Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Thanks to my wife, I was in on time. Michael Mulgrew thanked people for taking the time to be on the call. For this school year:

Teacher Evaluation

We have an agreement on evaluation. Trying to get a waiver with NYSUT on MOSL. We were not able to get that done. We will come out with a recommendation for all the schools. We highly recommend that everyone pick a citywide MOSL. That is a very loud recommendation. We are still waiting for a ruling on tenure. We think it will be like last year. The budget gives us the most money ever from Albany but everything else up there is politics and not working that well.

The city is meeting with us on planning for next year on a weekly basis. Things are getting jammed up in City Hall. National level, we are hearing there will be another change in CDC guidelines before August 15 when many schools around the country open. 58% have a COVID shot, we have another 12% to go to get to 70%. 3 foot rule works for many out of the city. 3 foot rule works for us for many schools. We think people should be able to apply for remote. We have to be strong as we can for our profession to get as many people as we can back into the schools. Teachers unions being blamed for schools not reopening. That is garbage but one mayoral candidate is saying that. DOE wants in-person summer school. That is not totally possible with 683 programs where many students have medical issues. Postings are out; the calendar is out with only 180 days. We got the two prep days at the beginning of the year. Election day will continue to be a PD day. Teachers are getting per session to set up an asynchronous instructional day. We are making 180 days.

May raise goes into effect on May 14. For those who qualify, the last retro will be coming from two rounds of bargaining ago. We were able to get through pandemic without furloughs. No layoff clause to delay retro was smart because the economy was in bad shape. it is in better shape now. School debts are wiped off the books. Every school is getting a good budget allotment.

City not interested in negotiating an Early Retirement Incentive. Nastiest budget fight might be in NYC. Mayor leaving office. We sent them a letter. We may have a fight and we will deal with it. 

We should program now as if all of the kids are coming back in September. We have to try to push the city. This is the last year this administration will start the school year. We will do more to put pressure on City Hall if we have to. It gets really weird at the end of mayoral administrations. Mayor should thank Union and people on Building Response Teams but that's not happening. We want clear guidance by the end of May with some flexibility needed if virus changes circumstances.


We have never run this many races at one time. Thinks its 53 races. Union thanks volunteers. We owe a great deal of gratitude to those who volunteered. Mayor, comptroller, etc. The candidate we endorsed had an allegation against him. We take it seriously but we believe in due process. The people who did the work reconvened and said we want to move forward with the endorsement. It is coming down to a three-person race. Looking at polling, money spent and how much they have left. The other two viable candidates are troubling to us. During Bloomberg years, constant attacks on our Union. Closing schools and pushing students with greater needs kids into schools they wanted to close. That was some of the nastiest fights we have ever had. The accountability system was designed to say someone is a loser. If a teacher takes a child who was 3 grades behind and moved him up a level, that is a phenomenal success but schools that had kids at grade level were looking better. Rubber rooms, assaults against us. Person who ran Bloomberg's things was Andrew Tusk. He is running Andrew Yang's campaign. The group that he worked with was Students First. That is a pro-charter school organization. Student's First is running independent expenditure for Eric Adams. They are probably working together (Yang and Adams and Students First). Not trying to promote conspiracy theories but this is a fact. We closed and opened in September after having a greater loss than any other system. We figured everything out with safety, livelihood and profession. Now we have another challenge. Students First want us to go away. They will go to large lengths to make us go away. Many in-person students getting requests for services. Students have faced social-emotional damage as have all of us. We have been affected to the core of our souls. We have training that is sold out to train people. Member Assistance Program, we know how important this is. Call 212 331-6322 MAP Care program. Come to us. Entry anxiety is a term you will hear. This is real. Thank MAP people. Have to have a plan for it to work for our students. Thank College and career advisors for giving students an hour. We started training them yesterday. They need access to good information as they leave the school system. 

