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Developing a Blueprint to Address the Power Imbalance Between UFT members and School Principals

Questions, problems, lack of support from the UFT leadership?

Your principal and APs have a plan developed with the DOE. You need a plan too!

Attend this MORE workshop on August 3 (3-6PM at the Dark Horse, 17 Murray Street NYC – downstairs).

Bring your colleagues and friends too!

Long-time MORE/New Action chapter leaders will analyze your situation and help you develop a strategy to fight back.

We will do case studies of various schools since each school is different.
How can you navigate the UFT/DOE structures by working with your members, staff, parents, local politicians and using the press.
How MORE can assist in not allowing the UFT to get away with ignoring the problems in your schools.

Holding the district rep and other union officials accountable.
Cataloguing and publishing the pattern of lack of responses from the union and the DOE.

https://www.facebook.com/events/570940976401102/

Principals come in with a plan – a blueprint – whether from the Leadership Academy – or advice from DOE Legal or from reading Machiavelli’s 16th century The Prince. Or maybe they are trained in the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC. They are often more interested in playing the power game, not education.

Teachers, especially chapter leaders who resist and become a major target – must deal with a UFT/Unity Caucus leadership that provides few if any tools or blueprints on how to counter these assaults.

While MORE has limited resources, we must jump into the breach and do what we can. At the very least people under attack should not feel they have to battle alone.

Join the family of Eric Garner in a protest on the second anniversary of his murder by Staten Island police.

MORE Members at the March for Justice and Unity against the police murder of Eric Garner – August 2014

Our summer has been marked by violence. On June 12, the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history occurred, targeting LGBTQI people of color at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Abroad, we have seen a series of attacks on Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan in the cities of Baghdad, Istanbul, and Dhaka. Here in New York, on July 4th, an off duty cop fatally shot Delrawn Small during a road-rage incident. On July 5th, brutal video footage of the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge emerged online. The very next day, Philando Castile was shot by an officer during a traffic stop. The aftermath was broadcast live on social media from Minnesota. Across the country, activists have spoken out against racist police brutality, rallying on the streets, publishing statements, and organizing vigils. Tragically, in Dallas, during a peaceful protest, a lone sniper, later discovered to be a military veteran, targeted police officers on duty, killing five officers. The Dallas police detonated a bomb robot to kill the suspect. Continue Reading…

The chapter leader of Art and Design High School in Manhattan appeared at the monthly Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) meeting on June 22, 2016 to inform Chancellor Carmen Farina and members of the PEP that their principal, Manuel Urena, has treated teachers at the school in an unprofessional manner since he took over in February 2016. This video contains Jason Agosto’s comments.

 

¨more summer book clubs¨
uftnewsletter_orig

Mr. Michael Mulgrew, President
United Federation of Teachers
52 Broadway
New York, New York 10004

Dear Mr. Mulgrew,

Over the past few years, members of the opt out movement have become adept at distinguishing our allies from those who work against us, often behind the scenes. In light of your recent newsletter (see above) for the UFT’s Unity Caucus, it has become apparent which of these two camps you are truly affiliated with.

It is no secret, Mr. Mulgrew, that as president of the NYC teacher’s union, the UFT (the largest local teacher’s union in the state), you wield a tremendous amount of power within NYSUT. With approximately 800 voting delegates and the resources needed to send all of its delegates to statewide elections, the UFT often holds the voting majority in NYSUT. Therefore, you have the power to sway NYSUT’s powerful lobbying dollars and efforts towards policy and law that will either benefit or harm our children. For that reason, the opt out movement has shifted its attention to you.

In the outrageous document referenced above, you claim that districts have “lost” grant money due to opt out, when in fact that money was not theirs to begin with. You cannot “lose” something you do not already have and are not guaranteed to be awarded. While failing to test 95% of all students may exclude a district from APPLYING for a small monetary grant (25,000-75,000 dollars), no money is TAKEN from a district. To date, no school in NYS has lost money as a result of opt out numbers. On the other hand, high stakes testing has cost school districts MILLIONS of dollars over the past four years while the State continues to shirk its obligation to fully fund our schools. In addition, under the new ESSA guidelines, this reward status and grant application process comes to an end and will no longer be a factor.

