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UFT Executive Board October 17, 2016

As always, apologies for misspelled names. Things moved very fast tonight--did best I could.

Secretary Schoor calls meeting to order 6 PM

Open Mike

Mavis Yan—CL PS 156—Lost a twenty year member, teacher center person who unexpectedly passed. Teaching family is family. UFT was very supportive. MAP services provided guidance. Appreciates DR and borough rep. Thanks MAP.

Stella Thrapcimis—PS 79 Queens. Loves teaching music and seeing what kids can do. Problem is suddenly being rated poorly by new admin. Says arts are not understood. Says admin doesn’t understand performing. Says brain highly stimulated when children play music. How can we get clueless admin who don’t know difference between reading English and reading music? How can we give PD to admin so they understand what music means? Danielson doesn’t fit music instruction. Asks for action. Asks for support and help.

Various Minutes approved

Secretary addresses ATRs. Reports says 1304, 150 less than last year. 115 ATRs took buyout last year. Looking to reduce number of ATRs. Speaks of new DOE program to get ATRs on Galaxy

Kuljit Ahluwalia—New Action
—Does incentive apply to social workers, guidance couselors? AA—No.


Amy Arundell—DOE has given an incentive for permanent hiring. This year, person costs school nothing, next DOE pays 50%, third year 25.  Thus far about 20 teachers placed.

President’s Report

Mulgrew is not present.

Staff Director’s report

Leroy Barr--Manhattan conference successful. UFT gave aways 40,000 books in other event. Sunday was making strides walk. Thanks everyone who contributed. Following DA, delegates and CLs with 100% attendance will receive certificates and there will be an even.

10/ 29 there will be an ELL conference. Registration is closed.

Next EB next week.

Secretary mentions CTU contract resolution. Buffalo has also resolved contract. We don’t know what’s in it yet.

Arthur Goldstein MORE—I remember when Senator Flanigan proposed a bill to removed seniority rights for NYC teachers only. While we managed to beat that back, I was just a little upset about that. I don’t remember NY Republicans strongly supporting us at any time. In fact. Maybe there are Republican Senators who support us, and perhaps we should support them too,  Did we give 119K in COPE funds to the Republican State Senate Election campaign, and if so, why did we do it?

Paul Egan—Can’t speak to that exact number but NYSUT does all state contributions. Endorses based on variety of things. Outside NYC there are lots of GOP. To get anything passed, many GOP Senators represent other members. Gives us access and chance of getting things passed. Keeps door open for contributions.

Secretary says 35% of NYSUT and UFT are registered Republicans. We are not one party endorsee.

Mike Schirtzer MORE—In light of statement by NAACP calling for moratorium on charters, will we revisit our policy

Secretary, We will talk about it and debate it

Marcus McArthur MORE
—As someone who’s twice gone through tenure process, and for members, we want to know how many probationers got tenure by district, how many denied, discontinued, and how are we making process fair equitable transparent?

Sec—64% granted last year, higher than under Bloomberg. We hope it continues to go up. We will support our members in this process. Please reach out to us, first to DR, because they deal with this. We have tenure workshops. Good intro to UFT.

Jonathan Halabi New Action
—Over year and a half, we met about problems of discontinuance. Was the reduction in number of discontinuance last year, and where do discontinued teachers go? Who do they call.

Sec—Asks Amy Arundell—Doesn’t have data but a lot of anecdotal evidence about people who returned after discontinuance. Says principals fail to follow procedure and wait too long. We are in better position than under Bloomberg.

Sec—Asks about breast cancer walk

Servia Silva
—Thanks coordinators in five boroughs, Thanks Deborah Penny, Rona Freiser and speaks of t-shirts. Were hiccups but everything worked out in the end.

Sec—vacancy on board for functional chapter. Next Monday we will be taking nominations. Must be functional chapter member.

Report from districts

Mary Vaccaro District 26 rep—hundreds of homeless families moved in, we need shoes, collected 1,000 pairs.  Are sending them out. Did this in two weeks.

Dwayne Clark—Manhattan conference, great day for borough and parents. Developed by parents, worked 6 months. Rudy Crew outstanding.

