Tuesday, August 15, 2023

James Eterno Recovery Fund

In May of 2023, James Eterno, beloved retired educator and union activist, suffered a major stroke. James is recovering and currently needs 24-hour care. 

James has been a consummate fighter for his family, his union family and the City of New York. 

He will prevail in this latest fight! 

Please help the Eternos during this challenging time with various out-of-pocket medical-related expenses. Pray for us and donate. 

                                             DONATE NOW

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Tentative Deal Announced on DOE-UFT Contract

 According to Harlem World Magazine:

Mayor Adams And UFT Reach Tentative Contract Agreement For NYC Educators

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative five-plus-year contract agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).

This agreement will cover approximately 120,000 municipal employees, bringing the total workforce under contract to approximately 66 percent.

The tentative agreement is retroactive, beginning on September 14, 2022, and expires on November 28, 2027. It conforms to the economic pattern established by the agreement with District Council (DC) 37 earlier this year, and includes wage increases of three percent for each of the first three years of the contract, 3.25 percent in the fourth year, and 3.50 percent in the fifth year. The agreement also includes a $3,000 lump sum ratification bonus for all UFT members and a first-of-its-kind annual retention payment to be paid in May of each year, beginning with $400 in 2024, $700 in 2025, and $1,000 in 2026 and every year thereafter. These payments will help the city retain its valuable educators, especially those earning lower annual salaries.

The tentative agreement also establishes New York City public schools as the first major school system in the nation to offer an expansive voluntary virtual learning program, ultimately available to all high school students and at least some middle school students. This virtual learning program will give students access to a much broader set of course offerings across the city and the ability to take classes at non-traditional times, like evenings and weekends, and is not a substitute for in-person learning. Additionally, this groundbreaking initiative will allow New York City public schools to expand course offerings to students who don’t currently have access to the full range of accelerated courses, and to reach students for whom traditional in-person schedules don’t work, for example students with full-time jobs. Further, teachers leading virtual classes will have the option of teaching from locations that work best for their class. Virtual classes will be offered through a citywide program as well as through school-based programs.

“Our city’s educators work each and every day to provide a brighter future for our children and our city, and they deserve to be paid a fair wage,” said Mayor Adams. “Today’s agreement includes major victories, including wage increases and additional programs to retain our educators, along with groundbreaking new programs, like the option of a virtual learning program, to ensure our students receive a world-class education. I thank UFT President Michael Mulgrew, OLR Commissioner Renee Campion, and DOE Chancellor David Banks for reaching this historic agreement.”

“Thank you to UFT President Michael Mulgrew for working with the city on this contract that provide fair compensation to our teachers and other educators while delivering important programs to benefit our school children,” said New York City Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion. “I also would like to thank Chancellor Banks and his team for their partnership in negotiating this contract.”

“Today marks a significant turning point in the history of public education in our city,” said New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks. “The collaborative agreement between Mayor Adams and the UFT is a testament to the commitment and dedication we all share to uplift our students and enrich their lives. The wage increases and retention payments will strengthen our workforce by investing in our educators and their vital work. Equally exciting is our bold step into the future with the implementation of an expansive virtual-learning program. This program stands to provide equal opportunities for all our students, transcending traditional barriers and making education more accessible than ever before. The future of New York City public schools looks brighter today with this collaborative agreement, and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of our educators as we set out on this transformative journey.”

“As our parents and community members know, the city’s public-school educators need to be respected, appropriately paid, and have more autonomy in how they do their jobs. This tentative contract accomplishes all these goals,” said Michael Mulgrew, president, UFT.

The tentative agreement must be ratified by UFT’s membership, and would apply to teachers, paraprofessionals, school secretaries, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, staff nurses, and supervisors of school security.

The total cost of the tentative UFT agreement through Fiscal Year 2027 will be $6.4 billion, which is funded in the labor reserve in the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget.

In addition to wage increases planned over the next five-plus years, the tentative agreement includes:

  • Annual Retention Payments: UFT members will receive a retention payment of $400 in May of 2024, $700 in May of 2025, and $1,000 in May of 2026 and every May thereafter.
  • Virtual Learning Program: The DOE will offer an expansive voluntary virtual learning program to all high school students and some middle school students. This program will allow for flexible class scheduling, like weeknights and weekends, and the opportunity for educators to teach virtually.

