Monday, October 03, 2022


 The Executive Board starts with Secretary Leroy Barr reading a report on the UFT Election. Leroy announces that Michael Mulgrew won. There were complaints but it is with AFT and UFT lawyers.

Mulgrew Report

We are going to wear blue on the first day of negotiations. We will have citywide things but we want for things to work up organically. Parent are our biggest allies. Class size; polls went up when bill was signed. Want things to develop organically at the local level. October 13 is first negotiation with the city. State Receivership list came out. DOE didn't make plans for these schools the last two years because of COVID. They were supposed to have plans the first two years. There can be serious ramifications for schools in receiverships. 290 teachers and 75 in other titles still in excess. There were 1,200 before.

At the DA on October 12, we will come up with something for healthcare committee. What is going on in the US in healthcare is an absolute disgrace. Healthcare is getting worse. We have to be strategically smart with providers and insurance companies. Can't believe these institutions are not for profit. Down in DC listening to President Biden talk about accomplishments in the Inflation Reduction Act. Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies got much out of the legislation. We are not accepting what insurance companies and hospitals say any longer. This is a national outrage. This issue, public and private, is destroying workers. List is growing of unions who are getting raises but healthcare costs are going up. We are fighting it a different way in NYC. Healthcare costs have doubled to $11.3 billion. We have held costs down. Costs are premium free but it is not free. City and we pay for it. We've put in more as have MLC unions. It's not sustainable at that rate. Stuff pulled out of anti-inflation legislation. Healthcare costs get put into spending on education in the USAs. Other countries all have universal healthcare. This is very complicated stuff. Simple procedure with the same machines cost 3 times more in one place as opposed to another. Should get yearly checkups in doctor's office but in hospitals it costs much more. We have to educate our members. It comes down to Citizens United and the unlimited spending. Hosptitals spending on commercials by gouging patients. Insurance companies blame hospitals who blame insurance companies. This can't be fixed at the state level. it would take money from education. It must be fixed at the national level. We need an in-service committee. Medicare Advantage is just part of it. We have to change the administrative code because of a judge's decision. We offer 8 plans to retirees. Forget about everything else, you never take away someone's ability to bargain away. We go to the doctor a lot. We go more than any other city employees. We like to choose. We like to offer options. Medicare Advantage is part of Medicare. GHI is a private company. We could start a Medicare Advantage plan and would have to follow Medicare rules. We could design a city Medicare Advantage. We will not try to change Medicare. We had to stop people from going to the emergency room as it was costing $5,500 per visit. We want good quality healthcare with no premiums. We are the only municipality to offer premium free healthcare. City looking at second company not picked the first time (Aetna). They have to offer what we were offered.

Class size

First meeting on class size reduction. First students who get benefit are the ones with the most needs. We need a whole new subset of people within the union to look at it. In the pandemic we found out we have much more square footage than we thought. We gave city data on schools enrollment with the highest poverty level and enrollments. Class sizes will be the thing that will change the school system forever. Law passed and was signed by governor and we will make it happen.

Leroy Barr continues on election complaint. On September 1, we had our first response to the omnibus complaints and moved them on. Recommendations for 11 complaints are acted on.

Election committee will be enumerated.

New rules for advertising in NY Teacher.

Committee for election reforms.

Complaint 12- Union reps used union email addresses. Union used emails for administering the election. It was not campaigning. They approved campaign activity. No allegation that they campaigned with UFT addresses.

15- No evidence of retaliation against candidate Christina Gavin. No showing of retaliation.

16-April 11 report that was provided to the Executive Board. No impact on votes. Members can attend meetings. 

21-Delegate Assembly do not violate Robert's Rules. These are issues of UFT governance, not the election. President's Report varies in length. No allegation that contents were not important topics. This is unrelated to election. UFT recognizes non Unity people. November 2021. Jan 2022 Amendment made on Jan 19. and second one made on Jan 19 then May 21. Another three amendments. voted on brought up by UFC candidates.

Procedural changes were added. New voting process takes up more time. 3500 delegates. Mulgrew is not aware of caucus affiliation of those who speak.

23-UFT did not inappropriately violate advertising space. WECU after order of ads were agreed to.

24-UFT did not promote Unity candidates in NY Teacher. None of the articles violated the LMRDA. These were newsworthy events. 

25-UFT is not required to have anybody on the committee. Constitution-bylaws don't mention this.

