Tuesday, February 28, 2023


 This is right from Nick Bacon's Minutes from yesterday's Executive Board:

The DC37 contract and healthcare conversations were a big part of the exec board meeting tonight. Nick Bacon pointed out that the pattern being set by DC37 is below inflation and asked what we were doing about that. (Secretary Leroy) Barr deflected, saying it wasn’t our place to do anything public about another union’s contract. Bacon remarked that this union’s contract would have the effect of committing our union to sub-inflation wages. (President Michael Mulgrew also commented that there may be other (bad) costing things in the DC37 contract other than what we already see. However, when asked by Mike Schirtzer what healthcare ‘savings’ would also be a part of the contract, he claimed that none of that costing will have anything directly to do with healthcare (this bargaining round). On the other hand, a new Aetna Medicare Advantage plan is to be reviewed, and Mulgrew confirmed that while he won’t approve it unless it meets UFT’s preconditions, we won’t get to vote on it before it goes to the MLC. He was frankly hostile with new HS Exec Board member, Luli Rodriguez, when she pressed him on this. 

This is the exact question Luli asked that angered Mulgew:

Luli Rodriguez High School for Ecomomics and Finance: 

We saw that there is an emergency MLC meeting scheduled for Thursday to discuss a proposed contract with Aetna for a privatized Medicare Advantage Plan for Medicare eligible retirees but there is not going to be an MLC vote on the Aetna Contract on Thusday. 

My question: Will the UFT Executive Board and Delegate Assembly, the two elected representative bodies of this organization,  get to see the Aetna contract and vote on it before the UFT casts its weighted hugely influential vote at the MLC?

A reasonable question for sure. After Mulgrew responded by being hostile toward her, Luli did not back down but followed up by stating that she is looking out for our retirees.

For now, we know the pattern DC 37 set for wage increases is well below inflation, there are no new healthcare concessions for this round of bargaining but we still owe the City $600 million annually from the last round of bargaining, and Mulgrew himself will vote on Mulgrewcare at the Municipal Labor Committee. The DA and Executive Board will have no say and Mulgrew was hostile when it was suggested that representatives vote on Mulgrewcare.

Monday, February 27, 2023



Greetings Retirees & Retirees In Training! 
We learned last week that the MLC will be holding an emergency meeting to hear a presentation by AETNA Medicare Advantage on March 2nd. 

We KNOW, they and the City MUST agree according to the 1992 MLC Health Agreement, before anything can change.  So if they eliminate plans, or force us into one plan, it is because they did in fact agree.   Of course they will try to say, "The MAYOR did it!" or "The ARBTRATOR said to!"   But we know the truth.  They are doing it because they agreed to the 2014 and 2018 MLC Health Savings Agreements.   Retirees did not do that. 




We will begin to call and email them DAILY & CALL YOUR FORMER UNION AS WELL!

DC37: Henry Garrido 212-815-1500, 212-815-1511
UFT: Michael Mulgrew or Tom Murphy 212-777-7500
Sanitation Local 831: Harry Nespoli 212-964-8900
Sanitation Local 444 Officers Joe Mannion 718 837-9832
Local 237 Greg Floyd (212) 924-1989
CSA: Mark Cannizzaro 212-823-2020  
NYC Mayor – In NYC 311 if calling from outside NYC 212-639-9675
Jumaane Williams – 212-669-7250

Copy paste the email addresses below; they are for Michael Mulgrew, Tom Murphy, Henry Garrido, Greg Floyd, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, The Mayor’s Office at City Hall, and Alan Klinger the attorney for the MLC and Labor Chair of the Tripartite Committee.

Be polite, be professional!

We urge you to maintain our cost free supplemental plan and Traditional Medicare. We earned and paid for our benefits – our supplemental plan only covers 20% of our insurance. Medicare retirees cost to the City is less than 6 tenths of 1% of the City budget. The Unions are free to negotiate their own healthcare, but leave a current retirees alone! Medicare Advantage is not accepted by 25% of the doctors in America, has prior authorizations, cannot be combined with other insurances and OLR wants to create a panel to review the delays and denials of care that are known to happen in Medicare Advantage because the insurer is for profit – this is inferior to our current insurance.

Currently, AETNA is under investigation by the DOJ for Medicare fraud, and if that isn’t bad enough, CM Barron testified in the January 9th hearing that AETNA sold slave insurance to slave owners before Emancipation. He said, “I would never…ever support AETNA getting a contract from the government because this is the same company that provided insurance to slave holders during the enslavement period and when we took them to court, they admitted it and said, ‘we did it’ and that was it.” “So we shouldn’t be doing business with a corporation like AETNA that was engaged in the slave trade in the slave era.”

Sign your name, agency retired from and year

EMAILS: ADD YOUR FORMER UNION TO THIS LIST! Copy/paste these into your email!