In addition to providing your members with false information, you have demonized the brave and outspoken NYC educators who have encouraged opt out. You have inexplicably labeled these educators as “reckless and feckless”. This begs the question, why would an experienced educator and union leader dismiss and insult a historic act of civil disobedience? Surely, you are aware that the opt out movement has yielded the only successful means of resisting harmful “test and punish” policies that hurt not only your members, but all educators and students around the state.

It is no secret that you have failed to support efforts to reject the increased focus on test scores in the new teacher evaluation plan (3012-d), or that you have publicly vowed to defend the common core standards (standards that even the Governor’s skewed CC task force found to be flawed) with violence, if necessary. In addition to your disparaging comments aimed at those who support the opt out movement, your actions as president of the UFT would appear to reveal whose side you are really on.

When teachers, students, and unions were being abused, demonized, and demoralized, a call to action rang out from grassroots parent and educator organizations. Many teachers and local unions heeded the call. Progressive caucuses within the UFT such as MORE and the statewide caucus Stronger Together immediately stepped up and worked alongside parents to fight for the best interests of our children. Where were you?

Sadly, it seems apparent, Mr. Mulgrew, that you have been standing and working against us at every turn. Deals have been made, hands have been shaken, and forces have aligned to quell the increasing discontent of this growing tide of parents and educators fighting for the very survival of our schools and the well-being of our children. Opposition to our cause within NYSED, NYCDOE, USDOE as well as those who support illogical and damaging education policies have found an unlikely partner in you.

While your actions speak volumes, we urge you to prove us wrong and demonstrate that you are in fact, an ally of the opt out movement. Take a stand against a corrupt and harmful test-based accountability system, advocate for research and evidence-based education policies, and respect teachers, parents, and students who advocate the use of test refusal as a means of impacting policy and regulatory change.

We think it only fair to inform you that should the educators of New York City and New York State seek new leadership in their elected union officials, the parents of New York will stand in solidarity with those who seek to safeguard public education from harmful policies, regulations, and corrupt leadership.

Sincerely,

New York State Allies for Public Education

– See more at: http://www.nysape.org/nysape-mulgrew-response.html#sthash.NJswTsMB.dpuf

MORE is a member of NYSAPE

The following letter was sent to our brothers and sisters of the CNTE (Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación), as well as the US Ambassador to Mexico, the Trinational Coalition, our UFT leadership and other organizations. We invite our brothers and sisters in New York and around the world to take similar actions.

Jackson Potter from CTU (Chicago Teachers Union) has started a Go Fund Me page. The money raised will go to two representatives of the Trinational Coalition In Defense of Public Education, Arlette and Mariluz Arriaga, who will give it to the leadership of the CNTE to fund their assemblies and defense.

Please consider making a contribution here: https://www.gofundme.com/oaxacasolidarity

Oaxaca Resiste Hasta Vencer

Solidarity Protest in NYC with Oaxaca Teachers

SOLIDARITY GREETINGS FROM THE MOVEMENT OF RANK & FILE EDUCATORS (MORE), the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers, NYC

On behalf of the members of MORE, we are writing to express our strong solidarity with the Mexican teachers affiliated with the CNTE (La Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación) who have been on strike to demand their worker rights, their human rights and quality public education for their students as they protest governmental education “reforms.”

Continue Reading…

Union-Contract

 

Interactive workshops led by long time chapter leaders and UFT activists

Bring your questions, issues, and share your success stories

Wednesdays: July 6, August 3 and August 31st

Dark Horse Pub
17 Murray St
Downtown NYC, near City Hall
3:00-6:00pm
Happy Hour Drink Specials Too!
 
July 6- Building Strong Union Chapters
Come learn strategies for building strong UFT chapters, identifying leadership in your school, mapping your building, organizing with parents and students, building the opt-out movement, and fostering member engagement in the UFT.
August 3rd- Understanding the DOE and UFT Power Structure
This session will focus on understanding the UFT/DOE power structure- mayoral control, the panel for educational policy, the UFT structure, the executive board and delegate assembly.  We will also explore how privatization impacts the DOE, with a particular focus on the push to bring more charter schools to NYC.
August 31st -Enforcing the UFT Contract
This session will deal with the “nuts and bolts” of organizing in your school and enforcing the contract, including representing members in disciplinary cases, filing grievances that can win, organizing an effective consultation committee, and dealing with difficult supervisors.