UFT members will receive the following compounded wage increases:

  • September 14, 2022: 3.00%
  • January 18, 2024: 3.00%
  • January 18, 2025: 3.00%
  • September 14, 2025: 3.25%
  • September 14, 2026: 3.50%

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Waiting for Mikey

Guest Blogger: RBE

I've been a UFT member since 2001. I've seen a few contract negotiations in my time. And it's always the same, negotiation period after negotiation period. They put together a committee of UFT members who are allegedly on the contract negotiating team - and those people get Unity-approved dribs and drabs of what is happening to dole out to the masses. But the real negotiation is happening behind closed doors with Mulgrew (or in the old days, Weingarten.) We wait for Mikey to come down from the Mount with the tablets upon which are written the new contract terms - and we will be asked to vote on the new contract before actually seeing said new contract and understanding what, exactly, is in it.

Unity says this is the only way this can be done, that they will not "negotiate in public" because that would undermine the process and the outcome. I don't see it that way. To me, they limit this negotiation to those in the Unity braintrust (such as it is) just as they hold all other important union details and duties to themselves. It's about power, and perks, and privileges. Keep others out, keep others guessing, keep others in the dark about what is happening, keep members dependent on what leaders "do" for them and tell them.

Every time I see the UFT talk about the importance of voting, the importance of democracy, etc., I laugh. There are few entities as undemocratic as the Unity-controlled UFT. Mulgrew is the king, and it's good to be the king. He does what he wants, with impunity, shoves through what he wants, with impunity, and the rare time something happens to undercut what he wants, he just shoves said thing through with impunity again (see retiree health care sellout, for example.) There is nothing democratic, representative or admirable about this union leadership, nothing democratic, representative, or admirable about this union, frankly. I am not talking about people at the chapter leader level here. I have been fortunate to have good CL's (non-Unity) who try to represent members as best they can and work as hard as they can for them. No, I'm talking about the people above. The few times I have needed help for something from any UFT rep above the chapter leader level, they have always failed me. Always. One time, I needed to get my classroom checked for asbestos contamination after I found an "asbestos blanket" canister placed on my desk by some new custodian who has found the thing in the closet. My CL was right on it, getting us moved from the room until the air could be checked. The UFT DR, on the other hand, got belligerent and wanted to know what I was worried about, was I looking to sue over this in some bullshit lawsuit? Ah, the UFT Unity crew - always looking out for members. Fortunately we were able to get the air checked and all was well, but we had to fight the UFT as much as the DOE to do it. My CL, now long retired, got it done, no thanks to the Unity crew above him.

So, as we await Mikey's pilgrimage from the Mount with whatever sellout contract he is going to tell us "scrapes the skies" it's so good, I am reminded that it doesn't have to be this way, that this union could be more democratic, more representative, actually function as an entity in the business of protecting and representing the interests of members, not protecting and representing the interests of the leadership. Whatever comes from this contract (my last one - I will be gone by the time the next contract comes), let us remember the next election that we can and should do better than this.  

Wednesday, May 03, 2023


This email came earlier today, May 3, from the UFT telling me about an April 4 meeting. We trust our healthcare and union representation to these people who don't even know what month it is. Then again, maybe they purposely sent me the April 4 meeting notice on May 3.

This picture above shouldn't bother me but seeing UFT HS VP Janella Hinds take a picture from the Writers Guild strike picket line leaves me feeling a bit bittersweet. It is a positive that our leaders support the job acton as the strike is worthwhile. That is union solidarity. On the other hand, the UFT has done nothing to revise the part of the Taylor law that makes public employee strikes in NY, including by teachers, illegal. Evey worker should have the right to strike. I would like to see Janella work to repeal that portion of the Taylor law.

Saturday, April 29, 2023


Sue Edelman has a piece in the NY Post on the loopholes in the class size law that might be used. For those wondering, there are four major exemptions:

The exemptions cover: lack of space, “over-enrolled” programs, a shortage of licensed teachers, and schools in “severe economic distress.”

