MORE-UFT stands in support of A628/S579, a bill to help workers collect stolen wages.

As educators and school workers in the New York City public school system, we see the devastating impact that long hours and low wages have on our students’ families and their lives. When parents have to work long hours for low wages, our students sometimes have to go without necessities — adequate meals, warm coats in the winter, even permanent housing. Many children must take greater responsibility in the home for taking care of younger siblings or the elderly and disabled. This can lead to missing school, lack of rest, anxiety, depression, and makes participation in school communities harder. If parents are not even paid wages owed these problems are compounded.

As unionists and members of the United Federation of Teachers we find it outrageous that employers can get away with failing to pay workers wages they are legally owed. If there is no enforced floor in legal working conditions, inequality will increase and working and living conditions for all working people will deteriorate.

As unionists, educators, workers and residents of New York, we will not sit by while exploitative employers refuse to pay people for work they have done. If scofflaw employers can get away with hiding or transferring assets to avoid paying these stolen wages, then workers cannot collect the money they are owed, even if they win an award in court.  A628/S579, Securing Wages Earned Against Theft (“SWEAT”) brings New York law up to the same standard as other states that provide legal tools so that workers can make sure their employers will pay them once they are awarded a judgment in court.

Sincerely,
The Movement of Rank and File Educators-United Federation of Teachers
MORE-UFT

"Pass the SWEAT Bill Now"

"April 5 Rally to Save CPE 1"

Join CPE1 Parents and Teachers as they fight back against abusive principal Monika Garg. MORE-UFT has attempted to rally our union to stand up for the students, parents, and teachers at Central Park East 1, but UFT leadership (Unity caucus) punted. Now it’s up to the community. 

Thursday, April 6th at 4:30pm

Central Park East 1 – 1573 Madison Ave. (106th btw. Park and Madison)

Central Park East 1 has had several teachers removed by its principal, some have left because of harassment, and others that are still there are facing threats to their jobs. The MORE/New Action representatives raised the below resolution at Monday’s Executive Board meeting. Leroy Barr, head of Unity caucus and staff director for UFT spoke to “table the motion” which in effect is going against the resolution. Mr. Barr said “we need time to meet with the DOE about this” and “we are already doing some of what the resolution calls for”. Arthur Goldstein of MORE motivated this resolution by calling on the UFT to take aggressive, public actions against abusive principals and New Action’s Jonathan Halabi asked that the body pass the resolution, because in the last couple of weeks untenured teachers at CPE1 have come under attack. Earlier in the evening during the open question period for UFT members, MORE’s Norm Scott said the biggest threat to our union is “the unchecked power of principals and that the union has allowed them to get away with hurting our members”. Unity caucus voted as a bloc to table the resolution.

Members of CPE1, including the Chapter Leader Marilyn Martinez, showed up in force to support the resolution. Photos above.

 

Resolution in Support of Central Park East 1 Teachers and Parents
April 3, 2017

Whereas the Principal of Central Park East 1, Monika Garg, has engaged in a persistent pattern of harassment of teachers and other unionized staff over the last 18 months,

Whereas 4 out of 7 tenured teachers who exercised their free speech and union rights by signing an open letter to the principal have now either come under investigation or been pushed to resign, while all have faced some kind of disciplinary action, thus showing these actions to be retaliatory in intent,

Whereas these investigations have targeted the union’s strength specifically, with both the school’s chapter leader, Marilyn Martinez, and union delegate, Catlin Preston, facing charges,

Whereas parents at the school have organized an unprecedented show of support for these teachers, with more than 90 showing up to support Marilyn Martinez at her 3020a hearings, several attending our recent Executive Board hearing and dozens writing statements in support of the teachers,

Whereas parents believe that the principal’s actions are causing substantial harm to the children in the school by removing teachers without warning and carrying out investigations in which children as young as 6 and 7 are interviewed privately without their parent’s knowledge or consent, and in which parents feel that their families were manipulated in order to build cases against teachers while children were left without guidance or support,

Whereas the impact of these actions can be seen in the results of last year’s school survey, in which Monika Garg saw the steepest declines in both parent and teacher dissatisfaction of any school in the city, with 0% of teachers saying that they trust the principal and 0% of parents saying that the principal works hard to build trusting relationships,

Whereas both the teachers and the parents of Central Park East 1 have asked us for their support, and parents have been demanding the removal of the principal for over a year, with over two­thirds of last year’s parents having signed a petition stating this, and are planning a public rally in conjunction with their next SLT meeting on April 6th,

Whereas Superintendent Alexandra Estrella has received hundreds of emails from parents and has ignored most and has acknowledged few of their requests, and

Whereas Estrella promised a facilitator, to improve communication at the school, and told elected parents that is was already in place several times… even though no facilitator has ever shown up, and

Whereas Estrella appointed Garg, a principal with no commitment to CPE1’s mission, to head the school.

