Wednesday, March 15, 2023


 I was there on the call on time today. Michael Mulgrew called the meeting to order at around 4:18 pm.

President's Report


We know what is going on in the federal government. Increase in federal budget. High needs school districts, students with disabilities and early childhood education. President Biden said pre school is not day care. Increase for English language acquisition teachers. We don't know if this budget will get through. Proposals to take $5 trillion from deficit by taxing billionaires and corporations. That probably won't get through Congress. Public education being weaponized by opposition for next election. Number one state to do that is Florida.


Lobbying day in Albany. Thanks everyone but particularly Bruce Zihal for keeping everyone's spirits up when the bus had a hard time getting home. Assembly and Senate rejected Governor Hochul's proposal to add to charter schools. Foundation aid funded fully. Pay and pursue rejected. Money for teachers center and CTE. NYSUT got funded for meals for all kids. Three budget proposals (governors and the assembly and senate). Negotiation between now and April 1. Action if we need it. 


Mulgrew testified on City Council on City budget. Bringing back more money than ever and Mayor still wants to cut $1.5 billion. City acting like maybe we will do the class size and maybe we won't. It is a law. First and second years are easy. Should be planning for years 3, 4 and 5. Council members asked about SCA funding to build schools. City says it is an unfunded mandate and they don't know how to do it. It is funded.

Crazy shootings outside of schools. Thank Jeff and school safety team. This is constant. Many youth gangs across the City. School safety did everything correct. We set up the safe corridors and everyone got through. Students and staff should be able to go to and from schools safely. School based administration trying to hide stuff is not a good thing. We need the information. Mayor's people doing drop byes in City buildings, including schools. They are checking compliance. When we get reports, we are responding. Make sure you are doing monthly safety meetings. We need to know if people aren't getting there.


Latest update on plan that keeps changing. Every teacher is supposed to get a curriculum aligned to what they teach and should get professional development and supplies aligned to it. That has not been the case in recent years in NYC. Algebra and K-8 literacy emphasized by chancellor. 15 districts will choose between 3 curriculums. Rumors in DOE that plans are constantly changing. We've told the DOE that we will be happy to work with them. We need a plan on PD training and supplies that must be supplied. We are waiting for an answer from the DOE. We will not do dog and pony shows DOE likes to do. Mix of districts doing this: some challenging, some not so challenging. One curriculum for algebra. Don't know what it is yet. DOE is telling principals they must do something for the first time in 20 years. Many arbitrations come from principal's having choice. Some are complaining to us. Teachers College does not meet the definition of a curriculum from our contract.


DC 37 in ratification process. PBA serious negotiating. There is more value than the basic raises in the pattern. DC 37 has an equity fund. There is more value than the 3s and 3.25 at the end. We'll see what happens with the PBA. Uniform unions getting a little more.  I don't want to go there.


UFT relationship with retirees different than any other union in the country. MLC approved Aetna Medicare Advantage for retirees. We are in daily communication with Aetna. This is a first in the country program. Don't ask doctors since it isn't  officially a plan as of now. Most calling call centers asking if their doctors will be in the plan. They only need a billing agreement. Folks around the rest of the country have more access. If I am not the president, the next president will have a big say in how this is done. Aetna saying they have the best Medicare advantage program in the country. They are excited about it.

Medicare Advantage has a committee with legal authority to change things. If we think something is wrong, we go to arbitration within ten days. We've had to change on in service. City MD, we are increasing the copayments to $100. Mulgrew would have increased it to $400. City MD said their rates would be in line with the rest of the country. Average, it's $140 a visit. City MD it is $280. City MD was charging $280 for visits plus ancillary charge so it came to $680 for a visit. Our in service committee is dealing with this. City MD is ripping us off. They were going to renegotiate prices but they reneged.  Healthcare is part of our compensation package. We will not let employer, hospitals and insurance companies decide what they should charge us and then return it to us.

Contract Campaign

Kerfuffle yesterday. We have actions. People can do one or many. Some don't want to do grade-in. We'd love people to do two actions if they like. This will get worse. Mayor still saying City is broke. Mayor says banks failed so he was right.  Tax receipts are coming in well. Crime is a big issue. We will call out mayor if needed. Noise will probably have to get louder and louder. No healthcare savings in this round because we blew it up. We don't want to develop that pattern. We know we can continue to save money. We lowered copays and increased benefits for retirees for five years. We need federal help.