This is the second email to send!
Click this LINK to the MAYORS Office and Send him the following:
Message Topic: Quality of Life
Dear Mayor Adams:
My name is ________________________and I am a former employee of ___________________(name of where you worked). I served my time in government for over __________years as a ________________________(name of position). I am a retiree that cannot afford to spend extra money. I am on a fixed income that is based on a monthly pension. Please do not force me into a plan that is not going to help me stay alive. Not all doctors accept Medicare Advantage Medicare Advantage Plans regardless of it being a PPO. And we do not have prior authorizations now and should not have to deal with that process when we are older and ill. Traditional Medicare does not and we don't need more stress! Please do not place me or my fellow retirees into a plan that will strip us of our dignity and life. Do not let the Unions convince you that this is the best option, they do not represent us. You call yourself the Mayor for the people, please consider yourself as a Mayor for the great seniors, who gave their time to serve this great city and sit with us.
If you have to move forward with a Medicare Advantage Plan against our pleas, then all we can ask is that you grandfather all of the current retirees in our current plan. No change or added cost unto us.
Thank you!


If you are on Twitter and Instagram, please comment and share our messages.
We also created an OPEN FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/NYCRetirees

And Please send your donations in to continue this fight!  We have THREE lawsuits running concurrently, and if the Mayor eliminates all health plans, we WILL have a 4th!!  See below if you donate via VENMO, we changed our name. 
It Wasn't Me
Tell the Active workers, DO NOT RATIFY YOUR CONTRACT UNTIL YOU READ IT!   The last time they had a contract, they did not know the unions put an appendix that reduced their healthcare and increased copays. 
A message for Anthony Wells DC37 Local 371 and Gloria Middleton CWA 1180 



Your friends, and retirees in SOLIDARITY...

The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees


 Donations are Needed! If the Mayor pulls the "nuclear option" we will have 4 lawsuits going on at the same time!



Donation Instructions to Support Our Organization and our Fight To Protect Our Retiree Healthcare:

We worked decades for our benefits! Let’s make sure the City and the MLC don’t take them away!

suggested $25 Donation* will help start the fight to keep our current benefits.

*Give more if you can, and/or often!  If you cannot meet the minimum suggested donation, we appreciate whatever you can give towards this fight for our benefits.  We also added the option to make your donation recurring (monthly) as was requested. 

We are incorporated as a Non-Profit, but not tax deductible. ALL proceeds go to fund the organization and its legal challenge. Volunteer retirees are running this effort. 


1.Zelle using email NYCOrgofpublicserviceretirees@gmail.com YOU CANNOT USE THE ZELLE APP!   You must use Zelle via your online banking. In some cases you cannot use the Zelle via the bank app either.   So if you're finding trouble, use the computer and make the payment via Zelle from your online banking. 

2. Make your check out to:
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees 
c/o  JSH Accounting Services LLC
PO Box 143538
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(this is the organization's accounting professional)

3. Or click on this Paypal link:

4.  VENMO OUR Venmo Name changed!   Please take note!

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Another MLC memo finds its way to us. It is not good news. 

Privatized Medicare Advantage for retirees is coming, subject to MLC approval.


Barring intervention from a divine source, the financial terms of the next UFT contract will be similar to the terms DC 37 just agreed to that their membership will soon vote on. If we want to break pattern bargaining, it will take a massive mobilization that I don't see as at all likely.

This is the DC 37 summary from them:

This is a 5.5-year contract that actually has about half a year of 0% increases but there is a $3,000 ratification bonus included. The UFT may substitute vacation days or something similar for the bonus. The UFT might lengthen the contract to get the top salary up to 150k by 2026. Or, perhaps more money could be allocated for paras to get a living wage or per session could be increased beyond the percentages DC 37 agreed to. Whatever President Michael Mulgrew does, it will be compatible with the financial pattern DC 37 just established.

Multiple commenters here are saying we should get the fixed TDA increased.  The TDA is not going back up to 8.25% unless UFTers want to pay for it with a much lower wage increase. On a happier note, the next UFT contract should also pay retroactively to day one right away unless negotiations drag on for years like they did from 2009-2014.

Please also note that the future of healthcare is still unresolved for all municipal employees. Healthcare is being negotiated behind closed doors with the City and the Municipal Labor Committee.

Having said all of this, the new UFT contract is still not a done deal!

We should in no way just accept DC 37's terms as the UFT agreement. Healthcare must be clear. No more just trusting the MLC. In addition, the non-financial parts of any agreement must also be negotiated and agreed to. Here, the UFT could fight to get back every piece of our dignity that was robbed from us in 2005. If UFTers are resigned to salary increases that don't come close to keeping up with inflation, teachers are in a strong position to make gains in other areas. That would mean more than yet another excess paperwork clause. 

How about a maximum of three observations per year like they have in Buffalo? What about real teacher say in transfers and hiring like we used to have or self-directed professional periods like we also had between 1997-2005? I can think of more such as an expedited letter in the file grievance process. The DOE's excuse for ending these grievances was that they took up too much principal time because they had to attend hearings. Now, principals just attend via phone so nobody has to leave a building. These are just a few suggestions. I am sure people reading here can come up with their own nonfinancial gains, but remember, they obviously can't cost the City money.

It is serious negotiation time for the UFT. Get involved NOW if you want to see improved working conditions. Talk to your Chapter Leader on Monday.

