January’s Delegates Assembly of the UFT was a slow moving meeting. With the president’s report taking up the bulk of our time, important resolutions did not even make it on the agenda because of time. Confusingly, a majority of the delegates are supportive of continuing this slow pacing as demonstrated by their refusal on two accounts to vote on the resolutions jointly — though the second round of this proposal came very close. Notably, the numbers of votes counted in the hall were not made known to those of us on the phone… every time.
We heard from President Mulgrew for about 70 minutes about some of the challenges of money promised at the federal level till requiring state testing (which UFT disagrees with), what we are lobbying for at the state level, and confusion over attendance policies at the city level. President Mulgrew maintains school buildings to be safe related to COVID concerns and doubled down that there is no formal MOA with the DOE regarding remote learning. During the Staff Director report, Mr. LeRoy Barr made a series of announcements related to upcoming events. During the question and answer period, we heard two main issues raised. The first related to delegates registered to attend in-person who were not allowed in the hall since their registration was “lost” and the second related to negotiating a remote learning MOA. During the motions period, a motion to vote on all the motions jointly as to make up for lost time in the president’s report, this motion lost. The delegates then voted on moving a resolution for delegates to be “nice” to each other onto the agenda for February. The delegates also passed a resolution on increasing member engagement in the contract negotiations; however, an amendment put forth to ensure the results of a member survey on the contract be made available to committee members failed.
Delegate Assembly - January 19, 2022
President’s Report: 4:15-4:59
Summary: Everything is stuck at the Federal level due to Congress inaction. Fed gov is still requiring states to administer standardized state tests for accountability which the UFT does not agree with. State level: Mulgrew reviewed the NY state budget process. Issues for lobbying in NYS budget w/NYSUT: increase in funding and space for charter schools, mayoral control, Gifted & Talented process, different monies. City: Blames confusion about attendance policies on DOE; states statuses are being negotiated at state level, etc.
COVID. Praises work during past weeks. Reiterates schools are safest places to be and that case rates are dropping because of the work of the UFT.
Blames recent confusion re: MOA on asynchronous instruction & attendance policies on DOE’s “misinformation” and “miscommunication.” These policies are still in negotiation; Mulgrew said that he hopes to have clarity by the end of the week.
Recapped the Snow Day, recapped the Arbitration. Mulgrew considered the high teacher attendance and the arbitration re: vacation days to be big wins. Mulgrew’s report dominated the DA, as he spent 70 minutes on the President’s Report before moving to the motions portion promptly at 5:25.
Started promptly at 4:15.
- We’re all hoping - will 2022 be better than 2021?
Moment of silence for Bronx fire victims
- Acknowledges members who reached out to see ways they can support victims as well as contributions of Karen Alford
New mayor and new chancellor - someone booed. Mulgrew acknowledges somebody booed.
- Significant challenge in the past few weeks with covid.
- Little bumps in the road
- Especially when it comes to principal communication
- Christmas week - UFT advocated for NY state to put in waiver for resetting accountability system w/standardized tests. Still required by the federal government; they are used to determine when schools will be labeled and ‘put in trouble’. Idk how you use the last two years of state tests at the federal level to see if children are doing well. NY State Ed Commissioner Betty Rosa submitted a waiver on 12/22 and was denied 12/29.
- Idk how it was denied so quickly - it is an issue we will deal with. Collaborating with aft and NYSED. We don’t want the school system and schools to be treated unfairly because they’ve been taking standardized tests during the pandemic. We are not big fans of the tests - they should only be diagnostic. UFT will be filing an appeal about this.
- Voting rights, Build Back Better. All are stuck at this moment.
- Yesterday, first budget proposal: the governor's office issues a proposal, then negotiations with the leaders of the State Senate and State Assembly. “Three men in a room” saying stems from this process. Now it’s two ladies and a male (applause) - yes, we’re very happy about this.
- This budget proposal is the best Mulgrew has ever seen during his tenure as UFT president. 7% increase in educational funding - haven’t seen these numbers in 20 years.
