Saturday, June 19, 2021


I often shake my head at UFT actions and inactions but the last few days I am at the point of asking if everyone down at UFT Headquarters has lost all sense of rational thought. 

NYSUT reported that the bill to waive teacher and principal evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year passed unanimously in both the Assembly and Senate. The governor then signed it. We covered this bill on June 9. The language is pretty clear:

§ 3. Section 3012-d of the education law is amended by  adding  a  new subdivision 17 to read as follows:


Evaluations are over for this year so observations from supervisors such as Namita Dwarka at Bryant HS who do not support teachers are gone, right?

Well, no because it looks like the UFT is allowing the DOE to get a waiver from the law that waives teacher evaluations without public objection. This is what President Michael Mulgrew said about evaluations according to our notes at the UFT Delegate Assembly on Wednesday:

APPR. School districts do not have to do APPR but can do it. City plugging in MOSLs. People were not working under conditions they were hired under. Breathe deep and relax. If the city tries to use it, we will deal with it. SED guidance is out.

What am I missing? The law's language again:


The part about not losing state funding is if a district does not comply with Section 3012-d, not the waiver subdivision. What union would not cry foul if a district tried to get a waiver from the evaluation waiver? I say that as a union activist and not a lawyer. I totally cannot comprehend why the UFT is not even protesting, but rather is supporting an evaluation system that allows principals to be abusive, even during a pandemic.

Speaking of head-scratching moments, a union president needs to have extensive knowledge of many areas in order to do the job right. The UFT President falls short in so many categories (see one example above) but one would think he should know off the top of his head when the UFT Contract expires. 

Why did Mulgrew repeatedly say at the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday that the Contract expires in November. He sounded as though he is ready to put a negotiating committee together with some urgency. A quick check will show Mulgrew's date for the expiration of the Contract is off by almost a year. The UFT Contract expires on September 13, 2022. Why didn't one of the other officials on the call correct him? If there are going to be negotiations for an early contract before Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves office in January, shouldn't we be discussing that and not making up a date for the end of the Contract that is totally false? 

Either Mulgrew doesn't know the end date of a collective bargaining agreement he negotiated and signed off on which just shows incompetence or something is going on behind the scenes to possibly negotiate an early new one without any discussion with elected Delegates. If something is going on with negotiations, it just gives more evidence of the UFT leadership's autocratic style of union governance.

We saw more evidence of tyrannical leadership during the motion period on Wednesday at the DA when Delegate Daniel Alicea was mysteriously dropped from the DA phone call right before he was supposed to speak and he was not allowed back to get the floor to present his motion. This resolution concerned preserving retiree health benefits in the federal (public) Medicare Part A and B program and not switching Medicare retirees into a Medicare Advantage (privatized) plan. It is very controversial and it is costing the UFT leadership some support within its strongest backers: the retirees.

The UFT leadership does not know how to react when confronted by a real threat but instead just reverts to acting like a petty dictatorial regime. Please spread the word and let's vote them out. That is the best hope for a better tomorrow for NYC teachers.


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that is was that turd Mulgoon who agreed to give us 4 observations instead of 2 a number of years back. I think he is currently having secret meetings with Tweed to negotiate new contract before we get a new Mayor. This is actually probably a somewhat good idea seeing as how Adams has stated he wants a longer school day/year. However, the UFT needs to be 100% honest with us and let us know what is going on and what demands the city and the UFT is making. We do not want yet another shitty Unity sell out on our next contract.

Anonymous said...

What I see is the continued evidence that Mulgrew and CO or at the very least Mulgrew is on the take from the city. This is not a surprise or shock but rather a continued conformation that he is lowlife selfish POS that allows the city to do whatever it wants because he gets kickbacks. We are the largest teacher union in the country yet we are not the strongest.
LA and Chicago are smaller yet they kept their members out of school buildings until March whereas NYC teachers were back in September after Mulgrew said "there was no way we would open" Mulgrew=Piece of Shit, lowlife garbage. I pray members finally, finally wake up and throw the trash out.

