Wednesday, February 10, 2021


 Two meetings in a row I'm in early.

President's Report

Michael Mulgrew opened the meeting by welcoming Delegates to February DA, We're over halfway through the school year. Hope all are safe. Try to shorten report. Start with a moment of silence for Karen Lewis, the CTU leader who passed away.

 Middle schools, DOE had to have testing in place. Plan with SED says 20% testing per week per building. We didn't take DOE's word for it but city has money from second cares act from federal government. We want them to have testing teams going ahead of time. They have more than enough capacity to test. They are in compliance with state plan. We are working on vaccination program. We are on the phone trying to find more vaccines. All are scrambling looking for more vaccines. City has agreed that the five sites for NYC employees will have a specific number of slots every day dedicated to in-person DOE employees. Elementary, middle school and D75 in-person will get those slots. Middle school people didn't think they needed so much time but we have over two weeks. One day for staff to come in and check everything. We will make sure there is a two week PPE supply. PPE, cleaning protocols are the front line with ventilation are what keeps us safe. Testing gives us warning if there is COVID-19 in the building. Folks going back on 24th have to make sure things are in place. Must make sure that is working. We are working with people from around the country. They need testing capacity. They are fighting for basic things we already have. Contact us if there are issues. Constant monitoring. We then push. We are watching each other's backs.

CDC guidelines on opening schools pushed back to Friday. Will have much like NYC guidelines but they don't have the testing ability. We have COVID building Response Teams. They need to have authority to get things done.

President Biden priority is to open schools safely. He is also saying politics can't get in the way as people are struggling. We need to move and do something dramatic. $170 billion for education in next federal bill. Alot to do this year and next year. Schools can't just handle all the challenges. Chicago is opening. We worked with Jesse Sharkey. Kids getting COVID-19 now. If things start to change, we are monitoring it. 


Worried about supplanting funds. State takes a dollar away for every dollar that comes from the lottery. Governor planning to supplant half of the money. We will get back to some sort of new normal. Academic regression and learning loss are the two big crisis we know are coming at us. We are seeing it in remote and in-person settings. It can't be the usual let the schools handle it. We need funding and support. 

 No finalized APPR (evaluation). Only the governor can waive it. Governor has no appetite to waive it. Budget and early retirement incentive are all people are talking about in Albany. Teaching remotely is not about how many are logged on or who has their camera on. Teaching a class with 6 children with all socially distant. We don't want to hear that someone is not doing group work. We have redefined the engaging of students. Certain superintendents and principals judging engagement by how many are on line. Basic framework document sent to the state. We need to change part of it. Nobody is working in the conditions with which they were hired. DR's superintendents, principasls-chapter leaders need to be trained together. Appeal process will go from school to central and it doesn't need to wait until final rating. Let us know if ther are problems. No such thing as retroactive observations. No crazy crap about how many kids were on and who had cameras on.

SED has sent a waivier to federal government to waive standardized tests for this year. Need the waiver not to lose Title I funds.


We had first mayoral forum. No buzz about mayor's race because there is so much. More city council endorsements today. No endorsement for mayor, comptroller or public advocate or 4 borough presidents yet. More people volunteering to get involved. We look at the plans and viability. Candidates need to have the money. 


Keep going. If I'm out there and don't have an appointment yet, I put my name out there. Federal government going up 20% and supply chain is starting to grow. Vaccination program can get us to herd immunity to get us out of this. I don't want to be in this situation for 2-3 years. We did 400 last week at Thomas Jefferson HS. We will move to where there are needs and a large number of people live in an area. Great day on Monday. Members have a second shot. We got therapists in group A. We are ahead of schedule at the start of February. Send UFT results of test results not coming back fast enough. 252 schools down to 51 not getting results back fast enough. We need the information. Only three schools testing same people every week. Keep the pressure on. We do everything in our power to keep everyone safe. We Feed NYC is going. Food scarcity is really bad. Goal to raise $250,000 to distribute food. Needs in every borough. Food lines everywhere. Anthony Harmon and his team raising money. It will all go for food. We are blessed but it is an inate responsiblity. If there's a need, we help. Working on this on Saturday. Tomorrow and then Lunar New Year. Passed half way mark of the school year. You guys have performed like heroes if schools are open or closed with the crazy mayor. Stupid frustration not needed. People in schools watching each other whether in-person or remote. It's a pandemic. Things aren't fair. We care for children and their families. We will stay true to our principles. Have a wonderful break. A long way to go.