- Contract for Excellence (CFE) money is also locked in - big thing for us in NYC
- Charter schools received an increase in funding too. There are some provisions put into the state budget a few years ago that would affect NYC, Buffalo, Albany, Rochester. There will be a change in funding for charter schools in these areas. Will have to fix this
- Increased facilities money in NYC; only school districts are required to give charter schools space in our public schools, or have to rent space for them so that charter schools don’t have to pay for this rent, even though space is allocated in their budget.
- Mayoral control - we have never agreed with mayoral control. Official position, we don’t want to go back to school boards - but they were not the best way to run schools. Schools were starved and everything else. But mayoral control has not done anything on behalf of the children of nyc. We’ve heard that “if the mayor doesn’t do well with this, we’ll take it back.” Heard this for 20 years
- g&t - during the end of the first bloomberg’s term, he decided g&t schools were broken - children were placed in g&t settings to make parents happy which needed to be fixed. Under their philosophy, they were going to give each child kindergarten and above a standardized test. This fits their politics. We told people what would happen if the system were moved that way, and the system moved that way. Now we have the most segregated school system in America. Now that children of means can pay for training, they are put into g&t programs. Deblasio takes over, says g&t is segregated, he wants to get rid of it, based on his politics
- We as educators know that one issue g&t has been used as a political football for the needs of two different mayors - that’s enough. 10s of thousands of children have been affected by these policies.
- These are the conversations I have about why policy needs to change. Children have suffered dramatically because of it. How can you not tell me there is a way to make it better?
- On the mayoral control issue - it’s in the budget right now, for when we do our lobbying.
- Scheduled to do lobbying in person - Albany legislature says that all lobbying will be done remotely. They love talking to us remotely.
- Other things - teacher centers for the first time since george pataki are being funded by our governor (applause), so that’s a little ways back. There’s money for covid recovery, different things like that. This is the starting place for the budget - our team is working on taking every line apart, it’s thousands of pages - we’re working with our friends at NYSED. Educational things are easiest for us because that’s our world. This is the beginning of a process for everyone who is new. Our goal is to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure it has our voice and parents’ voice in it, and that money set aside for education makes its way into our classrooms
COVID: - let’s start on covid. That was some first two weeks of this year! What you all did was one of the reasons I'm so proud to stand up here month after month. That had to be the two roughest weeks to be a CL or delegate inside schools. I was in schools everyday in all the boroughs. What I saw people doing is how I know you’re all heroes.
- The rates were really high when we got back. We still have that ability, so we closed a school this week. This mayor feels that it’s in his power to keep all the schools open. Schools can be shut down through an operational closure. All the work we’ve been doing since thanksgiving at the last DA with Dr. Kelian (?) will go up rapidly, you’ll see numbers like you’ve never seen before. Shouldn’t be as bad as what we’ve seen before, and it’ll quickly come down. We’re knocking on wood — that’s where we’re at. From last week to this week, we have a 57% drop of covid in our school systems. That’s something you can clap for!
- Schools have quickly turned out to be safer than many other places. But these numbers we’ve never seen before - that’s what made it so tough.
Chancellor Banks/Adams Administration
- And then the snow! Snow was coming. Let’s go remote for the day - that’s what I was saying. I was saying, Adams, let’s go remote - but he was like, but they have it under control. Mulgrew, My concern was there’s lots of staff who won’t be able to get into buildings. He says to prioritize substitutes - there are not 24,000 substitutes - took them a day to realize that.
- If we have to do a safety operational closure, we’ll do it.
- Teacher attendance on snow day was high - I prefer to have a remote day because we can’t have snow days anymore because there’s no more room on the calendar, and we don’t want to work during our breaks, like we did for spring break 2 years ago.
- We didn’t get the snow, or remote day
- Thank god the next week we saw a drop in positivity, and this week, we’re seeing an even significant drop. That’s your work because what went on in the last two weeks was phenomenal instruction - all the safety issues, let us know, contact us, it gets fixed. You know those first two days - we knew more about what was supposed to happen than the principals. We knew everyone was supposed to get a test kit and masks - it took 2 days to get that clarified, wherever else we found a problem, it was fixed, fixed, fixed - that’s what keeps the union tight
- So pre-k and k sites have rapid tests for the adults - and also for the children. We’re finally able to get that done for pre-k and k.