Monday, February 20, 2023


 This came our way today. We print it with permission of its author.

I am a NYCDOE teacher that has been employed with the department for close to 20 years.  I am writing because I am appalled at the substandard pay and working conditions that city teachers face.  And, with pattern bargaining looming,  I am absolutely devastated at the prospect of 3% per year raises that our  DC-37 union counterparts are negotiating.

We teachers get in early; this year I am getting in close to an hour and a half before my students enter the building and many of my colleagues do as well.  We work during our lunch period, with a bite here and there because we are so busy.  One prep period per day for elementary school teachers is woefully inadequate and often consumed with meetings of one kind or another.  Weekends and weekday nights are also consumed with planning for our students.

Don't get me wrong; we love our students.  The call to nurture these young people and to help them to be happy and successful in their chosen paths brought us to this profession and sustains teachers to remain in this, our calling.   Sadly,  I  can't tell you how many colleagues have shared how unhappy, stressed and profoundly exhausted they themselves are.

As blurry-eyed as we are, we can still register the disrespect that is broadcast to us-DAILY.  Assaults on retiree healthcare, micromanagement that has been enabled by the Danielson Rubric and a weak contract with many loopholes laying the groundwork for administrative overreach, and NOW- the promise of pattern bargaining that pretty much enshrines that teachers will see the same 3% raises per year that our union brother and sisters from DC-37 are negotiating.  For shame!!! And people like me- who toil through the nights and early mornings in a profession that is INTEGRAL in building an informed citizentry for generations to come- is staring at the REALITY that I myself can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on my one bedroom apartment anymore, my credit card bills are mounting with grocery and gas bills that I couldn't afford to pay outright, and the rest of my humble living expenses in one of the most expensive metro areas in the country certainly will not be covered on my NYCDOE salary.  I now know that after almost 20 years as a teacher, I will most certainly need to sell the only and most valuable asset that I have sweated for in all these years--my home--because I cannot afford it anymore. 

I am sorry to say this, and it is with heartache that I utter this, but I can pledge that I have NO CONFIDENCE that the United Federation of Teachers is willing to lead the charge to help their own members fight for a better tomorrow.  Therefore, I am calling on the City Council to put forth legislation that will call for salary increases IN LINE with current inflation that will allow teachers to put food on the table and to pay their housing bills, having an automobile, gas bills, and savings for retirement that will not necessitate public assistance.  Protect our healthcare from substandard care that will come with Medicare Privatization.  Lest we forget, we are the direct line to the next generation of citizens.  The future of our society depends, on large part, on our working jointly with our respective communities. Respect teachers, give us the salary that we TRULY deserve; stop with the micromanagement. Nourish the teachers, give us the respect that we deserve, and the roots of the future will be truly strong. 


NYCDOE teacher

Friday, February 17, 2023


It's all over except for the voting. DC 37 has a tentative pattern-setting contract agreement with the City for five and a half years at 15.25% and a $3,000 ratification bonus. Because of pattern bargaining where one City union settles, which sets a pattern, then other unions basically receive financial terms that adhere to the pattern, this is basically what the next UFT contract will be like.

This is from City.gov:

The tentative agreement is retroactive, beginning on May 26, 2021, and expiring Nov. 6, 2026. It includes wage increases of 3 percent for each of the first four years of the contract, and 3.25 percent in the final year. The agreement also includes a lump sum ratification bonus for all DC 37 members, a major investment in a child care trust fund established and administered by DC 37, dedicated funding for improved retention and recruitment efforts, and a committee to explore flexible work options — including remote work. The parties have also agreed that as of July 1, 2023, every employee covered by this contract will earn at least $18 per hour — a rate which exceeds the minimum wage.

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.

More on the DC 37 agreement from The City:

While far below the pace of inflation, which was 6% in 2022, the annual increase is more than double the 1.25% yearly Adams provided in his preliminary budget. 

Workers are also slated to receive a one-time bonus of $3,000 upon ratification of the contract.

City employees still owe those $1.1 billion in healthcare savings we wrote about Wednesday.

Back to The City piece:

The deal was a major test for Adams, a retired NYPD officer who won his election in 2021 in part because of his endorsements from labor and his rank-and-file bona fides. For months, negotiations for anticipated pay raises were tied up in a protracted battle over a cost-saving scheme to change retirees’ free health care coverage to a controversial Medicare Advantage plan. 

The planned Medicare Advantage shift originated in deals struck by former Mayor Bill de Blasio and the unions to pay for raises by finding health care savings.

As the largest public sector union, DC37 sets the pattern for wages and other benefits that other unions follow in their own negotiations. Nearly all of the city’s roughly 300,000 unionized staff are working under expired collective bargaining agreements.

The United Federation of Teachers is expected to bargain with the city next. The UFT and DC37 jointly represent 60% of the city’s workforce.