Staff Director's Report:

Leroy Barr gave dates for some upcoming UFT events including We Feed NY this Saturday. Next mayoral Town Hall will be Feb 23. Happy Lunar New Year, and Happy Valentines Day.

  Question Period

Question from CL on teachers getting hig on passing percentage. Teachers can get tortured for passing percentage not being high enough. 

Mulgrew Answer: Big part of consultation with the chancellor. Two deputy chancellors said this isn't going on and is against policy. They don't support it. If you are being told about passing percentages, let us know. We now have a ventilation standard. If you feel comfortable, we need the information. This is a big opportunity. Please let us know. This drives me crazy.

Question: Early retirement incentive?

Answer: We made a big solid case on ERI in Albany and it is starting to move. Other unions in other counties around the state want to be in. Developing language to get this in. Weare lined up this year but we don't have it yet.  We're moving this and not getting the usual no way answer. It is a responsible thing to do at this point. 

 Question: Middle school buildings opening, what about high schools?

Answer: No discussions with DOE on high schools. Three more high schools opened up as vaccination sites. Even at federal level, it is k-8. Had to have testing capacity for middle schools. Massive amount of testing going on. We are the testing capital of the world on COVID-19 testing. B group right now was about 8.2 million statewide. That grew to 16.4. With restuarant people in there, B group is now 30 million people who are eligible for vaccination. 130,000 vaccines. Large buildings in communities are schools. C group is everyone else. 70% of parents still don't want their kids in school. We don't know what it will be like in September. No conversations about high schools. (Note If 30 million are eligible and the population of NYS is 19+million, where did all these other people come from?)

Question: Administration is all on accomodation. Sub AP does observations with AP on phone?

Answer: Have to account for someone working in a cafeteria or children who are remote and have broadband issues. We don't want kids or adults hurt during this pandemic. DOE understands this and will have joint training on what is and isn't supposed to be happening with evaluations. One system for 80 years and we have had five different evaluation systems in the last 11 years. We have new appeal process for this year that goes from school to central committee. I hear trepidation. A guy walking around with someone on video call is very strange. 

Question: Window for kids coming in from full remote to in-school learning?

Answer: No such thing as a local opt in period. We know how many kids are scheduled to be in school for testing. Let district rep know. More and more kids on live rosters who aren't coming.

Question: Does situation room tell principals about positive students?

Answer: They notify the principal of positive test result. They share classroom. Staff gets general communication. HIPPA regs are followed. More than one, contact tracing and school is closed. 50,000 tests are happening each day. Some schools aren't told until late they won't be opening the next day because of a backlog. Call us. Standard communication process from principal to staff and principal to parent. Sometimes it gets complicated. 

Question: Paperwork including IEPS. What can be done about excessive paperwork?

Answer: We will put that to the DOE. will put it on consultation to the chancellor. 

Follow-up: Working remote until 2:00 am each day. I'm doing everything on my time. D75 students are different that gen ed population. Many D75 kids can't open the computer. Need more info for D75.   Teaching daily five periods per day. Not teaching every minute. Can't do a breakout in a 6 to1 to 1 students. 

Answer: We will try to find some way to ease that. 

Question: 1 to 1Paras not on accommodation have fully remote classes. Do they have to come into building?

Answer: Yes

Question: Changing school closing criteria talk?

Answer: No way. No virus spread in schools because we don't know if cases are linked. We will fight if mayor tries to change this. 

Question: High school teachers told to come in to proctor SAT?

Answer: More students would come in  than other tests. If entire Brooklyn Tech junior class comes in, that could be 1,500 kids. PPE still needs to be in place. Social distancing too. Try to work through process with DOE.

