Archives For chapter leader

StopAttacksOnTeachers

Now, more than ever we need a revitalized union that involves and mobilized all its members. You can do this by getting active in the upcoming UFT chapter leader and delegate elections. All schools (chapters) will have an election this spring.

Our tenure rights, pensions, our very jobs are coming under attack from politicians on both sides of the aisle and the corporate billionaires who fund them. Schools have become places of fear; teachers are scared of losing their jobs, students are afraid of tests, administrators who lack classroom experience violating our contractual rights. Teachers were once highly respected members of society who dedicated their lives to making the world a better place. Now we face attack after attack from those who have an economic interest in destroying the public education system. The plan is simple; close down our public schools, destroy unions, drive down wages, and increase their profits.

How do we fight back, how do we defend public education while advocating for the children we serve? Unions are the answer! You need to start in your school. Revitalizing your own chapter is where you start.

This is where MORE can help. We have to start from the bottom up. We have to organize ourselves, get people in our schools involved in the fight and educate parents and community members. The best way to do this is during the upcoming chapter elections.

Start with your chapter, if your chapter leader is not responsive or not interested in calling chapter meetings or seeking input from members then it is time for a change. Luckily it’s the right time, get in touch with MORE, we can set up a local meeting near you, help you run, offer support, and workshops. MORE can put you in touch with nearby UFT members who are facing the same challenges you are.

Our long time chapter leaders can advise you on best practices for winning elections and how to defeat the incumbent. MORE members can help in getting your staff involved in taking back our schools from the culture of fear. Our vision of unionism is one where UFT members in the schools work together, empower each other, get mobilized, have each others back, and then build alliances with nearby schools and communities.

No UFT member should ever be left alone! We ARE our union. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.

Come to MORE’s January workshop to learn how to build a stronger and more active chapter.

January 24th 12:00-2:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Ave at 34th st NYC room 5409
Free childcare is available – please email more@morecaucusnyc.org to reserve.

We will be serving free pizza and soft drinks during our post workshop meet and mingle from 2:30-3:00pm.

If you can not make this workshop email: more@morecaucusnyc.org  to set up a meeting near you

 

MORE is moving forward on our priorities and campaigns for the fall.  We need YOU to get involved and help us campaign around tenure, charter schools, high-stakes testing, chapter leader elections, local UFT member support, diversity petition and MORE!

Ways to get involved – email us at MORE@morecaucusnyc.org or call at (347) 766-7319 to join any of these campaigns.

Please check out our events calendar at more.nationbuilder.com/calendar

  • Distribute Our Newsletter! – This is the most essential thing every member should do to build our caucus.  The newsletter is how we raise our collective voice and recruit new activists. MORE members should distribute MORE newsletters to all UFT members in their school mailboxes and try to make contacts at nearby schools as well. Download our recent copy here

Continue Reading…

Support the Opt-Out Movement & Learn How to Organize Your Chapter

THURSDAY 2/27: ORGANIZING WORKSHOP

A LABOR NOTES TROUBLEMAKERS SCHOOL

strengthinnumbersOverwhelmed by the challenges of organizing in your school? Want to share ideas with other dedicated, creative chapter leaders and activists?

Come to a workshop on organizing your members to create a more active, involved union chapter. Discuss organizing challenges with other chapter leaders and strategize creative solutions to build teacher and para power in your school!

What challenges are you facing in your school? – Take our Chapter Leader Survey

Thursday, February 27, 5:00pm

TWU Local 100 Offices

195 Montague St., 3rd Fl., Rm C, Brooklyn

FRIDAY 2/28: MEET WITH PARENTS WHO ARE SAYING NO!

Sponsored by Change the Stakes    

 

(Please Share Widely with your friends, PTAs, SLTs, Parent Lists, teachers)

 
As children and teachers enter the spring “testing season,” parents must decide if we will continue to allow our children to support high-stakes testing. There are many ways to resist the tests and demand social justice for all public school students.

Meet with others who choose to refuse and are organizing others to do the same.  
•    Learn what is at stake, ways you can resist and how.  
•    Help educate your school community, organize, mobilize and possibly opt out. 
•    Even if you feel like a lone voice, you are not alone! 
•    It is time for parents to protect their children and resist by saying NO!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28
5:30 to 7:30pm
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave, Rm 5409
[corner of 5th Ave & 34th St; entrance on 5th]
Bring photo ID to enter

 
 
For more info, visit www.changethestakes.org or email changethestakes@gmail.com

Flyer1-1

By James Eterno

Teacher/Chapter Leader- Jamaica High School

ICE/TJC 2010 UFT Presidential Candidate

READING THE TEA LEAVES AT CHAPTER LEADER MEETING: Sayanara Bill Thompson?; Don’t Expect Much Improvement on the Evaluation System with a New Mayor

We’re back in school and the UFT called for a Chapter Leader meeting on Wednesday at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriot.  Great cookies and lots of soft drinks were an enticement to listen to President Michael Mulgrew give one of his lengthy monologues.  After listening to him for over an hour, here are my quick views on what he said or at least implied:

1. The UFT will abandon Bill Thompson’s mayor campaign in a hurry  soon to achieve Democratic party unity and hope for the best opportunity to elect a Democrat as the mayor.
2. Mulgrew wants to tweak the new teacher evaluation system but we are stuck with it and the UFT will continue to promote it.  However, judging by the reaction from the Chapter Leaders, it seems like the rank and file aren’t buying.

