Wednesday, October 13, 2021


 Presidents Report

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

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. 

New hires

5,000 new hires. We are getting corrupted files from the DOE. 

Instructional lunch

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. 

Election Day

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. 

Class sizes

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 Period

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.  

News 12 from the Bronx covers the healthcare protest as did amny. CBS 2 is on the retiree healthcare issue also.


Anonymous said...

MULGREW: "Don't be afraid of observations". I hate him so friggin' much. It is so easy for him to utter this bullshit because HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OBSERVED BY A MANIAC ADMINISTRATOR! He should have been pushing for the option to do both informal observations the way they could be done last year which was to video it and send it to an admin. I can't wait to vote for whoever is running against him in the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

“Last year we were the model for the country” Oh Mulgrew. You silly.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew says he was observed 18 times? Maybe he should talk to some of the new teachers to the DOE who get 4 observations a year. That means a newbie would get more observations in 5 years than Mulgrew has had in his entirely short career as a teacher.

Mike said...

Sure wish I could have spoken against UFT's support of Eric Adams. Insane. UFT sends out a tweet announcing Election Day is remote for ALL teachers, Michael Mulgrew tonight "oops my bad". Plus extra mandated work for Sped teachers. Seems like incompetence to me.

Anonymous said...

Haaaaa! Chants of "hands off our healthcare" and delegates walking out. Glad to hear that shit head Mulgrew is getting some heat.

Mike said...

Mulgrew should be impeached for endorsing Eric Adams. Incompetence at the top. There are real issues members are facing, and time is spent listening to retired members throw support behind Adams. They are not in the classroom anymore. Maybe we should be listening to the inservice members about issues that face them. And listen to retired members when Mulgrew takes away their health care.

Jonathan Halabi said...

Even though Mulgrew can win every vote if he follows the rules, he is nervous about health care, nervous about Adams, and feels compelled to abuse the chair.

It might make us angry, but we should understand it is a sign of weakness, of a lack of confidence in their own position, of a lack of confidence in their own people.


Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I disagree. I think it is frustration. He believes he works very hard and makes the best decisions he can with information and leverage he has. And he gets attacked by people he regards as being simplistic and unfair, people who never give him credit for anything. So, he loses patience. I think he's confident in his positions and his cadres. By the way, when hell freezes over and MORE and Solidarity agree on a candidate, then he might raise an eyebrow.

Anonymous said...

Here is Mulgrew with de Blasio strategizing how to throw you under the proverbial bus
with regard to your healthcare:

James Eterno said...

If he is so confident in his positions, then why doesn't he let the Democratic process play out and call on people who do not belong to Unity Caucus?

Anonymous said...

I think he's arrogant and contemptuous of the opposition. It is not a laudable attitude but it nevertheless does come from confidence, not uncertainty. He's impatient and doesn't want to waste time talking about ideas held by such a small minority of nay sayers and simpletons.

James Eterno said...

Then Jonathan is right that Mulgrew abused the chair. I don't think it is a small minority that doesn't want their healthcare messed with.

Anonymous said...

Calm down, is this how you are when being observed? Hysterical?

Anonymous said...

Democratic process? You mean you don't like him censoring you like you do to so many others who try to comment here? Don't be such a baby.

Anonymous said...

You should talk Eterno, you abuse your role
as administrator of this blog almost daily.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is even slightly educated can hear and see that Mulgrew is neither a well educated man nor very sincere. He is as corrupt and self-serving as those in NYC government and the suits in the DOE. Yet, he is voted into office.

Regarding Eric Adams, why would the UFT endorse him when his own NYPD union does not?

Perhaps voting New Yorkers should read his platform and that of Curis Sliwa and decide for themselves. I remember the years before social media when people were allowed, even encouraged, to think for themselves.

Anonymous said...

