The Delegate Assembly began with a tribute and a moment of silence for a chapter leader who had passed away. President Michael Mulgrew then welcomes new people and then thanked the district reps.
He started the regular part of the report by saying there is no stability in the school system. Talked about blended learning from last year, remote parent teachers that is being done this year. 2,200 operational complaints resolved. 2,030 resolved. No contract for a pandemic. We negotiate and end up yelling back and forth with DOE. We don't care about reports they have to produce. If it doesn't make a difference to children, it doesn't make a difference to us. This is not covered as we were hired under a certain set of conditions but we are doing jobs for which we were not hired for. We are making new agreements because the circumstances are constantly changing. Changes not good for us or the children. It is stress on top of stress but we are stuck in a pandemic and we are stuck until we get out of it. We are thel largest system with a flimsy management system. This is uber stress on everyone right now. Answers change because of new conditions which lead to new setups. We are beyond flexible. Tell me another profession that no matter how much you plan, it will not turn out that way. We got into this profession to teach children, to counsel children and to make a school run. I hope and pray that by the end of the month we can set up a normal school system. This month we are not going to be there. Trying to set it up for all of you. Main focus for this year is to figure out how to relieve as much stress as we can but we know it is going to be a very stressful, tough year. Waiting for January. We are at the end of an administration. I am happy we have pre-k. We achieved that under this administration. Have we achieved goal that DOE is to help schools, not make them accountable? We have not achieved that. New challenges with a new administration. How do we pull the stress away from our members? We are not supposed to change rules constantly and we went to the State Department of Health over how to measure 3-feet. What is instructional lunch? We had a year without observations so people don't have two observations so they have to get a formal observation. That is the job. All of you volunteered and were elected. We need to stay together. As a chapter leader, other chapter leaders were support system. Job to make others' jobs better. If you chose this job in the middle of a pandemic, you are dedicated.
This will be a long report.
Agreement on partial closings. Since we believe that it will be very hard to have a classroom closure in the elementary schools. When you are told to supply instruction remotely, that is when the partial closing piece kicks in.
COVID protocols: what was put forth in City Council hearing last week is true. Only the Department of Health can change COVID protocols in NYC. Principal is responsible for saying who had close contact with someone who is positive. Some said it was everyone. Situation Room calling principals and telling the to do what's right. Can only close a school if there is an investigation saying it closed because of COVID spread in the school but Department is not doing investigations. Three-feet is now from center of desk to center of desk so classrooms are crowded up to 55. Guess that parents want schools open. Did they ask if people want to stay open if there was COVID in schools? Someone wants higher office. Numbers dropped dramatically in NYC in the last three weeks. Very low percentages. We know all are vaccinated but teachers take great pride in keeping students safe. We are going to the State Department of Health. It is probably going to get work. Who is the next Chancellor? Who keeps their job? It's Lord of the Flies over there. We did not want to put four or five classes in an auditorium. Rolled things over from last year. Negotiating redeployment. Constant challenge as we go to the end of this administration. Numbers are down, great
Most people don't like politics
Nationally, we are looking at the big package. Infrastructure: we want an infrastructure package. We want schools built with zero consumption. Rich Mantell thanked. On a meeting with Senator Schumer. Ventilation problems for years as we are not under OSHA but we were able to fix ventilation problems in three months. We need a big infusion of cash. NLRB ruled against us previous four years but we are hoping for a better outcome now.
Primary for governor chosen by Democratic party in February before primary in June. Had dinner with Governor Hochul. She has been good on putting some uniformity in place. There will be plenty of other candidates.
Legislation to lower class sizes. Going after it through City Council legislation. We need to deal with real estate development and seats. Where they build housing is important in terms of seats for schools. 240 school seats for 6,000 units of housing at Hudson Yards. City Hall trying to block this. General elections in NYC. We have endorsements. We give mayors open arms. As chapter leader, it worked out twice and once it did not. We are happy we have a Bronx Plan. We need a partner to help us with Tweed Courthouse. Do we want a partner? Up to this Delegation but wouldn't recommend it.
