I was on at the beginning.
Michael Mulgrew came on and wished everybody a restful few weeks, particularly those who worked summer school/683. This is a contract year.
Mulgrew started with school cuts. Thanks advocates including parents who have been phenomenal. Mayor has more money in reserve than any mayor in history. Fair Student Funding designed by Mayor Bloomberg and Bloomberg people are back. de Blasio put in base costs including per-pupil allotment. Principals are being squeezed under FSF. We were on a committee under de Blasio to change FSF. It wasn't changed because of the Department of Ed and COVID. DOE tells us things are impossible. The current Chancellor's FSF doesn't work. We are on another committee. We don't know where this will end up. Federal and State politicians have provided more money than ever. They can't understand cuts. Comptroller confirmed that $4.3 billion in federal funds not spent. Mayor said he would blow up the DOE bureaucracy. We haven't seen any of that.
Class size-Thanks advocates and pressure that is being put on the Governor. Mayor doesn't support it when he is cutting schools when we have billions in reserves. DOE in bill needs a plan to lower class sizes if schools are overcrowded. John Liu has been strong throughout the summer. We will keep pressure on.
Contract-Most unions have expired contracts. We are working with other Municipal Labor Committee unions that the city is not broke. Mayor says city is about to go over a financial cliff. Seeing teacher shortage which is nationwide coming to NYC. It is expensive to live in NYC. Many around the country only make $45,000. We need housing for workers in NYC. Contract will get louder and louder as we move forward. 500 person negotiating committee will meet as soon as we get back to school. See some career and tech things we support. Dyslexia training is going to be small. Nothing really happening besides that in terms of education from the DOE.
Country has decided to learn to live with COVID. We still work with our doctors. We should have been talking about making the schools the center of the city. Sadly, no willingness to move it forward. 600-700 best estimate of those in excess. Nobody is losing their job. They are without jobs in buildings. You have done heroic work. Dealing with other states as AFT VP. Working in Florida. Big attacks on public education. Mayor not moving except to convince people NYC is broke. People outside of NY think we have it good. Privatization with vouchers and some states pushing online learning. Horrendous legislation in Florida for talking about certain issues. Insanity that we can't believe is happening in the USA. Mayors and chancellors come and go. We will be there. 1,100 newcomers. Help them out if you get new people in the building; welcome them.
COVID-Surveillance testing following the CDC guidelines will not be there. Four test kits given to everyone on a monthly basis. Five days not takn out of CAR if positive. If after five days if you are not ready, you have to get medical documentation. Can come back after five days with a mask. Daily health screening not in place. DOE will approve last year's exemptions. Accommodations are all reasonable and not separate for COVID. In terms of people on leave because of vaccination, Department of Health has not rescinded the vaccination mandate. We are in conversations with the DOE to deal with issues around this. One vaccination before September 5, treated as if on regular leave. No access to school or position you had before if vaccinated after September 5.
Retirements within the regular range. It is new that they are coming in every month throughout the year as people become eligible. Last year we introduced Chapter Leader Hub for CL's. It was very successful; majority has taken advantage of it. We are trying to do the same for every member. It is hard to get inforation. Trying to get this set up by Thanksgiving. Last year everyone was paid to set up a digital classroom. There probably won't be closed classrooms or partially closed because of CDC guidelines. DOE will have to still pay people to set up digigal classrooms for people who are out for COVID. Working that out with the city. It will be like last year. It isn't in our contract the responsibility to set up digital classrooms. We would like this inforation to be in member hubs. Majority who contact the union it is for personal things like a form they need like eyeglasses or dental. Looking forward to that. Thanks people at UFT for this. Close contacts are not guaranteed.
Labor Day parade is Saturday, September 10. We are going last this year with CSA. We will have food and rides before the parade this year. It is only us and CSA on entire block this year.
This is a tough job and a great profession. Loud voices on both sides of the political debate saying we have to raise teacher pay. Teachers are put in a better light now because of pandemic. Union fighting for class size legislation for forty years. Superintendents have been given greater authority. Superintendents in charge. We don't know how they will hold principals accountable. DOE doesn't talk to people doing the work. It is our school system. This school year should be somewhat like we had in the past but we are never going to completely go back to what we had in the past. College Board people had biggest jump in the people passing Advanced Placement exams. Only change was more project-based learning. Sometimes, we are not allowed to do this. We know bells and timers don't work. Teachers will tell you projects work. Greatest jump ever included black and brown students. Empower us. Make sure training is relevant to what goes on in classrooms. We will work really hard but we want to make sure faculty meetings aren't a waste of time; they have to be relevant. We are the professionals. Teachers, counselors, clinicians, etc. figured out what to do when COVID hit. Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Question: D 75 teacher soon retiring. With teacher shortages, can we get a data base of available teachers?
Mulgrew answer: DOE doesn't know. Schools treated like a franchise. We are not cooking french fries like a McDonalds. It's insane that the DOE doesn't know how many teachers are needed. Chapter Leaders and District Reps keep a record so we will know.
Question: Are we getting Teacher's Choice?
Answer: Same as last year. We should be getting $250 for teachers; different for different titles. Mike sill conforms that it is the same as last year for every title.
Question: Long term subs for 8 years still not put on for a full-time position. Why aren't long term subs getting positions?
Answer: Princpals in charge of hiring for schools (franchising). We've had long term subs in positions for two year. We ask DOE why they aren't hiring these people. We disagree with DOE. We are putting it in contract negotiations.
Question: Dyslexia training not adequate. Where is that going?
