Archives For October 2015

Jia Lee For UFT President

October 25, 2015 — 2 Comments

Jia Lee for UFT President

Jia Lee voted in as MORE/New Action’s Presidential Challenger to Michael Mulgrew and his Passive Unity Caucus

As NYC School Crisis Continues, Jia Lee Leads Teachers and Community to Challenge Unaccountable Union Leadership and Defend Public Education

 

NEW YORK: Educators, parents, and community members cheered the announcement of Jia Lee as their choice for UFT presidential nominee at the State of Our Union, State of Our Schools Conference on Saturday. Fed up with overcrowding, underfunding, and overtesting, educators are coming together with the community to take back their union, and bring change to their schools through the 2016 UFT elections.

 

“Our schools are in crisis, in large part part because our current union leadership is complicit in bad policy and continues to tell us that this is the best they can do. It’s not the time for us to re-negotiate what has already proven to be disastrous. It’s time for teachers to come together with the community and chart a new course for our union. We are going to take back our union and lead a fight for the schools our children deserve,” said Ms. Lee.

 

Saturday’s conference, organized by the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) in coalition with a host of community organizations, was the first step in defining a platform for the upcoming UFT election and 2018 contract negotiations to defend and enhance New York City’s public schools. The conference  featured discussions ranging from “Bringing Democracy to the UFT” to “Making Black Lives Matter in Education.”

 

In the upcoming UFT election, Lee will head a joint slate of teachers representing a united front of MORE and the New Action caucus. As a parent and a teacher since 2001, Jia Lee is at the forefront of the growing movement to opt-out of high stakes testing. She has served as a UFT Chapter Leader for the past 8 years, and is a conscientious objector who has steadfastly refused to administer tests that reduce her students to test score. Last year, she brought this testimony to the U.S. senate hearing on ESEA.

Educators have lost patience with Michael Mulgrew and the Unity caucus’ leadership of the United Federation of Teachers and are joining the community to continue building a movement for change– in their union and in our schools. Mulgrew has been president of the UFT since 2009 but has been unable and unwilling to effectively challenge the corporate onslaught against public education. He has agreed to high stakes-test based teacher evaluations and a contract that delayed earned pay raises for teachers.

 

In the last union election, in which 75% of working educators did not vote and the majority of ballots came from retirees, the MORE caucus earned 40% of the vote in the high school division and 23% of the active teacher vote overall. This year, in partnership with the New Action caucus, MORE seeks to increase voter turnout as active teachers reclaim their union.

 

ABOUT MORE: The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), is the social justice caucus of the UFT and largest force for change within the teachers union. In the upcoming elections, MORE has formed a united front with New Action Caucus  to challenge Unity Caucus, the bureaucratic political machine that has dominated New York’s teachers’ union for the past 50 years. Over the past decade, Unity has led the UFT into crisis, signing off on harmful policies such as overuse of standardized testing and pay increases that fail to keep pace with inflation, while using union funds to pay UFT President Michael Mulgrew over $260,000 per year and dole out salaries of over $100,000 per year to over 100 Unity Caucus political operatives on UFT staff.

 

###

The Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.  To learn MORE, visit www.morecaucusnyc.org

 

Advertisements

SOU Conference Schedule

As NYC School Crisis Continues, Teachers Unite with Community to Challenge Unaccountable Union Leadership and Defend Public Education

Movement of Rank-and-File Educators to announce UFT Presidential candidate in bid to unseat union President Michael Mulgrew and his Unity Caucus

.

WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2015

10am-6pm

RSVP for interviews during the day

 

WHERE: P.S. 58, The Carroll School

330 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY

 

WHAT: Fed up with classroom overcrowding, overuse of standardized testing, and understaffing, New York’s hardworking educators have lost patience with the leadership of the United Federation of Teachers and are coming together with the community to continue building a broad-based movement for change– in their union and in our schools.

 

The State of our Union, State of our Schools Conference will gather rank-and-file educators, community allies, parents, and students to shape a new vision for high-quality public education and craft a platform for the upcoming UFT elections. The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) will announce its candidate for union president at the conference.