26-UFT complaint process not impartial. That has been appealed to AFT.

27. No impact on election of not having bylaws. 

31-Observers. Adequate ballot observers were there. DOL does not require that observers be present at all parts of process. UFC didn't ask to observe anything but the count.

32-No specific allegation. No impact is alleged. 

Report before you with Mike Sill chairing.

Nick Bacon-UFC did not exist in November. He was a member of Unity at the time. UFC didn't exist in November. Amendments only or points of order to be called upon. 

Question Period

Mike Schirtzer- Get members in front of cameras to say we want what familes want?

Sill Answer-It will be a part of a larger campaign.

Ibeth Mejia asks about health plans. Choice of free plans. Why are we discussing limiting choice of free plans when it is in our contract?

Jeff Sorkin-Says choices are based on HIP rate. We are talking about amending administative plan. We are championing a choice. We are looking to preserve healthcare. We are looking to maintain choice for premium free healthcare.

Ibeth-We will be keeping GHI and HIP? It looks like we are bailing out the city. 

Sorkin-We want more options. Money comes from stabilization fund. 

Ilona Nanay-Will we only receive raises if we cut benefits? DC 37 letter.

Sorkin-We are not looking to reduce healthcare benefits. City says they won't negotiate. We don't know about that. We are trying to preserve health benefits.

Ronnie Almonte-Screenings for middle schools. Shouldn't we have admission on an equitable basis? How does UFT feel about screenings returning for middle schools?

Sill answer- I don't know how the UFT feels about it as we are all the UFT.

Ronnie-Use our resources for a common good.

Sill-We have had committees in the past and we will have a report at the next Executive Board about that.

Lydia Howrilka- Clarify on why are we looking to change the administrative code to help the city? How are we helped?

Jeff Sorkin- It comes down to what the judge said. He said one plan. We say there should be choice. Changing the code will maintain our voice.

Alex Jallot - Universal healthcare, we are not supporting universal healthcare on the state level because of cost, will we only support federal candidates who support national universal healthcare?

Sill-You can raise it as a resolution as a condition for support.

A non exec bd member tries to ask a question but Sill refers her to the open mic period.

Question about OP 44 for termination pay.

Sill answer that electronic form needs signatures in the right fonts. It doesn't work. Give Sill the situations we have with OP 44 so we can get it. Whatever craziness is out there, we want to know about it so people get the money they deserve.

Question on budgets. 

Sill: City has more money from state and federal governments and still cuts in schools. We need class size laws because city doesn't do right with the money they have. Must hold them to account. DOE has more money than ever so no reason why they should have smaller budgets.

Lydia Howrilka: Article 5, Section 12 of Executive Board: How is UFT pulicizing Executive Board meetings?

Sill-We are all in this together. We are happy to hear suggestions on how to get more people to Executive Board meetings. 

Reports from Districts

Coat drive

Albert Shanker Scholarship Fund applications soon online. Fewer fields need to be filled out. Income numbers are higher.

Midterm elections-Campaigning here and buses going to Pa, a battleground state. Phone banks will be open. Will be calling Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. If we lose Congress, much that the Supreme Court has done can be codified into law.

Food pantries

Street fair rescheduled.  on 120th Street after it was postponed on October 1. Wear pink on October 12.

Mike Schirtzer reports on team high school events. Union event for students on trades. GAMA not working out well. Janella holding an event later this month. Articulate problems. Thanksgiving coat drive. Salute to Rich Mantell for this. It goes to right place.

CTE initiatives

Walk AIDS day Dec 1.

Amy Arundell-Reception with Queens UFT staff and superintendents. 

Legislative Report

Tom Murphy reported on this on Reports from Districts. Cassie Prugh reports on deadline to register to vote coming up.

Special Orders of Business

Resolution against privatizing Medicare. Nick Bacon introduces it. Medicare is a public program we worked our lives for. We shouldn't be promoting programs that privatize Medicare. This resolution says we shouldn't privatize in a Medicare Advantage Plan. We are against prior authorizations. We fought for public schools. Medicare Advantage is very much like charter schools. This is a public employee issue.

Jeff Sorkin opposes it saying resolution is misguided and inaccurate. Not saying what is in the resolution.

Ilona mother was on Medicare Advantage and she died with inferior care. Why is NY Health Act antithetical to us? UFT supported it in 2015. It would epand healthcare across the community. I can't understand why we are opposed to it.

