Report from UFT December 9 Executive Board

Open mike – no speaker.

President’s report. Mulgrew was present.

Everyone is asking him first who the Chancellor will be. He said BDB has his own process, which we will let him go through. He rattled off five names in contention (Alonso, Cashin, Darling-Hammond, Farina, Starr). He said each of them had their supporters and detractors. And that none of them was a corporate reformer. Mentioned that Henderson is one, but that BDB interviewed her for political reasons. 

There will be a debate at the Delegate Assembly on Wednesday – what should the system look like (structurally). (Followed by a resolution for voting in January)  120 principals signed a letter asking to keep the networks. Out of 1800 principals. And some of the signers were not aware that they had signed. But these are networks, such as the one for Consortium schools, that are actually supporting their schools. They have good networks.

There needs to be an Office of Teaching. The Office of Accountability should be staffed with 3 people, not 360. We already have state and federal accountability. (In response to a comment from the floor) – Legal is all Ivy League lawyers. Do you know how much they are costing us?

There was a meeting in the Bronx this (Monday Dec 9) morning with chapter leaders, principals, superintendants, DRs… discussing evaluations.

These is Bloomberg’s time to trumpet his educational triumphs, but it is falling flat. Even the Post ran an editorial challenging his graduation rates.

People think everything will be better on January 2. Won’t be so.

Staff Director’s Report (LeRoy Barr)

LeRoy spoke about last Thursday’s rally, and Monday’s Reclaim the Promises event.


I  asked the only question:  First I asked if Mulgrew would be back (he was not) then I asked how would the debate Wednesday be organized, and could we see the recommendations in advance. Emil Pietromonaco answered that there would be a bulleted list. And about getting that list before the DA, I don’t think he answered.

Reports from Districts

Janella Hinds reported in more detail about the event in the Bronx held earlier Monday (see above).

George Altomare reported on an upcoming Per Diem Cttee event on Affordable Health Care, and on a social studies pd event.

Legislative Report – Paul Egan was present, but there was no report.

Special Orders of Business

There was a “Transition Report” on the agenda. Turns out it was already covered, that was what Mulgrew was doing under the President’s report.

There was a resolution to honor Nelson Mandela. Sterling Roberson spoke, followed by Anthony Harmon, George Altomare, Mel Aaronson, and LeRoy Barr. It passed unanimously.

Mike Shulman was not present – but I wish he was there, so he could have talked about divestment, about how Teachers Action Caucus (one of New Action’s predecessors) began a grass roots postcard campaign to get the UFT to divest our pension funds from South Africa, and how this minority cause came to become UFT policy.

New Action Caucus has ten seats on the UFT Executive Board – the only ten seats that do not belong to Unity Caucus.

Ten is not enough to win anything – but it allows our voice to be heard, it allows us to put forward resolutions, and when there is agreement, to put forward resolutions the leadership signs onto. It allows us to offer amendments. It allows us to bring issues to the leadership.

At Exec after Exec, Unity members sit and listen. Some never speak. Most rarely speak. But New Action usually has questions, comments, resolutions, or amendments.

This year we will publish reports – sometimes on the entire Exec Board, sometimes just on New Action’s contribution.


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Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
December 2013

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