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UFT Executive Board November 28th--We Can't Risk Offending People by Mentioning Trump

Secretary Schoor welcomes us.

Open Mike

Sara Shapiro From Adult ed chapter.  Presents incident about AE consultation meeting. Mentions Ms. Mills, superintendent, who runs meeting. Says she was verbally attacked by Mills. Asks for help. Says when CL addressed issue of interruptions of classes demanding data, Ms. Mills said it was needed, and that it should be resolved amongst UFT members. Said it was also admin.

Says Mills lost control and began screaming. Says she shouted at principals it was their job. Says Mills was hostile and frightening, yelling. Says she shouted to her, “Some people should never be teachers.” Asks for help. What recourse does UFT have for this type of abusive behavior? How can we ensure there is no retaliation? What steps does UFT recommend for me? What can UFT do to ensure this not occur again? Will they officially censure Mills and report this to chancellor?

Schoor—Thank you for coming forward. We’d like to bring this up in meeting with deputy chancellors. Shapiro approves and Schoor says it’s a good first step.

Minutes—approved

Jonathan Halabi
New Action—There’s a motion, but no indication of who made it. This is highly unusual. Who made motion?

Schoor—Leadership of union.

Halabi—Why didn’t this address what was taken away? Chief effect was to remove language. Thinks there should be open discussion on this. Name of Donald Trump was removed without indication. Pretty big step. Merits discussion here.

Schoor—approval is on minutes. If you want to bring up issue in front of body, you may.

Halabi—May I amend resolution via email? Is this province of regular executive board member?

Schoor—We’re gonna vote on minutes. If you wish to debate, you may.

Minutes passed. MORE-New Action votes no

President’s Report

Mulgrew is not here.

Staff director’s report

Leroy Barr
—CL training this weekend

DA January moved to January 18th. This month 14th. Exec. Board next week.

David Garcia RosenMORE—Sad seeing how people vote and we just take Trump’s name off. Would like update on issue of mass incarceration in USA. Last time we were told what AFT did. What will UFT do? NYC students are impacted by these laws. Concerned that leadership more concerned with political correctness than being leaders. We have Pres. elect who has sworn to vigorously enforce drug laws. What is update? Why is leadership afraid to use Trump’s name?

Janella Hinds—Regarding mass incarceration, we are doing research. Many of us have viewed 13 and are doing research. We have taken specific action on Riker’s Island. We want to raise age so fewer teenagers are there and make sure students receive education. Today there was meeting with Council member Danny Drone. We are actively engaged in work around making sure our students don’t end up there and that they are treated well if they are.

Rosen—Why was Trump’s name removed?

Schoor—Union represents different people, parties, ethnicities. We have membership that voted for Trump. We didn’t change resolved, only Whereas/.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE—When are we gonna debate this?

Schoor—A little later

Schirtzer—Many members voted for Trump. We know who the ed. secretary will be. Friedrichs will come back under new name. We have to be honest, this will happen. We have to do things now. The only reason we won was because Scalia died. What are we going to do differently to better engage our members? We want union to grow.

Schoor—Loud and proud campaign.

Hinds—We had day of action to kick off our Loud and Proud campaign. Activists demonstrated support and showed solidarity. There were safety pins, posters. This work will continue. Not just about 52 giving info, but about us working to have all our voices heard.

Schoor—Mike we share your concern and will be responsive.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—Asking about resolution calling for immigrant liaison at every school. Were reports of teachers saying insulting and threatening things to undocumented students. Should be ally at every school for those students and their families.

Schoor—On our agenda with deputy chancellors, who are very concerned.

Marcus McArthurMORE—I read Mayor de Blasio has received endorsements from other unions. What is our position and what mechanisms are there for members to weigh in?

Schoor—Personally, he’s been a good mayor for us. No union had contract when he took over, now most do.  We believe he will continue to be fair with labor if re-elected. Sanitation endorsed.  We look favorably. UFT controls endorsements. Asks Paul Egan to discuss this. Will first come to AdCom.

Reports from districts:

Rich Mandel—reports about 3rd annual Thanksgiving drive. Was big success. 150 children from temporary housing played games and got new winter coat, hat, scarf. Thanks for donations. Collected over 500 jackets. Delivering to schools. Also delivered ten turkeys.