Vinve Gaglioneopposes resolution saying we have to be careful what plan you choose.  MA is not private. Medicare Advantage around for 25 years. MAP+ was crafted by MLC. It mirrors Seniorcare.

Another Unity person opposes it. Prices going up. Medicare offers huge subidies for others to administrer plans. We wanted a plan to mirror seniorcare. We are one of the few municipalities to offer premium free healthcare. 

Alex Jallot supports resolution. If we give an inch, they will want to take a mile from us. This is part of the bosses ploy to keep us down. This will be the same fight, every couple of years. 

Ibeth- Responds to Mr. Gaglione.  Supports choice. We need free choice. It would cost almost $400 a month for a retired married couple to keep what they have now. We need Medicare for all.

Question is called.

Vote is overwhelmingly against resolution.


Anonymous said...

When it comes to healthcare-Mulgrew’s favorite phrase is: ‘we have to be smart’—because the one thing he has been—
is simply dishonest —as he kept pushing that Medicare Advantage to the retirees—for over a year and half—only to then say—‘No, we can’t go along with this”—after other smaller and smarter retiree unions went to court to challenge.
How can anyone trust Mulgrew during these upcoming weeks of contract negotiations on healthcare or any other issue?

Anonymous said...

The fact that the UFT and MCL are trying to change Administrative Code 12-126 can be detrimental to both retirees and in-service members. I have read the judge’s decision on the court case and it does not say choice of health benefits will be taken away and, therefore, it will not take away the power of unions to collectively bargain. UFT members please do your research and not just believe the jibber jabber coming from the UFT/MLC. We must protect premium free healthcare as well as choice of plans!!

Anonymous said...

“Midterm elections-Campaigning here and buses going to Pa, a battleground state. Phone banks will be open. Will be calling Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. If we lose Congress, much that the Supreme Court has done can be codified into law.”

Who is WE?

I didn’t know the uft is part of the dem party. Now I know.

Anonymous said...

Mulgoon keeps yammering about how the cost of healthcare in the US is out of control and getting more and more expensive. Yet, he also is saying that "we" need to help the city save money by agreeing to changes in our healthcare. However, IT IS NOT THE JOB OF THE UFT TO SAVE THE CITY MONEY! The job of the UFT, (And all labor unions) is to preserve the hard fought benefits that we have now. He and his group of slugs from the MLC only seem to care about saving the city money when they should be caring about preserving what we currently have. It's sickening beyond words. The worst thing is this shit is gonna happen very soon and all the teachers in NYC are going to be wondering what the hell happened.

Anonymous said...

You realize the uft offered no answers and no fixes for anything. Exactly what purpose do they serve?

Anonymous said...

After reading the same thing over and over while seeing failure after failure and again being without a contract, what will it take for James and all to wake up?

Emily said...

After reading this blog, some of you have lost touch with reality. This profession is a complete disgrace and embarrassment. I will be resigning at the end of the term. This job is completely unfulfilling, there are no signs of any improvement and I simply don’t want to spend the rest of my life this way.

Anonymous said...

Any mention of gas prices surging again? Oh, I'm sure they will cover that at the first negotiation meeting a month after the contract expired. Dues well spent. But it could be worse, right?

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew and company can’t be trusted but the most frustrating part are the retirees with their head in the sand and the active members who fail to see they are next. Retirees will turn on Mulgrew once they get sick and discover how screwed Advantage is. But the damage will already be done. 8:53, we’ll said.

Anonymous said...

For the right wing trolls - The most leftist City Council rep - Tiffany Caban is one of the only ones to out and out support us on the healthcare issue:

Our office is supportive of retiree's having a choice in their healthcare coverage. CM Cabán was among the signers of the Open Letter to cancel the proposed Medicare Advantage Plus plan (attached) and continues to support the current Medicare/Senior Care health insurance coverage for municipal retirees. We are keeping an eye out for any legislation on this topic that may appear in Council.


Steph Silkowski (she/her)
Chief of Staff
Council Member Tiffany Cabán
District 22, Queens

Show us right wing or Republican politicians with similar support -- change the subject and tell us about crime and inflation.

Anonymous said...