Nobody knows the population of our school system. Reports range from 85,000 down to 300,000 down. Let's put a class size reduction program in 100 schools. Two candidates being supported by people who want to destroy us and this union. Elder statesmen from the city urged us to make a deal back in 2010. We didn't. Contract negotiations start next spring. We would rather negotiate with people who understand what we do. One more town hall at the end of June probably. The goal is to get our buildings programmed before we leave this school year. We will work with CDC and State. We dealt with issues going to 3 feet. We have had over 2,000 operational complaints. Most resolved. Many got extra compensation. If someone has more work, we got them compensation.  City wants to maximize instructional time. 6 hours and 50 minutes in some schools. Contract goes back in place in September. 

Last year, if we would have said we are where we are now, we would have all taken it. We did what we had to do when we closed on March 15. The accommodation process will be opened but I don't think we will get blanket accommodations. Vaccination status is a personal choice. We will protect people. We will see what the city says. We need a mayor we can work with who has a chance of winning. We were the reason schools did open. 


Question: District 20 chapter leader, from the five-point plan, how can we ensure social workers, psychologists can be in our school?

Mulgrew Answer: We need to move quickly. We have the budget. We may need a petition that every school needs an intervention team. We must make this loud. Parents are on our side. Happy questioner brought this up. Frustrating dealing with this administration. Lack of focus. Mayor focusing on daily press conferences. Money is there; we should be able to have this.

Question: Thanks Mulgrew; postings for summer school, will job description be the same?

Answer: Is Michael Sill there? 

Michael Sill: 683 is up. Traditional summer school (summer rising) should be up Friday. Vast majority will be an in-person program. Small remote. Concerns of those who don't want to work in person. If you had retention rights and had an accommodation for this year, you will keep retention rights if you don't work this summer. Librarians, lab specialists will be up too.

Mulgrew: DOE looking to get 200,000 students which would double and triple summer school. Don't know how many people want to do summer school. We have plans if we have more students than teachers needed. We will look at a compensation package if we do get the students. Pandemic going in a good way in the tri-state area, many may want to take a break. Thanks Mike Sill and his department.

Question: CL from Manhattan, SBO's for next year, if schedules can be SBOed?

Answer: We were supposed to have an answer on this last Friday. Not looking to keep pandemic agreement in place unless we go back into pandemic. We talked about this with DOE last week. they have not gotten back to us yet. Can SBO open school days but still waiting on other SBOs

Question: QHS CL on cameras in the classroom. Expecting a three-foot rule to maybe still have AB cohorts, our position on cameras?

Answer: Can't teach to kids live and remote students on camera. Some CTE schools might need an exception but if less than 5% are remote, it is very inefficient. We can create academies for remote students districtwide or boroughwide. Tell administrators to hold off on programming. 

Question: Can parent-teacher conferences remain remote?

Answer: That is on the table for a possible SBO for schools that want to do it. Schools said it worked so much better that way. Try for a pre-agreed upon SBO or to make it a policy. May get pushback from City Hall.

Question: MLC and health insurance, is there an update?

Answer: Municipal Labor Committee negotiates healthcare as a group which is why we are the only workers left with premium free healthcare. We want to form a standing committee on healthcare and will talk about it at the DA tomorrow. We can't keep absorbing healthcare increases from insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. Ridiculous increases. Two or three years ago, we started getting aggressive by not taking increases. In-service did healthcare savings and city started negotiating with hospitals and insurance companies. Bloomberg wanted us to have premiums. MLC had low-hanging fruit to save to put back in the health fund when de Blasio came in. What we save goes back to the healthcare fund. We fought with NY Presbyterian because they would not let us analyze the bills they were charging us. We told them there is no way they can charge us $1,500 an x-ray. CEOs making $9 million. We want senior care for Medicare retirees to continue. We have not gotten answers. Representatives from unions vote at MLC. We have questions and we are not moving forward right now. Insurance companies came back with good bids but this is a nasty business. Patient has no idea what is going on. If we don't get what we want from our retirees to at least keep the minimum of what we have now, we are not moving forward

Question: PD Day and Clerical Day, are they remote?

Answer: Principal can bring people in if rules are followed and kids aren't there. We said if people are just going to go to their rooms, it makes no sense. We presented this to Chancellor and we have not heard back. Clerical day, we don't know what records you will need access to. We are not going to dump it on the in-person teachers only.

Question: Planning for next year, Will there be reopening committees this summer?

