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UFT Executive Board, May 7, 2018--We Condemn Mayor de Blasio's Crass Stereotype of Sexual Harassment Victims

6 PM Howard Schoor, secretary, welcomes us.

No speakers

Minutes—approved.

Mulgrew is not here.

Robert Levine—Brooklyn rep, handles most OEO cases citywide. OEO is empowered by chancellor’s reg a-830. Numbers in papers don’t match ours. 16-17—280 interviews in Bklyn office. This year, 200 so far. On track to do the same.

UFT represents all sides in cases, subjects, witnesses, and complainants. 190 subjects, 73 witnesses, 17 complainants this year. Union believes every witness is potential subject. Complainants don’t always seek union reps.

OEO handles harassment and discrimination—Discrimination 60%, 50% of whole are student based claims of discrimination. Others are sexual harassment cases, 40% of total, mostly student based. Employee cases 10%, not a frivolous number.

We have issues with OEO, biggest is timeliness. Violate timeliness on almost every single case. There is 90 day rule for them to complete, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. All seem to do that. There is six month rule. Any investigation must be completed within six months, Problematic with suspensions of paraprofessionals. These cases being moved along but still problematic. 11 new investigators insufficient.

Arthur Goldstein--I know a member who get suspended for six months after OEO ruled against him, even though they took well over six months to accuse him. Are they allowed to do that?

Levine--No, that is a violation, should be a grievance.

Staff Director LeRoy Barr—Last Friday there was an assaulted nurse. 40 or 50 UFT at sentencing hearing, person received 2 to 4 years for that crime. Saturday was 5K run thanks Rich Mantel for organizing. First book event at PS 15, gave 40K books. This Thursday better speech and hearing celebration, 5-7 here. May 11, awards for guidance, next week, Shanker ceremonies, give away 1 mil each year. DA May 16, conference 19, EB May 21, chancellor will be here. June 12, UFT school counselors recognition ceremony.

Schoor—Press conference at city hall for parental leave, 10 members of city council there. When these people become candidates, we interview them. If we support them and they win, they never forget. You can see this when they come out for us. We must continue political action. Pres. testified for City Council on parental leave, was fired up. City council people said this is right, not benefit.

Questions

Arthur Goldstein—This year the DOE has decreed that annualization is out. Thus, if I think a student failing in January might pull it out before June I can no longer have her grade reversed at the end of the year. I’ve seen a lot of outrageous credit recovery schemes but annualization is not one of them. This is allowing a student’s teacher to give that student a second chance. If indeed the student has mastered the material by June, why should she have to go to summer school, night school, or even another year of school to catch up?

I realize this came down via Carmen Fariña, and that unlike her I lack the ability to tell that it’s a beautiful day simply because Macy’s is open. Nonetheless, I am the teacher of my students, and with all due respect I believe I’m a better judge of their progress than Ms. Fariña, who never once bothered even setting foot in my school.

Is there any mechanism for us to negotiate moving this option back into the hands of teachers, where it belongs, and if not, could we create one? We have a new chancellor, it’s entirely possible he is not insane, and perhaps this is an opportunity for us.

Janella Hinds—We are engaging in conversation about all of this, about different ways we can deal with this. We will bring responses.

Schoor--Please send a link or get papers to document this.

Ashraya Gupta—What is format for chancellor’s visit?

Schoor—We don’t know yet. Sometimes we go into executive session, members only.

KJ Ahluwalia—Chancellor has made integration a priority. Has union taken a stand?

Janella Hinds—reps UFT on committee representing DOE, educators, and students. We talk about integration and how to ensure all our students have needs met. Still working in sub committees. UFT committed to equity across barod.

Jonathan Halabi
—Thinks me too movement caught us by surprise, not that we condoned that behavior. These things are far more pervasive and now we see them better. Part of city hasn’t understood they need to rethink. We ourselves need to look at how we handle our own in our own house. Have we checked or updated our own procedures?

Schoor—We do have it, People responsible not here. Will get report.

Halabi—Can we look at policy again?

Schoor—Yes. I will ask for a report.

David Kazansky
—began anti harassment and anti discrimination training. Were on this before new things came to light.

