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UFT Executive Board October 16, 2017--We Were Against APPR Before We Were For It

6 PM—Secretary Howard School welcomes us.

We have four speakers—all ATRs.

Aixa Rodriguez—ESL teacher and ATR, rated HE—No vacancies for ESL in Bronx HS—CR Part 154 makes courses double counted so there are no vacancies. Asks that stereotyping FSF, be challenged by UFT. Leads to rampant ageism.

August Leppelmeier—NYT maligned character of ATRs. Very unfair. Most ATRs excessed for downsizing. Somehow city isn’t placing ESL teachers. Those charged have been cleared. If not, they’d be fired. UFT needs to stand by concept that people are exonerated. Expects union to fight in press with ads, speak publicly, use social media. Has been going on since June. We expect more.

Gina Trent—English teacher for 17 years, mostly as ATR. Grateful UFT preserved salary and benefits. However, you should fight for more quality of life issues. Most of my colleagues envy ATR position. Disturbing. Many young people leave with health issues and stress. We need to try to get principals accountable wh…
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Call from Mulgrew! Maternity/Parental Leave

Emily James and her colleague Susan Hibdon delivered their petition to Mulgrew Monday night at the UFT executive board meeting. As a result Mulgrew has been in communication with them which you can read below. Please continue to circulate the petition in your chapter and share MORE's position and Emily/Susan's position that UFT ought to negotiate a deal for family leave without any givebacks. The city has the money, they didnt pay out full retro for us like other city unions, and our union is majority women, majority caregivers. Mulgrew has promised that this fight is all our fight and we will win!
We also stand in solidarity with Emily and Susan calling for our union to openly advertise Executive Board meetings, the "open mic" option to address leadership at these meetings, more union transparency, and seek input from our members in the decision making process. Our Executive Board members will continue to be the voice of class-room teachers and school-based educators…

Exec. Board September 25 Takeaway--The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So last Monday was a mixed bag. Let's get to the good. I was inspired by the women who spoke on child care. They managed to gather 80,000 signatures in support. Mulgrew spoke well, and said he would use that to work for us. He also said that he wouldn't settle for a crap deal like the one imposed on the non-union workers. I have the feeling that any agreement we hammer out would apply not only to us, but to other unions as well.

I was fascinated to hear that the women didn't know about Executive Board, had no idea it existed, and that there was nothing at to even suggest it was possible to visit and speak. Things must've been great over there before we not only showed up and started asking questions, but also started inviting others. Howie Schoor, last year, showed amusement over questions, making jokes about them. On September 25, his position was, "If you hate someone, have them run for Executive Board." Hilarity notwithstanding, it s…

UFT Executive Board September 25, 2017--We Support Adult Ed., Maternity Leave, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. Overcrowding? Class Sizes? Democracy? Meh.

Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us.

Betty ?—Adult Ed. ex CL—speaks of fight in adult ed., says union has given good attention. Says 12 teachers who were pushed out have testified, urges leaders to watch video. Says teachers were magnificent. Says Danny Drumm watched and complimented teachers. Says Sterling Roberson wants more input from adult ed. teachers and that is a very welcome statement.

Reads statement from 1992 as example of participating chapter, asks for return to that. Thanks Mulgrew for involvement. Says he listens.

Lisa Miller—discontinued in 2016. Says UFT failed to address issues. Says concerns were responded with “So what. YOu’re getting a paycheck” Says grievances were discouraged. Says help was not forthcoming. Says UFT DR defended U ratings. Says DR told her she was done, offered no help. U ratings have been overturned, but DR did not inform members of regs. Says member concerns were neglected.

Schoor asks her to stop, characterizes her as giving pers…

Executive Board Takeaway, September 11, 2017

As you can see from my headline, I was very happy we were able to agree on supporting DACA. As an ESL teacher, I'm highly prejudiced in favor of newcomers. As an American, I'm well aware that our country is mostly made of newcomers, and that diversity is a huge part of what's good about us. Of course, the worst thing about us is Donald Trump, a national disgrace, and you never know just what awful thing he's gonna try next until he up and does it. Trump often says he has sympathy for dreamers, but as Norm Scott always says, "Watch what they do, not what they say."

What he's done is an abomination. It turned out that we and Unity had the same thought at the same time, and the resolution we passed used wording from both. Hopefully we'll be able to do more things like that.

Then, of course, there are differences. We proposed letting prospective teachers know about turnover rates in schools. That's an important factor, and in fact we hear…

UFT Executive Board September 11 2017--UFT Defends DACA and Dreamers

Howard Schoor welcomes us—6 PM—

Roberta Pikse—Adult Ed.—In June dismissed with no reason after 16 years. Never got U rating before. Got 2 U observations last year. Year end U rating. Dismissed via email. Teaching adults very different. Many uncertified teachers working. Many U ratings this year by new principals. All appointed by Rosemarie Mills.

Had meeting of 20 teachers, most of whom never had U ratings before. She’s waiting on grievance. Mismanagement destroying program. Asks EB for support. Asks for info on how many teachers let go, and how many U ratings. Asks for resolution against harassment. If they can mistreat us, will mistreat you.

Dianne Jenkins—Adult Ed.—Number of students who vitally need adult ed.—those who don’t have HS, English skills, tech skills. 40,000 per year. Rosemarie Mills, from day one, put us on notice they are in a battle and she planned to win. She had no experience in adult ed. Nor do those she hired. Staff rude, walks into classroom…

Forging the UFT Unity Wilderness

This school year I went to UFT Executive Board twice a month. The only one I missed was the last one, as I'm told that was some catered affair with waiters and such, in which we celebrate our achievements. I was not in a particularly celebratory mood after a year of unnecessarily adversarial episodes.

There are seven of us who represent the high schools, and 95 who ostensibly represent everyone else. We are outvoted at every turn, so it can be discouraging. I can generally shrug it off, as I am not surprised when Unity fails to display capacity for growth or change. The only time I was really quite upset was the night I brought a substantive and detailed class size resolution and they voted it down based on nonsense. However, I got over it and I doubt they will be able to shock me again unless they suddenly turn supportive.

If you've been reading my notes, the thing that most stands out is that virtually nothing would happen if we were not there. They'd probab…