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… 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.

Monday, April 10, 2023



Greetings Retirees  & Retirees In Training! 







Dress comfortable, bring a snack, and be prepared to be with us all day.   We have the rally and then the Council meeting. 

Click HERE to send a letter to the Comptroller Brad Lander and tell him to OBJECT to the AETNA Contract!

They are coming after ACTIVE worker healthcare we hear....

Friday, April 07, 2023


Please play this segment from The Majority Report to every UFTer you know. 

The Chicago mayoral election between Brandon Johnson and Paul in some ways came down to teachers union vs police union. Guess who won? Johnson, who was backed by the teachers!

There is more to it than teachers vs cops but  it was a close election and Johnson does not win for sure without the CTU. 

The analysis from Emma Vigeland and her guest Alex Pareene on today's Majority Report should be played over and over to NYC teachers who feel powerless. We can be just as powerful as the CTU. We just have to remember we are a union and stand up for ourselves collectively.

Emma said it perfectly: "Can you imagine if New York City had a teachers' union as powerful as Chicago? Wouldn't that be awesome?"

I can imagine it and it would be awesome!

We can start to take control by signing and spreading our petition to get a vote on significant healthcare changes. If 10% put in writing that we want a member referendum, the UFT Constitution requires it. We are over 5,000 already. We can get there if everyone gets involved.

We can also show up at City Hall on Tuesday to protect retiree and active City worker healthcare.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023


 This is from

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Office of Labor Relations (OLR) Commissioner Renee Campion today announced a tentative contract agreement with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) that will offer pay increases for New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers for the first time in six years. The eight-year agreement — which is retroactive to 2017 and would cover roughly 23,000 members of New York’s Finest — represents the first contract agreement with a union representing uniformed employees under the Adams administration.  For only the third time since 1994, the City of New York and the PBA have reached a voluntary agreement. 

The pay increases:

Equity fund for salary increases for entry-level and early officers: The contract dedicates funding to improve the early steps of the salary schedule. As of August 1, 2023, new officers in their first year will earn a base pay of $53,790, plus a neighborhood policing differential payment that automatically adds 2.25%, or $1,210, to the salary that all officers receive (previously negotiated in the 2012-2017 agreement). Altogether, officers will be compensated approximately $60,000 when including all differentials, holiday pay, and a uniform allowance. As of August 1, 2024, the top pay for police officers after 5.5 years of service, including all differentials, longevity, holiday pay, and uniform allowance, will be $131,500 per year.

The percentage increases for the PBA:

Members of the union will receive the following compounded and retroactive wage increases: 

○August 1, 2017 – 2.25%

○August 1, 2018 – 2.50%

○August 1, 2019 – 3.00%

○August 1, 2020 – 3.25%

○August 1, 2021 – 3.25%

○August 1, 2022 – 3.50%

○August 1, 2023 – 3.50%

○August 1, 2024 – 4.00%

I see no sneaky six months of zero percent increases in this agreement.

These are the numbers from the last UFT contract:

This 43-month contract provided a 2 percent salary increase on Feb. 14, 2019, followed by an increase of 2.5 percent on May 14, 2020, and 3 percent on May 14, 2021. After the May, 2021 increase, the maximum teacher salary jumped to $128,657 from today’s high of $119,472. Starting teacher salaries rose from the current $56,711 to $61,070. (The contract ended on September 13, 2022.)

I also don't see anything in the announcement of the PBA agreement that NYC police officers are going to have to wait seven years to get their retroactive pay like UFTers had to wait in the 2014 contract. We had to wait seven from when the contract was signed  but twelve years from when we did the actual work to get all of the back pay we were owed from 2009-2011 that other city unions received back in those years. We were not paid back in full until 2021. Police should get their retro right away. 

It's long past time for the UFT to protest that the uniform pattern being higher than the civilian pattern is sexist as uniform unions are generally male dominated whereas the civilian unions, including the UFT, are mostly female workers.

If you want to do a comparison of the percentage pay hikes:

PBA                                                                        UFT

August 1, 2017 – 2.25%                                     May 1, 2017 - 2.5%       

○August 1, 2018 – 2.50%                                    May 1, 2018 -3.0%

○August 1, 2019 – 3.00%                                    Feb 14, 2019 - 2.0%

○August 1, 2020 – 3.25%                                     May 14, 2020 - 2.5%

○August 1, 2021 – 3.25%                                       May 14, 2021 - 3.0%

○August 1, 2022 – 3.50%                                        September 14, 2022 - ?

○August 1, 2023 – 3.50%                                        September 14, 2023 - ?