The class size limits for NYC:

The law, signed by Gov. Hochul last September, caps kindergarten through third-grade classes at 20 students, fourth through eighth grade at 23, and high school at 25.

The law is being phased in over the next five years. 

Under the law, the city must have 20% of classes meet the caps by 2023-24, and 40% by 2024-25.

“We are on track to be in compliance for years 1 and 2,” according to the DOE.

But compliance must increase to 60% in the third year, 80% in the fourth year, and 100% by 2027-28.

That will require a massive effort to recruit a projected 7,000 new teachers at an estimated cost of $1 billion a year. 

This is my favorite part of the article:

Under the law, all exemptions must be approved by both the teachers’ union and the principals’ union. If the three entities can’t agree, an arbitrator will decide.

We can pay that $1,475 per hour to Arbitrator Martin Scheinman so he build a new swimming pool to entertain Strook UFT-MLC lawyer Alan Klinger.

Does anyone want to put their crystal ball to work? Will NYC be in compliance by 2027? We can check in 2027-28.

This blog not so boldly predict the answer will be no but I want to be wrong. Then again, if you put different UFT leadership in power, I might change my mind.

Thursday, April 27, 2023


From City and State:

In a surprise Thursday evening press conference, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a “conceptual agreement” on the state budget nearly a month after the spending plan was due. She highlighted changes to the bail law, new charter schools and a free bus pilot program in New York City. The plan is expected to total $229 billion.

From the UFT:

Michael Mulgrew on Kathy Hochul last  October:

Hochul did it better than anyone's else. Best friend to public education that this union has ever had in the governor's office.

Our best friend let us down today.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


We learn from Nick Bacon's Executive Board minutes that the UFT might be very close to finalizing an agreement on a new contract. 

The ICE blog predictions:

  • When will the contract be finalized?

The new contract should be settled by the end of May or beginning of June at the latest so members can vote on it before school ends. If it isn't settled by early June, this may last a while. 

The terms:

It looks like the Union is accepting the pattern set by D 37 as the basic framework for the UFT settlement but that maybe the UFT negotiators could, as Randi Weingarten used to say, eke out some more dollars out of the pattern for UFTers. For those who don't know, these are the DC 37 financial terms which are for a roughly 5 and a half year contract:

The salary increases:

May 26, 2021: 3.00%

May 26, 2022: 3.00%

May 26, 2023: 3.00%

May 26, 2024: 3.00%

May 26, 2025: 3.25%

May 26, 2026: 0%

The contract ends on November 5, 2026.

  • Healthcare givebacks 

On healthcare, UFTers will most likely be voting to accept whatever the Municipal Labor Committee agrees to on healthcare. For those who have forgotten, the MLC is an umbrella group of City unions that does weighted voting so the UFT and DC 37 control it as the largest two unions. We have a petition out so retirees and active UFTers can vote on any significant healthcare changes as per the UFT Constitution. This is the DC 37 language on healthcare from their Contract Summary Sheet:

continuation of premium-free health plans provided for by the MLC health agreement.

  • Non financial terms-Working conditions?

This is where it gets tricky. Read from Carl Cambria's update to the Executive Board:

Gone from teaching our own members to going out to the public and showing all the extra work we have to do. Today, began interacting with the community. We do not have time in the workday to get everything done that we have to get done. 

Further down:

The more difficult partner in all of this is the DOE—whatever they’re calling themselves now—getting them to focus/engage with us on topics on the table. 

Basically, my take is that the UFT has agreed on the basic financial terms of a contract with the City but the Department of Education is not budging on making any changes to the micromanagement UFTers have been enduring for two decades since Joel Klein took over as Chancellor under Mayor Bloomberg.

We learn from the leaflets the UFT is sending out to the public that the Union is focusing on teachers being overworked. Is the UFT attempting to improve the professional period and/or the extended time provisions of the contract? We shall see. If the DOE just says no to the UFT's demands, what is our answer? (Please don't say surrender.)  These are discussions that should be taking place in the schools. 

The complete minutes of the report on contract negotiations that was given at Monday's Executive Board:

Carl Cambria: Negotiation update. 