Anonymous said...

History shows that when anyone stays in power for an extended period of time—whether it be in government or unions—let’s say more than 10 or 12 years—accountability, responsibility and overall decency begin to erode. Leadership take things for granted and voices of their constituents or members are neglected or at best marginalized.

Just look how Mulgrew screwed up the 2014-2018 contract with the extended retro pay over a 6 year period—with one year of 0%.
He also underestimated the number of June 30, 2014 retirees and the full retro one lump retro pay which resulted in an arbitrator creating a longer contract and delay in pay raises for 2018. (This never came to fruition because a new contract was agreed upon before the expiration of the old one. And by the way, the 2018–2022 contract does expire September 2022–and gives the city a 4 month wage freebie—since the last raise was May, 2021). Mulgrew must have been drunk by suggesting the contract expires this November. And, good luck to Mulgrew with respect to negotiating a new contract with a potential pro-Charter Eric Adams administration. Maybe Scott Stringer could do the negotiating for the UFT.

There is pressure being mounted on Mulgrew by the retirees with respect to Medicare changes—and many retirees are finally up in arms—with Mulgrew and his half-truths. However, Tom Murphy (Unity) will probably win re-election of the RTC —but it will not be by the previous wide margins. Maybe this could be a signal for the in-service membership to finally mount a more rigorous effort to vote Mulgrew out in 2022.
And, on Tuesday-Mulgrew is first on the RTC monthly meeting agenda to once again give his BS spin with reassurances that Medicare Advantage will be the same or even better than current coverage. It’s unlikely he will take any questions—unless it’s from Murphy.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he knows he is toast and doesn't care because he was promised something better.can we get rid of Randi?

Anonymous said...

Nice article. Very pro union. You just keep proving how worthless to the uft is.

"If something is going on with negotiations, it just gives more evidence of the UFT leadership's autocratic style of union governance."

Anonymous said...

It is better to get a contract with the DeBlasio then with Yang or the other he Mayor candidate that goes against the teachers.Yang wants to get rid of tenure.

Anonymous said...

I bet 100% that Mulgrew reads this blog. Since he does, I got a message for him: "YOU SUCK!!!"

Pete Zucker said...

In October Mulgrew said;

The town hall of October 15, 2020...

Q: What about medical accommodations after December 31st and any updates on Spring Break?

M: When arbitration is back up, we will move forward on Spring Break. Medical accommodations are based on a medical condition. We would have to do another one in Jan. Same documentation and everything.

He made it seem as if it was imminent. Now we are finding out July 1 arbitration is back up. But there was arbitration (Yes, I know it was agreed upon years before)for the retro and see how fast it happened. At the very least, share with us throughout the process. I'm owed about $4500 for losing out on 2020 spring break. When will we be made whole?

Anonymous said...

Registered for the RTC meeting this week as did most of my former colleagues. No guarantee one actually gets a zoom link, or is not tossed off during the meeting. Imagine if this were an open meeting and I brought a few friends from PSC with me. The CUNY people are hoppin'mad over the whole fishy deal and they have drawn a line in the sand. They do it all in the open. They would eat him for breakfast.
Retirees from other unions are starting to see Mulgrew as part of the problem here.
Time for other union leaders across the municipal workforce to let state and national leadership know UFT is damaging their members, and he needs some guidance as a leader of the labor community. Wouldn't it be fun to wake up one morning to hear Mulgrew has been kicked upstairs before he loses an election next year???

Anonymous said...

It's not a 4 month "wage freebie", it's a 16 month wage freebie. That is nuts.

Anonymous said...

By not paying teachers during spring break, the DOE engaged in human trafficking (forced labor) for that week. I think teachers should reports to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the human trafficking that was committed by De Blasio and Carranza.

Pete Zucker said...

@5:53 I like that theory.

ATRs are going to be walking into dark world.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew is not "allowing" DoE to get a waiver, the governor is allowing that. Since when is Mulgrew the doe's boss? Typical James.

Anonymous said...

