DA Report 3/19- Resolution to Defend Educators Voted Down

March 20, 2014 — 9 Comments

Faces of MORE

UNITY TURNS DOWN MORE DA RESOLUTION CALLING FOR ESCALATION OF DEFENSE OF CHAPTER LEADERS & RANK AND FILE

By James Eterno

Chapter Leader Jamaica High School

MORE”s monthly UFT Delegate Assembly Report

The March 19 Delegate Assembly was highlighted by MORE’s Kit Wainer speaking in favor of a MORE sponsored resolution for the UFT to escalate their defense of  Chapter Leaders and others who speak out against abusive administrators.  Although the motion failed, it received strong support from the Delegates
The resolution is printed here in its link

http://morecaucusnyc.org/2014/03/19/resolution-to-unite-in-defense-of-teachers-under-attack/


In motivating this resolution for placement on next month’s agenda, Kit told the Delegates there are many abusive principals and assistant principals out there and some have real personality defects. He added how some are outright anti-union and are using the disciplinary process as an intimidation tactic.

Kit then pointed out how our union provides good legal representation but this is for individuals.  We now need to raise the stakes against these supervisors by taking collective action in picketing or engaging in other public actions as a union!

UFT Secretary Emil Pietromonaco spoke against MORE’s motion.  His main argument was to say he understands the intent of the resolution but we already rigorously defend our chapter leaders and take action so there is no need for a further resolution.

The vote followed and although MORE did not win a majority, the minority is growing.  I would say close to 40% of the vote was in favor of the motion.

President Michael Mulgrew then tried to comment but was stopped dead in his tracks by MORE’s Megan Moskop who shouted for a Point of Order and didn’t wait for a microphone to tell Mulgrew he was speaking out against a resolution that had already been voted on.  Mulgrew tried to continue but Megan wouldn’t have it so Mulgrew moved on and closed the new motion period.

President’s Report
I missed the start as I was a little late but when I arrived President Michael Mulgrew was talking about Albany.
State Senate Budget
Senate introduced a bill for public scholarships for private schools.  Much of the Senate budget plan is not good, particularly with charter schools.  We expect to be at war with Eva Moskowitz.  The $4.4 million she spent on ads the last few weeks could have been used to buy a building for her schools.  There are also some good things in the Senate budget.
Where we really have friends is in the State Assembly where Speaker Sheldon Silver is speaking out for public school kids who are going to school in trailers and buildings that are falling apart.
NYC Campaign
UFT is highlighting teacher retention crisis.  It has traditionally been a problem for teachers with 0-6 years to quit but teachers with 6-15 years of experience are leaving at a rate that is up 28% in just the last two years.  These are the teachers who stabilize schools.  Abusive administrators, paperwork and large class sizes are cited as reasons for leaving as well as the salary disparity between NYC compared to the suburban districts.
Evaluations
Evaluation system with observations and artifacts is a mess.  We must simplify the evaluation system. We are now sitting with people across the table on the Department of Education side who understand the need for teacher voice in the schools.
We need to be treated as professionals but we also have to act as responsible professionals.
Contract
Negotiating Committee met last week.  We have many enemies out there who want to sabotage a contract so it’s best to keep things private and not negotiate in public.
Para-fest
It was a great success.  We have 24,000 UFT paras.
Specialized High School Admissions
Lowest number of black and brown students admitted ever this year.  UFT Task Force led by Janella Hinds made seven recommendations which basically say that there should be more than just a test to base specialized admissions on.
Staff Director’s Report
Leroy Barr reported on the aforementioned para conference and guidance conference and he gave some dates for upcoming activities.
Mulgrew came back and reported on how Chancellor Carmen Fariña wants to talk to teachers and will be at many events in the near future. He also told Delegates how the Disaster Relief Fund needs to raise funds to assist victims of the East Harlem building explosion. (By the end of the meeting well over $2,000 was collected.)
Question Period
Question: What is our relationship like with governor Cuomo?
Mulgrew Answer: Mulgrew has a good relationship with the governor but they have had some difficult conversations with him lately because of his standing with Eva Moskowitz.
Question: What does the appeals process look like for next year?
Answer: Each side will now have four hours, instead of two, to present cases.  13% of the ineffective ratings, those caused by harassment and not incompetent teaching, will be pulled to go to arbitration.  The rest of those rated ineffective will get an independent validator next year.
Question: Any signs of the hostility of the last twelve years toward us being taken away at DOE?
Answer: Yes
Question: What is the UFT’s position concerning the horse carriage drivers?
Answer: We are working through the Central labor Council.
Question: Is the ATR pool down compared to the past?
Answer: It is down to around 900 with many counselors placed for the remainder of the year.  It should not be increased much as there are no closing schools but some phase outs continue.  We are working with the DOE to come up with a common sense plan on hiring.  Previous administration contracting with Teach for America and the New Teacher Project made no sense.
Question: What should we do about many Public School Athletic League problems?
Answer: Contact Kenny Achiron.
Question: Any plans for a demonstration to counter Eva Moskowitz activities?
Answer: Our focus is on Albany and getting a contract.  She closed her schools for demonstrations and arm-twisted parents into coming.  Imagine what we could do if we took everyone from just one district to Albany.  We are very concerned with the way she uses children for political reasons.
New Motion Period
See above
Special Order of Business
There was a resolution to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the UFT that caused surprising controversy as someone spoke strongly against it, which prompted Leroy Barr to respond by recognizing the founders of the union who are still part of the DA.  The motion carried easily.
There was the Brown v Board of Education resolution that led to my regular battle with Mulgrew concerning him calling on speakers opposed to a motion.  This carried easily.  It was followed by a resolution supporting California teachers as they fight to keep due process protections and one recognizing Chicago teachers who brought national attention to the growing concerns about the overemphasis on standardized testing.  These both passed. I believe time ran out here but if the last two resolutions were acted upon, they were not controversial.  One was on raising the minimum wage and the other was on Avonte’s Law (help autistic children and their parents).