Those of you at DA heard Mulgrew talk about the governance meeting that happened that morning. Positive meeting in that City came ready to respond to each of our general demands. Not everything was a yes, some yes, maybe, no, there was a willingness to come out at a quicker pace to head into Spring. Internally, we started in June. In October, we had our big 500 meeting. Subcommittees have been meeting. Had teach in in Jan. In Feb, we passed demands across the table to the DOE (full gen). That’s also when we wore green with DC37. In March, we continued – did we? – yes, grade in. Today, leafletting has begun. There’s been an escalation of intensity. So now, we’ve created an intense negotiation schedule for May. Exact dates to come. May action as well, increasing intensity. Over course of month, going to try and whittle down as much as possible, so that we’re in a position to get this contract set for ratification ASAP. City is more ready to do that than DOE. They have their pattern and uniform pattern set. That part of the negotiation is now less intense. We’re having some debates on exact amount of value and how that applies to the UFT. That’s what we’re focused on in May. These leafletting campaigns will help get DOE to start to work with us on workplace stuff. Leafletting is at a crucial time, heals of that governance meeting, May intense – we’ll finish that to know if we’ll have an agreement for the summer or not.

Monday, April 24, 2023


 The latest UFT contract leaflet. Any thoughts?

Update: There is a piece in Gothamist on the UFT contract negotiations.

Some excerpts:

In addition to economic demands, teachers are also seeking educational policy changes as part of their collective bargaining. They are pushing back on what they say are overly burdensome requirements. Examples the union cited include: excessive testing and data collection, teacher training sessions unrelated to student needs, and having to administer repeated social-emotional assessments throughout the year.

“What we're being mandated to do has nothing to do with what we've been hired to do,” Michael Mulgrew, the president of the union, told Gothamist in an interview.

He said the policies had created a “massive morale problem” among teachers.

Further down:

Mulgrew said that talks with City Hall had picked up momentum in recent days, but declined to provide further details. He said the two parties last met on Wednesday.

And more:

Under Adams, the city’s labor negotiators have so far reached deals with two large unions: District Council 37, the largest municipal union that includes many lower-wage workers, and the Police Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union.

Both received generous multi-year deals, worth $4 billion and $5.5 billion respectively. The city also agreed to pilot programs for remote work for some city workers and longer shifts that would allow police officers to work fewer days.

For the teachers’ union, the precedent of those two agreements takes some of the pressure off its talks: Under the process known as pattern bargaining, the city is expected to apply the same framework to other unions, depending on whether they are civilian or uniformed.

The expectation is that salary increases for teachers would fall in line with the roughly 3% annual raises received by the members of District Council 37.

Any comments?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


I was on the call on time.

President's Report

We will have an update on contract actions. Moment of silence for Betty Gotfried who formed the Adult Ed Chapter. Mark gave a tribute. Visitor today Andy Pallotta who is retiring. Pallotta addresses the DA.    Calls going around the state a great experience. Thanks everyone.       


Gun violence in schools getting out of control. Watching Supreme Court. Overreaching on many different issues. Fox lawsuit. They had to pay $800 million for lying. There will be other cases.


Housing and bail reform still out there. Charter fight is not over. Zombie charters not in law. Turning charters from k-5 to k-8 to k- 12 not in the law. Charters in NYC are half empty. Charter Institute is basically Fox News. How can they have waiting lists when they are half empty? Cohorts in public schools measured from total cohort. If a charter starts with 25 students and 12 graduate, they boast a 98% graduation rate. Charters don't backfill. We have a class size reduction law in NYC, how we could we supply more space and have to pay for more charter schools. This is a complete fallacy. We will do more if we have to. Zombie charters won't work. Charters are half empty. If there is a real need, then go to those schools. Class size law is going to get implemented. Charter piece is not dead. Mulgrew spent day in Albany on Monday and went to Syracuse on Tuesday. Spent time with Pallotta.

Class size

We have a working document that has to be approved by the DOE, the UFT and CSA. 20% will have lower class sizes in September. First based on student need. We have to be in complete compliance in five years.

City Council and budget fight

Mayor calling for additional cuts. City Council digging it its heals. Progressive caucus with us. Albany sent NYC schools more money than ever before last two years. Schools still got cut. Does state get to tell City not to supplant money they  send? State sent more money but administrators telling us city schools got cut. City Council breakfast at UFT next Tuesday.