Medicare Advantage Plus
In-service health plan coming up. We have a healthcare crisis in this union. Fight to keep what we have and expand it. Kick relatives who say we have free healthcare. The entire MLC does healthcare together. Medicare Advantage is usually a bad thing but we are not recommending Joe Namath's Medicare Advantage. He was a great quarterback. We knew we were looking at major premiums for our retiree healthcare. It is used against us. Unions can't talk about wages because there's been a 10% increase on premiums. Hospitals ripping us off. We're in a medical crisis. Nobody considers costs. $500 to take someone's temperature. Hospitalization costs keep going up. The entire workforce of NYC formed our own Advantage plus plan. In three years, people will all like it. Keep writing as that friction keeps the system going in a bitter place just like with the operational complaints.
SBO deadline October 15. We extended last year; should we extend this year? When school comes to us, we say yes if it is outside. We want let people work for less money. Who wants SBO process to remain open? Many said yes, some didn't care and one voted no. SBO is our process. If you don't want to do it, don't do it. Make a deal if they come up with something you don't like.
You need a formal and informal observation because nobody had a rating two years ago. Don't be afraid of observations. Some schools are supportive, some use it poorly. We have way too much on our plate to tackle making observations supportive. . We are negotiating that it should be two informals. We will get information out on this tomorrow or Friday.
5,000 new hires. We are getting corrupted files from the DOE.
Kids eat lunch in the classroom. Anything that you are doing under new agreements you must know codes have not been created. Payroll secretaries should be on a perch. You have to keep track of all of these things. Have your members be in close contact with payroll secretary.
Postings going up for per session to load asynchronous work up for Election Day. Last Thursday we had consultation on official DOE policy on people working at home. DOE with Chancellor not there said it was remotely but now they are saying maybe not. Principal must inform you by October 15 which is Friday or you are working remotely. Up to you whether you want to ask if they are informing you or not.
We set a record for schools with oversize classes at 41 schools with 132 classes.
How many have had conversations about academic and social-emotional screenings? These screenings are supposed to be done through principal and chapter leader. Academic screenings end next Friday, October 22. Screening will produce a lot of information for your school that they need to act on. If chapter leader is not part of discussion, this could become very problematic. Will send out agreement again. Will have to wait until January according to DOE on social emotional screening. DOE put in a grant proposal to the federal DOE. to help undo the harm because of the pandemic. We got the grant which has money and NYC DOE has to run reports and they have made it a teacher or guidance counselor's job. We get compensation for this. This will be a long report. Can we get that out in bullets in English?
UFT debt clinic
2.5 years ago we started debt clinic. People retiring still paying off student loans. National scandal. Thousands have been through UFT loan program. We filed lawsuit against Betsy De Vos and it was settled today. Any teacher whose name was on the lawsuit has student debt completely erased. Any member who could have been able to reduce debt is going to have a chance to be involved. Members screwed by loan companies.
Thanks to all of you who wore pink. That is a huge issue to us. Breast cancer rate higher than national average. Thank Servia Silva who has run strides. We are the biggest group. Thanks them. (delegates cheer.) Servia and team have raised $10 million. We want this eradicated. This feeds the soul. We want 3d imaging for mammograms. We have partnered with Lennox Hill for this. It can detect three years before other machines. That deal is in place for 3-d mammogram. Half of members 50 and above did not have baseline mammograms on record. Goal to have 100% of members 50 and above to havea mammogram. Whole schools show up for Strides. They walk with member who has cancer or who has survived. Thanks everyone and ends report.
Staff Director's Report
Making Strides walk this weekend. First new chapter leader weekend postponed. Townhall for new members. Election Day November 2. Many political endorsements coming up. Teacher Union Day is November 7. That is the anniversary of our first strike. Veterans Committee asking people to join on November 11. Next DA is in November.
15 minute question period
Question: Chapter leader gives name and school: MOSL deadline 10/22, is there any guidance coming from UFT?
Mulgrew Answer: We will send out something on MOSL Friday.
Question: Middle school chapter leader asks about waivers on Regents for global.
Answer: Conversations going on at State Education Department. It is good to have Betty Rosa at SED who tells us what is going on and makes decisions on behalf of the kids. She told previous governor she doesn't work for him.
Question: District 25 Two informal observations?
Answer: Principal can do observations. Mulgrew says he was observed 18 times one year. One principal he asked to observe him more but it blew his mind.
Question: What happened to the mayor's substitutes?
Answer: There weren't 11,000 but was 6,500. Happy court intervened to put date back. People were supposed to be redeployed. We have enough to cover for an emergency. About 2,000 unvaccinated on absence without leave. About 900 got exemptions. Hopefully we have long term solutions.
Question: Paras covering classes at lunch?
Answer: We rolled that agreement over from last year. Schools that lost paras due to the mandate realize it's a big deal.
Question: New York Health Act, we passed a resolution at the DA supporting it in 2015 and now we put out an ad against it?
Answer: We will not support the New York Health Act. It would cost members thousands of dollars. NY Health Act will not give us everything we want and have money left over. People go on what is on social media but our lawyers don't agree. Facts, people, not rhetoric.
Question: New teachers in school not getting paid yet? Two pay periods, nothing. Told check is in the mail.
Answer: Mike Sill is looking into this and writing the chapter leader's name down. The check is in the mail is not appropriate.
Question: Testimony at City Council to get the 20% back for weekly testing. Is there an update on that?
Answer: Things are falling apart at City Hall. It is not where we were at last year. Last year it was a model for the country; this year it is not. Will it be fixed before this administration leaves? Probably not but cases are dramatically falling.
Question: School nurses in egregious state. Nurses being split to go to uncovered schools. 400 uncovered positions. Ads offering more money. What can we do to ensure more nurses? Will it take the death of a student to get a nurse into every building?
Answer: Mulgrew agrees with the nurse. We thought we crossed this hurdle last year. We took a big hit with the mandate. Said it over and over. Eric Adams has worked with us on this issue. Adams says it's unconscionable that there is not a nurse in every school building. DOE makes excuses about DC 37 nurses vs UFT nurses and there has to be a ratio. We are pushing on this. Administration is crumbling near the end. This is like how we were short 1,500 safety agents before the mandate. DOE hired private people for outside the schools.
Motion for today's agenda on the UFT urging the City Council for City Council Speaker. Hybrid vote: Voting at home. Then Mulgrew asks for vote of those in the hall. 87% yes-13% no. Internally it was way over 87%.
Point of order from Peter Lamphere on people from Mulgrew's Unity Caucus only being called. Mulgrew says it is out of order.
Motion on NY schools on 9-11 on a curriculum on the day. It passes easily. Peter Lamphere makes a motion to extend motion period. Mulgrew doesn't entertain it so many people who wanted a hands off our healthcare motion to be raised and were not able to raise their motion. A chant goes on of "Hands off our Healthcare." Many delegates walk out.
Special Orders of business
Resolution to support a bunch of City Council endorsements. Mulgrew forces a vote on ending debate when nobody wants to debate. It gets 86% yes-14% No. On the actual endorsements, it is again 86% yes and it carries.
At automatic adjournment time, a motion is made to extend. 62% vote in favor. 449 to 276. Mulgrew extends.
Motion to endorse Eric Adams and Brad Lander for comptroller. A unity Executive Board person says we must endorse Adams or he will only get support from charter schools.
A Delegate on the phone speaks against Adams saying we got fliers in the mail saying not to vote for Adams. That is followed by a Unity retired district representative. He praises Adams. Says Adams respects teachers and doesn't respect DOE. Admits we don't agree with Adams on everything but says nobody is better suited than Adams now. This is followed by another Unity retiree. The question is called and 75% vote yes. Vote on the actual resolution is 76% yes.
The final resolution was to for the UFT to urge a woman to be chosen to lead the City Council as Speaker. Mulgrew leaves the chair to speak for it. A speaker against is ruled out of order and cut off the phone by Leroy Barr who is now chairing. 87% vote yes.
Meeting is adjourned.