Bank Failures

Our pensions are fine. We have a very, very small liability. Our pensions are doing phenomenally well. We will continue to protect them.

Staff Director's Report

March 16 happy birthday to UFT. Para luncheon, early childhood conference April 1, social workers appreciation week was last week. Career week for CTE students, guidance counselor luncheon, college fair at Bronx UFT March 20. Happy St Patricks Day, have a great Easter and Passover.

Question Period

Question: Brownsville HS CL D79: Superintendent wants to merge schools. We are a strong transfer school, not in danger academically. Stopped a Success Academy in 2013. 20 years next year. Thanks DR. Still under threat if enrollment doesn't rise. Question is: Can the allocation be changed if population continues to grow and can we challenge their building plan?

Mulgrew Answer: Yes we can change if the enrollment grows. Doing that work should be recognized. School is a model that should be looked at by the State.

Question: FDR HS CL: Question on curriculum. Give curriculum with training. Admin is sending link to the teachers since COVID on Teach Hub. Is that a curriculum?

Answer: Teach Hub is not a curriculum, it is a resource guide. Curriculum can be digital or on paper. It must have  what is covered, a pacing calendar and standards. DOE created wild, wild west show in Bloomberg years and also gave principals autonomy. DOE tried a k-3 curriculum that the federal government did not approve of and it jeopardized funds. Work with DR and this should be part of District Leadership Team meetings. Sending people to teach hub is not a curriculum.

Question: Kate Connors-Delegate, D 25 John Bowne HS- question on NY Health Act. Senator Rivera was on Brian Lehrer. He said this would save money and he is interested in working with labor to see what they need to support that bill (universal healthcare in NYS). He is making some amendments now due to conversations he has had with labor. Will Mulgrew meet with Senator Rivera on this?

Answer: We will look at it when the amendments are made. Mulgrew talks to Senator Rivera on other things. We supported his reelection. He knows what our position is. We will look at amendments. We don't think it is cost neutral. It will cost billions and could hurt us. If it was cost neutral, we would support it. If we knew it wouldn't hurt us, we would support it. It's not a conspiracy. It would be a no brainer

Follow up: Link to study on UFT Website  was from a hedge fund that is a charter school supporter that said costs would be so high. So are you telling us you won't commit at this time?

Answer: We will look at it. We will not move forward until we are sure teachers and our profession won't be hurt unless DA tells us to.

Follow up: DA already did pass it twice.

Question: D 24, Can teachers be disciplined for not putting grades and rubrics on bulletin boards?

Answer: We will use that if people are disciplined.

Question: Question about Regents from Bronx HS teacher who was told a 50-64 waiver, they get credit for graduation but it hurts our MOSL. Is this valid? Told by principal.

Answer: What School?

Careers and Sports HS

Answer: We will talk to the Superintendent from Bronx High Schools. We will take care of it.

New Motion Period

Motion for this month: Mobilizing UFT members for action the week of 4/23 for green schools, have a standing environmental justice committee, work with other unions in carbon neutral schools initiative.

On phone 567 Yes to 102 No

Live in room: 158 Yes to 25 No

It carries and is placed on the agenda. Mulgrew points out colleagues in Florida can't do this.

Motion for next month: Substitute teacher  and substitute para resolution calls for schools to have flexibility in hiring  subs and asks for a hard to staff differential for schools that have difficulty hiring subs. 

Establish our own way of solving shortage.

Nobody speaks against

On phone 569 Yes to No 52

Live in room 182 Yes to 7 No

935 so it is on next month's agenda.

Special Orders of Business

Support Tom Brown for reelection to TRS Pension Board.

David Kasinsky nominates him and hopes tom is given unanimous approval. Victoria follows by saying what a great job Tom Brown has done. Fighting for COLA improvements. Peter Goodman speaks for. Nobody speaks against.

Mulgrew calls for vote on closing debate. It carries with 97% support.

Vote on resolution:

On Phone 661 Yes to 11No

Live in Room 181 Yes to 1No in room

99% yes vote. Mulgrew congratulates Tom.

Honor UFT for 63rd birthday.

Mike Sill speaks in support of honoring the UFT on its 63rd anniversary. Honors founders. Look elsewhere in the country to see collective bargaining rights don't exist in many places. Some only have consultation rights, some nothing. Teacher makes $30,000 a year and maxes out at $35,000. Premium for healthcare. That was reality before 1960 in NYC. 106 groups represented teachers. Brought groups together. Built wing on house of labor. 