Curriculum project

Project not going well. Conversations with Chancellor going well but not the implementation. We are hearing about third party vendors and we say no.

Contract negotiations

Very good meeting with governance committee this morning moving things. Happy that LA got a 21% increase over three years. They got the top salary up to $121,000 to recruit teachers. We have an issue recruiting teachers here. Chapters upset with being disrespected and having no autonomy and no voice. This is a national problem. We need to have this fight and have it now. Half of the time is wasted. We got a big problem. Political landscape around education: we are used to being attacked by privateers. Other stuff being driven by educators. Data driven instruction is to drive us and the children nuts. Assessing the assessments. This is not a joke. People are disconnected from work going on in the schools. Chapters want toner so they can print shit. Salary division said they couldn't do it. Why are we still submitting per session sheets? Can we have an app that fits into the system? Ridiculous crap. Contract Action Team met yesterday. People are fed up with everything. Next week, informational leafleting. We will push it from Tuesday through Friday. DOE making us waste time instead of working with the children. Large survey with numbers on our side. Mulgrew will start this on Monday. Money issue one, issue two is autonomy and listening to us. Are we ready to engage in this? (Mulgrew asks each section in the hall.) There is traction to go right now. City is not in love with the DOE. Chancellor is trying. People want to know what the hell is going on. Focus needs to be educating children. Everything else is just crap. Some at DOE need therapy; we hope they can get it. We deserve a good contract, a damn good contract.

Staff Director's Report

Academic high school awards May 5. UFT pedal pushers first ride on April 25. Spring Conference May 20 at NY Hilton. AIDS walk May 21. 5K run June 10 at 9:30 a.m.

\Question Period

Question: Curriculum: When will we know what curriculum we will use? When will we be trained?

Mulgrew answer: It will be 15 school districts using HMH. We are trying to work it out with the DOE. This is the tough part of being a union because it is frustrating. Something that works out at Central on paper might not work in the schools. We are adamant on a couple of things but this is not a subject of collective bargaining. We want teachers doing this. In 10 minutes, can cut $30 million in contracts. Literacy part is solid. Must be responsive to 200 cultures. DOE doesn't get that. If we don't get this done by the end of May, it's probably not going to work. I love when they say we don't work summers. We relax and then we plan for the next year. More optimistic than last month. We are grinding to get there as it will be better for students.

Question: JHS CL. Remote work on clerical days. Virtual training for math and science in building. Are there discussions on doing virtual training from home?

Answer: Traveling to schools to turn on computer is a waste of time. NYC has an official position that there is no virtual work. We know that isn't true. Go to the DOE on a Friday. Most are virtual.

Followup: We have to register and go online from school. Systems crash.

Answer: We are in discussions to try to clear this up. It is ridiculous to travel to school to open a laptop or iPad. I am not talking about content of webinar. I completely agree. We will keep advocating for this.

Question: D3 CL. Teachers looking to go on open market. Are principals able to see when staff go on open market?

Answer: They can't see it but nothing stops one principal from calling another. Principals not yet seeing budgets so the Albany difficulty in getting a budget is impacting us. Chill out on the open market. If you see something you like, go for it.

Question: Delegate from D25: What is happening with the 2023-24 calendar? When will it come out?

Answer: We have sent back what we feel the calendar should be for next year. Plan is to have it out by the end of the week but don't hold your breath. We were told it would be done before the break. It was not. It is a tight calendar. We are the most diverse city so this isn't easy. Next year Passover and Easter are nowhere near each other. We have a proposal. 

Question: Retiree. Many of us were locked out by a glitch. We received a letter thanking us for attending. Has another meeting been scheduled for those locked out?

Answer: Another meeting has been scheduled. We have fixed the glitch. We want to focus on specifics of finding your doctor. We want clear, precise information.

New Motion Period

 Matt Driscoll: For next month to tell Supreme Court to keep hands off the right to strike. Big business unrelenting drive to limit the strike. 2018 Janus Supreme Court decision limited public sector unions. 2017, members signed pledge to stay in union and our membership went up. 1959 decision protected unions from damage caused to company by unions. Glacier Northwest case is to limit the right to strike. This is a national movement to defend the right to strike. Call on UFT to defend union rights. Support Teamsters Local 174.