Joe Usatch—Speaks of Thanksgiving, supplying new garments for children. Middle school team thanks everyone who brought in garments, wants new ones for DA. Thanks for support.

Legislative report

Paul Egan—bus went to Philly last weekend, going this weekend to support Hillary. One bus from SI, two from Manhattan, may be more. If you sign, please show up. At other end, they prepare for us. Please don’t make them waste resources. If you can’t make it, tell us.

Phone banks up, running on all boroughs, you can sign up virtually.

Presidential election moving in right direction, by polls. State polls suggest Clinton up, but 24 short. Places like Florida, Ohio, can bring her close. Looks uphill by that point, though Trump would need to win all. Things can move quickly. Week is long time in politics, so we must keep on.

Vote COPE—Our COPE dollars spent on more than endorsing candidates. We lobby on issues, tenure being one of them. Constitutional Convention key for us, could be a disaster if it passes. If people want to keep pensions, they don’t want the convention. We could be like NJ, where legislature could change pensions. We need COPE contributions to support this. More important than particular candidates or party. Not single party issue because so many affected. We may be increasing our contribution, but since September we’ve had 942 new people. NY Post has attacked our pension and will continue to. Many people will buy it and we need to fight it.

Sec—There was a Single Shepard program that place guidancee counselors and social workers. AFT will have something on Haiti.

Anne Goldman
—VP Non-DOE—Motivates resolution that celebrates collective bargaining and 1960 UFT Strike. Took courage, and leadership for teachers to step forward against the law. Going on strike is frightening, doing it in defiance of law is moment in history. Shows great sacrifice. We must acknowledge and recognize that. We must recognize and celebrate that courage. Here we sit with collective bargaining. We must honor, embrace and support it. Expresses gratitude to founders present now.


Leroy Barr—Rises to motivate resolution. that every school classroom have curriculum, and that arts are included. We must reach them any way we can so that they develop, explore, and grow up engaged. We will decrease dropout rate. Arts ed. vital.

After last resolved

Arthur Goldstein MORE--asks to amend resolution, adding the following:

Resolved, that the UFT will seek partnerships with parents and community groups to promote and publicize our stance on increasing arts education, and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will negotiate with the NYCDOE to substantially increase the time for arts education for all NYC students, and be it further,

Resolved, that the UFT strongly encourage high schools to increase the number of arts electives for our students

We routinely offer students the absolute minimum. in fact in high schools, we offer music appreciation in classes of 50, which is ludicrous. Art and music can change and improve the lives of students. We are teachers, we are artists in a way, and we need to support actually improving the lives of our kids. We are more than test administrators. We are role models and it behooves us to seduce kids into loving the arts.

Leroy Barr—Asks to strike second resolved. Additions are great, important we expand to high schools. Agrees we are artists, on stage, performing. We try to be entertaining and informative. Second resolved, though, has to do with negotiating a contract. There, we discuss demands. EB should not speak of negotiating. Asks we strike second resolved.

Greer Hanson Velazquez—Thrilled to hear this. Arts important. Have worked with DOE on blueprints for arts. Thanks for resolution.

Passes as amended, without second resolved.

Reso passes.

Resolution in support of NAACP’s call for a Charter School Moratorium.

Anthony Harmon rises to speak in support. Is president of NYC NAACP branch. Attended national board meeting. Voted on this and 47 others. NAACP took a stand on what they feel is just, right, in best interest of ALL children. Some people took this as opposition to charters, but is rather against fraud, lack of oversight, tossing kids back to public schools. Also wants convo on public schoolchildren. NAACP taken many hits for this on social media. Op-eds say NAACP on wrong side. NAACP has 107 year history of standing up and speaking out. Disappointed WSJ asked corporations withdraw support. We have to support NAACP and call for moratorium. Black Live Matter and others support this move. Asks we endorse.

Jonathan Halabi New Action
—Rises in support. Very important step and moment. Important for UFT. Thinks there is much further discussion. Objects to until charters change ways. Should revisit and dig deeper into what’s going on with privately managed schools. Difference between public and charters. We’ve moved far but not far enough. Urges support.