Not a waiver. It's baked in the law. Districts decide.

Anonymous said...

4:43–Actually, it’s a 4 month city freebie on wage increases. The last increase began on May, 15, 2021 and is usually stays for a full year—except this one—inexplicably goes to the end of the current contract—September 30, 2022.

James Eterno said...

This is right from the summary of the law:

"provides that no school district shall complete an annual professional performance review for the two thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one school year."

Where is the part that says districts decide?

I am not a lawyer but I interpret pretty clearly. If I was the UFT President, I would be crying foul and not just telling members to relax.

James Eterno said...

I copied the text from the actual bill in the posting and I posted the summary this evening in the comments. Where in the new law does it leave evaluation up to the districts?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why is this Friday a full day with the kids? I have never seen that before.

Terry said...

Mulgrew is a flim-flam man, a confidence man.

Your reading of the law makes this clear.

Mulgrew takes the scuttlebutt and says, "don't worry, we will take care of it."

There is nothing to take care of, but he, and unity generally, are confident that they have the confidence of the members. In other words, we are idiots, apathetic idiots.

Look at the votes. He's going to win. No problem. He's got more members, more dues, and all he has to do is put on the show, a pretense, he says, "without him and his crew looking out for us we would be worse off."

And they do get some things done because they are our representatives and get a seat at the table sometimes, but they do a poor job on most things and take credit for lots they have nothing to do with.

Mostly they do what other unions are doing, they trade away what members have and then take credit for getting the best deal, much better, they claim, than what we would have gotten if they didn't fight so hard and spend our COPE money.

People like you see the scam, but most don't.

Teachers are too busy so they simply trust their most important things, like pensions, health care, work conditions, to the union. The union knows this and it knows that a volunteer chapter leader system are weak and that is how they want it.

James, you should write a book about this. Forget about trying to save the UFT. It's a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

Why do we have off on Monday when we should be working? Our contract calls for us to work until the third to last business day in June, yet we have off on June 28 when we should be at work. I think that when we go to arbitration on July 1 the city is going to show that they gave us off June 28 and that will be one less day from last year they will have to pay us for. Thoughts anyone?

9:35.....The contract ends in mid Sept. 2022 because there was a health related deal/maternity leave deal made 2 years ago which extended the contract to Sept. without any members input. I am sure that our contract says somewhere that the board can do that on our behalf without our ok in order to cut costs for the city.

Anonymous said...

So does anyone really know which one of these mayoral hopefuls are really in the pockets of the charter industry....some experts says garcia is owned by charters...others say chang while other say the police officer adams...the charter people have their tongues hanging but the reality is that charters never will get off the ground in nyc...too much is needed...too many teachers and already there is a shortage of teachers...the charters has sucked all the newbies out of college who want to work for a buck and lunch....

Anonymous said...

From what i have heard is that someone requested an amendment in Albany to change the wording. That is why they are being allowed to.

James Eterno said...

Can we see the amendment?

Anonymous said...

I believe Adams and Chang have gone on record with a call for a longer school day or even a longer school year. What does that look like?
Does it mean an extra 10 minutes or more of daily instruction for all students? Can there be a longer school year without the approval of the State Education Department? How would these items be connected a new contract for 2022?

waitingforsupport said...

Who is Chang?????

Anonymous said...

I meant Yang, sorry. The last few days Yang has been campaigning with Garcia—and telling folks to vote #1 and #2 —for each other and ignore the other candidates—especially Adams.
In respect to schools,, Yang’s position is a little more known—but really not sure of Garcia’s position. But as a former NYC Sanitation Commissioner—one would assume the schools would be spotless with frequent garbage pickups—if she is elected

Anonymous said...

Go Curtis Silwa!

Educat said...

Just as the citizens get the government they deserve, the teachers get the union they deserve. Just as the majority of people walking the streets are completely ignorant of basic civics and the political issues of the day, so are the majority of teachers ignorant of Union issues. And those numbskulls vote.
And of course it's helpful to have those in power lying and cheating so that they remain in power. And no one should be surprised that the Union is self-serving just as the politicians are.
They only pretend to care about their constituents.