Nobody wished to speak against.

The vote:

On the phone: 576 Yes to 69 No

In the room: 189 Yes to 38 No

Total is 88% Yes so it is on next month's agenda.

Lamar Hughes: For this month: to move resolution 2 to resolution one.

The vote:

On the phone: 435 Yes to   156 No

In the room: No figures announced.

Total 78% voted yes so it is moved up.

Special Orders of Business

Resolution to endorse Queens, Bronx and Staten Island District Attorneys for reelection:

Melinda Katz in Queens as Borough President got money for Queens schools.

Bronx is Darcel Clark in Bronx has been a strong supporter of principles we believe in.

In Staten Island it is Michael McMahon is a supporter in various jobs.

Nobody wishes to speak.

The vote

On the phone: 488 Yes to 84 No

In the room: 205 Yes to 16 No

Total 86% Yes so they are endorsed. 

Melinda Katz and Darcel Clark are in the room and wish to address the Delegates. 

Clark speaks up for teachers. Says teachers shape lives every day. Wants schools to be a safe haven for kids. We will ensure those kids have a safe environment. Introduce kids to criminal justice system in a positive way. 

Melinda Katz speaks next. Only three female District Attorneys in NYC history. Elizabeth Holtzman, Darcel and now Melinda. Melinda worked hard to keep schools open. Mentions Jamaica HS. Fights about principals that we won. Job is to keep Queens safe. Teachers care. Amazed at what teachers do. Partnership with the UFT. Appreciates UFT.  Both DAs are NYC school graduates.

Resolution 2 to endorse City Council members: 

Elizabeth Perez Brooklyn Borough Rep says all 51 council seats are up for reelection. Adrienne Adams and a bunch of others are mentioned. All have demonstrated to UFT political action people that they will be the best candidates to support our school communities. 

Ryan Brickenwall amendment to add Tiffany Caban for D22. He says she is a progressive ally. She got questionnaire yesterday. 

Mulgrew: We have a process.

Political action person speaks on process. Tiffany will be in next round as we are emphasizing for round 1 people who had a serious primary. We will endorse many more candidates.

Ryan speaks again and asks that Tiffany Caban's endorsement stay on the floor.

Bronx High School of Science Delegate speaks against endorsements. Some of these Council members voted for budget cuts for schools and so it seems wrong to give a blanket endorsement for all of them.

Leroy Barr speaks against amendment for Tiffany because they didn't go through the process. This would disenfranchise people. There is a process. Don't short circuit the process. Not speaking against Tiffany Caban. Vote against short circuiting the process. Don't want to disenfranchise our folks in her district. 

Anthony Harmon speaks against the amendment a there is no proper vetting. Vote on the original motion. This will open up a Pandora's box if we circumvent the process.

Martina a Delegate speaks in opposition to Council members who support budget cuts and support charter schools. 

Anthony Harmon says comments should be on amendment. 

Someone calls the question on all matters before the body. Amendment is then pulled by the maker.

On the phone: 465 Yes to 61 No

In the room: 170 Yes to 25No

89% vote to close debate.

The vote on the endorsements

On the phone: 299 Yes to 202 No

In the room: 167 Yes to 42 No

Total is 66% Yes so the resolution carries.

Mulgrew mentions that last year we had many new Council members. They had to learn and they advocated after the vote to cut budgets

Resolution on Earth Day for a national week of action around green schools, transitioning to a green economy.

Ryan B again speaks in favor. Calls for a standing environmental justice committee in the union. Plugs green schools not charter schools event. 

Nobody wishes to debate.

The vote

On the phone: 426 Yes to 47 No

In the room 201 Yes to 4 No

Total 92% vote yes and resolution passes.

Resolution opposing eGovernor Hochul's proposal to expand chharter schools. 

Janella Hinds motivates it and Ilona Nanay supports her. Nobody wants to debate.

The vote

On the phone: 488 Yes to 14 No

In the room: 202 Yes to 3 No

98% vote for it. 