Motion Period:

Some things we already have resolutions and positions on. By trying to tie our hands, we can't do that. Can't negotiate time for money in negotiations.

Quinn Zannoni from Solidarity: Motion for next month's agenda on evaluations. Based on an emergency APPR waived. Only tech people like Gates would benefit. It doesn't make sense to have an evaluation now with year already over halfway through. We don't know what is effective. No research on these tech evaluations. Reject evaluation system that has a remote judgment to it.

Speaking against is VEEP Mary Vaccaro. APPR is state law. It must be negotiated between DOE and UFT. Best interest to set a shared framework. First time we have been in remote but this is called for no evaluation for teachers who are remote. 3C engagement will be redefined to show what good practice looks like. Please oppose this resolution.

40% in favor-60% against.

For this month: Motion for the UFT to support tax the rich and invest in NY coalition. Raise $50 million.

70% in favor-30% against.

Daniel Alecia to move up item 6 to item 1 on mayoral control. Must address this immediately. Time-sensitive before mayoral town halls.

A false start on the vote. Mulgrew reset.

59% for-41% Against. It didn't get 2/3 vote so it didn't move up.

Special Orders of Business

City Council endorsements. 

15 endorsements. Brooklyn Borough Rep goes over process for UFT endorsements. Focus is what is best for our union, our profession, and our livelihood.

Mulgrew asks if someone wants to pull the endorsements to pull someone out.

One Delegate asks for D14 candidate to be pulled out.

One asks for D18 candidate to be pulled out.

Another asks for D18 candidate to be pulled out.

Another again asks for D18 to be pulled out. 

Leroy asks for motion to suspend the rules to pull people out. Mulgrew as chair says Parliamentarian will say rules were approved. No ability to pull out individual candidates because that is an amendment. No right to amend this. Pulling candidates out would be an amendment. Working under these rules, it doesn't work that way. Resolution has to be voted on as a whole.

Bronx Borough Rep speaks in favor of all the endorsements. Says essentially what the Brooklyn Borough Rep said. 

UFT retiree exec bd member speaks next to speak in favor of endorsements. Says the same thing as the first two  but this time for Staten Island. 

Mulgrew and Leroy then speak of Robert's Rules. Need a motion from the body to suspend the rules to allow single candidates to be considered separately.

Motion to suspend the rules come from Delegate. Mulgrew says it's a majority. Parliamentarian says it is 2/3 (after probably looking it up as he didn't seem too sure.)

66% Yes-34% No. Mulgrew suspends rules so there can be an amendment. (Note: 67% is 2/3.)

Jonathan Halabi says no endorsement for D18. 

Someone speaks in favor of amendment for no endorsement for D18. Wants someone who UFT didn't pick. 

Someone else speaks against the amendment and for the UFT's process. He trusts the people in the district.

Someone on the Bronx committee speaks against the amendment and in favor of the UFT process. Says it was fair and equitable. Stand by committee recommendations.

Mulgrew then makes his own motion to call the question.

 69% in favor of calling the question (ending debate on amendment).

Mulgrew reports that chancellor just said nobody can opt in for in-person learning now.

45% yes-55% No on amendment to pull D 18 endorsement resolution.

Motion to extend meeting to vote on endorsements.

60% in favor-40% Against. (That's not 2/3 needed to suspend the rules but Mulgrew suspended them anyway and kept it going.)

Mulgrew says he's trying to figure out a hybrid model for next year for DAs.

Someone calls the question to end debate.

86% in favor-14% opposed.

80 Yes-20% No on all of the endorsements.

Thanks Delegates God bless and be safe. 



Anonymous said...

Basically he has our backs, which means nothing. And after we get sick, he will TRY to say something.

Anonymous said...

He said the doe said grade fraud isn't happening? Lol.

Anonymous said...

Spring break pay?

Anonymous said...

