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