Answer: Yes, we hope to be in a position where virus is almost eradicated. Working with a group of doctors since last year in February. They have stuck with us. Locals around the country in AFT want Building Response Teams like we have. We gave them the information. We would like to continue the same process. Cleaning has to continue. We can't slide back now.

Question: Are we getting teachers choice this year?

Answer: Mayor pulled teachers choice out of the budget to get even with us for closing the schools. We can fight with him tooth and nail until he leaves like we did with Bloomberg. Hopefully, we don't have that scenario with de Blasio. We will figure out something one way or the other.

Question: School psychologist for 30 years, hiring 300 new social workers, what about school psychologist?

Answer: Intervention teams include social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors responsible for 200 students. Intervention team could be a game-changer looking at the work we will be facing.

Question: Early Retirement Incentive, is it for all titles?

Answer: City wants to set a precedent that they can pick teachers by certification area. We can't let them do that. This may be a big ugly fight. We don't want to pit people against each other. We can't agree to subjects rather than title (teacher). Paras would be included if we do ERI.

Question: D 14 teacher, 100CTLE hours approaching in June, is UFT talking to state or DOE to postpone this deadline? Paperwork more challenging than taking courses. Nobody picks up the phone. We feel slightly offended by what we have been through.

Answer: We have been talking with the State Education Department. Unprecedented 100,000 hours through UFT. Is Mary Vacarro on?

Mary: We haven't gotten anywhere on the extension with the state yet but there are plenty of courses. We can assist with people having difficulty on TEACH. 

Mulgrew: Can work with State on people having an issue on TEACH. We didn't want to be the number one CTLE provider in the State of NY. We would prefer to have the waiver.

Question: 12.5% retro last October and 12.5% in July. Will TRS give us a window to up TDA contributions in July?

Answer: We are working on this right now and will get it out as soon as possible. Not sure in NYC system can do a one-time upping of the percentage and can it be changed back before September. 

Question: What are the plans for technology going to be for next year? Are kids going to have to apply for i-pads for next year?

Answer: This is a big issue. We are working on some solutions. We were hired to work in person. We were not hired to work remotely or in a digital setting. A majority of the contract does not apply to our current working conditions. DOE assuming we can do our job or in a digital environment. That is a serious collective bargaining issue. That is why we are getting per session for asynchronous work on Election Day. We have told the DOE that this is not under the working conditions of our collective bargaining agreement. If they are threatening days off, we will have to decide. To do this additional work without collective bargaining is irresponsible. There is a lot of collective bargaining between contracts. This administration is leaving. If city puts a package before de Blasio leaves, we would have to talk about it. Next negotiating committee, this is a big issue. Where is tech support? Where are the devices? We need something definitive and there must be true equity. This is a collective bargaining issue.

Question: Is grievance process the same if we don't get grade we want to teach from preference sheet?

Answer: Format agreed on and preference sheets have gone out. Yes, it will be under the normal reorganization grievance process.

Question: Back pay for 2020 spring break?

Answer: Once the grievance process is fully reopened, that will be the first new arbitration. Para terminations and salary matters. City gave us 3 CAR days, we have in writing that city agreed that the 3 days doesn't matter to us asking for compensation and we could bring this forward. It might be end of June beginning of July. It will be a straightforward arbitration.

Question: Programmer wants a hard date for what is going on in September,

Answer: Program as if everyone's coming in. Holding things up is politics.  If it is 3 feet distance, we need an application process. It should be smoother than last year. 

Mulgrew thanks Rasheed for being a good host. COVID numbers are so low. 70,000 tests a day and averaging below .3% positive. We will go hard on the ERI. Fighting for the right things is fun. School year not easy but members made it work. We kept going in-person and remote. Thanks everyone. Spring Conference is Saturday. Complete thanks and gratitude to each one.


Anonymous said...

Texas just passed a bill to start teachers at $70K. So much for these "high" salaries in the high tax, high cost state of NY that only the uft could get us.

nerd said...

At what point does the union and city get to say to staff who want to stay remote in September "You have to come in. That's it." Unless the city creates virtual schools where all students and staff are remote (which could be the future) all of the time, I can't see staff being allowed to continue with accommodations in September.