Therefore be it resolved that the UFT leadership join the UFT staff of CPE1 in taking a public stance against this pattern of harassment and retaliation against teachers at Central Park East 1; and

Be it further resolved that the leadership supports the return of Chapter Leader Marilyn Martinez and Delegate Catlin Preston to their classrooms at Central Park East 1 immediately should their hearings find that they are entitled to retain their positions with the Department of Education and work in the classroom, and

Be it further resolved that the UFT publicly supports the overwhelming majority of parents at Central Park East 1 who are asking for the removal of Principal Garg and will support their planned April 6th rally, by utilizing the UFT press office, sending a speaker and issuing an action alert to mobilize UFT members and leaders to attend, and

Be it further resolved that the UFT leadership will publicly admonish Superintendent Estrella to respond to CPE1 parents and faculty, to respect agreements she has made with them, and to respect the mission of the school.

Please take a second to sign this open letter to Chancellor Fariña demanding she stop the railroading of Jill Bloomberg, the principal of Park Slope Collegiate, who had the gall to speak out publicly about racial discrimination her students have been experiencing at the hands of the NYCDOE!


Dear Chancellor Fariña,

We are parents, staff, students, alumni, and friends of Park Slope Collegiate (PSC). It has come to our attention that Principal Jill Bloomberg has been notified that she is the subject of an Office of Special Investigations investigation. We are writing to express our strong support for Ms. Bloomberg, who has provided exceptional, tireless leadership for the school, and has created a vibrant and supportive learning community for our children.

Ms. Bloomberg has built an outstanding academic environment, in which our children have thrived academically and socially. The school is a model of cutting-edge pedagogy and positive socio-emotional learning, and is a safe and nurturing space for students from a wide variety of backgrounds. None of this would be possible without the dedicated, thoughtful work of a principal who is a model of the highest standard of ethical behavior, engaged leadership and integrity.

The timing of this investigation suggests the real possibility it was initiated in retaliation for Principal Bloomberg’s frequent advocacy on part of her students; advocacy that would constitute a protected activity under Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as under related local anti-discrimination laws. Continue Reading…

Arthur Goldstein – UFT Executive Board and Chapter Leader

UFT Executive Board March 20, 2017–CPE1 in House, JHS 145 Reso Watered Down

Secretary Howard Schoor tells us there will be five speakers tonight.

From Central Park East 1—James Schoff—Thanks teachers and parents. Says new principal came to school, was less democracy and teacher voice. Progressive school, practices do not match standard curriculum, principal was disruptive. Tenured teachers pushed back and were under investigation for various charges. Some unsubstantiated, others ongoing. Whenever she is challenged there is investigation. Supe refused to engage, but met some with parents. Only 3 tenured teachers left in school. 5 teachers left last year. 2 currently under investigation. As far as he knows, charges unfounded. New untenured teachers afraid to speak. If teachers can still teach we want them returned to our school. Without them our school will fail. They are talented and to make them ATR would be a crime.

Bonnie Massey—parent, UFT social worker, son went to CPE 1 because it was democratic and progressive, staff was empowered. Since new principal, kids are learning something other than democracy. 70% of parents want her removed. We have worked very hard, and been ignored and insulted. Principal has lied to parents, tried to pit them against one another, created unsafe environment. Oversaw largest drop of scores in city last year. Traumatized teachers and children over lies, targeted CL and delegate. Hostile and unsafe work environment. Asks for your support. Mulgrew said he would protect our children, and we need support. Offers info packets.

Marilyn Martinez—CL of CPE 1 sitting in rubber room, going through process. True they have not put in grievances. As school they wish to take care of issues in democratic way. Has been impossible with new principal. I am going through 3020a for my involvement and opposition. High teacher turnover rate should raise flags. Teachers disappearing. Teachers not receiving support, facing removal procedures. Teachers forced to leave. Fears for colleagues still in school, wondering who is next. Who is Monica Gart and why is she so privileged?

Fran Myers—Adult Ed.—Says it is weakest link of our union chain, can be used to break union. Expresses solidarity with CPE1. Says we need to be visible and support one another. Similar things happening in adult ed. since Rosemary Mills is supe. All old principals are out along with many APs. Some retired and other couldn’t take her directives to unfairly U rate people. Signed non-disclosure agreements. Asks for investigation of her hiring practices, says they are from one part of the world.

Schoor—Give us a list of issues and we will take it up with DOE.

Minutes—approved. EB and Adcom.