 

For a complete list of speakers and workshops, view the attached flier, or visit the event page.

 

WHO: The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), is the social justice caucus of the UFT and largest force for change in the union. In the upcoming elections, MORE will challenge Unity Caucus, the bureaucratic political machine that has dominated New York’s teachers’ union for the past 50 years. Over the past decade, Unity has led the UFT into crisis, signing off on harmful policies such as overuse of standardized testing and pay increases that fail to keep pace with inflation, while using union funds to pay UFT President Michael Mulgrew over $260,000 per year and dole out salaries of over $100,000 per year to over 100 Unity Caucus political operatives on UFT staff.

 

Other conference endorsers are NYCORE- The New York Collaborative of Radical Educators, Change the Stakes, NYC OPTOUT, The Teacher Diversity Committee of New York, The Coalition for Public Education, NYS Stronger Together Caucus, and the Badass Teachers Association.

 

COMPELLING VISUALS:  Cheering crowds, workshop discussions, conversation. Interviews can be arranged with our presidential candidate, parents, teachers, students, and activists upon request.

 

RSVP: E-mail media@morecaucusnyc.org

 

###

The Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.  To learn MORE, visit www.morecaucusnyc.org

It’s not too late to REGISTER @ tinyurl.com/MORE-SOU!

Take a look at the completed final schedule for the conference below.

Distribute the single sided or double sided flyers to your coworkers and forward the updated conference announcement below.

There is no substitute for one-to-one conversations encouraging people to register

State of our Union

State of our Schools

How can the UFT become a force for change in our schools?

Register here → more.nationbuilder.com/state_of_the_union_conference

Saturday, Oct. 24

10 am – 6pm

at PS 58 The Carroll School

330 Smith St, Brooklyn – F/G to Carroll St. – Everyone Welcome – Suggested Donation $10

Childcare available (email MORE@morecaucusnyc.org TODAY to reserve a spot)

SOU Conference Schedule

Featured Speakers:

Liza Campbell, Seattle teacher with an participant’s report on recent strike
Jia Lee, Chapter Leader of the Earth School, high stakes testing conscientious objector
Lauren Cohen, Chapter Leader at PS321K
Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters
Ismael Jimenez, WE Caucus, Philadelphia Teachers Union
Joe Burns, Author of Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor’s Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
Alan Singer, Hofstra University, Social Studies Educator
Charmaine Dixon, Parent, Change the Stakes
Benita Rivera, The Many
Akinlabi McCall, Coalition for Public Education

Endorsing Organizations:

NYCORE, Change the Stakes, NYCOPTOUT, The Teacher Diversity Committee of New York, NYS Stronger Together Caucus, Bad Ass Teachers Association, Coalition for Public Education.

Our schools are under assault by corporate reform efforts, standardized testing, and a governor who is eager to fire teachers and close schools. As working and learning conditions deteriorate, our union leadership has neither put up an effective resistance nor been a force for change for better schools.

The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) invites all UFT members, parents, students, and friends to help develop a strategy to create a more democratic and more proactive UFT that can be a force for change in education in New York City.

Let’s use this year’s upcoming union elections to transform the UFT by bringing together our voices, finding common ground, and increasing our participation from the chapter level up.

https://morecaucusnyc.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/vote_more.jpg

Unlike the UFT leadership, MORE is asking your input for shaping our union’s program! The workshops at this conference will help define the language of our election platform.

Continue Reading…

Mulgrew Against Moms

October 14, 2015 — 4 Comments

images

Jia Lee, Chapter Leader of The Earth School, raised a resolution (see below) at tonight’s UFT Delegate Assembly calling for the city or UFT to provide a no-interest loan for those UFT members who are on unpaid maternity, family, or medical leave and did not receive their first lump sum payment this week. Because they are not on active payroll the members who most need this money will not get it until 2017 at the earliest. If they never return they may never see their own hard-earned money. UFT President Michael Mulgrew’s Unity Caucus which dominated the DA voted the motion down. They voted against our members who are mothers, caregivers, or who are sick and need to be out on leave.