I don't see refusing to be vaccinated as an excuse. I think this blog has discussed legal precedent on that.

Anonymous said...

Students in remote learning should not be removed from their schools and placed in city-wide remote schools. What an appalling idea! Might be easier for admin and teachers - but a total FY to students who will then no longer be a part of their school communities. How is that in the students' best interest? How does that support emotional well-being? And disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities.

Anonymous said...

LOL about the ERI. Another sham. Dues well spent.

Dr_Dru said...

Don't complain about health care costs, if you never talk about medicare for all or even to move that forward by endorsing Sanders or Warren.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit out of Mulgrew's mouth:
1) Re: remote teachers for next year. Started to say that remote teachers would be working from a central site, but caught himself before he actually SAID they would be working from a central site.
2) Principals are in their right to ask teachers on medical accommodations to come in on the June PD and Clerical day. Uh- since when? Somebody enlighten me.
3) He didn't know how many CAR days we got for working spring break last year. Uh - he makes close to 300K and he doesn't know this?

Why do I listen to these Town Halls? I always regret it after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mulgrew et al have to make some phone calls and send some letters. SMDH.

Anonymous said...

So I guess July is the new spring break 2020 resolution.

Anonymous said...

WTH. First Mulgrew says the City is not negotiating the early retirement incentive. I read this to mean it’s going no where fast. Then during the Q&A he says the City wants to pick which specialties are eligible. So if this is true then there are negotiations. He ends the call with stating they will work hard on the incentive. His messaging is very confusing. At this point, I would just like a simple answer, yes or no. I’m getting dizzy being on this merry go round!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Mulgrew said that, "The city wants to maximize instructional time next year". That better not mean getting rid of Monday PD/Tuesday parent engagement time and turning those days to a longer instructional day like it was years ago. I simply CAN NOT handle that shit again.

Anonymous said...

@ 504-- i think it makes sense for kids who are 100% remote to be in a 100% remote school community- not their zoned school- that they will not step foot inside of. if anything, this will benefit people from all communites to intermingle with each other, and share out with a more diverse group

Anonymous said...

That is a 100% falsehood.
A State legislator introduced a bill for that amount. A democrat. No chance of passage. It would more than double the starting salary.

Anonymous said...

What does the city wants to maximize instructional time next year mean?? How are we going to get fucked?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the remote students should be taught by a central site. The schools will need to discharge the students and the teachers teaching them, I'm assuming remote teachers, if they provide accommodations, will have to follow a central curriculum. It would be impossible to follow curriculums all from different schools. My question is will the child's home school be helicoptering the teachers and blame the teaches if the kids from their school doesn't earn his/her credits for the year because eventually the kids will have to go back to their original schools.

Anonymous said...

Can I volunteer to stay home as well?

TJL said...

To each his/her own but I think you're in the minority on this one. Maybe others can chime in. The 75 & 80 minute detention/punishment assignment was so detested at my school by teachers and admin alike we SBO'd it out.

TJL said...

Huh 5:04? Remotes are the ones flipping the bird to their schools and practicing self-isolation. They have no interest in being part of a "school community". The few who even attend a Zoom class don't turn the camera or mic on.

If it wouldn't cost people jobs I would say just drop them from the register and let them home school.

Anonymous said...

Florida gave everyone $1k bonus, TX is pushing to raise lowest teacher salary to $70k. We worked for free last spring break, got no bonus, have 1.3% per year raise the last 12 years, have state and city taxes and cost is higher here. James, tell us how the uft did so much for us.

David Suker said...

If I get vaccinated and refuse to wear a mask in September, what do you think will happen to me?

David Suker said...

They don’t care about black and brown kids!! Stop drinking the moonshine.

David Suker said...

Thanks for expressing your regret for me!

Anonymous said...

Texas. No state income taxes either.


Anon2323 said...

What does this con artist Muklgrew even know besides taking our dues and allowing diblasio to massage his balls as he listens to this absolutely moronic imbecile.