Amendment to add that we went on strike to get those collective bargaining rights and we want to negotiate to get that right to strike back. Strike to get real raises. State assembly and state senate people are working to get amendment passed to legalize right to strike for public sector workers. Honor founders by passing this amendment.

Leroy Barr opposes the amendment. Grateful for what our founders have done and continue to do. There are reasons we would go on strike in spite of the Taylor law like if they cut our pay in half or we had to work Saturdays.  Another Unity person agrees with that. Hard to get people on board with striking in 2020 with COVID. Says strikes are for the privileged.

Nick Bacon says that there is a problem with the Taylor Law. We are only trying to push getting rid of this part of the Taylor Law prohibiting strikes, a fundamental human right. We have to have the right to strike. We need that one union tactic  back to be able to strike. We haven't had a strike since 1975 and this is not calling for a strike.

Vote to close debate on all matters passes. 

Vote on amendment:

On Phone 271 to 363 No

In the Room I can't hear numbers.

38% vote for amendment.

Original Resolution:

On Phone 499 Yes to 89 No

In room  164 Yes to 11 No

Resolution passes. 

Mulgrew wishes all a Happy St Patrick's Day and a restful spring break.


John Q. Teacher said...

What exactly is Mulgrew saying that there is more to the end of 3% raises??? Is he talking about working conditions?

James Eterno said...

He said the equity fund DC 37 got means there is more money in the pattern than just the increases.

Anti-UFT Teacher said...

We want our Original Medicare/Senior Care plan restored for all MLC retirees

Mulgrew, you ripped off both the retirees and the future retirees.

We will never forgive you or forget your corruption.

BxT said...

Can anyone explain the bulletin board comments?

Joe said...

They got a 3.25 raise in last year but they also received other monetary compensation for the equity fund. So for us, we would not need the fund and instead recieve that compensation as more to the raise.... Say 4.5 percent instead.

nerd said...

1) We are not essential or City MD would not have been allowed to up the rate. In the past we were encouraged to use City MD. Does he $100 charge apply to all municipal unions or just UFT?

2) If the PBA makes no concessions, we shouldn't either.

3) He has forgotten how often he used the term "essential workers." He no longer says that. I believe he has been told not to use it as it would indicate that city workers deserve more.

4) Mulgrew lacks fear. He has no one to

Unknown said...

6 months, 3 days and counting of Back Pay that should be coming our way. DC 37, you did a great job setting the tone! Let's see how the UFT screws us over. It should be 3 percent a year for the next 5 years and NO GIVEBACKS! How will the Union give it to us? Should I prepare something to bite down on as I'm bent over or just take my coffee straight up?

The Mooooooose

John Q. Teacher said...

Any word on when DC37 is going to have the chance to ratify their tentative contract? I spoke to a DC37 colleague at work today and he has not received any ballot. Furthermore, when I asked him about the DC37 contract, all he said is "We are getting a raise and retro!!!". I asked him about retiree healthcare changes and he had no idea about it. Gotta give Mulgoon credit for letting DC37 to settle first on a shitty contract since the DC37 folks are gonna ratify it with a huge majority.

Holden said...

If anyone says the city has no money, I call BS. With all the bureaucratic bloat and giving free handouts to all these refugees, they have plenty money. Mr. Adams, take care of your own first before you take care of outsiders.



Joe said...

I believe the voting ends on March 27 or 28

Jeff said...

When do we get "The cupboard is bare" excuse from Mulgrew?

All the suckers believed it and voted for it in 2014.

JR said...

This is irrelevant. It's been proven we have no say. It's also been proven the idiots will vote for whatever shit sandwich is put in front of them. In addition, there is absolutely no education and no standards when it comes to the students. Why should I waste my breathe? But pay dues because it’ll be worse… I was born in the morning but not yesterday morning.

Unknown said...


Yes, the masses will vote for the "Shit Sandwich" you write about. You didn't like the little game where Union members got together and had "their input" about what should be included in our Contract? You're 100 percent correct. Mulgrew just decides (like he has in the past) what our contract is.

What's the difference now? He can use that day as a contract negotiator and say "I got you all what you wanted". What a load of garbage. Take care of the Retirees and their Healthcare. Don't mess with our Healthcare, our pensions, or our 401K. Keep the 3 percent coming that the DC 37 Union bargained for.

I love what you wrote JR! Have a good day!

The Moose

PS: 6 Months, 9 Days and counting since an expired contract and Retro!