Mulgrew arrives—6:17

President’s Report

Federal—Budget—Says he will say 45 instead of President’s name. Was all we expected. Using this in Albany. Knew they would come after public schools. Title 2 gone, no community schools, no class size, no PD. Base title 1 left intact because it was in legislation. Suspended and killed ESSA guidelines and regs. Says they don’t want to open it up again. SCOTUS started today but no one listens because of Russia investigation. We want to use Fed things to gain state influence. NY Senate had egregious charter language, we’ve faxed and visited all over. We say they are DeVos puppets. Most well-know Sec. of Ed. is DeVos. If you know her you don’t like her. We have to push.

Dept. of Labor cut 20%, hurts seniors, jobs, safety.

I said there was a storm coming, it’s here and we are prepared. Saturday we had a para fest. We packed room with guidance counselors. Early childhood conference packed. All had PD, all were here, and we talk of how we have to work with parents and push back. We had faith based breakfast. Texas has no vouchers because ministers work to lobby for public schools. Texas minister came here and we will try to organize them here.

DC constantly in disarray. Some people say it’s on purpose to slide things through when no one is looking.

Second snow day. We don’t want a third. Snow days not contractual. Some members have to come in—all city workers except school based personnel. Two snow days next year. If we have to make up time they will add it at year’s end. Says members should know about snow day limitations.

Dave Hickey will do presentation on finances of UFT in a few weeks for EB. Says there is fake news about UFT being two months behind on dues. Says we are never behind on dues. In January city collects them and we don’t get them until March. We’ve always been on time. We have solidified financial shape of union. People who’d hurt us start investigations that we pay for.

Our expenses have gone down and extra money goes into service. We did a resolution when 45 won and we filed and refinanced our properties. We didn’t wait for interest rates to go up. We have our own politics with DOE. We still have friction. Our biggest issue is their lack of responsibility reigning in principals. Everyone has a boss and principals can’t do whatever they wish.

I am going after superintendents because they are responsible for principals. They are the reason we had to put up with bad principals. We have to also do work in Albany. This is not a fluke that’s going away. People in government want to kill public education and destabilize school systems, introduce privatization.

Our union will be strong financially, prepared for attacks, but we are the ones at the forefront of this fight. In state houses controlled by people who don’t like public ed., controlled by rich people, it’s a very tough fight. We will amp up the fight. Thanks us for work we’ve been doing. Amazing that our events are full. Activists know what is going on.

Mulgrew moves resolution up. So moved.

Refinancing passes.

Mulgrew says this is our fight and we’re not going to lose. Everyone loves neighborhood public

schools. DC wants to snuff out education for millions of children.

6:37 Mulgrew leaves

Catlin Preston—teacher at CPE 1 for nine years. First signer of letter to principal, eleven days later had first LIF for insubordination, 11 days later, second, one year ago was reassigned. March completed 3020a. Pattern of administrative abuse. Teachers suffer, no consideration for children, asks for action.

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr

Speaks of conferences for paras and counselors. DA Wednesday. Saturday Men in Education Symposium. CL Training next day. EB next week.

Arthur Goldstein MORE—Regents week has become problematic for some large Queens high schools, including Francis Lewis and Bayside. It’s also hugely expensive for the city, which now has to pay a whole lot of money for things we used to do as a matter of course. I’m thinking money like that could be better used, for example, to preclude higher medical copays for UFT members. In any case, I’ve been told that if the Exec. Board passes something and it doesn’t go the DA it becomes UFT policy. First, is that true?

If so, I’d like to ask when you are going to discuss Janella’s resolution about Regents week with the DOE.  IF not, I’d like to know when this is going to be introduced at the DA. (People on dais seem to think it’s not true. Michael Shulman, from audience says it is and Schoor says he stands corrected.)

Schoor—Will be resolution 2 next week.

Janella Hinds—Regents has been problem for last two years. Is high on agenda. Hoping to pass it Wednesday.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Thanks speakers, says President spoke to issue. CPE was a particularly progressive school People who applied wanted to work there. Family at my school said it’s important we support Marilyn. Would like this to be poster child for Public School Proud campaign. Gratified to hear superintendent would hear from us. Would like to hear reports on supe who undermines type of school she runs. Looking forward to report. Can we hear specifics about this?

Schoor—We are open and respond to questions. We will respond.

Mike Schirtzer
MORE—We got an email from Mulgrew about Trump plan that we could lose 140 million in funding. But we are going to the state and NY State Government owes us, according to AQE, 1.9 billion dollars based on CFE. Are we doing something about that on Lobby Day? What’s our plan going forward. If we get that money we could give big middle finger to Mr. Trump.

Paul Egan—Lobby Day is always about budget. That’s why DOE allows us to be released. All our discussions will be about that. Will we get 2 billion? I don’t think so but we will keep pressure on them. We want NYC to get its fair share. In Albany more elected Dems than GOP but GOP controls. We need to get along with IDC but will hold all accountable.