I guess ole Tiffany is running for re-election. What’s with the she/her? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Here comes anxiety & depression . I often cry at night not because I’m not highly effective it’s because I have no support/mentor so I’m figuring things out on own. If I didn’t have a family and responsibility I would leave . it’s affecting my health
I want to express to my fellow group members do research when on open market !!! I jumped into fire the paperwork, deadlines and the late night emails are killing me. When your untenured and the rest of staff is !!!!and looking to leave !!! The high volume of teachers turnover !!! I find myself working nights and weekends just to do paperwork! Problem is no one wants to bring UFT in !!!!! 8 months and 24 days I should of worked in office because when can you teach and I know I’m not alone .My biggest question is what happens to all this paperwork! I thought special Education did binders & IEP ‘s & differentiation curriculum!!! My other friends sped teachers say they never heard of these paperwork .truthfully it’s just fluff for administrators!
Sped teacher
Location afraid to say !!!

Anonymous said...

Apparently an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan for retirees was given to the City Council to look at by the MLC. Mulgrew said at the Retiree Chapter townhall meeting last week that the unions were nowhere close to finalizing ANYTHING on this issue and all of a sudden this info was found out. Once again, evidence that our union leader openly LIES to us!! If the retirees are getting screwed, you sure as hell better be aware that in-service members will be, too. Watch carefully what happens to YOUR health coverage. It will happen sooner than later ladies and gentlemen.

Please watch the video posted:

Anonymous said...

My post please! Thanks for going back and finding it
I identify as human… most of the time

Anonymous said...

7:52 I agree with you. Our union needs to do better advocating in the best interest of members always. Also, we have paid into medicare our whole lives and deserve to get what WE paid for.
The big question is, How are these hospitals and Pharma getting away with this? Why isn't this rip off being more widely publicized?
Mulgrew says people aren't going to doctors they are using hospital systems and they addressed using Emergency Rooms (with higher co-pays for insured working people) and he did do that.
News for Mulgrew, there are very few private doctor offices left, doctors are going into hospital systems to escape having to deal with billing and insurance issues that are and have been spinning out of control. (This all started with Obama Care)
Is anyone out there educated on these healthcare issues that can better explain how and why this is allowed to happen? What litigation is ongoing out there challenging the Health care industry ability to rob working people and insurance companies? What needs to be done on a national level to address this? Ultimately it is the working people with insurance getting charged via trickle down effect.

Anonymous said...

Caban was just featured in NYPost on the very matter that her promoter would not like us to talk about....oh, and as this promoter attempted to "switch" the subject that recently made her pet- politician notorious, she also managed to diss everyone who would not follow the lead, labeling them (and me, I GUESS) "the right wing trolls".
No trust for promises of this well removed from reality politician. She would sell her soul to conceal the obvious truth. Is she a socialist? Feels like that: she lies without flinching.
Hmmm, interesting. I have been a registered Democrat for the past 20 years...switched the registration last week. I guess I am officially a troll now. Well that was easy.
Guess who I am not voting for? Oh, yeh, I also will not contribute to her campaign, as I did last time. And I understand, she has more lucrative supporters.
Thank you Steph, for confirming my choice was right.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting article regarding the city’s and MLC’s ideas about OUR healthcare benefits. I seriously question how our benefits will be as good with a cheaper plan. Will our doctors accept any new plan they come up with? Who knows. So what if you have a good relationship with your medical providers. If they will accept a new plan, great. If not, oh well seems to be feeling of our union leaders.

Anonymous said...

2:28 what kind of paperwork are you talking about? If you don't have a mentor or support person you have to find one for yourself. People are so busy but there will be someone who can help you. And stop opening your emails at all hours of the night.

Shelley said...

Mulgrew's "executive" presentation was, as usual, a muddled mixture of obfuscation and defensive posturing. The man spouts on about the broken U.S. healthcare system while concession bargaining away a health care program for his own members that he claims is great but too expensive. First, members of the UFT are not going to fix the U.S. healthcare system and Mulgrew needs to focus on us not the national problem. Second, our health care coverage is not great. It's OK, better than what most people have, but it's not a good as it was because our union keeps trading it away in its concession bargaining contracts and deals. If you retire in NY it's not bad, but teachers, like everyone else, are flocking to cheaper states. NY is the state with the highest migration out and most people are going south or west. Our healthcare is nearly useless in southern and westerns states. Even in Florida, where our union claims to have great coverage, the plan is useless. UFT retirees are flying into NY to get healthcare. And Mulgrew will make it worse as no providers outside the state or city will want to accept our coverage.

