what he is doing and will continue to do. The man has excuses for his excuses." If 10,000 people stop paying dues in June, Unity/Mulgrew will not blame themselves and change. They will hide it as best as they can and when it is exposed, they will call the defectors part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton. If those of you who want to opt-out or have opted out could organize something, then I could respect your movement.

    You say, "...we can improve our bargaining here in NY by giving members an active voice and a democratic process." Let me accept that you are sincere there. Then, why don't you organize an opt-out drive with demands that you want the union to accept before you will pay dues again? Put everyone's money in an escrow account. Start a website, provide mutual aid for each other as some of you will need help. Start organizing it. Otherwise, like the Koch funded commercial used to advertise, dropping union dues is a way to give yourself a raise and nothing more.

    You also say, "I want a union. You've offered one--the UFT. No thanks. Not interested. I'll keep my money and if you manage to reform it or start a new one I'll give it all back to you or whoever it is that is collecting it and representing the teachers." Leave it to everyone else to fix it. I go back to what my friend Sam Lazarus (former longtime chapter leader Bryant High School) has said many times: "The two problems with the UFT are the leadership and the membership." I have been trying my damndest to convince the membership to organize to fix the UFT or decertify it and start over. If you are not on board, so be it but let the people who want to fix it do their work without your opt-out comments that in my opinion help nobody and force me to spend an inordinate amount of time responding to them.

  51. Leadership and membership.
    Looks like both must do better

  52. The car analogy doesn't work. A union is more like an organization you join and pay dues to and receive a benefit you want that you can't get without joining. If you are not getting the benefit you want you can cancel your membership. If you are paying and paying and not only not getting the benefit but also being bilked out of more and more money, you can stop paying.

    1. The car analogy works quite well. You don’t need a car. It however provides a basic, fairly big benefit. The union as bad as it it is also provides a basic big benefit of job security. If we had no union many would be fired at will the protection against that alone is a huge benefit. Un unionized workers in the private sector car be fired at any time.

  53. Reminder:
    The very same people who told you to avoid family for Thanksgiving cause U might catch COVID are now telling U that schools are staying open in NYC no matter how bad it gets.


  54. LOL at James. So Mulgrew does nothing. If we opt out, he has an excuse to do nothing...Oh, ok. May as well opt out and save the money. Last chance before they triple charge you for dues during the July retro.

  55. Most here are pathetic,lazy and whining in their own self interest. They just want to stay home in their underwear and get over to collect their patcheck.
    Not a care for the children of this city,or even the health of NYC's economy.
    Spread in the schools is 0.19%.
    You people are pathetic.

  56. That .19 rate is so full of you know what. Some here do not show us at our best. Many are working diligently remotely.

  57. Have they said if people test positive in school they will close them? Or is there a new policy on outbreaks in schools?

  58. Can anyone elaborate on District 75 student return to full time and exemptions from Covid-19 testing?
    Carranza says one thing and Mulgrew's letter says District 75 students are exempt from mandatory testing, can someone clarify?
    Sounds like there is not much of a plan again and little consideration for staff safety again.

    Few populations of children in D75 are so severely medically fragile to be exempt from testing to protect the health and safety of others and staff. There is already an understanding with masks but this is different.

    Are ALL students in D75 returning or only grades Prek3/4 and K-5 students? Are Middle and High School students returning? They say older children pose a greater risk of exposing others. This is all so confusing.

    If children are exempt, will teachers be deemed "essential" and eligible for hazard pay due to heightened risk to exposure unlike Gen, Ed. teachers and students who participate in Mandatory random testing to ensure health and safety of all?

    Answers anyone?

  59. 6:28 You are pathetic in your comments! How dare you say things you undoubtedly know nothing about. Just stroll along, nothing better to do...wonder what you do for a living? A troll?

  60. I heard on the news that middle and high schools don't go back until January 2nd. Can anyone verify this? Elementary school teachers are going to hit the ceiling.

  61. @8:21 — it's all but confirmed that MS/HS won't go back until after New Years.

  62. The Eva Moskowitz Charter Schools are all remote till at least March. How did she get a free pass? Are parents complaining about no on- site learning? What does Cuomo or DeBlasio have to say about that—especially in light for pushing NYC schools to reopen ?

  63. @ Shelley thanks for joining the party, just like I predicted snow days would be long gone, I said 2 years ago and over and over we all pull dues we get their attention and leverage. It is clearly the only way to actually show them we are pissed and mean busniess. Then James comes with a wannabe coach carter speech on why we should pay and elect people we want blah blah.

  64. Would the UFT collapse and die with a 10% opt out rate? 15%? 25%? What % would effectively end the union? Would Mulgrew/Unity be more attentive to members if there was 10% opt out? 15%? I would think at 10% their ears perk up. At 25% they enter panic mode. I agree with Shelly. We’re not scabs looking for a free ride. We’re people tired of a strategy that isn’t working. I’ve said this before here. It’s easier to convince colleagues to defund the UFT than it is convincing them to stand up to their principal or the chancellor. Why not try defunding UFT. If they lose 20% and still ignore members’ needs, then I’ll concede that Shelly and I were wrong. But what if we’re not wrong. What if a 20% drop was all it took to really make them pat attention and address our needs?