Reports from districts

Janella Hinds
—reports event that took place March 9th—College and careers. Students from 30 schools. Got great feedback and very proud. Will be second next year.

Ellen Dreisen
—District 20—May is public school proud arts month. Schools will do performances. We’re very excited. Superintendent invited DeVos

Shelvy Abrams
—Saturday over 1000 members. Many new, had never been to such a function. Many honored by their peers. Thanks everyone.

Arthur Goldstein MORE—A few weeks ago several teachers and I joined Vice President for Education Evelyn de Jesus at the NYSABE, or NY State Association for Bilingual Education Conference., I’ve never been in a group so large where everyone had such a razor sharp focus on the kids with whom I work every day. Everywhere I went were people focused on their future. We sat at tables with superintendents and principals, people of whom I’m generally suspicious, and the thing we mostly discussed was how we can keep our kids safe.

Michael Mulgrew told NYSABE if they came for our kids they’d have to arrest us. I was very happy to hear him say that and I’m ready to join him if it comes to that.

Evelyn can’t be here right now, but one thing I heard her say several times, was that she was ready for whatever happens. She said in Spanish, better than I could, that she could dance if they wanted, or fight if she had to.I’m happy to say, though, that in this union, in this city, and at NYSABE, there seems to be no sunlight between our positions on protecting the children we serve every day.

Paul Egan—Legislative report—Lobby day postponed because it was on blizzard day. We started again and booked again. As of now we have 750 people. Sadly day before testing. Still time to sign up.

We will also be doing district meetings at month’s end talking about budget issues.

We will be doing many endorsements. This month we are doing for comptroller and public advocate. Recommends Scott Stringer and Tish James.

Schoor—We recommend that.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Do they have opposition?

Egan—not significant.

Passes.

Tish James endorsement—

Paul Egan—Petitions haven’t been circulated yet. There may be opposition later, but no one who hasn’t started now is serious.

Passes

Resolution—57 anniversary of UFT

George Altomare—NYC special, never know where you’ll get inspiration. Real inspiration comes from within. In 1960 we had nothing more than dreams. 1200 of 50K teachers wanted collective bargaining, equality at table, had dreams. Was crowded on train today. Gentleman, well dressed, started chanting or singing. Said over and over, in the land of dreamers, dreams come true. That’s what we were as NYC teachers 57 years ago. No one expected us to survive or grow. We are a citadel of good will and humanity. We won a strike, won a union, won collective bargaining, and we thought that’s it, now we can just teach.

That wasn’t true. We had some big strikes. Strike of 68 tested us. In 75 the fiscal collapse, when we thought it was over, we survived and so did the city. Then we faced Bloomberg, and now we have today. We have to remember one thing Jefferson said—Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. When we get to a situation like this—Vigilance is price of liberty. Are we willing to pay the price?

Passes

Mike SchirtzerMORE–Raising resolution in support of JHS 145. Threatened with closing. On PEP agenda, will vote whether to close. Have been in media. Rich Mantel has been fantastic on this. Community made it to Brooklyn, Bronx. JHS is a community school. Should not be closed. Wasn’t provided what it was entitled to as renewal school.  We’re endorsing de Blasio Fariña should be on our side. This is Trump-DeVos agenda. A non-unionized charter would replace it. Latino and Muslim students. We ask to adjourn DA early and go to PEP to show support as union. We need to do more, to come together. If we can send a bus to DC, we need to go to Tweed and say closing community schools is unacceptable.

LeRoy Barr—Wants to echo comments. Rises to amend. First resolved—UFT will continue to take stance against closing. Strike rest. Strike second resolved that DA attends. Says many people will attend. We are up against a lot and can’t adjourn business of DA, but I will encourage all to show at PEP.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—supports original resolution, supports edits to first resolved but wants to keep second. How often can we give union support to our brothers under attack? Person who receives solidarity gains much. Person who participates also gains. No business more important than letting our members stand in support to each other. Nothing more important than giving that sense to all our members.

Eliu Lara—supports amendments. Says Lehman open because we fought. Clinton HS open. We fought for that. A bunch of people from that school will go. We are supporting 145.

Janella HInds—speaks in favor of amendments. We only have DA once a month and need to get through agenda. LeRoy will announce from podium.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Speaks in favor of original resolution. Understands we have important business. We live in peculiar times. Normal protocols no longer apply. Politics of our country, political leaders, don’t respond to a seat at the table. Don’t address our concerns in democratic and respectable fashion. This is why people are hitting the streets all across the country, Occupy, BLM, Women’s March, our institutions are disconnected. We have public schools in neighborhoods that serve low income black and brown students. We’re talking about closing that schools with union-busting, segregated corporate model. That’s catastrophic. We’ve gotta draw a red line at some point. Our union is formed out of fight, protest, solidarity. This is our calling right now. We’re in a generational fight for soul of our city and country.