Answer: We thought that we would use literacy coaches to be official city experts. It is in their wheelhouse. We need to screen and then have our 600 experts work with teachers. DOE said they can't do it that way because they can't manage it. DOE wants schools to figure it out. We want DOE to be completely changed or to go away.
Question: Teachers who get COVID on sick bank days?
Answer: Five days don't come out of CAR and beyond five days, you need medical documentation.
Question: Para wants to wear mask. Can I wear it?
Answer: Yes, it is optional like last year.
Question: Can't get through to a person on HR Connect. Will this be part of contract negotiations?
Answer: Get in touch with Mike Sill email@example.com. We recognize the problem. We do not tell DOE what are our contract priorities.
Question: Parent Teacher Conferences: Are they remote this year and can they be remote forever?
Answer: We have been in contact with more parents since we have gone remote. We got to the agreement for this year and talking about it forever. It is one of our goals.
Question: Booster shots, will they be mandated?
Answer: No, I have not heard anything about a booster mandate but DOH kept vaccine mandate.
Question: People on COVID or religious exemption for this year, where do they report this year?
Answer: Some will go to buildings; some will work from home. We got accommodations recognized and we believe it will run like last year. Mike Sill: DOE reserves right for them not to be in buildings. Mulgrew back to talk about Staten Island office having children in it.
Question: Thanks Mulgrew: Works on W 50 Street, what is the situation with congestion pricing?
Answer: MLC position is we are city employees and we should be exempt. Governor of NJ ready to sue that they have to pay toll to pay a toll. Our position is if you are required to be there for work, you should be exempt.
Question: Contract up September 13, is to be a situation with retro again?
Answer: Most unions have expired contracts. PBA in arbitration from last round. No negotiations for current round. We passed a resolution not to negotiate time. That stands.
Question: Migrant children. What resources are they getting?
Answer: We are waiting for that answer. DOE is going to put together a support program. We are short ESL teachers. We have another city announcement without a plan. We will get info out when we find it from the DOE.
Question: Monkey pox, what will we do if it breaks out in schools?
Answer: Our doctors tell us schools are not a highly likely high risk settings for transmission but we would respond if it did break out.
Question: Will we be paid to set up electronic classroom, what about snow days?
Answer: We will be paid to set up electronic classrooms and we will go remote if there is a snowstorm. We can't call them snowadays any longer.
Question: DOE staff nurse retiring Sept 1 Why can't retired nurses work part-time? We would not have to be trained.
Answer: It is because of pension. We still don't have nurses in every building. We need a nurse in every building. This could be one of the ways we resolve this.
Question: Vacation days, she only got three days, what about the other four?
Answer: that was resolved. Did you make sure it was done corrrectly? Make sure it is correct. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: School psychologist, IEP conferences remotely again?
Answer: It worked better remotely so we are discussing it keeping it that way.
Question: What more can excess teachers do to find a placement since open market is now closed?
Answer: We have already extende open market once. We could do that again. Mike Sill adds that open market is now excess staff selection and you should still be able to see vacancies. Mulgrew adds to let us know if not successful getting placed.
Question: Parents not allowed in building without a Covid vaccine last year. We want parents in. Do parents still need to be vaccinated to enter buildings?
Answer: We believe that has been lifted because there is no longer health screening. Ellie Engler says parents have to show proof of vaccination. Mulgrew adds that people are willing to live with COVID now. Mulgrew complains that this is being thrown back at the school to enforce. Ellie agrees and the situation is not finalized.
Question: Judge said budget cuts are out but appeal judge said it's out. What is situation?
Answer: There is a stay so Apellate Division has to rule on whether they can cut the schools.
Question: Mandated negative test without a vaccine. Members in collection to get bills paid?
Answer: Premium free healthcare we continue to fight for. We are being charged for COVID testing when city required it. City gets money for this from federal government. We were charged $.5 billion. Either the city reimburses us or we will have to go to court. Mayor told city workers to get tested.
Question: Tell members to wait and stay in collection?
Question: Paperwork on children in crisis?
Answer: DOE said we signed a contract so they have to do this.
Question: Last year on accommodation, developed an autoimmune disease because of COVID. Do we have to reapply?
Answer Accommodations are for a year or six months. It is now under all accommodations. Need updated accommodation. Apply and get documentation.
Question: Potential buyout?
Answer: I don't see anything happening at the state level. Big teacher shortages upstate and it is just starting in NYC. Districts want to keep the teachers they have.
Question: But there is excessing?
Answer: These are false excesses created by the silliness of the budget cuts.
Question: Salary schedule ended May 14, 2021, can it be updated?
Answer: It will be updatd when the contract is in place but we are probably going to have to have a good old fight to get one.
Question: Front doors are unlocked, can they get buzzers?
Answer: 50 schools getting them but what about the rest. We don't want this school safety expense charged as an educational expense which should not come out of any potential raise.
Question: thanks Michael who thanks questioner. News says budget cuts are because there are fewer students in the system. If numbers increase, can we get money back?
Answer: City went to strict interpretation of Fair Student Funding as it was when Bloomberg was mayor. de Blasio didn't do this. State does not fund per pupil. State gave us an additional billion dollars. DOE probably sold someone at city hall a bill of goods. Less money to schools leads to more money in central bureaucracy. Lower class size had overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature. If the legislation goes into law, money will get to schools.
Mulgrew thanks all again and says to be there for new ones. Meeting in Brooklyn with a thousand new teachers next week. We have to help them. Show humanity toward each other. Don't know what new normal is. Thank you again. Another town hall in late October.