  65. Union membership, again, is nothing like a car. It is something like car insurance. A car is a tangible product, a machine you buy and use. And because cars, though equipped with safety equipment, and designed to protect riders, are dangerous machines that not only depreciate in value after purchase but are also involved in the deaths of 3,700 humans everyday, we have a thriving global insurance business to collect premiums, like union dues, and provide protections against loss and other services and benefits.

    Like insurance a union is a pooled value of mutual protection. So you pay your dues based on your wages and years, as you do with insurance, a basic mutual cost/benefit relationship.

    While, as you say, you don't need a car, in NY you do need insurance to drive a car legally. Because insurance, like a union pools resources of the insured or members to provide protection and security. Pre-Janus, you still didn't need a car, but your did need to pay dues and join the union. Now you have an option, so you no longer need to join the union or pay dues to teach in NYC.

    I feel less secure in my job protected by the UFT than even in my life. Fortunately I am going to retire and the UFT is not my only union. Again, I'm not against unions, quite the contrary. I'm opposed to paying the UFT.

    Arriving at this decision was not easy because I am an old union person and my family are old union people. We believe in unions. We want unions to survive and thrive. But the UFT is not a union.

    The membership and leadership? The members are more to blame for their apathy and ignorance. The so-called union people in UFT, have talking points and sound bites that they use to fearmonger people into apathy and ignorance.

    Wisconsin? What happened in Wisconsin is difficult for members to understand because we live in a period of twitter and spin of both sides. Notice, for example, how quickly this blog tries to discredit me by claiming I am a conservative that either consciously or foolishly supports the evil empire that will destroy unions. What really happened there had nothing to do with money or membership. Wisconsin has the third highest membership percentage in the nation. They are far more politically active, with far more money influence than teachers in NY. So dues and PAC money and membership failed. Why?
    The mantra of the unions is that big bucks from outside crashed in and defend ourselves we need more money to fight them. So pay your COPE you fools. Pay your dues. But tell me please, why didn't the membership, dues paying members vote to approve bargaining? They unions used the courts to defend themselves and were successful because the teacher unions were targeted unfairly. But the courts sided with the unions not the members and the membership dropped, AFT_Wisconsin lost 6,000 members, that's 35%
    The membership and the leadership. The members have no faith, no confidence in the leadership who keep telling them to pay more and get less. They've got to start delivering more and prove that they represent the members, not the students, not the parents, not the technology companies and education businesses.

    If our union is a car we are locked in the fucking trunk.

  66. RE: Anno 6:28. What is so wrong about "teachers wanting to sit at home in their underwear?" DOE offices are closed and folks are working from home. Many city agencies are closed and people are working from home. Tons and tons of private business offices are closed and those employees are working from home. You know why? BECAUSE IT IS SAFER THAT WAY. If someone wants to work in their underwear at home to avoid the virus, I got no problem with that.

  67. Here comes James again telling us to keep doing the same thing, paying, to get screwed. Isnt that insanity? Forget it. Just opt out like I did. Let everyone else keep paying. Good for them.

  68. Eve Moskowitz has a much stricter protocol regarding remote learning. Supposedly the students must be in front of the computers from 8:00-3:00 with a 45 minute lunch break and two short breaks and must have their cameras on. Teachers have to do the same thing. Don't forget it's Success Academy. If kids don't make the grade, they just throw them out so they're not part of their stats. Moskowitz is the Queen of smoke and mirrors.

  69. 2020 7:11:00 AM
    I have a suggestion for Shelley, Anon 2323 and the other Defund the UFT folks: Set up a website or blog and do it. Stand up and lead.

    I have explained over and over how dropping out of a union has never worked in the past to improve working conditions and won't work for the UFT. All you will be doing is leaving former UFTers more vulnerable without any union protection and the union weaker for the rest of us.

    You disagree. Fine, now go start your movement. It's your turn. Step up to the plate and lead.

    This is a dissident, pro union blog. I am through letting it be hijacked by folks who think having ten thousand people opting out of dues is the way to wake Mulgrew-Unity up. We need different union leadership and a democratic structure, not a new and improved Mulgrew. Mulgrew isn't changing. What's the old saying, Leopards can't change their spots.

    If, on the other hand, you would rather do a decertification drive with the goal and commitment of having a better union then I am all in. I listen to every dissident caucus too.

  70. Newly leaked documents reveal how China bungled COVID-19’s early days
    By Tamar Lapin November 30, 2020 | 8:16pm | Updated

    Blame which country?

  71. To the person saying the Union provides job security - yeah, if your tenured. If not, you can be discontinued and that is that. Job security for the new teachers, those that are untenured, is basically zilch. All it takes is one false complaint from a student, parent, or admin to kiss your career with the DOE goodbye.

    And we all know that getting tenure is a whole dog and pony show. The superintendent for D27,D28,D29 said that they don't care about a tenure binder with student work and evidence of improvement - all they care about is the data from assessments and state exams. If your students are the bunch that don't put much effort in, it is going to impact your chances of tenure highly. Not fair because some teachers are lucky to be in schools that act like schools, others are in very disorganized schools and it effects their chances of tenure through no fault of their own.


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