Karen Allford—Supports resolution as amended. We know how to balance our priorities. We have to get through DA and have folks there. We have a good enough ground game that we can finish at 6 and have people there. We are smart enough, we can juggle schedules, and get both things done. We have to get through business of budget, alert members about DeVos and we can balance both.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action—Stands in support of original resolution. We need to get involved. We can pick a time that doesn’t interfere with union business.

Vince Gagli—Moves to close debate.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—point of information—Why are we striking part about march and rally?

Schoor—Mr. Barr said what he wanted. Not open to debate.

Debate closed.

Schoor—Resolution before us, keeps whereas, strikes last resolved and amends first.

Passes resolution as amended.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action–Did we vote on everything?

Schoor
—Calls vote. Says yes agrees with Barr.

Passes.

Revotes for resolution as amended.

Passes

Resolution passes.

We are adjourned.

UFT DA March 2017–UFT President Shuts Down Move to Amend JHS 145 Reso

  • Announcements

Mulgrew thanks us for being here.  Moment of silence for UFT members who’ve passed.

President’s report—Michael Mulgrew

National—Says we’ve set out a strategy and now have to adjust to changes. We can now officially get rid of Friedrichs and say Janus, out of Illinois. On schedule for fall docket of SCOTUS.

Said our strategy has to be to protect NY from DC. Says he will call President 45. Plan to repeal Obamacare will be voted on tomorrow. Congressman Collins from Buffalo bribed for his vote. Still has to go to Senate, but if it passes Congress, it’s now shifted a huge cost, 2.4 billion, to NY State. Until we extend or expand millionaire’s tax, we already have 3.5 billion deficit.

We’re within 12 days of budget. If we have to put plan for additional 2.4 billion, it’s a big problem. Mayor and governor working together. NYC reps understand this. Points to Andrew Pallotta from NYSUT, says he’s working with us.

We are in constant attack politically, besides challenges in workplaces. Won’t be easy. How many times can we say Public School Proud and we have to do this and that. Says we are the leadership and we have to keep pushing or they will win.

If NY pols want to screw NY worse than anyone else, they will hear from us. Says he wants to show John Oliver but language is too bad.

Likes that we can use Trump’s ed. budget to say we told you so. ESSA is still the law. Once you pass a law, it’s then up to the agency, which sets regs. Law remains and regs give guidance. ESSA regs have been rescinded. Looks like they will leave ESSA rescind regs, and thereby enable budget.

Additional funds for Title one, without regs, can be a billion dollar voucher program. Title 2A is teacher PD, Saturday, after, summer school. Trump’s person said nothing proves after school or feeding children makes them do better in school.

They want to defund, destabilize public ed. and say it doesn’t work. Want more money for charters, no transparency or accountability. Says pols are either for local public school or against it. Says we now have the most famous Secretary of Ed. in US, for wealth and incompetence.

Says this relates to Lobby Day and we will tell state officials. Education and health care are biggest pots of money and we are working together. Thanks Paul Egan for reorganizing after blizzard. We need to say Feds want to destroy public ed. and ask if they are with us or against us.

Talks snow day. Says some people have to report. It is not contractual that you report. City makes decision school based personnel have to report. Mulgrew asks why others don’t, and is told they have to take personal days. Union didn’t and wouldn’t agree to this. We have no more snow days. If we get another blizzard day added on at end of school year. Next year’s calendar has two snow days. In my heart I stand with people who say St. Patrick’s should be holiday, but torn as union leader.

Tonight there is a PEP panel closing schools. You will hear a lot about Renewal Program in mayor’s race. Third doing well, third stable, and third moving down. Tonight they are voting on 145 in the Bronx. If no supports are offered we need to tell the tale. We have reformers saying public schools are failing, will use closing schools as examples. If nothing is being done by DOE behooves them to change what’s going on. I go to Banana Kelly which is all of a sudden in better place and see a happy staff with collaborative leadership.

Teachers. counselors and secretaries have bosses. We follow directions. Administrators also have bosses, superintendents responsible to chancellor. Fault rises up when there is failing leadership. If we don’t move all of our schools reformers us this against us.

Proud of mayor for saying ICE won’t enter schools without warrant, as students were fearful. You can’t tell us our job is to protect children and ask us to step aside when people come into our buildings. ICE said we will not enter buildings except under exigent students. We don’t know what that means but we’ll see. Parents have said they are fearful.

Despite all that Public School Proud working well, will push after budgets. Will report next month.

Vouchers and tax credits across country are unprecedented. Outside NYS people are disgusted. Fewer people in ed. schools. This isn’t helpful. Still we need to educate children.