Camille Eaddy—District 16 rep—saw charter expansion decimate her district. 9 and counting there, more being voted upon, and everyone is fighting for children. Aren’t enough to go around. New people in neighborhood don’t want charters. Asks for transparency, equity, asks for support.

Sec—commends Anthony Harmon for his work.

David Garcia Rosen  MORE—proposes the union use its financial and political capital to fight against mass incarceration as reflected in the Netflix documentary 13th.  —David comes from family of holocaust survivors, wonders how horrific things are allowed to happen, why didn’t we stop slavery, Jim Crow. What are we doing to stop mass incarceration of people of color. How can we help. Netflix doc shines bright light on connection between slavery and incarceration. People of color have been locked up for everything ever since. Led to us locking up 25% of prisoners, with 5% of population. 1 of 3 black males today may be in prison. Profound effects on our students. 1 of 5 children have parent in prison, with dire effects on children. We cannot stand idly by. I will push UFT to fight for civil rights of students and families.

I know many times resolutions are tabled, and voting is blocked. Please vote your conscience. If there’s any problem with this, it’s that it doesn’t do enough. Recalls how Schindler regretted not doing enough. We cannot be board that didn’t do enough

Mindy Karten Bornemann—daughter and granddaughter of holocaust survivor. Words of people not speaking up are meaningful. I understand, but without seeing the movie, without understanding results about Netflix, thinks it’s muddled. Thinks there’s a lot of passion, but so many different things here, it’s not clear what he wants. Urges we vote against. We need to see doc first.

Anthony Harmon
—Glad someone brought this and opened up conversation. Very real issue. Moves to table pending more info.

Sec—motion to table non-debatable, please finish.

AH—wants more info, hasn’t seen film. NAACP would like to make sure we’re accurate and that we are on board. Appreciates convo

Lamar Hughes
—point of information—allocation of money—how much thought about who would be developing curriculum. Problem is who will be involved if we contribute 50K. Should be middle school and high school. Must make sure info presented in right way. Who will be involved creating curriculum?

Mike Schirtzer MORE
—This is for UFT to run. We don’t want it in hands of DOE. We want teachers to make this. We’ve seen Engage NY. As Americans, teachers, trade unionists, I disagree it’s muddled. It’s a step in addressing mass incarceration. Saying UFT will hold screenings and develop curriculum. UFT has long history of advocating for civil rights. We need to be front and center. These are parents of our children, sons and daughters of people being locked up for ridiculous things, based on race.

Sec—Asks things limited to one minute.

Greg Lundahl
—says film is powerful, are other powerful films. is this one-time Netflix permission? Would it be better to open up other media to classroom? How does this work with DOE?

David Garcia Rosen
—Amazon Prime, for example, unlocked.

Carmen Alvarez
—favor of tabling. How do we support staff to help our young people? This resolution doesn’t address that. Many other boots on the ground support we must give our staff, from pre-K to HS. Table so that what we do is comprehensive. Wants quick action. We must be thorough, effecient.

Stuart Kaplan
—wants to table. Believes important to use visuals and documentaries, but belongs in resolution of its own. Says it’s talking about more than one topic. Says he can record it and show it to his students. Says we should unblock others.

Leroy Barr
—First thought is he appreciates spirit in which it was brought forward. Suggests we table and bring back more clear and concise. Not a new issue. Did not just come up with film. This is not about theory, but life. When I look at my son I have to give him instructions. Not everyone does. We need to talk about this. People who are descendants of it understand it. When I take off my suit no one knows who I am. Father was cop and I was still frisked. They’d apologize for the way it happened.

Can talk about many writers who’ve spoken about this. We can go back very far as to root causes. Wants full discussion. Not our history but America’s. I will sit down with anyone who wants to talk about this. We want it to reflect what people go through today. Has nothing to do with caucus.

David Garcia Rosen MORE—confused what we disagree about. Equal access to HS sports resolution had a similar reaction. Netflix is like a library, and we wouldn’t block that. I don’t want to table things and have us do nothing. When that res was tabled, nothing happened. Doesn’t want tabling to mean die.

Move to table—passed

Sec—meetings will take place, meeting adjourned.


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