POLITICS

From listening to Mulgrew’s remarks, at first it looked like the UFT would be sticking with Thompson.  He said that Thompson only missed the runoff by around 700 votes.  (That number was disputed by some people around where I sat.)  However, then Mulgrew stated that after twenty years of Republican mayors and the damage they have done to the school system, it is imperative that we elect a Democrat in November as our top priority. (Translation: We don’t need a three week runoff where two Democrats bloody each other and Republican Lhota could possibly sneak in.) Mulgrew even stated that we don’t want a split Democratic party.  He then told us there might soon be a special Delegate Assembly on an updated endorsement.  (Translation: We will be supporting deBlasio hopefully.)

Mulgrew was not humbled by the results (Thompson lost by around 14%) at all and took a victory lap by noting that Comptroller candidate Scott Stringer, who beat Elliot Spitzer in the Primary on Tuesday, specifically thanked the teachers for getting him in.  Mulgrew then reported on how UFT candidates won 42 out of 47 races on Tuesday and a couple of others are still too close to call.

During the question period, the Chapter Leader from Dewey High School questioned the Thompson endorsement and Mulgrew responded that it was done democratically and the Chapter Leader must not like democracy.  (I am just reporting folks; please don’t gag when UFT Presidents stand up for democracy.)

Mulgrew also reported that the outgoing mayor would be trying to collocate and even close as many schools as possible before he leaves office at the end of the year. He also noted that we would be going to the Panel for Educational Policy to urge them to have teachers, not test scores, be the final judge on which students get promoted.

NEW EVALUATION SYSTEM
President Mulgrew ceded very little ground when he talked about the state imposed new teacher evaluation system.  While members of the Movement of Rank and File Educators were handing out leaflets with a petition on the back urging for a moratorium on imposing the new system, Mulgrew was inside telling us that the UFT disagrees with the implementation of the new system by the current Department of Education administration.  Specifically, he emphasized how there is a state Public Employees Relations Board case going on and a Union initiated grievance.  He also told us that there are 150 new arbitration slots thanks to the new system so we can have many problems that can’t be worked out by October 25 taken to this expedited process. He once again insisted that we have stronger due process under the current system than we had in the past.
He then argued that the increased observations under Danielson’s framework could be positive if they are handled in a collegial way by administration but if administration plays hardball with teachers, Mulgrew recommended that teachers respond in kind by holding them to the letter of the law.
Mulgrew did admit that he was troubled by the Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) portion of the new “Advance” evaluation system, where we are judged on student test scores, but he insisted that changing and expanding what can be used for our MOSL scores would be a priority in contract negotiations.
During the question period, Mulgrew addressed lesson plans.  He told the Chapter Leaders that the Danielson framework leaves the lesson plan format up to the teacher but the DOE disputes this.  He said that our contract is still in effect in terms of freedom of lesson plan format and prohibition against ritualized collection of lesson plans by administration so we are in grievance in these areas.
Mulgrew summed up the evaluation system by predicting that two years from now, many more schools will be doing evaluation right than wrong and that teachers need to get over their fear of having other adults in their classrooms.  He also told us that we must report it to the UFT if we need questions answered on the evaluation system, if don’t have curriculum or if we have problems such as oversize classes.
NATIONAL POLITICS
The President briefly touched on the national scene when he declared that the situation is dire in cities around the country for public education.  He told us how 35% of the teachers had been laid off in Philadelphia by a Democratic mayor who was turning over much of the system to charter schools.  He then stated that 52 schools were closed in Chicago despite the valiant fight against it there and those teachers only had five months to find a new job or they were laid off.  He then stated that Los Angeles and Houston were also in bad shape.
He followed this by noting that we are not in such a bad position in NYC but that over the next couple of years we may have the opportunity to turn NYC into a model public school system. He told us we might have to change from fighting to a different mode of operation in the near future.
(Translation: Expect more Newark/DC style contract concessions in the future in NYC. Get used to being judged on junk science and constantly observed. It will make you a better teacher!)

UPDATE-I came home from Brooklyn to eastern Queens, where I live, around 7:30 pm last night.  My wife and I ate, played some games with our four year old daughter (the fun part of the day) before helping to get her to bed.  I was exhausted so I went to sleep without checking the news and woke up before 5:00 am to write this piece. I didn’t know that Thompson was fighting on. Is the UFT really considering holding out on this?

Note- James Eterno will be filing reports for MORE after each UFT Delegate Assembly during the 2013/14 school year. These are his thoughts and may/may not represent the official position of the caucus