Let’s go to some of the hiccups we’re having right now - does anyone know the official attendance policy of the ny public schools
- I remember when i was teaching when the policy was if you see the child, you can mark him ‘in’ - and principals in nyc put telescopes on the roofs. We were a ‘serv’ school - we were looking
- Let’s just say, right now, the new administration is trying to iron out the communication process where they try to put information out or lie about things that have never been done
- Attendance policy
- There’s no such MOA - we asked for it, and since you told people there is a MOA, we need to see it, because we didn’t agree. Have gotten into decent conversations with the new administration. They pointed out was communication ever great with the last administration? No - they put out conflicting information on the infohub - they left everything up and never took anything down. That’s what we asked for them to fix - take down old guidance. Sounds like common sense, but that’s what we’re dealing with in the doe
- On January 3rd, some admin believed that DOE announced that Ts don’t get two hours of per session anymore because the MOA is still in place. Mulgrew explains this as an example of misinformation miscommunication from Central.
Covid related Attendance Policy
- 1) If a child gets COVID, that child is subject to pivot to remote agreement (This means that the student is entitled to asynchronous instruction with two hours of per session per week). Fine!
- 2) Child fails a health screening - how do we treat that child right now? Absent. Now I've told them that we would do another agreement with a per session posting - we know a lot of schools are treating those children the same as the pivot to remote children. We’re ok with that; we just think schools should have a per session posting, but this is not the same situation as the pivot to remote MOA. The issue is that there should be a process for doing this work. And come up with an agreement with the principal to do a per session posting for this particular situation. We would hate for people to post the work and not get compensated for it.
Absent, and the child goes into a digital classroom and does some asynchronous work, can you mark them present? NO.
- I’ve been in touch with nysed - this is what went out on friday. As per the MOA - this is what you can do - there is no MOA. we would never sign an MOA that breaks state education law. So we’re hoping to get this ironed out rather quickly. If you’d like to, have a conversation with your principal and say I'm following orders. You are breaking state education law.
- That’s where we’re at with those. That is where we’re at with attendance at the moment.
Remote Learning Option
- I was surprised to hear last week the new chancellor say that he always wanted a remote option, and it’s the UFT holding us up. Parent leaders came right to the uft - they have heard us say for months that we need a remote option. We know that what we’re facing right now at this moment with all the instructional challenges and deficits that children now have - we want children in front of us. But we know many parents right now are afraid to send their kids to school. The mayor walked back the Chancellor's comments rather quickly. UFT told the mayor: we didn’t have remote because you didn’t want it, and now all of a sudden you want it!
- I want to tell you all these facts - before December 1, 2021, we had high attendance in elementary and middle schools. We had low attendance at the damn high schools. Which makes perfect sense - they’re at the wonderful age where they just want to do things a certain way. Elementary and middle school attendance was really high, over 90% - pre-pandemic levels. HS was lower.
- We won’t want to cause a complete disruption in school systems. We don’t want many students to be re-programmed.
- Always supported a remote option - trying to come up with something that will work for the rest of the school year. Will want to work on this first for high school because of low attendance. February starts a new semester, where they will start new classes.
- Then we’ll move into elementary - how do you work with 6th - 8th remotely? These students have started taking the Regents. We do not know if the June regents are still happening.
- The DOE is definitely having a problem with communications. On Friday night, every department gets to send out their own information.
- Will be a survey going out to parents - it doesn’t say would you prefer remote vs. in person - it’ll be honest - it’ll say in elementary and go remote, there’s no guarantee that your child will continue with the same teacher. We don’t want teachers doing double duty. At the high school level, we won’t be able to offer all courses remotely. We’re not fans of pressure to go on-camera (live streaming) - we’re working through these issues.
- The DOE is doing a survey- the chancellor spoke to elected officials about it. I will say this - we need our children back at school. We need our enrollment to go back up. We go through covid and take a massive hit with attendance and enrollment, we have a whole new set of challenges in front of us.