1. Wish he would answer why we never received interest on our 12-year retro or maybe they paying us with our interest.
2. Can the uft FINALLY CALL OUT CUOMO, disavow him condemn him??
3. Disgraceful no ERI
4. Let's just pack schools in September back to 60 kids in gym and 30 plus in classrooms

Anonymous said...

The city will have to rethink any possibility of 100% on site instruction come September. They will still have to offer remote instruction to some degree to ease the fears of many. .Some Major League Baseball coaches and ball players have just tested positive —despite already been vaccinated. and are now being quarantined. Hopefully, the vaccines will prevent them from getting ill. So any adult or student that has the opportunity to get vaccinated—don’t think twice—get the shots to avoid getting very sick.

Anonymous said...

Remote has to stop. Here’s the issue in my school. Kids coming in now are bitter. Their friends are home claiming WiFi issues and logging in and out of live classes. The kids in school are figuring this out. I had a remote class yesterday after lunch of usually 25 kids and only 7 logged online. Seven!

The weather is getting nice and the remote kids are blowing off school. For the most part, they have hoodwinked their parents into letting them stay home.

Whoever said it is right about remote academies. You are thrown into a database and get whatever teacher you get. Have in person academies or schools. Heck, combine schools if you have to.

Remote needs to end. For a year, some kids have not been disciplined or reprimanded by an adult and now it’s starting to show. Not good

Anonymous said...

I, and the teachers at our elementary school in the South Bronx would much prefer that we stick with the Monday PD and the Parent Engagement Tuesday. Having the students at their desks till well after 3:00pm is stressful for both them and us. As it stands now, our contract has those days set for PD and Parent engagement and that is they way it should be until a new contract is negotiated. If Mulgrew agrees to changing those days back to instruction without asking us, he will once again prove to be the sellout that he is. I say let those days stay as it, or individual schools can have the option to do an SBO vote to change Monday PD and Tuesday Parent Engagement back to instructional time.

Anonymous said...

If NYS passed the ERI, isn't it already calculated into the NYC Budget?

Anonymous said...

I read some of Randi Weingarten’s comments while she was on Fox News, it was awful, even for her. If there was any doubt she was ever a history teacher, it should be put to rest now. She had no credentials as a teacher or for any position in education or in the union - same as Mulgrew who was never really a shop teacher, but played videos on his VCR of carpenters doing carpentry work. Next fall should be a doozy, good thing that AFTUFT i.e. Weingarten/Mulgrew are openly discussing it and getting everyone’s input. Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

Really good for the middle class. Nice job everybody. Elections have consequences. "The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in April, its largest monthly increase since April 1982." “The index for used cars and trucks rose 10.0 percent in April. This was the largest 1-month increase since the series began in 1953, and it accounted for over a third of the seasonally adjusted all items increase.” BREAKING: 72% of gas stations in metro Raleigh are without gasoline.

Anonymous said...

7:49:00 AM-I believe the ERI has to be in the City budget which is currently in the City Council. I believe the NYS budget simply granted legislation/law to authorize the ERI.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew has already screwed retirees. It’s done. Mulgrew has already agreed to longer instructional time by ending Monday and Tuesday’s bullshit (and hey, you know it’s bullshit, but we agreed to it to get more money out of Bloomberg- which will not make it any less painful, of course). Mulgrew does whatever he wants to, without any regard for anyone, other than his pseudo-mother Randi Weingarten. Until teachers are willing to get off their asses and march on 52 Broadway, expect to get raped violently and regularly by the DOE, with the UFT watching silently after having agreed and facilitating it. Mulgrew - ‘Pimpin ain’t easy.’

Anonymous said...

So glad the strongest union in the country got us 1.3% raises fir the last decade. We are way, way, way below inflation. A net loss of pay.

Talk about a pocketbook issue. “ The La­bor De­part­ment re­ported its con­sumer-price in­dex jumped 4.2% in April from a year ear­lier, up from 2.6% for the year ended in March. That is the high­est 12-month level since the sum­mer of 2008.” https://wsj.com/articles/us-inflation-consumer-price-index-april-2021-11620781266?st=uwahrmjgnv93gyk&reflink=article_copyURL_share

Anonymous said...