Alan ?—Tenure workshop for new teachers. Superintendent was there. Plugged TDA.

Elis Ranu?—December 12th tenure workshop with superintendent.

Karen Allford—Coalition for homeless holiday party. Asks for unwrapped toys. Collecting in borough offices or will pick up in schools.

Schoor—More homeless students than ever before?

Allford—83,000 but probably more, as some families live “doubled up.”

George Altomore—While politicking goes on, our teacher’s best contribution is what it’s all about. Were two big conferences—FL committee—paid $55 each and gave own presentations. Saturday—NYC Art teachers—growing in numbers. We are union of professionals. Let’s always remember what we do best is for children we teach.

Camille Evey—DR District 16—tenure workshop, over 65 teachers with new supe. Almost zero teachers got tenure before, but now 27, with support from UFT. Praises superintendent for support.

Schoor—UFT has teacher center people at tenure workshops.

Ellie Engler—Camille and superintendent came up with model for a district. We’re trying to get it funded by DOE. People with BA in area would be invited into fellows program to get Master’s in teaching and would intern at schools with benefits, credits. salary.

Schoor—This is cooperation from new admin we didn’t get from Bloomberg. We have input, and this is indicative.

Legislative reportPaul Egan

Much discussion of football game. There will be several recounts. These numbers, though, are likely to hold up. Great every vote is counted, unlikely to change results. While we may be disgusted be Sec. of Ed., it requires Cabinet appointees to be reviewed. She never had job, married into money, made mess in Detroit. Even is she is approved, she is walking into job wounded. Many turned down by Senate.

State Senate—Simka Felder—caucus with GOP. Means GOP is in power, two races under recount. Marcelino, will probably win. Venditto going back and forth. Today, lead is now 9 for Venditto. More people stayed home than voted for candidates in national election. We have to tell people the importance of voting.

Talk about march in DC week of inauguration. Unclear whether it will happen.

Resolutions—Opposition to Constitutional convention

Mel Aaronson—urge we make this most important thing for ourselves and state for next year. Constitution says every 20 years convention is on ballot.  Last time this was voted on was 1997 and we defeated it. Can open every single law in this state at same time to group of people who will discuss every issue. In 1977 there was one with recommendations. Every one was turned down by people of state.

If we lose, next year, 2018, there will be election. Will be 200 delegates with salary and expenses. Could cost with just that, tens of millions. We have to tell people. Biggest problem for us is, in 1938, amendment added that once pension credit granted, it can never be diminished or impaired. That’s why we have tiers. We have many allies, unions, conservationists. Support for separation of church and state. Public funds, now, not used for parochial schools.

Our constitution must stand. We have best plan to supplement pensions anywhere in country. Can be changed. Urges we support this resolution.

Amemdment—we work with other orgs. and individuals to defeat.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—propose UFT launch immediate educational campaign in our chapters and workplaces about the threat that this Constitutional Convention presents. 

Paul Egan—Asks we delete word immediate. We are in contact with other groups. This is in our plans.

Schirtzer—Okay.

Vince Gatley
—Add word after UFT, “chapter leaders and delegates.”

Schirtzer—Says leadership has resources CLs and delegates don’t.

Amendments pass.

Vince Gatley—Work has to be done in schools, not on 14th floor.

Schoor—Resolved, that UFT urge CLs and delegates lead campaign to defeat Convention.

Passes.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Moves to reconsider Respect for all people to restore language we unanimously voted on.

Schoor—You have to vote in favor to consider.

Leroy Barr—Starts discussion.

Halabi—Original language specified Trump’s abusive behavior toward women. Now says presidential election did. It is a resolution that was motivated by hostility Trump displayed toward communities, schools, immigrants. That’s why it was unanimous. Wasn’t presidential election. Can’t understand not using name.

Dolores ?
—thinks of Thanksgiving meal. This body has been body that includes everyone. Though I don’t support Trump I don’t want to alienate people.

?—Agrees, sorry, opposes Trump being there. Heated discussions in my school. Have to respect person who voted for Trump. We need all members to stand up together. We are family.

