Reported by Arthur Goldstein
MORE/New Action UFT Executive Board member
My apologies to those whose names I did not get or misspelled. I will correct them if anyone can provide me info. DR–district representative. CL–chapter leader
Howie Schoor, UFT Secretary, welcomes us. Videotaping and audiotaping not permitted, he says. Hopes for good discussion about issues.
Norm Scott—Speaks of abuse on part of principals. There is a pattern, a blueprint, by DOE legal and/ or Leadership Academy. UFT unprepared to respond. Norm advises people, anticipates complaints, says they are exacerbated by fair student funding. Asks union pay more attention, perhaps devote TV time to what FSF has done to schools.
Central Park East place 10 of 40 teachers under investigation months after new principal arrived. Other school had 90% turnover. Is this discussed at DR meetings? Do they support membership or urge votes for Hillary? Says there is pattern of supes telling principals to wipe out staffs, go after chapter leaders and get their own. Is declaration of war. We need to stand up, use NY Teacher, publicity and commercials.
Georgia Allignu—WC Bryant High School—on CL elections. Found themselves with no CL in beginning of year as CL was victim, targeted, transferred. Was going to present case for renomination but as they are now planned she says thank you. Says this serves democracy.
Rema Margi—former CL from the Bronx, teaches at PS15k now, was abused by principal in district 7, left school after 14 years. Was part of community, had to leave parents and children. Had a good career, but new principal came and diminished everything. CL, elected previous year, resigned. Was attacked, all administrators observed, multiple times on several days. Frank Hernandez principal. 3 people resigned year before she did, two early retirement, and then 5 people transferred to other DOE schools. Got D rating despite having no previous issues.
At new school, was effective continuously. Year after she left, over 25 members left. Last year, 15 left. One who resigned midyear last year developed panic attacks. Principal had called police accusing him of drug possession. Para wrongfully terminated, overturned. Principal looks good on paper.
Dermot Myrie—Asks how DRs are accountable. Too many teacher abused while DRs collude. Teachers brought up on bogus charges. Can this body show data with # of grievances, charges, discontinuances based on race and age? In my school there is no CL.
Minutes reviewed. Accepted
President’s Report—Mulgrew has not arrived 6:15
Staff Director Leroy Barr thanks us for supporting LIU teachers in resolution. They are back at work with 8 month extended contract. Welcomes us. Speaks of breast cancer awareness month, Making Strides walk.
Secretary mentions how breast cancer walk activates many members who had not previously shown up.
Jonathan Halabi, New Action—Body passed res calling for return of unit costing. This was how people were assigned. Now principals have to take experience into account. Bad for school, teachers, students. Said we would work on ending it. What were discussions with DOE and what are we doing about it?
Secretary defers to Mulgrew, who has not yet arrived. Says it may be managerial prerogative
Ashraya Gupta, MORE—At CL meeting we asked about paid family leave, but members don’t know what’s going on.
Secretary says we are still negotiating with city. 30K managerial employees not represented by union had two holidays and .5% of salary taken from them. We will not accept that. We are negotiating. Nothing comes for free from city.
Kuljit S. Ahluwalia New Action—Came from phase out school, Many of my colleagues are ATRS, considered pariahs. What are we going to do for them? Will they get jobs, or just keep moving on?
Secretary—DOE not phasing out schools anymore. Seeing fewer ATRs. Treatment in schools will vary. Depends on principal
Amy Arundell—No exact numbers yet, but generally number is lower than it has been in many years. People being picked up daily. There is no increase.
Secretary advises that ATRs get in touch with Amy.
6:25 Mulgrew arrives.
President’s report—School year off to decent start. Thanks victim support people. Had great communications with NYPD. Says ATR numbers lower than ever since he became President. We don’t know exactly, and also have no evaluation agreement. Negotiations are private but we want authentic learning measures and not standardized tests.
CFE push—small cities filed lawsuit and lost today. Problem for us, though CFE already adjudicated. We want full funding, not dribs and drabs. We need this money now and cannot wait for their appeal.
