I'm ready to go this afternoon right on time. Listening to UFT musac waiting for Mulgrew.
Michael Mulgrew thanks the Delegates for attending says that now there is a long stretch between spring break and Memorial Day. He thanks Delegates.
Much is based on the stimulus package. (I lost the signal for a while and then got back on.) One year later from last April, we are not facing layoffs. Elections matter. Our endorsements are recommendations but people make their own decisions.
Best state budget we have had in twenty years. Technically, it is not officially the state budget because it has not been signed yet by the governor. It will be signed. There is an Early Retirement Incentive for NYC for non-uniformed employees. The next stage is that it has to be negotiated with the city on what the terms of the ERI will be. It will probably not be an easy negotiation. Mayor didn't accept it in Bloomberg years, even when the state passed it. We are not negotiating by ourselves. We will get something out to members who qualify. People above the age of 50 included.
Contracts for Excellence is in the State budget. State is meeting its obligation. It is a phenomenal accomplishment to get the State to acknowledge its obligation in State funding for NYC. Legislature had the numbers to overturn a veto. Our resolutions to get revenue from superrich helped. New revenue will help when federal money sunsets. Thanks Cassie and folks from NYSUT and we will thank the governor when he signs it. Teacher Center was also funded. Best budget that we can remember that ever happened. Thanks to people who were politically active.
5 point plan coming out of the pandemic. Addressing learning loss, extended summer plan, a project for smaller class sizes even though we can't do this all at once, graduating seniors and where they are headed with college and careers. Training ourselves to recognize social emotional issues in students and also recognizing it in ourselves. MAP program extended. Meeting with DOE on extended summer programs. We want a combination of academics and social-emotional support. Pushing for kids to have some fun. Trying to get city schools back and running as more kids come back to in-school learning, especially in September. Pushing with city and state governments.
Meeting tomorrow with CSA and DOE to see that plans are in place for returning in September. CDC put out safety measures that are based on studies from rural areas. We are working with State Education Department, the governor's office, and the Department of Health but our work was moot because of a lawsuit filed outside of Buffalo by parents who want schools fully reopened. Judge ordered districts to put plans into place and judge ordered State to put out new guidelines that adhere to CDC new guidelines. Stakeholders have to engage in a process.
Only elementary schools could go to 3 feet now. Middle schools and high schools may qualify later. Mayor told DOE to go to 3 feet. Now that State has put out guidelines, they have to do the process with the UFT. These are procedural rights. The opt-in period just finished. 51,000 opted their children in. 10,000 opted out. 41,000 net coming in. Schools being reprogrammed. Must let us know of operational issues. If a school is going to 3 feet distance now, get us the information immediately. Nobody is going to 3 feet unless they follow the process that is not in place yet. Must still be 6 feet outside of the classroom. Eating still requires 6 feet. Signage has to be changed. Students that might want to follow this and do it have to do it properly. Joint site visits to schools and Building Response Teams involved. We are still at only 35% of total school population who are in school buildings. We must protect our school system but we are going to have a problem if we don't get a lot of kids inside of school buildings by September.
We need our kids to come back in. Positivity rate going down. We do know kids are getting COVID with the variants. We are not asking if people are vaccinated but a large majority of our membership has been fully vaccinated. We need to get our students back. Work is much more effective when kids are back in schools. City will not get back to normal until kids are back in school buildings. We have no idea how many kids are in the system. To protect the profession, we have to make parents understand that we are open and it is safety first. Kids aren't coming back this year but we need to bring the children back into school. We have to do this by September. This will protect our profession.
We had conversations with the mayor about the two cases non-linked rule. With the massive safety and contact tracing system we have, adult positivity rate is going down with vaccinations, but students are getting infected more. When we know where positivity is in a school, we are shutting down schools. If it is spreading inside the school, we shut the school. We don't have to do that any longer with 2 cases because of the testing. If there are two cases, the school goes to 40% testing. Our program for vaccinations is open and you can get a fast appointment
State didn't waive it. We have our agreement. There have been 5 ineffective observations before the agreement and they have been removed. We will have guidance on MOSL soon. We recommend citywide MOSL. State testing for students: Remote students must opt in for testing days to take it live in the building so we can have a safety plan for them.
440 members volunteered to do interviews with city council and borough president races. Thanks them. Massive undertaking. Committees make recommendations and Executive Board and Delegates have agreed. Don't cast aspersions on the people doing the work. Thanks volunteers again. Everybody doesn't get what they want. It is a tough process. Many emails from members. Volunteer committees made recommendations based on what is best for workers and our profession as well as healthcare for nurses. Political website has had 1.4 million views. No mayoral endorsement today.
We are still working on rank choice voting. Special DA for mayoral endorsement that will be based on the information, surveys, money candidates have raised, viability. We have endorsed in the past and candidates have not won. Comptroller and Manhattan DA are all under consideration.
Pay raise on May 3. It kicks in on different days for different payrolls. 3% raise is the last raise for this contract.
Municipal Labor Committee (public sector workers for NYC) having issues with hospitals. We negotiate with insurance companies. Majority of members in GHI. We have been reaching out to hospitals. We are a passive consumer. We want to become active consumers in healthcare. We are going to get involved. Getting double digit annual increases in healthcare is not going to work. MLC responsible for 1.3 million lives. We call that buying power. We are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars so we are going to use our buying power as leverage. We are using our power. We put out a proposal for retirees. We want to fully audit. We pushed as pricing at hospitals is widely different. We are not looking at managerial bonuses for hospitals. We want to use our buying power to get the best prices.
Calendar is tight for next year. We are trying to get in the 180 days. Looking at safety, livelihood and profession.