○August 1, 2024 – 4.00%                                        September 14, 2024 - ?

For the DC 37 pay hikes, it is 3% for 2022, 3% for 2023 and 3% for 2024. For the U.S. inflation rate, look here.

In other news today, progressive, Chicago Teachers Union backed former Chicago teacher and CTU organizer Brandon Johnson was elected mayor of Chicago. Johnson defeated original school deformer Paul Vallas. The UFT pitched in to help Johnson. It would be nice if the UFT would put up a progressive in New York.

To show how close the CTU and Johnson are, this is from ABC:

Chicago -- Before his victory speech Tuesday, Chicago’s mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was introduced at the podium by the president of his greatest benefactor: The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). The alliance, which puts the city’s most powerful labor union in tight alignment with the new administration, is a significant departure for Chicago where both sides have traditionally sparred in public and behind closed doors.

“Make no mistake, Chicago is a union town,” Johnson, 47, said after listing the numerous labor organizations that supported his campaign.

Further down:

Johnson, who taught in the classroom for four years and later served as a Cook County commissioner, worked as a paid organizer for the CTU over the last two administrations. The CTU also raised more than $2 million for Johnson by appropriating a portion of monthly membership dues to a PAC supporting his campaign. 

Enjoy spring break!

Monday, April 03, 2023


Please listen closely to this video from Marianne Pizzitola. Marianne reports that Michael Mulgrew and Henry Garrido are about to negotiate the active and non-Medicare healthcare contracts. They may be eliminating all of the healthcare choices except for HIP-HMO and possibly a new AETNA plan. 

Here is the caption to her latest video:

Due to the Moratorium Act, @uftnyc couldn’t screw retirees without doing the same to in service workers or he’d face litigation!  We hear this week begins negotiations for the in-service workers healthcare plan and it’s been said they are eliminating all health care plans, except for HiP HMO and replacing the Emblem plan (GHICBP) with Aetna. That’s it!  First they came for retirees. Now they come for you.  What did Michael Mulgrew get for that?

If you want to do something about all of this, then exercise your constitutional right and sign our petition to demand a member referendum on any significant changes to healthcare.

My understanding is we are approaching 4,000 people who have added their names. That is in less than two weeks. We need 10% of the membership (about 19,500) to call for a vote in writing to get that referendum. Sign and spread the word, please. 

Saturday, April 01, 2023


DC37's contract easily was ratified with 97,7% of those voting saying yes on their new contract with a total of 16.21% salary increases over around 5.5. years.

Reading through the DC 37 press release (see below), we find that nearly 46,000 members participated in the contract referendum. They also say in the press release that there are around 90,000 DC 37 members who work for NYC. Even with a huge approval rate, still only around half voted to approve the contract. That's a mediocre turnout rate.

When I disagree with the UFT leadership on contracts, they can usually point to the fact that a huge majority of teachers and other UFTers voted to approve the agreements. DC 37 might not even get to half saying yes by my calculations. Still, 98% of those participating saying yes is an overwhelming yes vote that will have a major impact on UFT negotiations because DC 37 set a pattern that all other City unions must now adhere to by practice.

DC 37 press release: 

District Council 37 Members Overwhelmingly Approve New Citywide Economic Contract

 NEW YORK— Members of New York City’s largest municipal employee union voted 97.7% in favor of a 65-month-and-12-day economic agreement that will provide city workers their first pay raise since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement raises the minimum rate for city jobs to $18 per hour, preserves premium-free healthcare benefits and establishes flexible work policies across agencies, including remote work.

“We thank our members for showing their confidence in this union,” said Henry Garrido, DC 37 Executive Director. “These were the most difficult negotiations we’ve experienced in decades, and we fought hard to secure a contract that provides fair compensation for city workers and support for the new challenges they face on the job and at home.”

 Nearly 46,000 District Council 37 members participated in the ratification vote, which was conducted by the third-party American Arbitration Association (AAA).

 The term of the agreement runs from May 26, 2021 to Nov. 6, 2026 and includes: 

·       -Five compounded pay increases for a total of 16.21%;

·       -Retroactive pay to the first date of the agreement;

·       -a $3,000 ratification bonus;

·      -a Flexible Work Committee to develop policies that guide remote work, compressed schedules and expanded transit benefits;

·       -a Child Care Trust Fund to provide assistance for members’ child care expenses; and

·       -a Pandemic Response Joint Committee to improve the City’s response to COVID-19 or any future communicable disease outbreaks.

The citywide economic contract covers approximately 90,000 DC 37 members. More information on the terms of the agreement can be found here.