Anonymous said...

So our lovely union president who said and I quote "these aren't conditions you were hired under" seems to have no problem with the DOE just deciding to go with APPR. And that's how he said it. "So the DOE decided to go with APPR" not even a pretense of acting like he didn't just accept their decision when a state law was signed saying he didn't have to. He claims 95% where HE or E and wow that's before MOSL. You know what I hear? I hear that he doesn't give a shit about the other 5% who were rated D and I. Who were targeted by toxic admin for being pro union and speaking up for teachers rights. Some of these teachers can be halfway to being brought up on incompetency charges with this years ineffective rating on a job they were never trained to do. I hear that the DOE told him 5 % of your dues paying member will have a negative rating for doing a job with no training during a pandemic with friends and family members and colleagues dying all around them. Thank Mr. Mugrew, Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I’m. Or saying the UFT is good(it’s not), but so any of you have spouses or friends who work in private industry? I do. My wife works 70 hour weeks, receives emails all hours of the day, and makes comparable money to us.

I hate the Monday and Tuesday’s. I really do. But we work 180 days a year, have set hours, a ton of time off, federal holidays off, decent benefits and if you aren’t tier 6, you can leave at age 55. If you are through tier 4, it’s not a bad gig compared to what people do who work real jobs.

However, if you are tier 6, don’t do this. Haha. No way you will make it to work 45 years in this system. That’s where people coming in now are screwed.

Look at the bright side. Friday is the last day. We get ten solid weeks off.

Go get some sunshine, relaxation and forget the doe exists for 10 weeks.

Honestly, by next week, I won’t even remember the names of the students from this year.

Is this job fun? Not really. But each time I get fed up, we get another day off.

All I’m saying is talk to people who work real jobs. Things can be better, but we don’t have it that bad.

In what other job can you pretend it doesn’t exist in July and august? I’ll wait for an answer.

Anonymous said...

People have to stop with the spring break up. Not going to happen.

To anyone who did live classes, checked emails or cared that week, you are a sucker and you let the doe play you.

The doe gave us assignments. I re-posted them. I did zero live classes and played golf that whole week.

Basically, spring 2020, I did as little as possible. I worked the system.

The doe is trying to work the union. The union is trying to work us for dues. We are working the admins to stay off of our backs. I work the kids making them believe their work matters when I will pass anyone who hands in any pile of you know what that isn’t blank. We are working the parents. It’s the unspoken part of the job that everyone knows. We just can’t admit it.

I’m home today bc of primary elections. I’m getting an early morning workout in and am doing nonsense work online aka showing some current events thing on YouTube kids will log off when video comes on.

Guess what? It doesn’t matter.

My wife has a ton of calls today for her real job.

I can retire in a decade.

What’s so bad?

Once you realize that this job doesn’t matter, it’s a happier existence. Just play the game.

Your blood pressure goes down and quality of life goes up.

Joe said...


Scroll down and click AAPR Q&A DOCUMENT

CAN AN LEA STILL COMPLETE EVALUATIONS IF THEY WERE ABLE TO IMPLEMENT THEIR APPR PLAN FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR? Yes. The amendments to the law eliminate the requirement for LEAs to complete teacher and principal evaluations for the 2020-21 school year, but do not prohibit evaluations from being completed where an LEA is able to do so.

James Eterno said...

Hey Joe,

I read the guidance and it seems to contradict the law. The guidance is not an amendment. It is the State Education Department's interpretation that APPRs are not prohibited. I put this right from the Senate website:

"provides that no school district shall complete an annual professional performance review for the two thousand twenty--two thousand twenty-one school year."

That looks like it prohibits APPRs but I am no lawyer.

I would be objecting vociferously if I was a union leader that the law is clear and SED's interpretation in their guidance is wrong.

The cynic in me says Mulgrew and NYSUT President Pallotta are in on this but I have no specific evidence to support that claim.

Anonymous said...

Easy answer: Probably not in my mind