Many teachers are concerned their genetic material may wind up in a database and sold or used against them. There’s a current teacher lawsuit against the city concerning this and this is a quote from a recent NY Post article :
The DOE has refused to provide petitioners with the contract which would provide this assurance and guarantee,” the court documents allege. “Absent said assurance, petitioners have no way of knowing whether their DNA will be maintained and used against their will by Fulgent Genetics.
I think this needs to be addressed by Mulgrew and the UFT. As more and more teachers are going back into the classroom, the UFT should be doing something to protect teachers and students genetic privacy and rights. A lapse in this regard could haunt teachers and students for the rest of their lives via health care, insurance and even employment.

Anonymous said...

LOL. UFT insists on unfair observations. Ignores grade fraud. That says it all. Thanks for paying dues. You all look more foolish everyday.

Anonymous said...

And we are no closer to getting paid for last sporing break, 10 months later.

nerd said...

I don’t believe there’s any way in hell that the vote to bring the no-observations resolution could have failed. Who voted for it? Moments before we heard callers complain of APs trying to do observations. What delegate/ chapter leader want-s--1 an observation system this year?

Why is the UFT VP of education allowed to speak / verbally oppose a resolution? She doesn’t have voting power. A teacher observation system has no effect on her .
Let’s face it. Has a resolution voted on remotely, that Mulgrew is clearly against ever passed? Must be nice to have Russian Friends in technology.

Anonymous said...

I have no confidence that we aren't going to get completely screwed over by whatever evaluation system they come up with. As usual, Mulgrew is all bark and no bite. Only 83 more days of this hellish school year left.

Just an Endangered CL said...

Another DA ripe with filibustering and shenanigans. When will order be restored?

Nearly 1 hour "keep it short" speech from Mulgrew; why are there 30 minutes of questions and 10 minutes for motions?!? He has TOWN-HALLs for UFT members to ask questions!

Many motions not heard, over and over again - especially the one motion to bring order back to the DA; then a VP of UNITY speaking out against a DELEGATE's motion. Soon we'll have his bestie The Mayor McCheese at these meetings. Heck, we still haven't heard the motion to support last years World AIDS day. I'm surprised that in addition to the unheard motion about Trump that there's still not a motion against Nixon waiting to be heard.

There should be a quorum count at the start of every vote - results must have numbers, not just percentages given.

Unity has turned the Delegate Assembly into a running joke and we're the ones paying the price.

Remember to vote out UNITY - don't forget to get rid of that VP (and AMY! Hi Amy!).

Anonymous said...

Wow, people are really pulling these "fears" from their butts not to go back into schools. I bet if these rights were protected, there would be a new created "fear". It's maddening.

Not will to die yet said...

So remote observations will take place with in the last 83 days of school ?

Early Retirement Incentive so I can walk away from this.

James , what happens to retirement benefits if you drop out of the union once you retire ?

If you can answer it would be much appreciated.

TeachNY said...

It sucks that observations are not going to get waived. But I def agree that if they do take place, both remote and in-person teachers have to be rated under the exact same “rubric.”

Anonymous said...

I don't see how they can do observations in the last 83 days of school if not fewer. You are supposed to have time to show improvement. I think teachers will easily be able to have observations thrown out.

Anonymous said...

For the millionth time, you lose nothing if you opt out. I opted out 2 years ago. You can't vote in the rigged uft elections. You can't get a uft lawyer...Would you want one?

James Eterno said...

You are not eligible for SHIP benefits if you are a retiree not in UFT.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that Mulgrew supports observations.
What is unclear is whether you will continue to support Mulgrew.

Anonymous said...

They will. They always do. I voted against him every time. I think he got 88% last time. Due to opt out, I can't vote. But good luck.

Anonymous said...

Why not evaluate us on what 90% of supervisors truly care about--giving passing grades and promoting students. The DOE has turned into a joke. I will gladly pass everybody, give me my highly effective please.

Anonymous said...

What exactly are SHIP benefits?

Anonymous said...

James have you looked into this revised Bill (January 26, 2021) for ERI? If I understand correctly, if people choose this incentive, they must sign a waiver of any lump sum payments due and also, if you are under retirement age (62?), for each of the first 2 years there will be a 6% reduction and each year after that a 3% reduction in pension FAS.