Feds no longer fund community learning schools. Teacher choice, dial a teacher and BRAVE we will push.

OPW under teacher discretion. Exception when principal mandates something, Part of arbitration.

Speaks of success in paperwork complaints.

Says principals are departmentalizing everything, including kindergarten. From K-3 departmentalization requires SBO.

4-6 ELA and math are posted positions but preference sheets must go out before decision. Departmentalizing anything else is SBO.

DOE is now approved CTLE vendor. We worked to help them because was in member interest. We can’t do their work for them. They have to do paperwork to be approved. They also have to get approved instructors. We have quite a few approved, but Monday PD is not approved because NYSED wants to know how DOE will be sure it meets criteria.

We started last June but putting CTLE together took a lot of work. DOE doesn’t work as fast as we do.

We have to stick to our plan, insulate NY, push people on public ed., renew coalitions. Saturday this place was full of guidance counselors. Thanks chapter. Saturday PM 1100 paras celebrated. Previous Sat. early childhood. College and career fair last week. Thanks Janella Hinds.

Says this is righteous fight. We’re right, they’re wrong. We’re good they’re bad. Says we take fight to them, support friends, we win. 5:10

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr

College and careers called future in focus 460 students, 26 unions, made sure children are college and career ready. Thanks Janella Hinds. Early childhood conference, guidance conference, para luncheon, March 25th, Men in Education Forum starting at 9. CL weekend. Please call and fax and thank those who participate. PEP meeting tonight, asks people to leave and show support for this school. Rich Mantel there now. We have resolution there. Go to Tweed and show support for school, against Moskowitz Academy. Enjoy break.

Questions

CL—DOE hired Randy Asher. Is DOE really trying to help ATRs or will he try to fire them?

We try to protect ATRs. We went five years with no contract and didn’t sell them out. Would have made us at will employees. Have spoken with Asher, willing to work with him. You could utilize existing agreements. I don’t know their intent. We’ll see where it goes.

CL—How can we coordinate with other unions against constitutional convention?

We are coordinating. We’ve done more school visits and may be ahead of curve. They say we only care about our pensions. Of course we’re concerned about them. Shows they don’t understand constitution. Pension is agreement. We pay this, you pay that, and this is what we get when I meet conditions for retirement. Reason is that many people didn’t get what was promised. NY State said agreement was agreement. Pols used to protect working people.

You will see this amp up after budget is settled. Great piece in New Yorker about reclusivee billionaire, donates to Trump, and a lot of money for constitutional convention.

CL—Charters—original concept was collaboration, laboratory, been eroded and made negative. Can we put forward Shanker’s view instead of DeVos’?

This was not Shanker’s idea. He changed position when he realized it was about privatization. No one remembers that. We have many examples of good ideas being mutated into bad ones. DeVos thing led us to good place with state officials. If charters solve problems, fine. If they make money or don’t take all kids we don’t want them.

History of vouchers was to avoid segregation. Some in south closed public schools and gave vouchers. Deprived African American students of school. This history will be told again. You don’t have choice if voucher covers pittance or if you’re cut out. No choice when you destroy public ed.

CL—Members worried about TRS letters saying they are at a deficit. They are receiving lump sum based on retroactivity, Pension contributions problematic.

Don’t freak out. Retro can’t be included in final pension, but is part of pay that must be included in pension. Ask Tom Brown and we will help.

Delegate—CTLE hours. Paras concerned. Having hard time getting to UFT. Issue is it’s good idea but it’s coming so much during our time. Paras don’t get paid on our level and teachers not paid on level of being constantly certified. Police laugh at us. We are giving away a lot of time. can we do this during school hours?

One of the reasons why we helped DOE become CTLE certified is this. We have four more years to get 100 hours. We will develop more in regular day.

Motions

Paul Egan—UFT supports proposal to keep people in homes and save people millions. Home stability. Passes.

Peter Lamphere—MORESupports JHS 145 and DA adjourning to join PEP in solidarity. Defeated

Political Endorsements—Paul Egan—Recommends endorsement of Stringer for Comptroller. Record as great advocate of our union. Stands up for our pensions and NYC fiduciary responsibility.

Michael Freedman—CL—Says he defeated Moskowitz for Manhattan borough prez.

Marjorie Stamberg—opposes Democrats and Republicans. 40% of people prefer socialist.

Question called.

Endorsement passes.

Egan—Recommends Laticia James—Didn’t defeat Moskowitz but has great track record in NYC.

Question called.

Passes

57th Anniversary UFT—Resolution—Mel Aaronson—In 1960 UFT formed through merger, and many other groups joined. Teachers all over America benefited from our work in becoming first local in country to have collective bargaining. Took a lot of work including three strikes, but this thanks those who came before us. Pledges our continued fight for what we look forward to, better ed., civil and labor rights.  Further supports fact we will support each other in safe and healthy workplace. Urges everyone to support.