Ms. Lee said “in my school we have moms who are on leave to take care of their children and we, as a union, need to find a way to get them the money we all got. If you read the resolution we are asking for no interest loans to the members who need it the most.”

“Medical distress should not be financial distress.” Mulgrew said earlier in the evening in regards to the skyrocketing costs of prescriptions for our members. Ms. Lee referred back to that sentiment and said “I feel the same and that should apply to retro for our members on leave.”

A Unity Caucus member, who is the Maternity/Child Care Leave Liaison for the Queens UFT office, spoke against our resolution. “I explain to those going out on maternity leave they need to be on payroll  to get retro — eventually they will be made whole. You decided to take your leave, you got to handle your own business, you have to consider things before taking leave”.

Male dominated unions got their retroactive money up front and better raises. Make no mistake, the number crunchers from the UFT and DOE figured on many of our own being out on maternity or child care leave, because we are predominately women. Those on unpaid leave for childcare or health issues received nothing, although they worked during the 2008-2015 period.  This is gender discrimination at its worst.

This is not what unionism looks like. There needs to come a time when we all work together for the good of us all. That moment is now.

DA Resolution on Immediate Retroactive Money for UFT Members on Unpaid Leave for Maternity, Child Care and/or Restoration of Health

October 14, 2015

WHEREAS, the United Federation of Teachers has a long history of supporting members in need, and

WHEREAS, the 2014 contract did not cover members on unpaid leave for lump sum payments stemming from the 2009-2011 round (arrears) until they are back on payroll or retire, and

WHEREAS, the City of New York ended the 2015 fiscal year with a $5.9 billion surplus, and

WHEREAS, the first 12.5% of the arrears is scheduled to be paid on October 15, 2015, and

WHEREAS, many of our sisters and brothers on unpaid leaves who will not be receiving the arrears for at least two years are having financial hardships as they are not on payroll, be it therefore

RESOLVED, that the union will immediately petition the city to make no interest loans available to UFT members on unpaid leaves who are not receiving their arrears, and be it further

RESOLVED, that if the city refuses to make these loans available, that the UFT will provide immediate, interest free loans to any member on unpaid leave who applies for one up to the amount of arrears the member on unpaid leave is owed as of October 1, 2015, and be it further

RESOLVED, that if the city refuses to make these loans available and the union does not have the means to provide the loans, the Union will arrange with Amalgamated Bank or another labor friendly institution to make low interest loans available to UFT members on unpaid leave who are not receiving their arrears and the UFT, not the borrowers, will pay the interest.

Please Join Us at Our Upcoming State Of The Union conference to discuss further actions we can take together:
Register here

 

12141757_938826726183817_2237459066604980317_n

UFT members will be receiving only 12.5% of what is owed to us from 2009. We will not receive our full retro until 2020. Our fellow UFT members who are on maternity leave, family leave, or medical leave will be getting zero. This is nothing to celebrate, yet Mulgrew and his unity caucus leadership sent out a happy message with the piggy bank image you see above. We were told in 2014 that it was necessary to delay retro payments to avoid a city financial crisis, a budget shortfall that has since evaporated. We deserve what every other union received, we deserve the full back pay that is owed to us.

When your own union has to sell you on the deal, you know it’s not good. Our friends in other city unions look at us and shake their heads. Look at our brothers and sisters who are Firefighters, they received 8% raises from 2008-2010 that we did not and will be receiving their full retroactive upon ratifying their contract. They don’t have to wait for 5 installments of money that is rightfully ours.  We constantly settle for less than others and then are told by Mulgrew to be thankful for what we have. New York City will have a 6 billion dollar surplus. but we were told they were broke. It was a lie. Our members are educated professionals and deserve to be treated as such. It is time to tell the truth.

Just to add one more layer of complexity: The numbers 12.5%, 12.5%, 25%, 25%, 25% are also not accurate because in reality they don’t add up to 100%. Consider the fact that we are still accruing arrears from the city and will continue to do so until 2018 because the 8% raises will not be fully phased in until then. That means that the total lump sum owed to us will be higher in 2017 than it is in 2015 (especially considering that teachers will continue to go up steps, accrue longevities, and earn differentials). That means that the 2017 12.5% payment will not be equal to the 12.5% we get in 2015. The final, 2020, payment will not actually be 25% of all the arrears. It will be whatever we are still owed. For most of us that will be somewhat more than 25%.