Mulgrew speaks of Single Shepard Program. Says it will help people with additional guidance counselors who will track students’ entire academic careers. Counselors assigned to kids, not schools.
NYC grad rate now about 70% first time ever.
Secretary says Halabi’s question will not be addressed by President until next week.
6:33 Mulgrew leaves.
Rep thanks Michael Mulgrew for supporting her district. Asks for support 10/16.
Mindy C.—CL Speech Improvement—Had 250 Speech teachers trained all day.
Camille Edy D16—First D16 kickoff. Over 500 teachers.
Paul Egan—Legislative Report—Last Tuesday, Primary Day, by and large positive. Good night in Queens and Brooklyn. Were 4 people targeted. Spent 2 million against us. We spent 250K, but did better job. Latrice won 6 to 1. Pam Harris 5 to 1. Bronx won 4 to 1. Big money did not fare well.
In Manhattan, we worked hard for Robert Jackson but were not successful. Micah Lasher of Students First was not elected. Few hundred votes was difference. Elections decided not so much by those who vote, but by those who don’t. Only 20% showed in that district, and that is relatively high turnout. When people don’t turn out it’s important. Says we need to get Hillary elected as Trump would be bad for unions, working people, Supreme Court.
NY should be OK. We need to look at PA, Ohio, and FL. Too many union members don’t vote. If we’re going to be successful we must put in people who help us. Urges us to get people to vote.
Secretary speaks of COPE money.
In support of streamlining CTE programs
Sterling Roberson—CTE skills and academic based programs preparing students for career and industry. Challenge is in applications. NYSED makes process an impediment. 3-5 years for approval. Calls for NYSED to streamline and simplify process. Asks we support resolution.
No opposition. Debate closed.Passes unanimously.
Mike Schirtzer MORE—Speakers told stories of abuse. Abusive administrators are big problem. Bloomberg years remain as 2-year teachers became principals. They really do have blueprints on how to make people miserable, run them out of schools. In fact, schools have budget issues. Ours does because of veteran staff. This causes bad admin to run people out.
We must do something as a union. Teachers, counselors, social workers ought not to feel threatened and harassed. We are a union of 200K and we must take action using any means available to us. Admin with two unfavorable ratings from staff should be removed. If this happens to teachers, why shouldn’t it happen to them?
We need a check and balance, and we need to be the check and balance.
Leroy Barr—Rises to table. We have been engaged with trying to get APs either checked or removed. We had a program principals in need of improvement. Some items here are the same as we’ve pushed. We know they are there, we are engaged in those fights every day, we have no problem bringing entire weight of union against them.
Can’t be scatter gun. Depends on nuances of individual schools. Agree with essence. We want to make sure we are creating a great environment and ensure it for our kids. Want’s to raise title of District Rep tonight. You will never know all the work they do to save the jobs of our members. They do the work every day and you don’t know what they do. Some are behind closed doors. Some members want to leave. There is a variety of answers. We need to talk about how we solve and create good environment for both teachers and students. Asks we table this tonight.
Secretary—Invites voice of support
Marcus McArthur MORE—I walked into a building 6 years ago, my first job, and CLs classroom had been defiled, garbage everywhere. Principal was responsible. Still in power, in that school. Was a lot of fighting and conflict. Was traumatic.
While union has tried, it has been a catastrophe for those who had to work under these conditions. For me, as new teacher, I was completely at mercy of that principal. Didn’t get a classroom, placed with another teacher to retaliate against that teacher. Was a big threat to me remaining as African American male, as special ed. teacher. Without support of staff, I’d have left system like half of special ed. teachers.
Asks reconsideration of resolution. We must take all action in our power. Cannot tolerate such abuse.
Vote on tabling resolution.
Resolution is tabled as Unity appears to vote Yea in unison. MORE-New Action votes Nay.
Secretary says supervisors are represented by union, that there is a yin and a yang.