Wednesday, December 21, 2022


We are starting a little early this month as we are hearing there are over 100 retirees  making noise outside of 52 Broadway. Lawyer Steve Cohen, who won the case to protect our healtcare, just spoke.

I got on the call at around 4:18. Michael Mulgrew had already started his report.


The federal government wants to do a massive increase in Title I, Pell Grants, and Career and Technical Education. Mulgrew in DC last week with Randi and other advocates talking about expanding CTE. Putting forward a plan. NYC has the most quality and CTE programs. NYS opening up large chip facility in Syracuse. Projected to need 50,000 workers. Need 15,000 engineers. Happy about this advocacy. Thanks Secretary of Commerce, Education and Labor. Over 10,000 migrant children in our school system. We don't have enough support for them. Need guidance counselors, social workers, and people with bilingual certificates. School system is suffering from national school staff shortage. Poll to ask if schools have sufficient substitutes?  We don't have enough people even if DOE fixed everything. Locals nationally have class sizes of 60 because they don't have teachers. We must work with national government, state level and city level. We need housing in the city. We need a contract. 

State Level

CTE plan. Utilize $50 million a year for the next two years. We get it done but it shouldn't be this hard with SED

Contract Negotiations

Groups of teacher subcommittees have been formed. We may need to reach out on certain issues. DOE moving forward on general provisions. Need to have the whole negotiating committee in on February 1. DOE needs to respond to demands of 28 subcommittees from functional chapters. We need to build momentum to get this contract. DC 37, Sanitation, and UFT actively negotiating. PBA arbitration also going on. Colocation fight in D 22. Success is the only charter chain looking for space all over the system. DOE says hands are tied. This didn't happen in de Blasio years. Someone is working with Eva Moskowitz to get space in our schools. First 100 speakers at Queens meeting were from Success. We had many there. We are fighting with Ms. Moskowitz. One school up for colocation has only 1 extra room now. Large d75 site in one building. We may be at war footing with mayor over charters when a pattern is set. We have to educate members in the school on how we arrive at a contract. We will do teach-ins on January 30. We have to educate members on what we want. Stop micromanagement, etc. We have been left out of a round of negotiations with Michael Bloomberg. We have to prepare. We will work with parents. We must educate our own folks. Negotiating committee wants to get this done. We need the chapter leaders. 800 members on the list to do this. We need more. Get on there if you are a chapter leader. We need everyone to be part of this. We have to do the hard work to get to a contract. Training virtually on Jan 17 and 19 and an in-person training after DA on January 18 for CLs and Delegates. We need to prepare but this could be getting ugly with the City Hall because of the charter schools. We will get to a contract one way or another. Are you ready to get this done? (Chants of Yes.)

Migrant children

We are getting migrants children from Texas. Federal and state governments sending money. DOE says everything is fine. Number of children is growing. Must make sure these kids get supports.

Member hub

It is a hub for every one of our members. Must have a UFT account. Member hub will go live in January. 10,000 batches at a time for UFTers who already have accounts online. This will be the first iteration. We will be putting in more as this goes on. The 10,000 are randomly selected. Chapters outside of DOE and retirees will be included. Big piece.


Arbitrator came out with award. Two things are happening simultaneously. Arbitration on Medicare Advantage and RFP for in-service members. Arbitrator gave MLC 25 days to negotiate with Aetna. If there is no agreement, then arbitrator will find a remedy for monies that are owed. Premiums will be on the table. We don't pit members against each other at UFT. No retirees against active members. We have always been a target of other unions. We won't agree to anything unless it meets our criteria. Mulgrew has had many conversations with Aetna. We are in a different position. We embrace people who retire. Most unions should model this. Arbitrator said do this or this might happen. We want everything we had plus more. Must have accountability to see that it is real and enforceable. We want language that no insurance company has ever agreed to. No loopholes. Contract has to be adhered to. MLC people including us must see the data. Want expedited outside arbitration. The second piece is prior authorizations. Guidelines on what is appropriate and must have 1-2 days to get to arbitration. Data looks fine on prior authorizations. We don't trust data or insurance companies. If we don't get what we want, we don't move foward. Mulgrew can take attacks. He is confident in work he is doing. Bills in NYC and Albany on transparency in hospital billing. We have a right to know what hospitals are charging. Hospitals ripping us off. We jack up copays to stop overcharging. This will continue over the holidays. This is something that has never been done before.