James at 9:36. Because the end justifies the means. Even Mikey has been infected with marxism. He has the moral high ground. So anything he does is morally acceptable. Remember Fauci’s moral lie? You don’t need masks. It’s the same sick freedom hating thinking. Control by any means necessary. Lies are truth. When the republicans take control, you’ll finally see how dangerous the left was in getting the authoritarian train rolling on the tracks. You’re not going to like Republican fascism but it’s the left that’s promoting authoritarian rule as acceptable. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

It's James' blog. Not Mulgrew's DA. Situation not analogous. He asked 2 things. No disinformation and no opt out talk. In spite of that a lot of people post that stuff. So he can do whatever he wants with his blog as it belongs to him and the fact is that he's being very lenient in not enforcing his own rules.

Anonymous said...

Fully vaccinated 21-year-old University of Georgia student dies of Covid

Anonymous said...

It's a dangerous disease. That's why everyone needs the added protection of the vaccine. The numbers are dropping fast thanks to it. Unfortunately, it's not 100% effective.

Anonymous said...

James is so angry-just as he was so angry in march of 2020-he demands we continue paying dues and censors people on all topics, exactly as he complains about the same UFT process. Nice.

You don't see the hypocrisy?

Anonymous said...


Sorry, but the original heartbreaking article does not say that the student was vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

Nobody brought this up...

The average household income is in the 70k area in 2021. Most of our student households are much, much less. If you spent that on goods and services, 5.4% #inflation is $4,314.60. Hope you thought those stimmy checks were worth it. which many of us didn't get. You lost them and then some. Free money isn’t free.

U.S. inflation accelerated slightly in September, rising 5.4% from the year before as supplies and labor continued to drive up prices

Anonymous said...

The first panacea for a mismanaged country is monetary inflation, the second one is war.
-Ernest Hemingway

James Eterno said...

When I was chairing chapter meetings, I was fair to everyone, even if they disagreed with me. I didn't yell at someone for asking me a difficult question or trying to raise an issue.

Comparing what Mulgrew does at DA's to me not printing racist or anti science nonsense is not a fair comparison.

Anonymous said...

1112, ok Borris.

Many people where are in debt, so they're happy with the inflation!

Anonymous said...

James, who "cares about the kids," spends no time on this.
The biggest problem with NYC education is that more than half the children are failing to meet basic proficiency standards. Instead of fixing this, Mayor and Chancellor decided to eliminate the 3% in Gifted and Talented classes.

Anonymous said...

1112 AM,

You must've missed the White House and Ron Klain said prices surging are just high class problems...So, teachers, you're good.

Anonymous said...

Mind you "racist and anti science nonsense" could be found in a weather report according to some.
Can't make it up...but karma can be a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Maybe self-righteous ego prevents seeing hypocrisy. But I think it's more likely that hypocrisy isn't a problem to people like this.

Steve said...

DO APs get vacation time during the school year?

Anonymous said...

Larry Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary under former President Bill Clinton and director of the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama, warned during multiple interviews this week that inflation is even worse than he suggested it might be when he commented on the matter earlier this year.

Speaking to a virtual conference organized by the Institute of International Finance, Summers also warned that woke bankers were an issue because they are focusing on the wrong thing.

“We have a generation of central bankers who are defining themselves by their wokeness,” Summers said. “They’re defining themselves by how socially concerned they are.”

We are soooo screwed.

Anonymous said...

James thinks he is fair. Mulgrew knows he's not. That's one difference.i respect James. Another difference. I disagree with both men often.

Mike said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like Mulgrew is swatting flies. If you disagree with him, you're out of order and silenced. Is there actually anything that can be done?

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the quick off topic question but I am new to a particular school and the administration is pushing this Kinvolved platform as another way to take attendance. We have the regular bubble sheets and so on. Am I wrong here by saying this is optional? Does anyone know if you can be forced to do whatever this Kinvolved platform is? Did the UFT sell out on this too? Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

What is the attendance policy for a PE class which is all activity?

Anonymous said...

The sister said he was fully vaxxed. All the more reason to get the shot. It's a mean, unpredictable virus. People get killed in car accidents while they are wearing their seatbelts. That is not a reason to not wear seatbelts. Rather that is a reason to wear seat belts and take other precautions as well. But I'm not in favor of shutting down the universe. We have to live and take risks.

Anonymous said...

James you cite "anti science nonsense" to commenter 10:40 as a justification to censor. Well answer this, is it anti science to point out the number of deaths related to the vaccine which is openly reported on the cdc website? Why have you censored that several times as I have tried to comment? I'm sure you have some bullshit answer

Anonymous said...