UFT reaction in Chapter Leader Update:

DC 37 reaches a tentative contract agreement

DC 37 reached a tentative five-year contract agreement yesterday after its members have been working without a contract since May 2021. Their tentative contract offers 3% increases in each of the first four years, and a 3.25% raise in the fifth year, plus additional money for salary adjustments, a child care trust fund and a ratification bonus. W

While we know the financials of DC 37’s tentative agreement will have implications for all municipal unions because of pattern bargaining, the fight must continue in our own negotiations. We will be closely analyzing the tentative agreement, which must be ratified by DC 37 members before taking effect, to determine its full value and see how we can maximize that financial package to get the most for our members in our own negotiations. We will also continue to push at the bargaining table on our noneconomic working-condition demands. Among our priorities are paperwork reduction, health and safety, time and autonomy, and special education.

For those who would like to see how City employees are doing compared to inflation, take a look at the chart below that compares DC 37 salaries in their last two contracts with inflation. 2017-22 uses actual inflation data. 2023-26 use these projected inflation rates:  5.8% for 2023, 2.5 for next year, and 2.0 for each year after. 2017 is the base year and the base salary is $50,000. Thanks to my nephew for doing this.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


The UFT has a 500-person negotiating committee but it really doesn't do much on issues like raises and healthcare. For a look inside the secret world of the Municipal Labor Committee (umbrella group of over 100 NYC public sector labor unions), the minutes of the December MLC meeting found their way to this blogger. Some of the material is dated as the City Council did not change Administrative Code 12-126 as the MLC and Mayor Eric Adams wanted and it was talked about at this meeting. However, some of these minutes are fascinating for sure.

One topic raised was member unions not paying their MLC dues. This is right from the minutes of the December 7 MLC meeting. Henry Garrido is the DC 37 Executive Director:

Henry Garrido stated that it has come to his attention that some of the unions participating in the MLC are not paying their dues or are only paying a portion of their dues. We should make an effort by informing those unions who are derelict of paying their fair share that all these other unions are paying for. If you have not paid your dues or are paying a portion of your dues in a way of protest or even in a way that you disagree with the way the MLC is going, when it comes down to a vote, that vote should be proportional to the dues and if you haven’t paid your dues and you are not a member in good standing of the MLC, you should not be allowed to vote. We need the resources and I think it is unfair that some unions are not paying their fair share. The Chair asked Ellen to draw up a paper of where the problems are. 

Some of the unions in the MLC are apparently rebelling if they aren't paying their dues. I would gather it is the smaller unions that might just be upset about the MLC's weighted voting system where the two biggest unions, DC 37 and the UFT, control a majority of the votes.

On the issue of City workers getting new contracts, there are two points that were made in these minutes. First, we have Harry Nespoli who is head of the Sanitation union talking about his union's negotiations with City Labor Commissioner Renee Campion:

The Chair stated that he had his first bargaining session with Renee Campion, OLR Commissioner yesterday. The Commissioner made it perfectly clear that we can talk but until the healthcare is handled, there will not be any contracts settled. 

Then DC 37's Garrido responds:

Henry Garrido stated that DC 37 is in bargaining now. We are serious about pushing this forward and we are looking for a contract. Discussion followed.

Mulgrew told the UFT Executive Board on Monday that the first contract setting a pattern could be settled in the next two weeks. He mentioned it again Wednesday at the Delegate Assembly.

UFT-MLC lawyer Alan Klinger said this in response to Garrido:

Alan Klinger stated that he wants to clarify something from Allen’s report. When Renee Campion is talking about guarantees for healthcare, what she is not saying is that unless we do Medicare Advantage there are no wage increases and she is not saying that we have to wait until the end of the RFP process, which would not be scheduled for the CBP plan to take effect until Jan. 1, 2024. I believe the City is saying that they need to feel comfortable that there is a program in place that will deliver the $1 billion+ in savings. 

My translation of Klinger's words is that unions must give $1 billion+ in health savings or no contracts. By owing the city $1 billion+ before we start, I don't expect a pattern for salary increases that comes anywhere close to the inflation rate. Once DC 37 sets that wage pattern, the rest of the municipal unions, including the UFT, will be stuck with it. UFTers will get basically the same increase. 

For those wondering about the future of our healthcare, there is plenty of information in the MLC minutes. Keep in mind as you read that an RFP is a Request for Proposal and CBP is the Comprehensive Benefits Plan that is currently GHICBP.

Alan Klinger stated that the RFP for the PPO is out in the form of a negotiated acquisition, which is for the CBP plan. There were seven (7) bidders that were deemed qualified to proceed and this was sent to the technical committee for review. The bidders are Aetna, Signa, Emblemhealth, Empire, Metro Plus, Northwell Direct and United Healthcare. 

We were later advised by our source that Northwell and Empire are out of the running but that has not been confirmed.

As for the welfare funds generating savings, back to Klinger to show that they won't introduce a plan that combines welfare funds to generate savings:

Alan Klinger stated that the provision of this information in no way means that the welfare funds lose control over their drug program. Discussion followed.

More contract news from the MLC meeting than you got from Mulgrew Wednesday at the DA. Notice how Mulgrew only said DC37 is in serious negotiations, not the PBA too as he was saying earlier. 

When there is a pattern, it will very likely be more than the 1.25% a year that the City set aside for salary increases but don't expect anything that comes close to the year-over-year 6.4% US inflation rate.