Tier VI reform

7,000 members have contribution level going down because of the law we got through. Some are getting refunds. This is step 1 of Tier VI reform. 

2022 a little better than 2021. It's a D that got to E with MOSL. Two years before this were horrible. 

Wishes all a happy holiday and happy new year


Recommend people wear a mask. Cases of RSV and COVID have leveled this week. Flu is a nasty strain. In January it can get sticky. Leroy Barr is out ill. DA wishes him well. Mike Sill gives Secretary's Report.

Secretary's report

We gave out many coats, particularly for migrant children. Teacher training Jan 17 19 virtually, Jan 18 in-person for delegates and chapter leaders. Jan 28 CL training number 2. Nominations for academic high school awards. Award is 5-5-23. Registration open for early childhood conference April 1. Middle School Scavenger Hunt at Grand Central. Al Shanker scholarship link available. Next DA is January 18. Wishes all happy holidays.

Question period

Question: Phone calls on administrative code, what is the status?

Mulgrew answer: Much misinformation around from other unions. Should read award. We are creating savings with healthcare. The arbitrator pointed out that if an agreement is reached with Aetna and there is no change in administrative code, first deal lets us pay a premium to keep Senior Care. Retirees wanted that option. Original lawsuit was about the RFP process. Judge found that was okay but litigants put in other issues. City had the ability to move forward. He also said that any plan under the HIP rate had to be offered for free. Judge said those plans couldn't go forward. Judge said we couldn't pay for those plans. Asked City Council to change the Administrative code. City council members are afraid. Allowed fear to take away their choice. Want option in final plan. City Council is looking at it differently. Enough with the politics. We need the administrative code changed. Meeting with council members again. Thank you for doing that work. 

Question: D 75 CL, Major para shortage. Can we convince DOE to have hiring fairs? 

Answer: DOE had to fix glitch in hiring system. We should be reaching out to CUNY. DOE needs to figure out how to nominate subs even if they didn't go through sub central. On paras, we have to reinvigorate to get people inside the para position. We have more paras than ever in the system but not enough. Meetings on Friday. We were out of compliance before we had a para shortage. DOE using this as a shield. Saying there is nobody out there. We have to do something.

Question: Nick Bacon: Read Sheinman recommendation. It is non-binding. Campaign on 12-126, other unions like PSC oppose this. Why didn't we vote on such a big campaign here at DA and at exec bd?

Answer: It is nonbinding. We can say no to a lot of things. We have to discuss ramifications of not changing 12-126. Understand the emotion of just saying no. We can stop harm by being smart. Responsibly reporting on what is going on. Never seen a union saying no to taking away 50 years of collective bargaining rights. You elect me to make decisions. We will be here 15 years without a contract if we adopted such a practice of voting on everything.

From Nick's own account:

(1) Martin Scheinman phrases his so-called ‘award’ not as a ‘decision’ but as a ‘recommendation.’ He calls other awards ‘decisions.’ Councilwoman Gale Brewer also commented that the arbitrator decision is non-binding. Why are you calling it a decision? To this question, Michael Mulgrew admitted that the decision is not binding, despite having spoken about it as if it was before my question. Of course, if it’s non-binding, that begs the question of why we’re even talking about it. It literally can’t be enforced.

(2) There’s been a lot of talk tonight about our fight to change 12-126. You called it ‘our opinion’ that it should be changed. But there was never a decision by the Executive Board or the Delegate Assembly that this was our point of view. Shouldn’t we have been consulted for a vote before we as a union decided it was our decision to invest in resources and campaign to literally change city law? Other unions, don’t even agree with that move. PSC (the CUNY professors union) for instance is campaigning to NOT change the code. Mulgrew’s response was long here. He gaslit a bit about how we ‘can’t vote on EVERYTHING.’ But more importantly he noted that ‘he was voted in’ and thus ‘has the right to make decisions.’ What does that say about our democracy?

Question: Contract is confusing if we don't know what we are asking the city for the next contract. Can more be made public?