Very upset - could skedula (however you pronounce it) could it have gone down at a worse time? We’re waiting. They understand the importance and understand it’s the worst time for this all to go down. That program was actually started by a group of teachers at a Telecommunications High School - I’m very proud of it. I always hoped that the teachers had a copyright on it. A couple years later, a couple of principals saw it, and mandated it, and what happened when it got mandated? We don’t like it! If you look at the evolution, so many students rely on that system.
Spring Break Arbitration:
Mulgrew: I’ve asked David Campbell to come up - first he led the team on the spring break - i really had forgotten that we didn’t get this until after the last DA - but the work that we all had to do that spring break, and the work that the grievance and arbitration folks had to do - there was a lot of pressure on this one from you all and somewhat from me. Because this is what of those things that drove us crazy when it happened during the first portion of the pandemic
Spring Break grievance - david campbell
- What went into the case and details of the decision - in spring 2020, the city ordered us to work during our vacation. We lost that vacation. And right away, that was a problem because there were a number of religious holidays that folks needed to take off. Right away, we got them 4 CAR days - there were other unions involved too. unions had the right to grieve for full compensation. Grievance process was closed at the time - we filed a grievance when the process finally reopened on July 1. We expanded it to arbitration which took place in December. This was not a negotiation, it was an arbitration, and the arbitrator was going to decide.
- The DOE argued that it wasn’t real work, it was remote, this and that. We argued for cash. And we had put forth two precedents that we thought were on point - anytime we work when we’re not supposed to, we got paid. The arbitrator was not going to agree with the city writing us a big check. The conversation started to turn into CAR days. We know that a car day is not equal to the value of a day of work. It’s not - you don’t use car days if you’re sick or for preapproved sick days. when you cash them out, you get half a days pay - not a full day. We made that case to the arbitrator, which they started to understand. We came up with the idea if they took away a vacation, equal value would be give us a vacation. We couldn’t shut down the schools - the arbitrator fought it because we needed equal value. So vacation days it was. You get one vacation day for each day you worked during the spring break. Four CAR days will be turned into vacation days, and they’ll give you three more vacation days.
- Can be used for anything you want. Now you have to ask for them to approve at least 10 days in advance. There is an ability for the doe to deny these days. Basically the main reason would be if too many people asked for the same day - can only be denied in the first 48 hours after you put in for a vacation day. Becomes first come first served. If too many people ask for the same day, it could be decided by seniority. You have the day - unless they deny it. But it’s not just up to them, we can take the doe to arbitration if they don’t give a good reason.
- Key point about vacation days - can have them for your whole career. And if you still have them when you leave the doe, you can cash them out 1 for 1 - for the pay that you have at the time that you leave the doe.
- Come February - you’ll have these days in the bank. Go to that destination wedding, go to opening day, and you can post it on social media. Or you can hold on to them and cash out all 7 days when you leave and take the money.
- Retirees get it hopefully right away. This is the something that i don't think any other public school teachers ever got - a vacation day (uproarious applause)
- Mulgrew thanks David and the whole arbitration team for that work. “Always fun when you win, isn’t it?” We knew it was going to be a tough one because there were 5 days total.
UFT Operations and Committees - Negotiating Committee for new contract (current one expires in 9/2022
- Negotiating committee: asked CLs to have meetings about this and to get 400 or more involved. Especially full representation on the functional side.
- This is where I’m concerned about attendance and enrollment. We will have to think about something to help our system; our contract is up in Sept.
- Does this mayor/chancellor have a big program/initiative, typically starting in Sept. Other unions in binding arbitration; doesn’t there won’t be more. Last two rounds we have been the head union. the financial pattern may be set by previous negotiation. Inflation is high. Lots of factors. If you want to join, it’s a time allotment, we do negotiations privately, we don’t like them going public because the other side knows what you’re trying to do. Beautiful part of the process, chapters helping chapters. What was your initial contract signed for your chapter? How do you build on that? We're about to rep another group in DOE. Think it through. Real time allotment, we don’t know what challenges we will face. It’s not going to be straight. It will be complicated.