Dave Pecoraro—calls question

Mulgrew asks veterans from 1960 to stand. Much applause. Standing ovation.

Regents Grading

Janella Hinds
—This resolution covers scoring for Regents exams. Says what happens in January and June is waste of time and resources. We seek better system. We would like tests moved and people to remain in their schools. Asks for support.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—For the last few years, midyear Regents exams have been a mess at my school and others. One year the principal decided that we would proctor school midterms that week. It was a disaster, as no one remembered that ESL students also take tests, and administration for students with special needs was virtually impossible at this volume. We had a new and improved plan this year that also did not work with members, who had a ton of mandated projects and no time to grade them.

This will also save the city a ton of money, which could be used for a whole slew of purposes more worthy than correcting tests. The state raises cut levels to make us look bad, and lowers them to make politicians look good. I understand that they might therefore assume we are as corrupt as they are. I’d argue there’s no reason we shouldn’t grade our own students, but since regulations rule that out, I’ll argue there’s no reason we shouldn’t grade other students from our schools. In fact, smaller districts all over the state do just that. Honestly if we aren’t honest or capable enough to grade papers, i have no idea why they even hired us.

But since they did, I urge you to vote for this resolution and restore some small degree of teacher autonomy.

CL Bryant Georgia ?—speaks against, says this is opportunity to meet other colleagues, says principals will pressure teachers, and there’s good per session.

Retired teacher—Says if tests are changed and moved, doesn’t believe principal of one school will ask you change tests for other schools. Saves money and makes sense.

Question called.

Passes

Carmen Alvarez
—Support of Immigrant New Yorkers—Speaks of undocumented and fears. Federal threats chill our young people and their families. Asks we support them.

Marjorie Stamberg—Wants to amend. Would like to add to stop broken windows arrests, which undercut claim NYC is sanctuary city. Would like to not permit ICE or other immigration officials in our schools, will stop deportations.

Stuart Kaplan—
opposes amendment—says resolution speaks to supporting immigrants. Says it supports families. Amendment would take away from nature of what resolution is written to do. Says we should stand with what DOE says.

Retired teacher—Understands amendment is illegal. If ICE has subpoena they can come in.

Speaker supports reso opposes changes. Compliments Stamberg. Says reso says to city you are doing right thing.

Question on amendment called.

Amendment defeated.

CL—Asks to close all matters.

Resolution passes. 5:55

Karen Allford—Supports Juvenile justice reform. Our goal is to make sure all kids read by third grade. We’ve seen coaches, libraries, after school programs but with 1.1. million kids some may be incarcerated. We don’t want 16 and 17 year olds with adults. They are children and we must support them to raise the age. Only NY and NC do this. Please support.

Question called.

Passes unanimously. 5:57

LeRoy Barr—Supports Resolution in support of JHS 145. Spoke about this a lot. Don’t want it replaced with Moskowitz Academy. We should attend tonight and make DOE do their job. A school that wants to succeed needs opportunity to do so. Please support.

Delegate from Adult ed.—Was heartbreaking to see students, former students and teachers say what they had not had. DOE sat there and said it was done deal. Moskowitz has already advertised she has space. Didn’t make a difference. Time to become rowdy.

Dave Pecoraro calls question.

James Eterno calls to amend—

Mulgrew says it is a courtesy—after back and forth rules Eterno out of order—doesn’t allow him to speak.

We are adjourned.

Update: Here is Eterno’s proposed amendment.

UFT Executive Board March 27th, 2017

March 27th

Note–Most of the Executive Board was in Albany for Lobby Day. Meeting lasted 26 minutes.

Howard Schoor welcomes us, points out many members are in Albany or on way back.

Minutes—approved.

President’s Report—Mulgrew not here.

Staff Director’s Report—LeRoy Barr—Education forum successful. In Rye, CL training Part 3. Next Monday Exec. Board again. Today is Lobby Day, most members are there. Over 800 members there for second go round. Spring recess April 10-18. When we return, we have DA.

Questions

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—-CEC voted to keep JHS 145 open, while PEP voted to close it. What are our next steps to support our brothers and sisters in JHS 145?

Schoor—Lawyers will check. Not sure it is illegal, but we prevented 19 schools from being closed. We will not allow them to violate law. Will keep you updated.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—When people are brought up on charges sometimes they can return to teach, but are placed in ATR pool. How can we stop this?