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9 responses to DA Report 3/19- Resolution to Defend Educators Voted Down

  1. 

    So basically, according to Mr Mulgrew, experienced teachers are leaving mid-career because

    >>>> Abusive administrators, paperwork and large class sizes are cited as reasons for leaving as well as the salary disparity between NYC compared to the suburban districts.>>>

    Really? That’s *all*?

    No one leaves because they know the union leadership has bought into ( if you’ll excuse the expression) the nightmare of APPR and the constipated pedagogy of Charlotte Danielson? No one leaves because the union won’t enforce contract prohibitions against excessive paperwork? Lesson plan format? Bulletin board micromanagement?

    No one leaves because they’re ignored by the union when they call for help or, worse, told “There’s nothing we can do”? Or because Mr. Mulgrew himself won’t acknowledge or respond to emails?

    Jesus. This guy’s talking to different people than I am.

  2. 
    ETAARTS@aol.com March 20, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    need a facebook link!!

  3. 
    adjlevin@aol.com March 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    good effort on resolution

  4. 

    WHy is that any comment that disagreed with this post has been deleted. Maybe because the disinformation that gets posted on this blog is more important than facts?

    • 

      There really is something wrong here when one had to resort to removing post so that all views are not heard! Talking about scewed ans one sidedness..check yourself!

  5. 

    I thought we had lawsuits with Eval problems. I had commented on abusive administrators, which I believe were pervasive under the former mayor, but DB plans on another outcome. Watch and you shall see. My concern here is about credit or the lack of it. According to you, the current leadership at the UFT has not done one thing that you can celebrate, not ONE thing. You are transparent, and for this, I salute you. Thank you, Dr. John Marvul.

  6. 

    I check out your site on a fairly regular basis. I’m surprised that a movement that talks so often about “fairness” and the “voice of the rank and file” would resort to deleting comments that you disagree with. Is this what you guys are about?

  7. 

    Dear Sancha, Sancus and Mink,

    I know that our moderator allows all comments unless they are direct personal attacks or contain profanity. Maybe you’re thinking of comments from the discussion on the blog post before this one (it contains the text of the resolution)? Those are still up. We really appreciate you being a part of the discussion, and you’re right, it would be a big problem if we weren’t willing accept disagreement. Please do comment on! And, please know that MORE doesn’t delete the comments of people who disagree.

    -Megan

  8. 

    In motivating this resolution for placement on next month’s agenda, Kit told the Delegates there are many abusive principals and assistant principals out there and some have real personality defects. He added how some are outright anti-union and are using the disciplinary process as an intimidation tactic.

    Kit then pointed out how our union provides good legal representation but this is for individuals. We now need to raise the stakes against these supervisors by taking collective action in picketing or engaging in other public actions as a union!

    =====I can agree that there are many different personalities of administrators. What are tactics can they use? There are many people are are anti-union. We deal with this mostly though public attacks as well as special interest groups daily. I feel we should not publish names of so called abusive principals because we know its a personality conflict at times. We also wouldn’t want to have our names published either. We have resolutions that speak to this abusive power or so called power trips. At some schools there has been rallies in support when there is proof that a large majority including parents, teachers, and community leaders agree that the principal or administrators are not doing whats best for the children and community. How do I know this? I been to a few schools that we have had rallies at. We are very lucky and have fought many victories to win a paycheck cleared every two weeks, full benefits, a pension, a lunch, and a prep every day. We need to work together and continue to mobilize and support the work that our UFT does. We have had no layoffs and are very very lucky! As far as APPR, this is all across the states. We have a APPR system that is in place. Go find another school district that isn’t using APPR and let me know hows that going.

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