Sign a waiver for lump sum payments,hmmm.. could this mean a waiver to give up our retro and possibly payment credit for accrued CAR days as well?
Would you be able to find some clarification on how this is going to work?
The Devil is in the details and we miss Chaz informing us on these matters.
Thank you James.

Anonymous said...

ERI- pg.6 lines 16-33

Clarification, thanks

TeachNY said...

Isn’t it NYS though and not Mulgrew?

Mike Schirtzer said...

The angry, anonymous, sexist, racist comments on ice blog-always welcome here under the guise of free speech
What BS, at least put your names to it so we know who you all are

Anonymous said...

I will bet a million dollars that Mulgrew did not even ask Cuomo to waive observations. After all, that takes work and even might piss over the mighty Governor. Mulgrew is sock puppet and has to go!!!

Anonymous said...

These are five key understandings of the role of the UFT and its support of the DOE's regime:

1) Unity is a one way street.
2) Systemic teacher inadequacy is a conspiracy theory.
3) New racists pose as anti-racists.
4) Teacher harassment using weaponized observations is a symptom of a repressive organization.
5) Double standards are justified for the greater good of promoting corporate privatization.

Shelley said...

Right, if you opt out as a retiree you are not eligible for SHIP. SHIP is a good deal, cheap, covers a lot. But if you take the money you would spend on SHIP and add it to the money you would spend on dues you could buy your own supplemental health insurance with essentially the same coverage. And, you may not want or need UFT SHIP or any supplemental health plan. That said, our union does have excellent retirement benefits if your not in the latter tier (6), but the opportunity costs of choosing this job are, even as unemployment remains stuck at 10% (see Fed Chair Powell's comments from yesterday) are quickly rising and the positive trade-offs are diminishing, and not primarily because of economic shifts, like automation and global finance, but because of the work of unions like ours, the work they ostensibly do for their members as they sell us out and use us to serve their corporate and state masters.

Anonymous said...


Come June, they’ll waive a ratings system.

We have all been around long enough. If they waive it now, do you realize how many teachers will show movies the rest of the year? That’s what they are afraid of.

In June, nobody teaches any way so they will do a ‘no harm’ system.

TJL said...

Where are there any racist or sexist comments on this thread?

On topic - pleasantly surprised Zannoni got 40% on his APPR resolution. Looks like some Unity people did not vote in lockstep with the Politburo.

Anonymous said...

Angry yes, with good reason. Example of racist comment?

Not will to die yet said...


If what was mentioned in post 5:33 am is true there is no incentive to retire.

Who would agree to the reduction in FAS ? No one wants to leave this job and work some place else to make ends meet.

I know the ERI is in flux until it is finalized and announced so I will keep my fingers crossed that what was mentioned in the post is amended in its final draft.

UFT members never get any information from our union. Things are glossed over and mentioned but no mention of counter point or direction the UFT plans to steer us into on a specific issue.

We are in the dark with this ERI and Remote /in person teacher evaluation. It’s sad.

I have less then two years until I can walk away as part of the 55/25 pension buy in.

I will ride it out if this ERI is what will be presented in July.

Shelley said...

The U.S. labor movement is and has been since the Cold War purges of communists, unquestionably the most conservative in the world, and while we all know, that government and business, the churches, and the press played the most visible part in the purges and shifts to pure and simple business unionism, we should also know and not forget, because we are union members, that labor too played its part in the weakening of workers' rights and labor's power.

And now what we are seeing is unions leading the parade against workers. Blame Cuomo and Albany if you must. Blame Biden and Congress. But don't be fooled. History echoes and rhymes even if it never repeats, and if you put your ear to ground in the windy city, where Sandburg swung his hammer and where Terkel was blacklisted by government abuse of big telephone company data, you can hear, not in the eulogies of Red Karen Lewis, where socialist thought is but a costume, a bluster, but in the quiet resignation of workers who, if only for fleeting moment believed that militancy was not dead and buried long ago.

A union that can't strike or won't, not even if its members are dying at work, bringing death home to their families, is not a union, not even by U.S. conservative standards. What the good of bread if it choke you at your own table?