Schoor—Big issue for UFT. One way is they get fined and become ATRs. We are in negotiations with DOE. That is part of our discussions but we don’t have an agreement yet. Went back to 2011 agreement. Was lawsuit lost that said any kind of discipline and person can be moved. We are trying to change that.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—Colleague has son with IEP. Also at public school. We cover for her so she can make it to IEP meetings. Do we have any way so staff can attend IEP meetings?

Schoor—School by school decision. We do have personal business days. A-601 says principal may allow people to come late but doesn’t have to. Bring it up in consultation.

Carmen Alvarez—There is no right by law. You have to negotiate with your school.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Re: CPE and AFT campaign against Right to Work. Randi Weingarten just sent a petition against this. CPE is progressive school fighting abusive admin. I feel strongly about this, having experience. Great teachers and unionists protected me and that’s why I can stand here. Randi said pols have to make economy work for working people, respect voice. Made me think of CPE. Two parts—what do we know about AFT campaign around RTW, and second, what does UFT leadership think about organizing around CPE as a way to actively demonstrate what Randi is talking about, voice in workplace, and fighting unions.

Schoor—RTW already in majority of states. We’ve gone to states to organize. Several people sitting here have helped people sign up. Not sure about AFT campaign but I will make sure we do what we have to do here. We will bring that school up to chancellor to see what they are going to do. Watched video, is compelling. We will bring it up and report back.

Report from districts

Schoor—Working on professional conciliation, article 24. Not just in teacher contract, but also in several others. Way to try and resolve matters. Had two high schools with issues in choosing a novel. We are trying to make this a more professional situation where we have voice. We did a survey and 72 schools reported no curriculum whatsoever. Board used to have a division, for every subject. Board had experts. Bloomberg did away with that. There are now funds, but not mandated curriculum.

Legislative report—Paul Egan absent

Schoor—Demonstrations around city against GOP Senators who support charters. Around state were demos against other GOP Senators. Very close to charter folks. Many uncertified teachers in charters. Budget due on Friday, may be extended

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—Doesn’t Cuomo take money from them too?

Schoor—Sure he does. Many pols do. We have to make sure people we support get elected.

LeRoy Barr—In support of health care for all—Our President is giving a lesson in politics. He thinks his political situation is like business, that he decrees and it is so. Glad he is getting his comeuppance. Glad to see town halls with people raising voice. They didn’t realize they would take health care away from 24 million people. We want to make sure whatever they go forward with, that it’s responsive to people’s needs. We oppose GOP act, want to improve safety net. Most sensible course is single payer. Want to mobilize members to fight for all people having affordable health care. Either they have access or you will have other issues. Please support.

Passes unanimously.

We are adjourned.

Come to the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE-UFT) General Meeting on Saturday, March 25th from 12-3pm.  We will be making plans for ongoing organizing to Save Our Union from the anti-union agenda of the Trump administration, to protect immigrants’ rights in our schools, distribute our regular newsletter, and defend public schools and educators under attack from their administrators.

When: Saturday, March 25th 12pm-3pm
Where: CUNY Graduate Center Room 5414
*ID Required to enter*
Light refreshments will be served.
"MORE general meeting 3.25.17"

This is the original resolution presented  by MORE/New Action to UFT Executive Board at the 3/20 meeting on behalf of the school.

The amended version that passed is below it:

Whereas Junior High School 145 is a school serving a low-income, immigrant community in the Bronx with 20% of the students living in homeless shelters or temporary housing; 21% have learning disabilities, 18% have gone extended periods of their lives without any education at all and over 40% English Language Learners, but has only one full-time ELL teacher,

Whereas JHS 145 was designated a renewal school by NYC DOE two and a half years ago, but has yet to receive all the services its students were promised under that program,

Whereas JHS 145 has been forced to give up their classrooms, computer labs and other resources to a Success Academy charter school,

Whereas Success Academy charter school has already advertised additional seats for the 2017/18 school year in JHS 145,

Whereas there has been no stability in school leadership, with three principals in recent years, including one that plead guilty to attempted grand larceny and paid $21,080.83 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

Be it resolved that UFT take a public stance against the closing of JHS 145 by organizing and mobilizing with the chapter, parents, and community for a march and rally at DOE headquarters to pressure Chancellor Farina into halting the closure.

Be it further resolved that the UFT will adjourn the March 22nd Delegate Assembly at 5:30pm and encourage all delegates to attend the Panel For Education Policy in order to voice our opposition to the closing of JHS 145.

UFT Staff Director and leader of Unity caucus Leroy Barr spoke in favor of the resolution, but amended the two resolveds. The version that passed includes all the “whereas”, but only has one resolves:

Be it resolved that the UFT will continue to take a public stance against the closing of JHS 145.

Barr assured MORE/NA that he will urge delegates at the DA to attend the PEP during his report and there will be UFT officers at the PEP.

Full report of the Executive Board here by Arthur Goldstein