Staff Director's Report
Leroy Barr said that they had meeting with 1000 election chairs on chapter elections. Workshops on rank choice voting coming up. HS awards on April 29. Nurses recognition day is May 6. Next DA is May 12.
Question: Thanks Mulgrew, principal wants us to prepare classroom for 27-29 with seats within 3 feet. What should we say?
Mulgrew Answer: Get information to district rep and borough rep. This isn't happening. Principal would be legally liable if many get COVID. Let DR and borough rep know. Principals are not medical experts. 3 feet seems a possibility for September, maybe only masks.
Question: ERI, will we know by June?
Answer: Traditionally, it would be done by the middle of June. Pension department is ready to rock and roll. Must be an opt in period. Traditionally, in the past it is in July and maybe early August. We still have to negotiate this with the mayor. Pension department is ready to go. We've gone over it. We don't have an agreed upon ERI yet with the mayor.
Question: Will there be fully remote choice for September?
Answer: City talking about a remote option for September. We will open as long as it is safe. If we get 85-90% back in, some doctors say because of medical conditions, somr should not take vaccine. If we get kids vaxed, if it is only 5-10% non-vaccinated, can we do remote academies? Have to change when medical advice changes. Not looking to do blended. We don't know where student population is. Schools held safe-harmless. Nobody will be in the red next year. We can't have DOE telling schools how to program in August.
Question: What does tight calendar mean? Holidays will be in there?
Answer: All of the holidays are during the week so calendar is very tight. We can't cancel a holiday because it's been done by the City Council. We are still trying to get two prep days before the beginning of the school year. That is the last issue.
Question: 683, how is that going to work for 12 month positions?
Answer: Most medically fragile students are in 683. No argument that we need a remote option there. We will have a massive expansion of summer school. We will work through the process of who is in person and who is remote. Medical accommodations good through June 30. Conversations between city unions and the city on accommodations. Majority of summer school will be in-person. When we have more information, we will get it out.
Question: Question about lump sum payment.
Answer: We are getting it in the summer. Mike Sill reports it will be in the second pay period in July.
Question: Class sizes. Reduce class sizes were supposed to be through C4E. What is the UFT plan to reduce class sizes?
Answer: Five-point plan has as a major component the reduction in class size. Candidates for it but when they get in office they say they don't have the space. Class size is number one issue for parents and us. We are asking for city to take 100 schools and reduce class sizes. Let's look at square footage and number of kids coming into a school. We have to prove this can be done at the local level. Bloomberg always said we don't have the space. We have academic loss and social emotional crisis but we have C4E so we have to get to lowering class sizes.
Question: Clerical day and chancellor's day in June: Will they be in-person or remote?
Answer: We will put that on consultation agenda with chancellor.
Question: Preference sheets on hold, why?
Answer: It is on hold so we can figure out a program. Last year it was a big mess. That is why we are meeting weekly with DOE. First, we must finalize a calendar and then we can start with SBO's. Then we have to do chapter leader and delegate elections. When we know how schools will be programmed preliminarily for September, we can put out preference sheets.
Question: Teachers getting the shaft at York College High School. Teachers not getting tenure. Crazy circumstances.
Answer: Not a lot of that under COVID. Some are comfortable with COVID style schooling. Get information to Amy, the borough rep. We will attack the behavior. Let's put this together through the avenues we have. We will deal with executive superintendent and then it can get to me.
Question: Capacity for every school room, if we go to 3 feet, will we get new square footage reports?
Answer: At 3 feet citywide, we can accommodate 92% of the students taking into account using non-traditional classroom space like auditoriums. Principals should not want to make these decisions. Who knows what will happen in the future? Legal liabilities are in play. Principals should be asking DOE how many can be in a classroom.
Motions to the Agenda
Motion for next month to support a bill to prevent HIV infections by getting prep p medications. Bill is in the state legislature. HIV aids epidemic has not ended in COVID timex. Medications not readily available. This bill would help.
Someone else spoke in favor.
96% vote yes to put it on next month's agenda; 4% no.
Resolution for next month to commemorate Stone Wall Riots for LGBTQIA community. Two speakers speakers spoke in favor.
A speaker came out against who argued against this commemoration. Not all are in favor of these commemorations.
81% Yes-19% No
Special Orders of Business
Brooklyn borough rep Elizabeth Perez spoke in favor UFT endorsement for various candidates for city offices. Corey Johnson for Comptroller and others. A speaker endorsed Alvin Bragg for Manhattan DA. David Pecoraro tried to amend to separate the Comptroller from the others but Mulgrew said amendments are not permitted. David then spoke out against the Johnson endorsement because David Weprin is giving up his assembly seat and he is well qualified and he actually wants the position. He added we need a fiscal expert and Johnson is not one. Another Delegate spoke against saying doing multiple candidates at one time is wrong.
55% No and 45% Yes,
Leadership Endorsements Defeated.
The 5 candidate endorsements the Delegates voted against were:
-Corey Johnson: Comptroller
-Alvin Bragg: Manhattan DA
-JoAnne Simon: Brooklyn Borough President
-Selvina Brooks-Powers: City Council D31
-Dweinie Esther Paul Dorsainvil: Judge Brooklyn
(I have been involved in UFT Delegate Assemblies since 1994. I never recall the Delegates rejecting a leadership recommended endorsement until today.)
Resolution to support World Aids Day commemoration. Peter Lamphere presented a point of order on why the tax the rich resolution was taken off the agenda that this is a violation of democratic procedures since he made the motion. Mulgrew said the bill already passed but he would look into it. (I thought points of order were not permitted under the remote DA rules?)
90% Yes-10% No