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UFT Executive Board December 4th, 2017--UFT Unity Cowards Afraid to Hear My Question

Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us. 6:02


Carlos Oliveri—The word PD has endured unfair rep. Some see it as obligatory, but I hope to rouse support. My school has struggled with what quality instruction looks like. Came together through PD committee and could advocate for students. We had discussions around best strategies. We want to change narrative about PD.

Jasmine Hunt
—Excited about this year. Union more visible. People coming to visit, Members can get questions answered. May play role when we ask them to stick with us. We are coming out  of the woodwork. Thank you.

Dermot Myrie
—Proud to stand here knowing UFT stands for racial justice. Many hardships by students of color. We as educators of conscience ask UFT to join in cultural organizations, including BLM week of action. Urges UFT to call members, have forums, pool resources and affirm racial justice. We urge you reverse disappearance of teachers of color.


LeRoy Barr
—CL weekend, full house. Reviewed Con Con victory and work that needs to be done pre-Janus. Door knocking campaign going well, engaging people, updating records. Goal is to bring this to members multiple times in multiple ways to stick with union. Will be door knocking training this weekend.

Today was Bolwing Green rally for Promesa. Protested Puerto Rican debt crisis, strangling economic prosperity of island. AFT Latino Caucus running Operation Agua. Event at ACRI cafe 6 PM Bronx 12/11. 30$ buys water system for household.

Kwanzaa celebration Dec. 14th here. DA Dec. 6. EB Dec. 18.

President’s Report—6:12 Mulgrew not here


Mike Schirtzer
MORE—Any update on Tottenville?

—met with DOE on issues, no resolution. Looking into legal case on barring from SLT.

Schirtzer—We spoke about class size, my school was 7th worst offender in NY Teacher. Up against larger high schools. Ratio-wise we may be worse. On Friday, principal equalized. Already MP 3, children crying. Teachers teacher 40 students until December 1st. What can we do further to prevent this?

Schoor—management issue. Should’ve been removed in September.

Schirtzer—What can we do to hold principals’ feet to fire?

—We are having discussions. High percentage settled on arbitration days, so they use them up. We hope some places can be resolved. Some have space problems.

Arthur Goldstein
MORE—We hear a lot about this 300-member committee, particularly when we propose changes to the way we do things. I’ve never been on a 300-member committee before, but it seems like an awfully unwieldy way to accomplish anything. For example, there are 300 UFT members in my school, but when we negotiate with the principal we try lower the number so we can have more focused discussions.

The notion of this committee is troubling to us in the high schools. We regularly come here, make proposals, and at one word from the dais, absolutely everyone in the room, without exception, votes against us. Sometimes these things are debated, and sometimes they aren’t. When we debate things, like for example reducing the minimum number of observations, people get up and argue about losing other things, though we’d never advocated, let alone mentioned giving them up. People say that we’d have less chance of doing well even though our resolution specifically said that fewer observations would be utilized for people who’d already done well.

Last year the President told the Delegate Assembly that UFT had lobbied for fewer observations. I follow education news closely, particularly locally, and despite the 300-member committee, I had never heard that before. I was pretty shocked, I now know UFT had lobbied for not only then, but also, according to Chalkbeat, at the inception of this new evaluation system. Chalkbeat says the DOE also wanted fewer observations, and that John King insisted on more. So it’s odd to me that, after UFT twice pushed for fewer observations,  it’s painted in this room as the very worst thing in the history of western civilization.

At this point I am interrupted. A UFT Unity patronage employeee brings up a point of order and claims I am not asking a question. Schoor tells me to ask a question but I refuse if I am not allowed to give background. I tell them they can read my question tonight. Unity, evidently, does not like when you refer to their loyalty oath and its obvious effects. This is what I’d have said if I were not interrupted:

Barbara Bowen, President of PSC, just told her members that she was lobbying for a significant compensation increase. In fact, they were demonstrating today outside the Board of Trustees meeting over that very issue.

Why aren’t we telling members our demands? Why are we keeping them so top secret? Personally, given the near inevitability of Janus, I think members would be happy to hear that the number of mandatory drive-bys were decreasing. I think members would like to know that we were making robust demands.

Is there any reason for us to expect that the 300-member committee will be any different from this one, in which one word from the dais kills any idea it finds remotely inconvenient?

Marcus McArthur
MORE--Speaks of disappearance of Black and Latino educators. What will we be doing about this?

Janella Hinds
—Will partner on these issues.

Howard Schoor
explains what he thinks I was talking about. Says LeRoy Barr will now answer question I didn’t get to ask.

LeRoy Barr—talks about team. Says debate is good (which I deem ironic since I am not permitted to ask a question). Repeats that debate is good. Says we need to have those conversations. Says we will work through things. Says there should be more than 5 people. We are looking forward to meetings. Everyone in this room is on it.

Mulgrew arrives 6:25

Thanks people for CL training.

DC37 is negotiating. Not looking for much.

Continuing sessions on paid family leave. Will be focus for next few weeks. Will try to get financial dealings done as quickly as possible.

Should be team at every worksite dealing with Janus. Unless something dramatic changes, will be May to June. We can finish preparing. Most perilous place we’ve been in long time. This is a plan to systematically stop working people from having leverage. Invited Pres. of Wisconsin Teachers Association to come in February. They don’t have collective bargaining. This is endgame. This is what enemy wants to do to us.

Mulgrew ends. 6:30, leaves

Debbie Poulos—paperwork—We continue to resolve issues. DOE reacted negatively to our page of shared resolutions. Angered principals. Do not like that CLs hear of resolutions and try to advocate for same.

Central paperwork committee met today. Many issues direct result of PPO and Quality Review. Raising with DOE that members should not be required to do redundant paperwork for principal’s rating, like curriculum mapping, pacing calendars. When we know, we help CLs. We ask that if you are aware of any issues, result of PPO, file report, indicate that it’s result of PPO.

—One page handout was great success. DOE went nuts. CSA put out “clarification.” Our agreement is with DOE, not CSA. We say DOE has to implement our agreement. Our contract is with CSA.

Report from districts

Eliu Lara
—With CL—report that CL was told he could replace her with ten years seniority. We got her reinstated.

CL thanks everyone. She is paraprofessional. It has been challenging. Had to deal with a lot and learn a lot. Glad for collective action, when we work together for common cause protects all our rights. We can accomplish our goals. Thanks Eliu and others. Thanks union.

Karen Allford—Thanks Mike Schirtzer—understands budget woes, but thanks him for helping with theater production on weekends. Did amazing job. Thanks Camille Edy—DOE wanted to put charter elementary in existing elementary. We organized. We beat them back.

Ellen Driesen
—12/13 wants to invite us, but Tom Brown’s event is sold out. Protection in retirement—need for this sort of thing.

Legislative report—Paul Egan
—football talk—fight next is budget. Senate passed budget that needs to be reconciled. Priorities of this admin are—bill that gives billionaires tax credit for yachts while removing $250 tax credit for teachers. Good for GOP donors. Hatch said we didn’t have money for children’s health insurance. Speaks to morality of this administration. Next year is a midterm election. 2014 we were 49th in voting in NY State.

Special Order of Businesss
—three vacancies. One HS, two elementary. First meeting we announce, second nominate, third vote, if necessary.

We are adjourned.


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