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UFT Executive Board May 22--Good News at CPE 1 y Problemas en Puerto Rico

Howard Schoor, Secretary calls Anika and Cindi from CPE 1, they thank us for our support. Principal asked to step down. Two teachers returned to classroom as of tomorrow. Giving CPE t-shirts for people in dais.

Schoor—CPE 1 great success for UFT, for our work, very proud. Day Marilyn went back he was there, parents were celebrating, great response from kids. Jackie Bennett was there today. Howard wears CPE t-shirt.


Aixa Rodriguez—on resolution for support for Puerto Rican teachers. Asks that all unions be named and FMPR be included. President coming in June, would be great gesture of solidarity to include them. Super important to create sense of unity with all parents, kids and teachers. Situation worsening daily. Would mean a lot if we stand with them regardless.

Schoor—says we’re with you.

Fran Meyers
—Adult ed.—says union members unite to fight abusive administrators—says adult ed. principals and APs have been abusing powers to give U ratings. Says they are impossible to fight, rigged at 99% rate for principals. Defines grievance as per article 22. Says admin needs to be honest. We shouldn’t be told we can’t grieve it due to post-ob. Supe Mills handpicked cronies who abuse powers. Reports written to denigrate teachers. Standards used as battering ram, applied without regard to level. We have to fight for this before we are fired. Day to day methods for individualizing instruction should be left to teacher. Many U ratings and unjust firings. Irrational and abusive use of observation system must be stopped to preserve dignity of profession. Asks union support grievances as per article 22, before teachers lose jobs.

Catlin Preston—CPE 1—Thanks UFT leadership, especially Howie and Ellen Procida. He is exonerated. Was long 14 months. Was reassigned as CPE 1 fight happened. Speaks of teachers languishing in reassignment, a twilight zone with no clear path forward, no guidance. Can be dispiriting, especially when you don’t know what you’re accused of. I am proof administrative abuse takes place, and that there are real consequences.

My exoneration indicates that charges were not substantial to begin with. Extremely grateful for due process rights, for salary, pension but dignity, professionalism were assaulted. Thought about quitting. I was found not guilty. I also have feeling of wanting more from UFT, ground level support, my mind stays with those teachers, They were dedicated professionals. We shouldn’t apologize for abusive admin. We need to balance investigatory power of admin.


Mulgrew arrives 6:15—

Schoor—only one person at UFT responsible for CPE 1. He made sure our members were made whole.

Mulgrew—AFT says they have none of those rights and are gone for allegations. Doesn’t mean it’s OK because we have these rights. You wanted your school back, you have it. Make it run, make it shine, and show everyone that’s why we do these fights.
Betsy DeVos giving speech, many cuts, charters vouchers, tax credits. PD cut. In our city we are the place that shows what public ed is. We will always have challenges and always learn something new. They have screwy ideas—they have ability to reassign but someone needs to monitor those who make the decisions. When it’s done from abuse, that’s why it’s in their interest to do better. If we’re all fighting DC, if LA controlled by “reformers,” that’s what we’re dealing with.

When I talk to city I tell them we’re in it together, and this is not good for public ed. Hoping there will be more changes. Was an enlightening process. We have to move forward. Will see what happens in DC. Thinks we can block but we may have to mobilize. Mayoral control now tied to tax credits. I am not involved because we don’t like this version. Was very smart to not tie to charters, to appeal to upstate. Working on good things up there.

To CPE 1, it’s your school, you have it back, do what you always wanted. We’ll make sure everyone sees that’s what happens when you treat ed. well.

Mulgrew gets CPE t-shirt, leaves, 6:22.

LeRoy Barr—Spring conference May 13, crowd applauds Dr. Barber. On May 15, immigration forum. Thanks E. de Jesus, Ashraya Gupta. Tomorrow Shanker scholarships 5:30. DA June 14, EB June 5. May 25 prom event. 3K dresses and suits, handbags, shoes, jewelry. Wed. in Bronx UFT.


Arthur GoldsteinMORE—We have now seen both Marilyn Martinez and Catlin Preston brought up on charges. Despite the fact that they seemed to have no validity whatsoever, and were in fact determined as such, OSI saw fit to take them both out of their classrooms. It seems like they will support just about anything that comes out of a principal’s mouth. Clearly, what with the various Principals from Hell we’ve been hearing about at these meetings, that is an issue. No one wants our members dragged through the mud for no reason. How many teachers are currently reassigned, and are we dealing with the abuse of the investigatory process by OSI and their friends at DoE legal?

Schoor—We will get number. We are looking at process. Found principals make decisions. If there is a complaint, OSI seems to ask principals. Seems to be problem. We will look at it.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—HS Applied Communication members continue to face attacks. Culture of fear. Looking for any help. What steps being taken to remove principal?

Schoor—Carmen Alvarez has been in school. Many special ed. complaints. Janella going next week—says DR in school weekly, we are in constant communication.

—What are we doing right now. They are under constant attack.

Hinds—collecting info, visiting.

Rona Freiser
—another meeting today. 30 members in schools. Dealing mostly with two or three. Working with CL. Trying to figure what’s best for all. We are on top of everything and working with CL. Recall for CL didn’t pass. Many people going in building.

—We can’t just say principal is terrible. We need facts, can’t generalize. Will take time we will get there.