Let’s be clear this money is ours, we worked for it, including those who are on leave to raise a child or because of health issues. Mulgrew should not have sent out celebratory letters, instead they should be using the full force of our union to demand that ALL members who are owed money get that money now. If you believe like we do that it is time for new union leadership, one that negotiates on behalf of all members, and ensures that we get treated with the respect we deserve, please join MORE now 

State of our Union

State of our Schools

How can the UFT become a force for change in our schools?

Register here → more.nationbuilder.com/state_of_the_union_conference

Download the flyer to distribute here

Saturday, Oct. 24

10 am – 6pm

at PS58 The Carroll School – 330 Smith St, Brooklyn – F/G to Carroll St.

Everyone Welcome Suggested Donation $10

Childcare available (email MORE@morecaucusnyc.org to reserve a spot)

Featured Speakers:

Liza Campbell, Seattle teacher with an participant’s report on recent strike

Jia Lee, Chapter Leader of the Earth School, high stakes testing conscientious objector

Lauren Cohen, Chapter Leader at PS321K

Leonie Haimison, Class Size Matters

Ismael Jimenez, WE Caucus, Philadelphia Teachers Union

Joe Burns, Author of Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor’s Past to

Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today

Alan Singer, Hofstra University, Social Studies Educator

Charmaine Dixon, Parent, Change the Stakes

Benita Rivera, The Many

Akinlabi McCall, Coalition for Public Education

Endorsing Organizations:

NYCORE, Change the Stakes, NYCOPTOUT, The Teacher Diversity Committee of New York, Coalition for Public Education, NYS Stronger Together Caucus, Bad Ass Teachers Association

Our schools are under assault by corporate reform efforts, standardized testing, and a governor who is eager to fire teachers and close schools. As working and learning conditions deteriorate, our union leadership has neither put up an effective resistance nor been a force for change for better schools.

The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) invites all UFT members, parents, students, and friends to help develop a strategy to create a more democratic and more proactive UFT that can be a force for change in education in New York City.

Let’s use this year’s upcoming union elections to transform the UFT by bringing together our voices, finding common ground, and increasing our participation from the chapter level up.

https://morecaucusnyc.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/vote_more.jpg

Unlike the UFT leadership, MORE is asking your input for shaping our union’s program! The workshops at this conference will help define the language of our election platform.

Workshops

  • Bringing Democracy to the UFT: Why Our Union Is So Undemocratic, and Why it Matters

  • High Stakes Testing: How to Build an Opt-out Campaign in Your School

  • Planning a UFT Election Campaign within your School Chapter

  • Class Size Matters: The history of UFT and the battle for smaller classes

  • The Contract NYC Teachers and Students Deserve

  • Making Black Lives Matter in School: Racism and Racial Justice in Education

  • How Can you Activate your UFT Chapter, Enforce the Contract and Defeat Bully Principals?

  • Special Educators and Paperwork: Beyond SESIS

  • Welcome to the Matrix: How does the new teacher evaluation system work and what can we do about it?

  • Stopping and Reversing the Disappearing of Black and Latino educators.

  • Children, Poverty and Trauma: Impact on Teaching and Learning

  • Mapping Homelessness: The Impact on School Communities

  • Job Security and Tenure: How Do We Defend Untenured Colleagues?

  • The Ongoing Struggle for School Integration

  • What’s Behind the Attack on Veteran Teachers?

  • The Battle for Culturally Relevant & Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum, and the Fight Against the Common Core

  • Why Should We Oppose Mayoral Control?

Schedule

Registration opens

9:00 AM

Opening Session

10:00 AM-10:45 AM

Workshops Slot I

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Lunch

12:30 PM -1:30 PM

Workshops Slot II

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Workshops Slot III

3:15 PM – 4:45 PM

Final Plenary

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Evening Entertainment

7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM