UFT Executive Board November 14th 2016

November 15, 2016 — 1 Comment

 

As Reported by Arthur Goldstein

Secretary Schoor--Minutes approved, 6:04

President’s report:

Mulgrew is not here.

Staff Director’s report:

Leroy Barr—Middle school luncheon, giving away clothes to homeless children on Saturday.
CL Training this weekend, Next EB two weeks from today, wishes us happy Thanksgiving.

Questions:

Mike SchirtzerMORE—Humanities and Arts a few teachers are under attack. Have filed grievances. DR doing all he can but principal drowning them in paperwork. Teacher well rated for 19 years rated ineffective for speaking against curriculum writing, bulletin boards, massive email.

Howie Schoor—Asks for exact details

Rona Freiser—Working very closely with members, paperwork filed, DR going to school tomorrow. Very much on top of this.

Schoor
—new paperwork process, and CL can go on, over 100 paperwork complaints. Exactly these issues. We need to know about them. Met with DOE this morning, deputy chancellor told all supes to resolve bulletin board issues.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—asks about resolution passed last year, in light of election results Wondering about resolution about immigrant liaison. What have we done and can we get someonee appointed at each school?

Leroy Barr
—will check with DOE, we have a resolution coming tonight to stand with immigrant students and all people being disenfranchised. We want a stand up day of action. We will not allow this city to tolerate this rhetoric.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Last year there was a resolution that we begin the process of divesting TRS funds from fossil fuels. Funding has been held up by Stringer, I hear. What can we do?

Debbie Penny
—In process of divesting from fossil fuel.

Reports from districts—
none

Legislative ReportPaul Egan

Were also state elections, which went as badly as presidential. Once out of NYC, Westchester Rockland blue, beyond that red. Nassau county also went badly. However Venditto is behind. Will be maybe a month. We must turn out members against constitutional convention. I will be scaremongering because it is a scary prospect.


6:18 Mulgrew walks in
, waits for Egan to finish.

President’s report
:

Says he was downstairs with speech teachers, talking about SESIS and medicaid billing. Says Trump is president-elect. Will be call for state authority and less federal. Read Mike Pence education platform, half of which is about prayer in school. Happy governor and mayor talking about protection. We have to go there as a state.

Regulations about school accountability not done because John King obstructs. We are having discussions city, state and fed, but no one knows what’s going to happen.

Election based on worst of humanity and people fed up with govt. Spoke with DOE and with people nationally. We can do this better than most because we love this diversity. We want to say what we stand for, that we welcome people into our city, people with different ideas, different faith, we stand proudly by them. NYC is a safe place.

Clearly a lot of anger. We have a long road. They have all 3 branches. Will move quickly. We will work w partners, adhere to core beliefs. We have to come up with plan our system will be driving. We can combat bad policy by making sure schools work.

We’ve had bad incidents, but teachers, us, took care of it. If one place should be safe it’s the school.

6:29 Mulgrew leaves.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE–(I had to wait because I wanted to project the picture I ran here earlier.) My classes are going to see Wickedon Wednesday and we were talking about The Wizard of Oz character. I asked the kids if they knew of anyone else who looked really important but was really not and they all said Donald Trump, even though they’d only been here a short time. I spoke of the picture and how it addressed the needs of my kids, and how we only needed to add LGBT to it. (Janella Hinds had distributed a resolution which seemed to address my concerns, but I was unable to read it as I was furiously taking notes.)

Schorr—Upset there were no questions about ATRs. There are about 1100 ATRs. 110 were picked up under new program.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action–Is there any way to find out how many years they have in system?

Arthur GoldsteinMORE–Does it include provisionally placed ATRs?

Schoor--Not sure, will see if he can find out.

Resolution

Janella Hinds—We have had lots of conversations about implications of election. Members have spoken that it’s important for union to stand up for members and each other. We are not only standing in support of our students. We want to create safe spaces in schools, workplaces, and communities. This resolution asks all members to create safe spaces.

Resolution Calling for Respect for All People (see below)

Next Monday is a day of action. We need to stand in solidarity with communities. Might look different in different places in city. We have to stand against discrimination and in support of encouragement. Asks we support reso.

Leroy Barr—Rises to add a whereas—people feel govt. has failed ,in divisive political atmosphere, no reason to give into a climate of fear.

Says a lot of rhetoric has caused a lot of people to feel fear, that govt. failed, but we ought not to give in to this climate. We know how to stand up and fight back. We will overcome this too.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—Speaks to amend. Wants to include, sexual orientation, gender identity to communities Trump targets. Adds homophobia to Trump’s racism and misogyny in other whereas.

Passed unanimously.

Barr’s amendment also passed unanimously

Main resolution. Posted below

Passed unanimously.