This is a rerun of the Carter Administration. Middle East war, gas shortages, and inflation.

Anonymous said...

I know I love how the DOE and UFT call these raises. All they are are cost of living increases. The idea of a raise is to bring home more money, not to just have it equal what you are paying out and yes I've notice a raise in prices on anything. Go to Vivid seats for Broadway tickets. Prime tickets for Hamilton are going for $6,000. That's not a typo, one six and 3 zeros. Cheapest tickets are 300 and that is probably in the back of the mezanine behind a wall where all you do is hear the music.

Anonymous said...

I get it prices are definitely up. What you need to realize that prices were way down during the pandemic. These increases you're seeing are based on the deflationary time of the pandemic.

Mulgrew is a liar. I don't think he'd understand the discussion on inflation because he clearly doesn't understand what interest means and the time value of the money that was loan to the city for 12 years now without interest.

Anonymous said...

We’re paying more now. That’s all people care about. No one wants to hear bullshit economic theories. They don’t want to have to choose between heating their house this winter or skipping some meals. Biden Admin will be worse than Carter in many ways. Are the millennials and younger even aware of not being able to get gas in 1970s? Do they know what the South Bronx looked like back then? Times Square? Looting during blackout? Y’all living in nyc better hope the next attack on our energy doesn’t take out your lights. It won’t be pretty for law abiding citizens without a law and order mayor in nyc.

Michael Gatton said...

The sky is falling, lol. Y'all would be funny if you weren't so pernicious.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what amazes me: It amazes me that the Unity loyalists are still standing behind Mulgrew's utter bullshit. Are these loyalists so concerned with getting a coveted job at the UFT that they are willing to risk their retirement insurance that Mulgrew wants to throw away? Do these loyalists even want their spring break back pay? Hell, are these loyalists happy with the fact that they have been shat on by the DOE ever since Bloomberg got in office with the full support of the UFT? Disgusting beyond words. Those who support Unity are supporting the lies and insanity that Mulgrew spews.

Anonymous said...

No one indicated the sky is falling, that all is lost. 2022 is around the corner. Then 2024. Not to mention the mayoral race. Voters can make wiser decisions. You’re challenging a point no one made. It’s what people like you do when you try to be clever and cover up facts that make your side look bad. States ofEmergency in FL, VA because of gas shortage. A lot going on that looks like the 1970s. Pernicious? I think you’re confusing me with the Biden Harris agenda.

Anonymous said...

No, they would rather pay into a union that does nothing but let us down and then call people freeloaders.

Michael Gatton said...

A ransomware attack is causing a temporary supply crunch. How is that a Biden-Harris 1970s hellscape? And you contradict yourself: "No one said the sky was falling ... It's the 1970s all over again!" What more can be said?

Prehistoric pedagogue said...

Personally, I liked the 70s. The music was a helluva lot better. The knicks won 2 championships. The Yankees were dominant and NOTHING hurt when I got out of bed in the morning

Anon2323 said...

High schools should have a full remote option for semester 1. Parents should have to explain to admin for the reasoning of the decision. I figure 10-20% HS students stay full remote in September.

Cannot wait until gas is 3.40 then next year 4.25 just like Obama. The media clearly protects this skeleton joke of a president who funded millions to Iran and does not have Israel back.

I can guarantee like I did last year when I predicted snow days are done. James will be doing posts on the audit in Maricopa and the fraud once it is exposed. Mark my words.

Anonymous said...

I guess you didn’t hear the WH response to the pipeline attack when asked if the ransom should be paid. Our energy source was attacked and the WH response was meh, it’s a private company. An attack affecting millions of Americans and the WH doesn’t want to get involved? Doesn’t want to go after hackers like the terrorists they are? Biden will be worse than Carter. Perniciously so.

TeachNY said...

Because I am sick of having to cater to the kids who stay hike. We are not allowed to do anything special with the kids in the building because the kids at home cannot partake. Everything has to be equal and equitable. If you’re remote, you’re on a completely different planet. That’s how it should be treated.

Anonymous said...

@610 correction... Biden is worse than Carter, not will be. The best is yet to come. We are still in the opening act.