The UFT wants people to wear green and black to show solidarity with DC 37 on Thursday. Wear your green on Thursday and tell your DC37 friends not to settle for crumbs. The City has record surplus money.


I got in at around 4:25. The President's Report already started.

President's Report

I missed the first few minutes so we are taking from Nick Bacon's report:

Contract: A lot of press on what’s going on with contracts. Teach-ins were a success. DC37 up first. Mayor is putting up 1.25% for raises – unacceptable. Pattern bargaining rules the day. We won’t set the pattern this time, so tomorrow’s action is important. All the unions work together in MLC. City is trying to do things that the MLC halted. Next step is to halt the other unions.

Now back to our minutes:

Surplus is growing for the City. DC 37 is in serious negotiations. Probably better to get a pattern-setting contract now. We have to push faster. We are supporting other unions. City cannot continue to keep crying poverty.


President at State of the Union said teachers should make more money.


Do we want the state to have more money for charter schools. We want funding and we like to get it in the schools. A lot of the money sent to the city never gets to the schools. We are working on a coalition of AFL-CIO to say we don't want any expansion of charter schools. We are for transparency for charters. They need to divulge their practices including who they serve and how they get rid of students. We want legislation reversed that we have to give space or free rent. Mayor testified in Albany that this is an unfunded mandate but he also said lower class size is an unfunded mandate. We want mental health funding but want support so money gets to the schools. We need to know who are the clinicians and what support they bring. Tier VI we are working with across the state. It is every public sector union is Tier VI. We want nobody to have to retire under the provisions of Tier VI. It took 25 years to fix Tier IV. The announcement went out to principals yesterday on Lobby Day. Let principals know that this is the day for us to go. We are bringing up the buses. This is not going to be virtual. It's a good thing we are doing this. We want a large contingent going up to Albany. There is much to read. We have a breakdown of every assembly district on charters. We want to show how this is affecting students. Lobby day is March 13. That is also a DA week. 

Professional Requirements at State Level

State looking at graduation requirements. Possibility to change five Regents exams. We need a separate system for District 79. We have representatives there. The process has started. NY has some of the toughest graduation requirements along with New England states. Rest of the country just making it easy to graduate. With No Child Left Behind, many states dropped standards but NY kept its standards.  Online testing is being phased in this year. First and third graders doing online testing this year. 703 school districts in NYS. We are 40% of students but only one district. Online testing should save districts a lot of money. Training should be part of professional development so we have a list of who gets what accommodation. 7 people responded that they are doing training right. We have to find out so we can see what is working. DOE says they are checking broadband for all of the schools. No other district has 1 million kids, many with challenges.


Last week was a horrible week. Chapter leader needs a copy of whatever is submitted. You have a right to OORS report number. If you don't get a number, it probably means they didn't send in an OORS report. Amount of shootings around schools is way up. Mayor met with principals and superintendents online. Each principal should have a relationship with the precinct commander. Getting ourselves and children to and from school safely is a big priority. Mulgrew worked in a school that had safety challenges. If a principal tries to suppress problems, it usually leads to big problems. This is not just a high school issue. We need the information to get support to the school. Friday is a day before a break which is usually an issue. Last week was tough. Copy of OORS report number and we will check it out to see that it is identical to what happened.


DOE locking down the budgets. Schools usually need per session at the end of the year. March 3 is the day to lock it down. Have a discussion with the principal to see if adjustments are needed. Last year a whole bunch of schools had money they couldn't use and DOE didn't allow a rollover. Tell principals there is no worry about a rollover if money is spent.

DOE Dysfunction

There is quite a bit of dysfunction at the DOE. We are used to that. No DOE during COVID. Bureaucracy having trouble with the Mayor and Chancellor.

Early Childhood

DOE decided early childhood social workers and coaches did nothing and caused problems. Early childhood had a curriculum with supplies and materials and desks. People told principals who thought authority was being undermined. Instructional coaches and social workers kept the program running. 

Happy Valentines Day week. Teacher center opened in a D79 transfer school

Staff Director's Report

Black History film series continues at borough offices and online; Women's History film series coming in March. Lunar New Year event March 10; Counselors Confernce March 11; Herstory conference March 11. March 16; UFT turns 63. March 19 another event Saturday, March 25 Para luncheon and conference; Early Childhood Conference April 1; Danny Drum Scholarship Fund-please contribute; next DA is Marrch 15. Enjoy the midwinter recess, a right brought to you by your union, the UFT

Question Period

Question: MS CL says school was a shining star of D15. Fall 2020, a shakeup of administration. Teachers were sent to the rubber room without reason. Much much more. Grassroots movement to save school. As CL, we have to document and file grievances. File everything. UFT support. Got a vote of no confidence with documented evidence to DR. Held a vote of no confidence in March 2022 and got a 2/3 vote. Support from DR and VP Middle Schools and more. Weekly Zoom schools, buttons and t shirts. Fliers in neighborhood with no confidence results. Members retaliated against. CL is safety vest. June 2022, we filed the largest union animus grievance in history of the UFT. 41 signed on. No morale in our building. We continued to file and document. No improvement. Representatives from safety came to hear our concerns. In 2023, principal out and building became a family again. You are the union. You all are. Will the president come to MS 51?