Why are we even talking about cutting benefits? No concessions. We need a raise that protects us against inflation. Mayor swagger pushed for the landlords and rents are up and heading higher. He did this, like Mulgrew who claims to be representing members, while claiming that he was defending the tenants.

We need to get this contract done. The Federal Reserve is putting the economy into a recession and unemployment is going up. There will more budget cuts and escessing. Get it done now! Right now the quiet quitting and teaching shortage narrative is still out there but it will fade quickly as the economy begins to downshift and unemployment heads higher.

Get it done Mike. Get it done fast. No concessions. We need raises, real wages, that is wages above the average inflation rate of the term of the contract. By my estimate that's a 5-6% raise. Grab a long contract if you can.

Anonymous said...

Article in the Post about how high school graduates are not ready for college level work. We already know this as teachers but it's nice that the public knows.

Anonymous said...

Everybody agrees posting a comment calling someone N@##*% or a N@##*% lover is unacceptable. Please stop. If you can’t attack James’ or other’s ideas without using racial slurs, you have nothing to add to legitimate debate. Perhaps that’s the goal of your racist commentary. We’re about to lose on health coverage. All of us. Black, white, progressive, conservative and everyone else. James is trying to fight it. I disagree with him on many things but our health coverage issue is one thing we all agree on.

Anonymous said...

We voted Mulgrew in.
So the majority support him
And so we support what he does
Only a few are disgruntled

Anonymous said...

10:29 - Why should anyone assume that that "everybody agrees". Jonathan seems to think that since the kids do it, it must be an acceptable word, or didn't you read his post?

Anonymous said...

I think you're on the wrong thread 10:29

Shelley said...

While it's true that the members elected Mulgrew and Unity-UFT, it doesn't follow that most members support him and/or Unity-UFT. On this Blog and elsewhere we have analyzed the vote and it's clear that well informed voters are voting for the opposition.

There is apathy. Not the same as "we support Mulgrew UNity-UFT.

There is misinformation. So many members think that all our benefits have been won and maintained by Mulgrew Unity-UFT, when if facts are that Mulgrew and Unity did not win us much and have concession bargained away a great deal.

UFT does have some incredible people, fantastic departments to support members. And most members think this is what they are supporting when they vote Unity. But again, Unity is selling our hard won benefits and shrinking the support departments, turning everything into a business-like structure that streamlines and automates and stuffs its own pockets. How our Union can charge members, for example, by offering credits that members need is shameful, a scam.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I disagree with James most of the time but his service to union members has be excellent…. Except for.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Did they do the racial breakdown? Perhaps people should care more. Grade fraud all day every day.

Jonathan said...

Not what I said.

Jeff said...

I’m confused. If they aren’t college ready and can’t do the work, how did they pass all those classes? And how many fake regents waivers did they get?

Anonymous said...

Anybody ask Mulgrew about political donations?

U.S. average gas prices:
Today: $3.83 and rising
June 14: $5.02
Jan. 20, 2021: $2.39

Anonymous said...

2:28 -I think you’ve posted the same comment last week. Not sure if you’re really on the level.
But, if you’re struggling, not getting support, feel overwhelmed or thinking about resigning—let me recommend that you immediately invest in the New York Mega Millions and Power Ball jackpots—both over 300 million at last look.

Anonymous said...

Except for
Thinking the only path to a better union is voting Unity out. That’s not going to happen. If you were a football coach and you were losing 55-0 at the half would you stick with the same game plan? We need to change the game plan. Maybe you lose that game 100/-0 but the changes you make in the second half might help you win the remaining games. You might have to take 2 steps back to move 10 steps forward thanks James
What’s your new game plan? lol

Jonathan Halabi said...


it is not ok to allow anonymous posting from trolls.

One commenter attributed something to me - can't figure out what. 11:16. Or maybe he meant a different Jonathan, but doesn't seem that way.

And another commenter replied, as "Jonathan" 12:12. Wasn't me.

First off, I will always post with my name, linked.

And second, there has to be some accountability here.


James Eterno said...

There is another Jonathan who comments here who has very different views compared to yours Mr Halabi.

We will make it clear he is not the famous Jonathan Halabi of the noted JD2718 blog.

Anonymous said...

He only posted as Jonathan, no last name.

Anonymous said...

Secondly, I'm not a troll. Jonathan most certainly did give shrug of the shoulder to the n-word on the other thread because we should instead tell the students not to use it. It was disingenuous.