Jonathan Halabi
New Action—Tremendous day when we can overturn something like this. Supe, Estrella, temporarily removed. If I have a friend, do I say you now work with decent person, but other returning. Bad supes real issue. This is not normal. Elaine Lindsay in Queens is not. When they show abuse, direct abuse, our strategy doesn’t work. What do we do with abusive supes?

Schoor—We have been looking at supes. We will be doing something. Stay tuned. We expect full membership of UFT to get involved.

Kuljit S. Ahluwalia
New Action—Seems to be concern over what’s going to happen in September to ATRs. What can you tell us?

Schoor—Still meeting, but don’t yet have agreement. Would be unfair bargaining to say now. City and we want agreement. Maybe next meeting.

Ashraya Gupta
MORE—Proud at immigration forum. Randi said we were no longer in control of populism narrative. What strategies are we thinking of applying? How are we reaching out to members? Forum was people already with us.

—We discuss everything, working with NYSUT, AFT, everything connected, Will have something members can partake in.

Marcus McArthur
MORE—PD hours—what should teachers do to get CTLE hours they now need. They are registered but now want to know how to get hours.

Evelyn de Jesus
—Members need 100 hours. ESL need 50 in ESL, others 15. UFT in summer and September will have series of workshops, and we can go to your school and offer hours. We can do L or special ed. hours. Training people to turnkey in summer. DOE now provider. If you go to DOE workshop make sure there is approved provider.

Report from Districts

Pat Crispino—SVA grad, Bennie Lye, killed in head on collision. Moment of silence. Asks for gofundme contributions.

Dolores ?—Ed. liaison for Manhattan—There are many things union does—Ed. liaisons in every borough, help with licensing and certification. Have been able to reduce number of teachers in danger with support.

Janella Hinds—met with DOE about Regents scoring. Are awaiting response. Will share.
Missed name—12 annual scholarship dinner SI—raised funds for summer camp, tech devices.

Margaret Dalton—Thanks Manhattan staff for support with para day of learning. Gives Evelyn de Jesus thanks. Thanks Ellie Engler and presenters.

Mindy Carter B.—Thanks people for coming to speech and hearing month. Displayed in UFT lobby. 11th year.

Helen Greisen
—Spoke of Public School Proud celebration of arts. Been in many schools. Seen incredible things from children and teachers. Friday we had 7 or 8 schools perform. Will be video. Ended with Public School Proud chant led by supe.

Evelyn de Jesus—Thanks Queens office for visiting Lawrence Teacher Association. Issues with community, private schooling, tremendous turnout. Everyone thanked us. Attack on them is attack on us.

Political report—Paul Egan
—tomorrow is election day in AD 9—Christine Pellegrino running. If you live there, voter for her. 1K UFT members out there. Low turnout. With exception of 2 districts, all budgets passed. Thanks people on continuing basis for school visits to City Council offices.

Schoor—City Council members were here, hearing about programs we want them to continue funding.

Evelyn de Jesus—resolution about Puerto Rico, cuts in services, ed., health care, at heart of our unions. Been there 4X, 33K active teachers,48K members. Asked for help. 378 school closings. 3K teachers came to mainland. Average salary 17.5K. 6.25 gallon for milk No social security for teachers. GOP offering no help. This association shares our values. These are our people Puerto Ricans US citizens. 3.5 million.

Arthur Goldstein
MORE—If we’re gonna be public school proud it means standing up not only for ourselves, but also for our friends and neighbors.  I spoke to Mercedes Martinez, President of the Federacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico, who tells me another few hundred schools are to be closed to raise millions of dollars to pay the criminal loan sharks who’ve purchased the debt. Tens of thousands of teachers are facing pension loss, and also furloughs which will mean immediate cuts in salary. In Puerto Rico, vulture capitalists have converted human misery into a financial bonanza.

Puerto Rican teachers face criminalization of protests and years of jail time if they strike. In fact it’s likely they will do just that, and they need our support. Allowing this in Puerto Rico is tantamount to allowing it everywhere. It behooves us to do everything in our power to stop it dead right there. I urge support.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—Motion to amend. Wants to add FMPR to resolution in various places. Asks we add “collective action” to demand for collective bargaining. We know there are divisions among teachers.

Stuart Kaplan—Point of info—Can you clarify what collective action is?

SchirtzerMORE--aware of divisions, but when teachers under attack we have to show solidarity with ALL teachers. Students and professors have led boycotts, strikes, occupations. Talking about what George Altomare always talks about when he celebrates union. We must recognize and respect what happens in Puerto Rico.

LeRoy Barr—Speaks against amendment. There were emails about this with President Mercedes Martinez. Convo was she has to go through AFT. We do things through AFT for national issues. We come out with positions as they relate to NYC. When we invite others we always coordinate with agent responsible for bargaining or who has relationships at those levels. It’s AFT and NEA. Was back and forth. It was with President of the organization. Told them it has to go through AFT. Speaking in favor of all people in Puerto Rico. Against anyone making low wages, but this goes through AFT.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action--With all due respect, standing in solidarity means only we can speak. AMPR has relationship with us. We should find a way to reach out to brother and sister teachers.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—Are we going to add collective action to our resolution?

(Evidently it is included in what Unity is voting against.)

Motion fails.

Original motion passes.

We are adjourned.


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