Mulgrew answer: Will come back. Thanks CL for saving the school. Well done.

Question: Compliments prior questioner. Her school just got 50 asylum seeking students from different countries who speak different languages.. Where is the support?

Answer: We are frustrated by this situation. A teacher resigned because she couldn't help the kids. Last week, we had a situation where the kids needed food. Nothing is being taken care of in spite of what politicians say. We want to design a quick letter to the mayor, the governor and the president on what is really happening. We are not getting the support we need.

Followup: We have four different languages; we are doing translations on ipads.

Answer:  Nobody is asking us what we need. We are welcoming these children with open arms. Some schools have books. Each school got a small amount of money. We will have a press conference when we send the letter to shine the light on how we are not getting what we need. 

Question: Lack of substitute teachers and paras. We are daily out of compliance. Principal has to decide who gets covered. What can we do to pressure the DOE? We still have five months left of school. Principal says her hands are tied in many ways. Where can we go from here?

Answer: DOE says they have 11,000 subs in the pool. That is not true. It's time to give substitute teachers and paras more money. 

New Motion Period

For tonight's agenda. Resolution to support people of Turkey and Syria following earthquake. Need 2/3 vote. Use the disaster relief fund to find out how we can assist and seek monetary donations from the UFT.

On Phone  618Yes to   71 No

In Room  170 Yes to 15 No

Total 90% Yes so it is placed on this month's agenda.

D30 CL for next month: Resolution to call the Panel for Educational Policy to end high stakes standardized testing in grades 3-5. 

Chancellor Banks wants to make school experience exciting for students. High-stakes testing narrows the curriculum. Let teachers focus on curriculum that supports students and gives teachers the resources they need. Tired of data chats. After reviewing data, I ask how are the kids taking the state tests this year when they are way behind. Kids neeed to get back close to grade level but also to make kids whole individuals. 

Nobody speaks against.

On Phone 675 Yes to 38 No

Live in Room 163 Yes to 11 No

94% yes.

Motion period is over.

Resolutions (Special orders of business)

Resolution on Ending Disproportionate Impact of Discontinuance for High School Probationary


Nick Bacon says high school teachers have a unique problem in that if they are discontinued, they can't work in a high school anywhere in the city. Resolution asks that discontinuance for high school teachers should be limited to the district they serve.

Mike Sill supports resolution. People should have the opportunity to get a position outside of the district if they are discontinued in a high school. 

Nobody wants to debate.

On the phone 652 Yes to 20 No

In the room 169 Yes to 1 No

Overall 98 % Yes so the resolution carries.

Resolution Supporting the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers. These are UK workers who rejected a 4.5% offer that would strip away safety protections. We saw the effects in Ohio with the derailment. teachers in Woburn went on an illegal strike and got 13.75%. We are trying to educate. NYSNA won safe staffing ratios from strike. We will show support for DC 37 tomorrow. When they get a good contract, we get a good contract.

Nobody wanted to debate.

On the phone 554 Yes to 34 No

Live In the Room 166 Yes to 2 No

Overall 95% support so resolution carries.

Resolution Supporting New York Public Libraries

UFT should support keeping libraries open and librarians as well.

Christina Gavin amendments 3 separate library systems in NYC change title to include all 3 of them.

Add whereas, to stop cuts from my library nyc program

Add resolved on NYSUT and UFT

Mulgrew takes vote on adding three amendments in one.

On phone 550 Yes to 31 No

In the room I didn't hear numbers.

Overall 95% approve

One librarian speaks in favor amendment and says he worked on trying to increase partnerships between school and public libraries. Many schools do not have school libraries.  Libraries helping asylum seekers. Another speaks in favor. Question called.

On the phone 485Yes to 35 No

In the room  160 Yes to 7 No

Ending debate carries.

Resolution as amended gets

On the phone 491Yes to 14 No

In the room 1 no is all Mulgrew says.

Resolution passes

Resolution Supporting KCVG Amazon Workers

Amazon and Starbucks workers unionizing. Energetic campaign in Kentucky. Going to baseball and football games to spread the word. Want union wages and decent working conditions. One worker fired for organizing. Workers must be supported and we should give them a donation of $1,000.  They have other union support. 

Mulgrew notes AFT is on board. AFT Staten Island is the main meeting hub for Amazon workers.

Nobody wants to debate.

On the phone 533Yes to 20 No

In the room no results announced.

Overall the resolution carries with 97 % yes.

Resolution in Support of Just, Respectful and Safe Public Safety Practices For All

Janella Hinds says after Tyre Nichols, over 1,000 killed by law enforcement according to Washington Post. She's been stopped. Blood pressure goes up as she knows she could end up like the many killed by police. Resolution speaks to role we as educators and unionists can make this a society that embodies justice for all.