Staff Director’s Report: LeRoy Barr
- Election petitions came out today, when you came in you should have had the opportunity to collect candidate statements and petitions, they are on UFT.org and chapter leader updates and in the borough office. If you want to collect petitions you should be able to get them. They are due back Feb 18.
- Albert Shanker Scholarship fund applications are due this month. There was some issue with the application that has been corrected. Make the applications available to the students in your school building.
- Joint Citywide HS meeting Thursday, Feb 3
- African Heritage scholarship heritage dinner dance Antoine’s. Come out to support the committee and their highest award being given to Sterling Roberson. Reach out to Wendy Walker Wilson to get back to you about that event.
- UFT black history film series - The Committee will take you on a journey for the transatlantic slave trade to the black girls in our buildings? You can go back to your classrooms with really good information for the students in your buildings.
- Chapter Leader training Feb 12 -
- Early childhood conference - march 9 - serving pre k, 3k, K- 2nd grade
- March 5 - Para chapter luncheon on March 5
Question Period (5:04 - 5:25)
Summary: Q&A Period, or how Mulgrew gaslights the DA. There were not enough seats for registered delegates at the Delegate Assembly; several delegates registered in advance but there was no record of their registration when they arrived, and they were not allowed to enter. When questioned about the reliability of having families self-report negative tests in order to have children return to school after being close contacts, Mulgrew shared that he “hopes” families are being honest. He responds with no plan of action for making schools safer for staff and students alike, other than his aforementioned “hopes.” Mulgrew also confirms what delegates and school employees already know – the DOE adjusted the attendance policy to mark students completing assignments remotely as present, in order to boost attendance numbers. He acknowledges this updated guidance was sent to superintendents and principals without the UFT’s knowledge or approval, with his impotence and fake rage on full display. He blames the lack of in-school testing on the DOH. Finally, when a delegate questions if there is a cap on per session funds allotted for teachers to post work on Google Classroom, Mulgrew takes issue with the fact that principals are claiming they don’t have the funds to pay teachers per session. Rather, the larger issue at stake here is that teachers are being overburdened by the demands of teaching fully in-person and supporting students learning remotely at home, not to mention Mulgrew’s inability to negotiate for a proper remote learning option.
Who: Peter Allen-Lamphere - Gregory Luperion HS,
Q: Can you explain the rules for non credentialed staff to be here? There are a number of delegates who can’t come in and it would be great for people to come up.
A: The people who are here who are working are people who were asked to be here. We moved the cap down and I’m hoping we can bring the cap back up pre-this wave. We cap it and we are being told about the cap from the people we work with. One is the reason they are here so they can answer questions we have. Everyone here is working - they need to be here to answer. Questioner: but there are delegates downstairs-– You asked me for clarification, I gave it to you. Please don’t be out of order. We have department heads here to give information if the delegation needs answers to questions. The rest of the people here are to give out microphones.
PAL: But there are delegates who can’t come in and there are empty chairs.
That’s why we have a registration process (applause) so we know ahead of time. The last thing we want is for people to come and not be able to come in. We have this process for the same reason we have masks. If you want to come in person, please register. We send confirmation to what you registered for. The amount of communication going back and forth is pretty abundant. We will continue to do this until we can get out of this.
I would love to have overflow rooms like we used to. I don’t have a particularly good time anymore at the DA - it’s not the same as it was pre-pandemic to have everyone together in the same room. I’m glad I could clarify that in terms of that kind of stuff. We have to make a decision for cl trainings and different functional trainings. We were trying to move back to in-person, we got hit with this wave, we were on the phone with our doctors yesterday. We have to make a decision because we have to move bookings. The rye (?) where we used to go is now a nursing home (laughter). They have to do what we have to do. I feel bad because we had a good relationship there. I think as long as the numbers continue to go down, we’d like to do some sort of hybrid, like we’ve been doing our CL trainings. If people tried to register in person but we couldn’t fit everyone, we’d try to rotate them.
Now is any of this perfect? No. Is it the world we are living in? Yes. I will try to make these decisions transparent.
Whoa whoa whoa we didn’t get to the clicker yet. The clicker is for voting and voting only. You were pressing the clicker to ask a question?