Anonymous said...

SHIPP isn’t enough of a reason to stay in the UFT. The UFT is a fraudulent organization that lies, cheats and steals for those that run it. Mulgrew and Weingarten are everything they accused Trump of being and more. They should be impeached. They could never inspire violence of course. Even on their best day, they couldn’t inspire a fluttering eyelid trying to close. They have consistently used us solely for our money and after retirement, for votes. If you are a retiree tell them to stick that SHIPP up their collective asses, along with their $10 shuffleboard classes - or trade your ethics for supplemental insurance and an annual appearance by Mulgrew shaking his tin cup for COPE. Just remember all the times you were subject to daily indignities as a teacher or as an ATR because the UFT refused to enforce the contract or traded away your rights as a teacher and a human being because it benefitted them personally in their relationship with deBlasio or Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

She is on the Executive Board so she is a member of the DA. She can speak and vote

Anonymous said...

8:33 Just look back at the comment section to every post, and take a look inside of yourself as well.

Anonymous said...

TJL just look back over the comment sections. unless you don't have a strong grasp of how racism works, you shouldn't have any trouble finding examples for yourself. you can do this.

Anonymous said...

Questions about the ERI,
I have spent the last 1.5 hours reading the bills online.
I still am confused as heck.
I have 28 years of service in june.
i bought into 25/55 optionally
i am well below age 55 am i qualified for the ERI, am i penalized?
i am confused

Not will to die yet said...

This early retirement incentive is a place that we need transparency by all the decision makers involved in the terms of participation and any penalties that will be incurred by opting in.

Mulgrew will never let any of us know what is cooking until the pot boils over and it’s too late to adjust the flame.

If the penalties are what was spelled out in 5:33 ams post where is the incentive to opt in ?

I wish that some in the know who is pushing this through on members behalf would have the balls and decency to let us know possible roads this ERI may take.

I have learned in my 24 years on this job that things move at the pace of a glacier creeping across the land.

Enjoy the break and keep safe.

Anonymous said...

Watch vaccines revealed.very scary.another week of interviews

Anonymous said...

Shelly, Glad you're organizing your thoughts into paragraphs, not long rants/screeds. James seemed to have liked that.

Anonymous said...

TJL.. Politburo? No need to red bait, and completely mislead people on how the Politburo functioned. Find a comparison that actually works, like say, Congress, since they also ignore the rank and file, the everyday common people.

Anonymous said...

5:32 look up the ERI Bill yourself, how does the legal lingo sound to you? We need clarification from the people who can decipher this lingo.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, meant 5:02pm, read the Bill.

Anonymous said...

We need a zoom meeting with ICEUFT A.S.A.P! tired of talk ...ready to bury this weak ass union to the ground and bring in a UNION that care and fight for teachers rights and students rights!

Anonymous said...

ron desantis can’t keep getting away with this.

New York Post
Cuomo aide admits they hid nursing home data so feds wouldn't find out

Anonymous said...

Carranza sent an email today to take sexual harassment training asap. Still no word on spring break last year.

Anonymous said...

TJL anything the left disagrees with is racist and sexist. These silly overused accusations mean nothing anymore. You like white wine but not red. You’re a racist.

Anonymous said...

5:14 Racism is a serious issue in the US. You seem to enjoy casually downplaying it. This says a lot about you, and nothing about the issue you are mocking. People with your mindset should not be teaching.

Anonymous said...

@5:14 We need purity tests for anyone entering teaching. Maybe parents too.
No need to worry though: When they come for you, they will talk like social workers.

Anonymous said...

9:08. Racism is not a serious issue in our country. It used to be. People with your mindset should not be teaching.

Anonymous said...

Carranza needs to take sexual harassment training. He needs to take it every day.

Anonymous said...

11:09 hold up, where do you live, Iceland?

Anonymous said...

Right here in America, 815.

Anonymous said...

8:15 There are racists in the US, as in there are a small percentage of individuals that are racist, but we as a country have made great progress. Racism is no where near the issue it used to be.

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