(The meeting is adjourned as the UFT has to tell members how to vote at NYSUT meeting.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


The United Teachers of Los Angeles union has a tentative contract agreement after they boycotted faculty conferences and went on strike for three days in solidarity with other education workers in the district.

The salary increases in this new 3 year contract in LA will be coming every six months. 

From Fox 11 LA:

UTLA said the new three-year contract will apply from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025, and will increase salaries for teachers in the second-largest school district in the nation.

The agreement also includes pay increases detailed below:

21% ongoing wage increase

3% effective July 1, 2022

4% effective January 1, 2023

3% effective July 1, 2023

4% effective January 1, 2024

3% effective July 1, 2024

4% effective January 1, 2025

By my elementary math, that comes to 7% per year. Go UTLA! They won lower class sizes too.

There is full retro and I don't think they will have to wait 11 years to get all of it like here in NYC. We recently  did our income taxes and 2022 is the first year in many where lump sum payments from the 2014 contract that go back to 2009 were not part of it. Our accountant wondered why we made less money in 2022.

UTLA achieved this contract agreement in open bargaining. There was no cone of silence, confidentiality agreement someone had to sign be on the negotiating committee in L.A. like we have at the UFT. 

UFT leadership will probably say those Los Angeles, California teachers made less money than us so they are just catching up but their union changed its leadership a few years back to take a much more militant approach to bargaining. The last two LA contracts after they went on strike in 2019 and their COVID agreement have included solid victories.

Look at the subheading of the NBC4 story on the agreement showing how just the thought of another strike moved the district:

The agreement with UTLA eliminates the possibility of another potential work stoppage after the service workers union staged a three-day strike last month.

UFT leadership is so completely out of touch and the LA salary increases are more proof on why we need a new way of bargaining here in NYC.


We can convince 10 percent of UFTers to sign our petition so we can get a full membership vote on significant changes to our healthcare if everyone climbs on board the petition express.

Tonight there is an organizing Zoom. Please sign up here to attend.

My understanding is 340 408 people have already signed up to attend tonight's Zoom. Over 6,000 have already signed the petition. We have to get north of 19,000 signatures to have 10% of the UFTers on board. We are almost 1/3 of the way to the referendum. 

We can do this if everyone pitches in. If you are available tonight, please help us out. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023


This is from the NY Post:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took a swipe at both Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s union leaders — sharply criticizing a controversial plan to move 250,000 city retirees off traditional Medicare and into a privately managed version of the program.

Further down:

It’s a bad decision. It is not good,” Ocasio-Cortez said about the change in health coverage for retirees during a virtual town hall Thursday.

“This is something I oppose. We are in this fight with you and we oppose this shift.”

Private health insurer Aetna will manage the Medicare Advantage program.

And more from AOC:

Monthly bills on paper are lower but she warned retirees will get socked with higher bills if they’re hospitalized for a serious illness.

“A lot more of those costs are going to get moved onto you and moved onto seniors and retirees in a shift to Medicare Advantage,” she said, adding it’s “very concerning” the program will be run by a for-profit private insurer.

“This [Medicare Advantage] is a cash cow for them [private insurers]. It’s very profitable,” she asserted.

Please note that Aetna, besides being for profit, is a non union company. Emblem GHI, though not even close to being a perfect insurer, is at least a not for profit, unionized organization.

We are happy to have AOC on our side. Progressive support for traditional government run Medicare is essential. Right wing advocacy is helpful too.

This is from Republican Councilmember Vickie Pallidino's Twitter:

I am proud to be endorsed by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees. 

I have fought hard to protect the healthcare and rights of our municipal retirees who have faced unprecedented challenges recently, and I proudly accept this endorsement and look forward to continuing the fight with them in my next term.

We all need to get involved in this fight. Sign the petition to get UFTers a vote on our healthcare. Next, come to our Zoom on Tuesday evening to find out how to help spread the word so we have enough UFT signatures to have that vote.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


 This is from Marie Para (Wausnock) showing Unity cheating at an official UFT event. The video is on Facebook.

Spotlight on Truth 

You can’t say you didn’t….cause ‘ya did!! Lets look at the video tape!