Answer: Did you click on QR code? Answer was no. Looking forward to you coming on down to work on educating members. Negotiating committee voted on this. We can talk about getting a significant raise. Things like lack of support are important. Get involved in teach-ins.

New Motion period

Motion for next month: 

Motion to oppose Success Academy colocations for next month. 

Success trying to get into DOE schools. DOE underestimates building utilizations and class size law means we will need more rooms in campus schools. Put this on next month's agenda.

Nobody wishes to speak against.

569 Vote Yes on line- 33 Vote No; live it is 141-2. It is on next month's agenda.

Motion in support of Railway workers in UK who have been engaging in a series of strikes. They deserve our support.

Nobody speaks against.

Online, 445 yes to 86 no online; 127-9 live. It has 86% approval overall.

Point of information: Jeff Andrusin. 732 for quorum. 667 votes altogether. Do we have a quorum?

936 online. Jeff asks why people aren't voting? Mulgrew supports people voting but they don't have to.


Endorse Victoria Lee for Teachers Retirement Board. Mulgrew takes a point of personal privilege to compliement Debra Penny who will stay as UFT treasurer but is leaving TRS Board. She dealt personally with people who we lost during COVID.

Debra Penny speaks in favor of Victoria Lee. Victoria Lee is up to position. When pandemic came, she came up with Zooms to still educate members. Thanks delegates for support and endorses Victoria.

Tom Brown who is on TRS Board supports Victoria Lee. Wishes Deb Penny good luck. Says Victoria is a defender of defined benefits. She understands fiduciary responsibility to earn the most money possible in system.

David Kazansky, another trustee on the TRS Board speaks next. Deb did a great job. Victoria is a great follow-up. 

485 yes to 25 no online to end debate. In room it is 118-3

Vote to endorse Victoria Lee is 538 Yes - 15 no online; it is 123-7 in-person. It carries.

Tier VI benefits resolution:

Amy Bernstein speaks in favor. 51,000 Tier VI members have to work 41 years to age 63 to get an unreduced pension. Members need enhanced benefits. Contribution rates changed to only base pay. We need to continue to make changes to Tier VI law.

Motion to amend: Nick Bacon wants to add a resolved that says the UFT will start an aggressive lobby campaign to get Tier VI equal to Tier IV including having a 25-55 option for Tier VI and UFT will lobby against any future pension tiers that will reduce benefits.

Someone calls a point of order saying it was three amendments but Nick says it is one amendment with 3 resolveds.

David Kazinsky speaks against saying it is too specific and we need leeway. 

Point of information on amendment not being more than three lines so it violates the rules that something more than three lines has to be in writing. The amendment is invalid.

Travis from Cardozo speaks in favor of resolution.

Then Victoria Lee rises in support. 9 reforms of Tier IV. Tier VI still in beginning stages. It took 15 years to make improvements to Tier IV.

Motion to call the question

493 Yes to 29 no online, overall it is 612 to 32 to close debate.

Resolution to improve Tier VI has 530 Yes to 22 No online in the room I can't hear but it is 667- to 25 so the resolution passes.

Rich Mantell motivates resolution on social-emotional screening test. 43-question test and services weren't offered after it. Get rid of this DESSA test.

Nobody wants to debate.

Delgates vote to close debate 631-18.

Resolution passes 676-12, it passes.

 Resolution to support migrant families, CL from Sunnyside school speaks in favor.

Nobody speaks against. 

Resolution passes 559-48.

Mulgrew thanks delegates again and wishes all happy holidays and happy new year.


Dr_Dru said...

I was not really happy with the answer to the Quorum question. It seems that as long as 732 members show up we can pass motions with 3,2 or even 1 person voting!?!?!

Does this make sense

I guess as much as the continued bashing of any opposition

James Eterno said...

No requirement to vote. The resolutions are so obvious there is basically no controversy. Delegates figure there is no need to vote.

John Q. Teacher said...

MULGREW: "I was elected to make decisions." That right there is the crux of the problem. There is gonna be a whole lotta of shock on the faces of the tens of thousands of teachers who either did not vote at all in the last UFT election as well as those dumb souls that did vote for him when we are all put into a shitty Medicare advantage plan. The general apathy of UFT members is what got us here in the first place and will be the death of our healthcare very soon.