I was on the call on time.
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.
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.
Project not going well. Conversations with Chancellor going well but not the implementation. We are hearing about third party vendors and we say no.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)