Amy Arundell follows saying we can use resolution to engage with members on this difficult issue. We have to discuss which communities trust the police and which don't. We can use resolution to push for a better society. Others support it. Decrease police brutality in black and brown communities. Eric Garner murdered by police. Talks to NYPD and gotten to a better place. This issue is systemic. Goes back to 1619. This is a racial issue. We are not anti police. We have family members in law enforcement.

On the phone 445 Yes to 28 No on phone

Live in Room we can't hear numbers but debate is closed.

On the resolution

On the phone 466 Yes to 27 No

In the room, we can't hear numbers

Overall 96% vote in favor.

Mulgrew says to remember to wear green and black tomorrow. Wishes everyone a good midwinter recess. 

Mulgrew says he needs to speak to officers and borough reps for a minute

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


This is from High School Representative Nick Bacon's Minutes of President Michael Mulgrew's report from Monday's Executive Board meeting:

Contract: Believe bargaining will move forward. One big thing with CAT teams was supporting other unions. Hope is that pattern will be set in a couple weeks by DC37 or PBA. Only benefits us if they get a good contract. Mayor can say all he wants that we’re falling off a cliff, but it’s not true. We have record reserves and surpluses.

DOE – a lot of people coming and going. Presented demands from negotiating committee last Wednesday. Our demands are good. We want to be paid, secure our healthcare premium-free. But, we also just want to do our job – can you just do us a little help.  

If they follow the model of the last two rounds of bargaining for City employees, healthcare savings will be part of the patttern as wage increases will be paid for in part by healthcare savings so watch closely what is going on with DC 37. If the PBA settles, they are two contracts behind so expect something that is a very long-term deal. Buried in Nick's minutes is an action we will be taking this Thursday in the contract battle campaign:

Amy Arundel: Thursday, CAT teams should wear green and black in solidarity with DC37 who is organizing. Significant to have two largest labor unions in NY joining together in one action.

In the 2023 world of the UFT, this is what action looks like. For the record, we have combined with other unions over the years on several occasions, including a giant municipal labor rally in the late nineties. We should be doing that now to fight to preserve our free healthcare choices, not allow retiree healthcare to be privatized as well as to demand salary increases that keep up with inflation for active members. 

In other news from the Executive Board, High School Rep Luli Rodriguez brought a long-term substitute who is being paid as a day-to-day sub to the meeting to speak at the open mic. This blog has complained about numerous new teachers being cheated out of regular pay for years. Apparently, it is still a problem. Nick also reported on the fight to stop the expansion of charter schools. 

The Executive Board did unanimously passed a resolution on policing:

Saturday, February 11, 2023


New York State United Teachers is an umbrella group of NYS public educator unions including the UFT and PSC CUNY.

This is from Twitter:

I have not heard that Person who is from Unity Caucus will face any opposition. 

Her bio shows she has no teaching experience beyond student teaching.

Thursday, February 09, 2023


The City cannot cry poverty when it comes to contract negotiations with its employees. This is from the Independent Budget Office:

IBO projects that the city will end fiscal year 2023 with a $4.9 billion surplus, $2.8 billion more than the surplus projected by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Preliminary Budget. This higher surplus is the result of IBO’s forecast of $1.8 billion more in anticipated tax revenues in 2023 than OMB, coupled with IBO’s estimate that city-funded spending will total about $1.0 billion less than budgeted in the Preliminary Budget. IBO projects that the city will underspend on personal services costs, offset somewhat by increased estimates of city-funded costs in other areas of the budget, including for the Department of Education, overtime at the uniform agencies, and for costs related to asylum seekers.

IBO assumes the city will prepay some of next year’s expenses with this year’s surplus, resulting in a surplus of $2.6 billion in fiscal year 2024.

Pretty good financial picture on the horizon. The City cannot cry poverty.

For those wondering what a salary increase for all City workers would cost, this is also in the IBO report:

As of the Preliminary Budget, IBO estimates, for example that just a 1 percent raise would cost approximately $362 million in fiscal year 2024, if all new labor contracts were to commence on the first day of fiscal year 2024.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023


We have a third recent illegal public school teacher strike in Massachusetts. The latest was in Woburn, a city 12 miles north of Boston.

This is from NBC Boston:

After a full school week on the picket line, teachers are going back to the classroom on Monday in Woburn, Massachusetts, after a deal was reached Sunday between school and city officials and educators.

Further down:

The teachers will get a 13.75% salary increase, spread out over a four-year contract. Paraprofessionals, meanwhile, got a 40% raise.

As part of the deal, the union also agreed to pay for the cost of the week-long strike, which amounts to $225,000 over the next four years, along with a $20,000 donation to charity.

A lesson learned for NY public workers is to negotiate as part of a return-to-work agreement that there are reduced or no fines levied against the teachers or their unions for striking. The employer can drop charges in court if there is enough pressure. In the end, it's up to workers and/or unions to demand these draconian anti-strike laws should be repealed as not having a right to strike for most workers has been ruled to be a human rights violation by the International Labor Organization.

In the UK and France, there has been a huge wave of strikes recently.

The UK:

Up to half a million British teachers, civil servants, and train drivers walked out over pay in the largest coordinated strike action for a decade on Wednesday, with unions threatening more disruption as the government digs its heels in over pay demands.