Who: Mavis G — District 23,
Q: Accountability question. We know with De Blasio when he came out with this process with the children and the health screenings and at-home testing kits. I believe most of our parents are honest, I'm seeing some situations where they’re not doing the test kits. So we send them home, and say make sure you do it, and they’re coming back and the tests are in their bookbag. I know there’s confidentiality but how do we keep students and ourselves safe with these tests if they’re not testing themselves?
A: I'm glad you started with “parents are honest.” It’s all of us too. This is tough. Can this happen? But how do we move forward and show we are all in this together. Everytime you fill out the screening it’s a legal attestation.
The reason for that health screening… you should all know this… is a legal attestation. If it is found that someone comes forth and says you have lied on that, the DOE can use that to (penalize) we don’t want any of that to happen.The doctors have clearly said rapid tests are the way to go right now. We know that since we went to this new administration, we shouldn’t start with “a bunch of people are trying to game the system”. I hope we don’t have a bunch of people lying through the system.
Who: on the phone: Jordan Laboyer(?)
Q: pleasantries Question about new attendance policy. We were told that if a student is absent but engaging in asynchronous activities, we can mark them excused. Is that correct?
A: Heard something like that - but that is not correct. That would mean that we already have a remote system, but we do not. We’re already working under all these waivers from nysed. What you described to me is against state education law in terms of marking someone as present. This information went out from the doe to superintendents and principals. We’re working to clarify this - hopefully this gets clarified from the DOE. This covid wave has been the toughest thing - this communication issue has been the most frustrating thing. There’s no communication system - it has never been good. This might be the new DOE policy - but it does not follow state education law. Hoping to have that clarified in the next day or two.
Who: Jeenie Gosman, 24Q239
Q: I don’t have a popular question, will we have live streaming?
A:No, This is not something we want to do. NO. Some members are saying, I’m okay with it. My thing is: I don’t know how - ed research should matter. Teaching online is one thing when you are teaching to your camera. Not teaching to the camera - walking around, did we get criticized for remote not being great? Did we tell everyone? Imagine, teaching a class of 22 children. 6 online. Who am I teaching to? The camera or the normal classroom. Is that good instruction? If you want that, you just want to check the box to have remote instruction. Not about quality. Always trying to protect our profession.
That is why our position is no - we have always been very clear we are trying to protect the profession.
Who: Evan Dealiwood(?) School not stated.
Q: So, listen, thank you for what you have done during the surge. I know it’s tough when things change. Thank you. I got you and I’m gonna be honest. So our school, my members are tired, afraid and confused. We had a million different ideas that we wrote up and sent it over to you. The biggest one we got: people are wondering with the rapid tests, we take them, we send them home. Some of our Ts come in from Westchester where the tests are done in school by the nurse. So a child who is exposed could be sitting all day and taking it home. We asked if we could test kids at school, but our admin said No. Why, sir?
A: Because this is something we also asked for. When it comes to testing, there is never enough. Everyone should have a negative test before we open schools after breaks. Every child should be tested at schools - this is our position. There is never enough testing. We were the first school system to get this much testing. Does anyone know anyone who can’t do a rapid test at this point? We should be out there - if this wave goes where we think it’s going - great. Doesn’t mean it’s the last one. When you bring up things like this, I agree with you - there are members who don’t agree that there should be mandated testing for students. It shouldn’t be about the politics of it all and individual rights - it’s a pandemic. We all have a right to help each other stay safe. DOH of NYC is not there in terms of testing children inside schools (with rapid tests)
Who: Randy Boxer, D22 PS122
Q: Regarding per session, with pivot to remote, 2 hours for GC, every time we negotiate, it’s a win for us. Principals are getting upset, giving pushback. Is there a limit to how much per session we can do? Is there a cap? Or do we keep getting per session and what to tell the admin when they push back.