Ellen Driesen—District straddled communities—mine voted heavily toward Trump. Can’t alienate even one CL. Will lose quarter of schools.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—also knows Trump voters. Are friends. Don’t want to alienate them. But I don’t see how presidential election can do these things. Also, if we’re getting ready for fight membership must recognize what Trump said will disempower us. They need to know we see them Trump’s potential victims as friends. Hasn’t yet happened.

Vince Gagley
—proposes after words presidential election, campaign rhetoric. Can we neutralize language to get agreement?

David Garcia-Rosen- MORE--there are times in history that call for something different. When someone votes to deport my friends, incarcerate my friends, convert my friends- they can not be in my circle of love. We represent all ethnicities, Trump attacks women, muslims, immigrants, LGBT, Blacks and Latinos not the presidential election.

Maria Kallo- I get what my brothers and sisters are saying, but were need to build a family together. we need to represent all members, build family? We can’t take off the gloves and say Trump’s name to build family. we have to be united, we cant antagonize our members. We stand on the leadership’s shoulders. They are more experienced than all of us. Mike Schirtzer is my daughter and son’s teacher. we agree to disagree, but we stand united in the union. We have to pull our own ego back and do what is good for everyone.


Arthur Goldstein
--MORE--We cant risk antagonizing people - using your logic we should not have supported Hillary, you antagonized me because I’m a Bernie supporter. the Trump supporters were antagonized the entire election. By this logic we should never take sides or endorse anybody.

Struck by absurdity of not wanting to take sides after having Hillary office at 52.

We, the high school representatives,  enthusiastically supported the resolution brought to us last week. In the weeks following the election, there have been hundreds of racists, bigots and homophobes feeling emboldened and acting against our brothers and sisters all across this country. In Queens there are three incidents I know of.

I’d wager, or at least hope, that every single person in this room was part of the presidential election. We didn’t vote for swastikas in playgrounds. We didn’t vote for hijabs being torn from people’s heads. We didn’t vote for abuse of anyone based on race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. It’s not us standing around using Nazi salutes and shouting Hail Trump.

But people who indulge in that nonsense invoke the name of the man who calls Mexicans rapists, the man who wants a blanket ban on Muslim immigration, the man who has railed against Hamilton and counting votes, but has yet to utter one word against racism, bigotry, homophobia and all the things we collectively deplore.

By refusing to mention the name of Donald Trump, we are pandering to racists, bigots, and homophobes.

I ask  name of Donald Trump be restored.

Sandy ?- Doesn’t need Trump’s name. We should place Hitler’s name. Trump is not important enough. He is a nothing.

Speaker—believes we should use Trump’s name. If we do not want to be decisive, why did we support Hillary? We endorsed her. Stein, Johnson and Clinton did not push racism.

Jackie Bennett
—supports amendment Vince brought up. Wants to clarify saying election increased hostilities.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—glad debate is happening. Jonathan’s point was everyone supported. 24 hours later was changed. We all know Trump supporters. We’re arguing not to be divisive, to antagonize. I try to have civil discourse. I have family who voted Trump, family undocumented, LGBT family. I understand we don’t want to antagonize.

Wasn’t Hillary who attacked my students, called them rapists and drug dealers. My students can’t sleep at night. We are the only thing between attacks on our kids. They want to make our kids data and money. We’re here because we love our kids. We have to tell people who voted for Trump they did something wrong. They are family. But I have to say to my students looking at deportation that Trump is problem.

Leroy Barr—You can’t make amendment of something not on the floor. Asks for motion to reconsider. We failed to engage members enough to understand dangers before them, damages to their way of life. We couldn’t get people to understand no vote was vote for Trump.
How do we get our members to table, to front lines in battle that is looming? If we don’t do that we will fail again. The education never stops. Can’t educate someone when you shut them down. In our passion we have to get members back to table, to understand dangers that lie ahead. They are not engaged. We need everyone. We have to vote up motion to reconsider.

Schoor—Motion to reconsider needs majority vote.

Halabi—discussion on motion? Thanks Leroy for opening debate, and thanks for vigorous debate. In spirit of compromise, we should support Vince’s amendment.

Schoor—We should add words campaign rhetoric.

Passes.
Mike SchirtzerMORE--Moves to put Trump’s name back.

Schoor—motion fails, we are adjourned.

Special thanks to Mike Schirtzer for helping with the notes while I waited on line to speak. 

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