The mass walkouts across the country shut schools, halted most rail services, and forced the military to be put on standby to help with border checks on a day dubbed "Walkout Wednesday".


A third day of strikes and mass street demonstrations has taken place across France in opposition to Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular plan to raise the pension age to 64, after the government faced shouting and booing in parliament as lawmakers began debating the bill.

The government said 757,000 people took part in more than 200 street demonstrations on Tuesday. The figure was lower than two previous demonstrations in recent weeks. Trains and urban transport were severely disrupted, and one in five flights at Paris Orly airport were cancelled. Some schools closed as teachers joined the strike. Students also blocked several university buildings across the country.

Polls continue to show that a majority of French people disapprove of Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age to 64 and to increase the number of years people must make contributions for a full pension. The current retirement age of 62 is the lowest of any big European economy.

In NYC, we had contract Teach-ins last week. I guess it's something. 

Monday, February 06, 2023


This came via email today. If the vaccine mandate is over and the UFT Contract is to be enforced, these people should get their jobs back. 

I don't think too many unvaxxed tenured teachers went through state-mandated 3020a hearings but they were terminated or forced to resign for not meeting a condition of employment. The vaccine is no longer a condition of employment.  I am no lawyer and I am pro-vaccine but this seems like a strong case for those who didn't get vaccinated to be able to return to their jobs.

Mulgrew's email

The mayor today said New York City is ending its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for current and prospective city employees, including Department of Education workers.

The proposed changes to the city’s vaccine policy are subject to ratification by the Board of Health at its next meeting on Feb. 9.

If the plan is approved as proposed, those employees who have an approved religious or medical exemption to that mandate will soon be able to return to work at their school or worksite.

Former employees who resigned or were terminated for failing to submit proof of vaccination will be able to reapply to work for the city if they so choose. But according to the mayor’s announcement, they will not be able to automatically return to their previous positions.

Effective Feb. 10, school visitors, including parents and other family members, will no longer be required to provide proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before entering DOE school buildings.

We have come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic when so many lost their lives. COVID-19 has become far less deadly and there are better treatments available now to prevent or treat serious illness. However, we still believe that vaccines and booster shots are the best way to keep ourselves and our communities safe.

This change in policy applies the same rules for municipal workers that have already been in effect for private-sector employees in New York City. We are working with the DOE to ensure the policy change is implemented in accordance with our contract.


Michael Mulgrew 

UFT President


Contractually, I suggest teachers look at Article 5E1:

E. Withdrawal of Resignation and Subsequent Reappointment

1. Requests for withdrawal of resignation on the part of teachers who attained permanent tenure prior to their resignation shall be effectuated, subject only to medical examination and the approval of the Chancellor, provided that application for such withdrawal of resignation is made on or before the opening of school in September next following five years after the effective date of resignation. In all other cases of withdrawal of resignation, the requirements of former Section 255 of the Board of Education by-laws shall continue in effect.

Is the Chancellor going to deny all of their requests to be reappointed? What criteria will he use? It looks like it would be arbitrary and capricious to deny these withdrawals of resignations. I also would guess some of the teachers' lawyers will argue that these teachers never resigned in the first place.

Saturday, February 04, 2023


 This is from the NYSUT Weekly Leader Briefing:

Feb. 3, 2023

NYSUT pushes back on charter school expansion

Much of the good news in the governor’s budget plan was overshadowed by a disturbing plan to expand corporate charter schools. The union is pushing back on allowing the return of “zombie” charter schools, or removing geographic caps to further expand charters. “Where public schools unite our communities, charter schools fracture them,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, noting charter schools are a huge financial burden on home school districts. Key legislators are already bashing the idea.

Good news on school aid

After decades of NYSUT's advocacy, the executive budget follows through on a historic commitment to fully fund school aid, with a 10 percent statewide increase. Here are the projected school aid runs for each district. The budget also proposes full funding of BOCES and other expense-based aids; new funding for a Career and Technical Education program; and $106 million for additional full-time faculty for SUNY and CUNY. More details on the full budget to come.

President Mulgrew was pretty good in the press conference Friday opposing charter school expansion.

Thursday, February 02, 2023


Municipal unions are in contract negotiations as contracts for nearly all City workers have expired. The two largest unions, DC 37 and the UFT, are meeting separately with the City.

DC 37 appears to be ahead of the UFT. That is important as the first City worker union that settles establishes a pattern for salary increases. Every union that follows basically receives a financial package that must adhere to that pattern.

In this update, DC 37 writes about bargaining on raises and interestingly mentions maintaining premium free healthcare as part of their bargaining. We know the UFT is also in negotiations but they are secret. The UFT won't even admit that healthcare is a subject of negotiations. 

UFT President Michael Mulgrew did say this to Gothamist:

“Right now, I don't think the city is prepared to actually give all city workers the raises they deserve,” said Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents 120,000 workers currently employed by the Department of Education, during a phone interview on Tuesday.

“I think you're going to have to see some friction,” he added. The contract for the teachers’ union expired in September.

Your interpretation is welcome.