A: First of all, you should tell the admin it’s not their money. Second, we are performing a task outside of our contract - this is additional work. Third, if the DOE is doing their job correctly and coding this as a covid related expense, as they should be, then this should all come out of federal dollars being sent to nyc which we fought for. When I hear a principal say that I have to pay people per session, my first question is let me see your budget. If they gave you money, and you already spent it - or did you not get it? We deal with before covid, we deal with that constantly when it comes to special education services (applause) my focus right now on any issue popping up - it can no longer be mandated. If people want to do it, then let them do it. But it shouldn’t be put upon everyone at this time. The pivot to remote, it was tied to students in your classroom so there was no way around it. If people want to do something extra, it needs to be done through per session or per rata, but not mandated. budgets are very rich. Next year might be better, but this is the richest year I've ever seen school budgets get. I’d really be curious to see how they spent all that money. A couple of years ago, after bloomberg, there used to be administrative per session, they wiped that all out. The first thing I want to look at is administrative per session. I was at a school last tuesday, and the principal was walking around apologizing to his staff because there weren’t enough coverages. He was apologizing to his staff because several people had to teach 7 periods - not worried about these principals, but worried about others.
Motion Period (5:25 - 6:00)
Motion & Resolutions Summary: There is only time to discuss and vote on two resolutions on this month’s agenda. Softball motions pass, like changing the order of resolutions and approving a resolution mandating that delegates be “nice” to each other at the delegate assembly for next month’s agenda. A motion to extend the delegate assembly to allow more time for the resolutions period and another to vote on all resolutions jointly is voted down by the delegation. An amendment to a resolution calling for increased transparency within the contract negotiations process by way of sharing member survey results with all UFT members is also struck down by the delegation, following an impassioned plea from a Unity E-Board member to keep contract negotiations private, even from its own union members. The last resolution to be passed – that was also first on the resolutions agenda for whatever reason – does not have anything to do with schools or education, and passes overwhelmingly because no one wants to or cares enough to speak out against increasing access to drugs for HIV prevention.
Mulgrew recaps the rules for the use of in-person clickers.
Motions to be added to the agenda:
D23 Sasha Hill - for this month
Motion to move Resolution 5 (on member engagement on contract negotiation) to position 1 for this month’s agenda because it’s timely.
Online vote: 769 yes; 128 no
In person: It passes - no statement of the number. Someone is ruled out of order? Not sure?
D2 John Civiati(?)- New Design HS, Seward Park - for next month
For February: Resolved: we members and delegates, regardless of caucus, respectful debate, argue with attacking individuals, we renew commitments for integrity within the union. This is my 40th year, I’ve seen a lot, the last 18, in this hall. I deal within my chapter agreeing to disagree. Anger is disturbing, sitting here, we all feel strong, never seen us get so contentious. Bring it forward to rededicate ourselves to work together. We are building the road and taking the road as one body with respect (applause). Seconded.
Debate: Phone: Melissa Williams - quoted Bernice King (MLK’s daughter)’s tweet from Monday:
But kindness does not = justice.
But calling for civility is not the humane response to injustice.
Love is essential.
But love is not a passive, weeping bystander.
Love puts in work.
—--Civility should not be used to stand up injustice.
Online vote: 716 (yes) 148 (no)
In person:148 no 21 no
Resolution passes - will be placed on the February agenda.
James Cole, HS for Health Profession, Delegate.
Move to suspend rules to extend - moving to suspend rules to extend motion period 10 minutes and entire meeting by 30. There’s a lot to do. Can’t motivate motion - it’s a motion to suspend.
Seconded. Mulgrew explains it requires ⅔ vote.
Online vote: 312 yes, 556 no
Does not pass - want to talk to the parliamentarian - should there have been a motion first to suspend rules and a separate motion to extend time? M asking for clarification - it was fine the way it was done.
Resolutions - Debate & Voting
Resolution 1: Member Engagement for Contract Negotiation
Open for debate: Greg Monte, FDR HS, D20 BK
Expand member engagement for the contract committee. This is vital. We are facing unprecedented times with contracts we will face. We are a massive union. Every face of our rank and file must be heard. We put in writing everyone will be heard. Nurses and paras, every single voice in the union will be heard.
Open for Debate
Susan Basille, PS 29? Chapter Leader
Rise to support what's being proposed. Negotiating committees are really helpful. I’ve been on two in the past. As a member in the trenches among OT and PT professionals this is an excellent opportunity to express demands and give feedback on what's important to us so that you, we, the union can negotiate with the DOE and get our demands so we can make things easier for our lives and our students lives and the communities we serve. I stand to support this proposal.