The fact is that Unity enjoys a huge majority. Technically, that's democracy, even though it doesn't feel that way to the 15% who disagree. Start winning school elections.

Anonymous said...

517 i think we need to protest him more. take it to his house. follow him as much as can be done.

James Eterno said...

6:40, I don't want to start this again. This is not the forum for those debates.

Anonymous said...

Throw the whole administration away!! Mulgrew, Porter, Deblasio, Houchal and whatever you all do, don't vote for Adams.

Anonymous said...

Bill Pepitone for NYC Mayor!

Anonymous said...

4:04: APs get 2 weeks off a year in addition to all the other time off during the year. Only summers they don't have off.

Anonymous said...

10 month AP gets summer’s off.

Anonymous said...

Cathy Rojas. Public school teacher running for mayor.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew's handling of those delegate questioners is all about his avoidance of inconvenient truths. Mulgrew can't handle truth. He prefers the comfort of his fantasies.

Anonymous said...

Joe Pepitone for NYC Mayor

Anonymous said...

Boy Who Pointed Out The Emperor Has No Clothes Banned For Misinformation

Anonymous said...

What can be done. Gee I don’t know. I mean we are mandated to pay our union even if they punch us in the face time and time again, right? Oh wait……

Anonymous said...

It's really provocative that the same people keep talkin about opt out when James has asked them repeatedly not to. Then he allows the comments which I don't think he should because it violates the rules of the blog and then he gets taken to task for being a censor. And the worst part about it is that I had spoken to the boro reps at the various UFT offices and they tell me that the actual opt out rate is less than 1%. So all these big talkers are mostly fakes

Anonymous said...

At least mulgrew answers more questions than biden.

Anonymous said...

Do as James demands, no matter how bad it gets.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with James on a lot but no one can honestly say James isn’t in it to help teachers. His heart is in the right place. I don’t want anyone censored but I wish everyone would be respectful when telling James they disagree. He’s not the bad guy. Mulgrew and company are the bad guys.

Anonymous said...

At least Biden did not try to overturn a fair and free election which would have resulted in an end to our democracy

Anonymous said...

6:10. I guess you didn’t see all the videos of democrats claiming our elections were not secure. Of course they all stopped saying it after Nov 2020. All the problems they highlighted mysteriously disappeared on their own. Come on, man.

Anonymous said...

Trump lost, and it was certified by all Trump sycophants, including BARR, and all the courts. Gore lost by a whole lot less and bowed out gracefully. Get the fuck over it.

Anonymous said...

Rhetoric and division politics won't result in lasting positive outcomes. In order to be a viable alternative to Unity, the opposition movement needs to develop a strong, facts-and-solutions-based platform that is presented to membership through multiple channels (dedicated website, blogs, social media, leafletting across all DOE schools). Tell us how you will make our schools, communities and the UFT better, and tell us specifically how you will do it.

Anonymous said...

9:41. It was a Biden supporter at 6:10 who brought it up.
6:10. Biden just caved and reinstalled Trump’s remain in Mexico policy. Even Dementia Joe knows Trump’s policies worked. Maybe he’ll follow Trump’s lead again and change his mind on US energy dependence too. Hopefully before those without fire places need to spend 50% more to heat their homes this winter. Hubby and eldest son at our property upstate cutting down trees and getting our winter supply ready. Christmas presents already delivered. 2 freezers and pantry full. Enough toilet paper til next summer. I guess I’m a prepper now. The result of an incompetent Biden administration.

Anonymous said...

@10:46 Nobody in their right mind would think Trump is a better choice than Biden, unless you don't care about installing an authoritarian in office, who disgraces the Office of the Presidency, and goes around humiliating the people of the country, dismantling all norms of decency and decorum, and abolishing all consumer protections. He's utterly disgusting and it says a lot about you that you think you can defend Trump in any way. I will pay 100% more to heat my home than to see Trump in office again. And there you are "Christmas presents already delivered, 2 freezers and pantry full, enough toilet paper", obviously bragging about how well you're doing, and STILL COMPLAINING.