Election results for Exec. Board functional chapter opening:

Nancy Barr 64 votes Norm Scott 10.

Sandy March—Reports on Retired Teacher Chapter. Teachers wanted to know why UFT didn’t tell them constitutional convention was on ballot. Couldn’t find out who started it. DR told her her mother was working polls in Douglaston and retirees said she failed to give them proper ballot. Said daughter didn’t say she had to vote no, so it wasn’t on ballot. If we can get rest of state out, NYC will be at polls.

Schoor
—Asking schools to send pictures of what goes on in schools.

Resolution Calling for Respect for All People

 

WHEREAS, Presidential-elect Donald Trump targeted communities on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion, and displayed abusive behavior toward women, has threatened the nation’s promise that all people are worthy of respect; and

WHEREAS, Presidential-elect Donald Trump has outlined an education agenda overtly hostile to public schools and teachers, promising to prioritize vouchers and charter schools at the expense of public schools ; and

WHEREAS, the recently-concluded preesidential campaign has returned open racism, homophobia and misogyny to the forefront of national politics and featured incendiary rhetoric with little precedent in modern history; and

WHEREAS, in the aftermath of the election, our communities have suffered hate-motivated violence and vandalism at a pace exceeding the wave of Islamophobic incidents in the wake of the September 11 attacks ; and

WHEREAS, this divisive political atmosphere has given rise to fear and anxiety among students and inflamed racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom ; and

WHEREAS, people are upset and feel that government has failed them, there’s no reason to give into a climate of fear; and

WHEREAS, the UFT remains committed to creating a safe and supportive environment as well as stamping out bias-based bullying and harassment in all its forms by providing training for compliance with the Dignity for All Students Act and by operating the Building Respect, Acceptance and Voice through Education campaign, which includes an anti-bullying hotline, fairs and presentations in schools; and

WHEREAS, the New York City Department of Education Respect for All campaign considers harassment and discriminatory behavior, physical injury or threat of injury, harassment, teasing, taunting, peer rejection or exclusion to humiliate or isolate a person to be a violation of Chancellor’s Regulations A-831, A-832 and A-443, and the Student Code of Conduct; and

WHEREAS, the Dignity for All Students Act approved in September, 2010, by the New York State Legislature contains the following provisions:

  • A policy that specifically prohibits discrimination and harassment in public schools based on actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, sexual or physical or mental disability, with procedures to ensure that the policy will be implemented and enforced;
  • Training of administrators, teachers, other school related professionals and students on how to deal with diversity in schools and address incidents of harassment and discrimination when they arise;
  • Documentation and data collection to determine just how prevalent the problem of harassment is in New York’s public schools and where the needs are most profound;
  • Funding to implement the principles above in a way that avoids unfunded mandates for school districts; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the UFT affirms that public education is critical to the future of this country; that all communities inside our school communities deserve respect and dignity; and that workers have a right to unionize and be treated fairly; and that the UFT will aggressively fight the erosion of these core values; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls upon every school to launch a series of actions to defend our communities and our schools and affirm our values, beginning on Monday, November 21, with a Day of Action; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT calls upon every school to form an action committee to plan and execute these actions; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will partner with and encourage the DOE to support the expansion of the Respect for All initiative, so that school communities serve as sites where all students and staff are safe from acts of discrimination because of ongoing positive and developmentally appropriate behavior and speech in and out of the classroom; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT urges the DOE to require time during the school day for educators to engage in conversations and activities that will support learning communities that celebrate diversity while ensuring tolerance, respect and positive conflict resolution, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will urge the DOE to present professional learning to develop our abilities to design and implement learning activities during which differences are respected and celebrated.

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One response to UFT Executive Board November 14th 2016

  1. 

    This election on both a Federal and State level was devastating to public educators. I noticed in the notes that it appears no mention about “Right to Work States.” All unions need to come up with a comprehensive plan to fight Republican governors who promote this.

    Over the past few years members of the union have had divergent views on how the UFT executive board operates. We must continue to have these discussions, however more energy needs to go toward protecting the basic rights unions have. We must devote resources to show the American public that the protection of the middle class way of living
    must include the support of unions. This means fighting any means to weaken our opportunities to unite and fight for our rights as union workers.

    Public school union educators are under attack. We are often accused of obstructing education reform. We know that education reform as described by right wing Republican ideologues includes the dissolution of our union and the public school system as we know it. We must fight back united. But we must demonstrate how successful we are in our schools. We must show that when our union fights for our contractual rights, the freedoms we have enable us to successfully educate our children. We must clearly show that the right wing education deformers are mainly interested in enhancing their own agenda which is to promote for profit charters and private schools. We must demonstrate that their promises for education choice is a farce.

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