Mike Stivers, Millennium BK
I move to amend to add an add’l resolved: after second resolved clause, “resolved, that the results of the surveys sent to members bargaining unit, will be released to the bargaining unit”
Last time, we had a survey, very specific, we never saw the results and it was hard to see our success because we couldn’t see the details for each bargaining unit. Seconded.
Floor is open for debate on the amendment
Elizabeth Perez, UFT BK borough rep & EBoard Member, rise again:
Rise against amendment. Putting out survey results will put us at risk of publicly negotiating. Totally against any information coming out of private conversations we are having. We build trust as a negotiating committee. We talk about what we’re building for the greater good. We didn’t get here from negotiating in public. (getting weirdly emotional).
Molly Baulk, Bronx Bronx Envision Academy
Rise in favor of the amendment, new to DA and UFT, I’m sometimes amazed at the lack of transparency. I feel that as part of the strongest union, we should work to increase fairness and transparency. I want to know what my fellow rank and file are for and against. Should be dedicated to openness, fairness, and transparency are part of democracy. And should be part of our union.
Mike Sills, EBoard -
who could argue that we don’t want democratic conversations. I speak against, because we are not going to be having these conversations behind closed doors with like-minded individuals. We will be negotiating with our enemies. These conversations will not be happening out in the open - they will not be sharing their demands publicly. There would be a shift in power. This resolution already makes clear that we will be making a representative committee who will know the results of the surveys and speaking on behalf of membership (applause).
Edward Callamia - delegate, passages academy, d79.
I’d like to support the amendment because it didn't offer a timeline of being released during negotiation. Maybe it will be good to know afterwards.
Mulgrew: he did say before (this is not what I heard as a notetaker; this was assumed by Mulgrew, BTW)
Call the question for all matters before the house - we have to do the amendment first, when we finish with the amendment, we’ll do the resolution.
Amendment: Produce results of survey before two bargaining parties. First, we need to vote on whether we’re closing debate.
Vote to close debate - online: 674 yes, 152 no; internal: unstated. Closing debate on all matters before the house.
Next vote - for the amendment that goes 3rd - will now be the 3rd resolved, that the UFT will survey all members and produce results.
Online total: 314 yes, 529 no
In person: no bs/ds.
Vote on the Actual Resolution:
Online: 534 yes, 199 no
In person: can’t hear in person.
Resolution 2: SB728
Nat Hookaway, OT, D75, PS 141, member of pride committee
Here to motivate the Senate Bill 728 to allow pre-exposure PREP prophylactic meds. Cited stats on people in NYC diagnosed and living 129K people living with HIV in NYC; need proactive measures, pre-emptive medicines are effective. Take it within 72 hours of exposure. Many structural barriers, especially for marginalized communities, black/brown LGBTQIA rural communities; significantly more likely to not know status and be untreated. The bill allows pharmacists to dispense without prescriptions in limited amounts. Urges the UFT to keep negotiating to keep prices down, DOE needs to educate HIV curriculum, December HIV awareness month, please get tested, know your status. Thank you.
AT 6:00pm - meeting about to adjourn
Ryan Bruckenthal, delegate (Mulgrew groans), Beacon HS
Motioning to suspend rules, to vote on the remainder of resolutions jointly.
Mulgrew cuts him off - M: there is a motion to suspend the rules to vote on motions currently on agenda.
Peter Lamphere Gregorian Luperon HS- I believe that the delegate wanted to vote on motions jointly.
M: cuts him off - there is no motion, no debate. Every resolution is voted up or down without any motivation or debate.
Ryan: Yes, suspend the rules to vote on all the resolutions jointly together.
Online: 349 yes, 369 no
In Person: 45 yes - does not pass.
Back to debate on resolution to support senate bill to support SB PREP. Call the question: move to vote; as there’s no one offering debate.
Actual vote on the resolution support NY Senate bill 728
online: 614 yes, 85 no
in person: 123 yes?
At time: Motion to adjourn: 6:06.