Schoor
—77% teachers female. We are concerned.

Reports from districts

Anthony Harmon—First book even—serviced over 700 teachers, 500 parents. Thanks people from Queens office. Also an immigration clinic in Bronx. Over 100 people to begin a path to citizenship. Also first of three part series on parent leadership. 80 parents from across city participating.

Pat Crispino—Thanks Betty Zohar for assisting with programs. Lost at PEP, but organization was amazing. Will be future leaders. HS in Bronx organized very well. Lost but in long run really won. People will do amazing things.

Karen Allford—City Council breakfast, thanked them for being part of our program, showed that we put their dollars to great use. Showcased, Dial a Teacher, Brave, Teachers Choice and other programs.

Rosemarie Thompson
—Flyer for save the day June 12 at Brooklyn UFT. Asks that counselors who are union activists are nominated.

Camille Edie
, District 16 rep, was D16 diversity summit to address growing issues, like gentrification and charter schools. Well attended, thanks Anthony Harmon. Students gave play on diversity. Not just about race, crosses many different lines.

Rich Mantel
—JHS VP—200 runners at 5K, raised 8K. Good weather, was perfect. This Thursday we are hosting anti-bullying contest for MS students. Will report on 21st. NY Jets involved. Tony Richardson is keynote.

Rashad Brown—co chair of LGBTQ committee. sponsoring scholarship. Encourage seniors to apply. Rosemarie Thompson, It wil bee June 2 12-3

Janella Hinds—School closing fight this year Wadliegh HS—Jewel of NYC crown up for truncation, but phenomenal organization stopped it. Community and UFT worked together. Chancellor Carranza went to see them and sang with their mariachi band. Thanks educators and UFT.

George Altomare—great committee of SS teachers want more in service younger members. Can keep doing good things but we have to get in service and younger people. Wine and cheese reception May 11 from 4-6.

Paul Egan not here—two resolutions.


In support of poor people’s campaign—Anthony Harmon—Led by Dr. Barber. Important to remember Dr. King, who did it in 60s. Similar resolution at NYSUT. Asks we endorse.

Passes.


Resolution for Eradication of Sexual Harassment.



Janella Hinds—I
mportant for this city and DOE to show respect for any victims of harassment and unfair treatment. Heard de Blasio brush it off, Heard city council speak in favor of safe space. We are shifting and must engage in conversations.

Kate Martin—words missing—Have to fix sentences. (There is some discussion over whether Kate is an English teacher, but it turns out she's a math teacher.)

Arthur Goldstein—I was shocked that Mayor De Blasio could stand up in front of God and everybody and declare that 98% of teacher sexual harassment complaints are frivolous. I worked for this man. I contributed to his campaign and sat through the freezing cold at his first inauguration.

If you’re a friend of teachers, you don’t stereotype us as whiners. Most teachers are women, and I often think that’s why people like those on the Post editorial board feel so comfortable degrading us. I have a hard time differentiating those who stereotype teachers from garden variety bigots. It’s far more egregious when it’s directed at victims of sexual harassment, who certainly have enough on their minds without being gratuitously ridiculed.

If you are a UFT chapter leader, you know that the investigative agencies can never get anything done in time to follow their own rules, that they convict people on the flimsiest of evidence, and that they defend the city on equally ridiculous evidence. It it’s not them it’s the thirty dollar an hour minds on DOE legal, the ones who know next to nothing about the contract, who decided that 98% of us were cranks. Every single time I have had a dispute with legal, without exception, they have been wrong and UFT has been right. These are the people who fight me twice a year to keep class sizes over the limit, and they muster the audacity to claim they place children first, always. The people who really do that are the ones who wake up to serve these children each and every day, and that would be us.

I certainly hope this was a momentary aberration, and that the mayor will come to his senses. If I were him, I’d not only follow the terms of this resolution to the letter, but I’d also go out of my way to grant a fair family leave policy for those of us who devote our lives toward serving the children of this city.

I urge you to vote for this resolution, and to tell Mayor de Blasio that we stand up for our own, particularly when they’re victimized like this.

Schoor—corrects sentences, asks for vote.

Passes

We are adjourned 6:48

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