Let’s pay attention to the rules of the UFT.  Let’s be clear on a few things….the UFT is our union, Unity is a caucus within the union.  Just as there other caucus’, such as MORE, ICE and SOLIDARITY.  Unity has been the controlling caucus within the union.  Whenever there is a function that the UFT pays for, NO caucus can campaign at these events.  If they did allow this, all candidates should be given the same space, time, and expense of campaigning on the UFT’s dime…or should that be on YOUR UNION DUES.

Now let’s pay attention to the timeline.  January 26, 2023 the UFT held the BRONX SRP at 4PM at the Bronx Borough Office….(this was a UFT paid event), yet the Unity Candidates were there campaigning BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ELECTION PROCESS WAS ANNOUNCED. 

The nomination petitions weren’t even ready until February 16, 2023.  There was no official announcement of when this special election was going to be…..so why were the Unity Candidates already being introduced as candidates and what position they were running for? And how did only Unity know about the election ahead of the official announcement?  And again, no caucus is allowed to campaign at UFT paid events!!!

This is obviously an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other candidates.  If Unity has no regard to adhere to the rules and regulations in this election process, which would ensure a fair and transparent election, what can you expect from them if elected?

Ultimately, you want leaders that know and respect the rules and regulations governing this election process.


Vote for the challengers to Unity if you are a para.

We can get that vote on healthcare changes fellow UFTers. 

The petition to get a UFT constitutionally mandated member referendum on significant changes to our healthcare just passed 6,000 signatures, with a thousand signing over spring break.

Tuesday, we will be having a live Zoom on the campaign. I have been asked to speak. We are getting close to being a third of the way there. Please sign and then spread to every UFTer you know.


Unity Caucus, the UFT's ruling political party for over sixty years, is facing a challenge in the interim Paraprofessional Chapter Election from people who appear to be independent but also had some Unity supporters (see below).

Meet the candidates not endosed by Unity which means paras should vote for the indie group if they want to change the Union:

Ballots go out April 17. This is a mail in election for paras exclusively. Spread the word to paras you may know.

The following statement comes from the challengers. It shows this election is the old Unity patronage machine style unionism at work. Nothing changes in Unity but the names. Actually, they are getting worse. 

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out!

Due to Shelvy Abrams and Reggie Colvin retiring in September 2023, and after 17 years as 2nd Vice Chair, Hector Ruiz Jr has moved on to another position in the union, which left their positions open for election, a special election to fill these positions, and a few others, is now underway and ballots will be mailed out on April 17th.  (It’s still a mystery to us why it took 8 months after those retirements were effective to hold this special election…or was it to let the interim people get their names out there for 8 months...aka let them campaign for 8 months)!!! 

Marie Para was very interested in running for office and approached other paraprofessionals who felt the same way she did about speaking up for paras and had the desire to step up.  Once she met with several paras, from many boroughs and districts, we had a very strong and diverse team.  The first step was to get a full commitment from each who wished to run, and it was easy as each of us strongly felt paras need leaders who can make changes that need to be made.  

We needed to get on the ballot and to do so one needed to collect signatures on a nominating petition.  Each of the potential candidates provided all the personal information on their nominating petition and collected signatures for themself as well as for the other team members.  We were all feeling good about the solidarity and unity within our team.

Then it happened!  As the nominating petitions were being circulated, word was getting out who was on our team.  We had one para who was a member of the Unity Caucus, who has strong feelings that change needs to happen and did not want to support the current Unity candidates.  Well, that para was called into the district office and offered a union paid position, so he opted out of running with us.

Then it happened again! Another potential candidate we had, who was also “all in”, is a member of Unity and felt he needed to take a stand and run with us, and who we were proud to have him on our team,  just a few days before the deadline to hand in the nomination petitions, he told us he was asked to “stand down” and not run with us.  

Disappointed, yes, but also expected.  This leaves me asking if Unity is more interested in Unity than its membership.   These two Unity members are “insiders” and believe the paras need leaders that will speak up and not be part of the status quo.  Its heartwarming to know they, and other Unity caucus members have told us, privately, that they will not support the Unity candidates and will cast a vote for us.  At the end of the day, its just very simple, our team is all about improving and giving the paras a long overdue voice and respect in the union.