Archive for May, 2015

Vote Greg Quinn for Chapter Leader, Social Workers and Psychologists

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

Gregorio “Greg” Quinn, New Action/UFT member, is running for Chapter Leader. He stands for member voice – that is, the professionals – the psychologists and the social workers – having a real say over how to properly provide quality care for children. He favors a more active chapter, and a responsive and proactive chapter at that. New Action urges Social Workers and Psychologists to “Vote Quinn.”

Support Tottenville Teachers, Standing up for Respect

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

UFT members want to be listened to. It is frustrating to be ignored. It is infuriating to watch bad ideas implemented without consultation. It is demoralizing not to be treated like professionals.

On Friday, May 29, from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM, Tottenville High School teachers and supporters will gather in front of the school to say “Listen to us, Talk to us, Consult with us, Respect us.”

New Action encourages retirees on Staten Island and members in nearby schools to come out and support the Tottenville UFT chapter.

Regents Fight over Details – Ratings based on test scores must go!

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

The Board of Regents is discussing implementation of the new NYS law on evaluation. Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the Board, and Cuomo’s co-author of this anti-teacher legislation, is being forced by the other Regents to backpedal on many details.

New Action supports attempts to lessen the impact of this bad system.

But using student test scores to rate teachers is plain wrong. At last month’s Delegate Assembly we amended the leadership’s resolution to drop UFT support of test scores to rate teachers.

Now we need to lead a fight to dump the law.

Stand up for Public Education – Defeat Cuomo’s Voucher Bill

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

Andrew Cuomo continues his fight against public education and the students of New York State. We must continue to oppose him.

Support the resolution on tonight’s Delegate Assembly agenda, against the “Education Tax Credit “ bill (it’s just a voucher bill.) Support the resolution against Cuomo’s latest attempt to raise or eliminate the charter cap in NYC.

And join the NYSUT and UFT social media campaigns against both of these attempts by Cuomo to undermine public education.

Winner-Take-All is Undemocratic

The United Federation of Teachers sends hundreds of delegates to the New York State United Teachers Representative Assembly and to the American Federation of Teachers Convention. And of those hundreds of delegates, all, every one, vote exactly the same way on every issue.

The UFT has Vice Presidents for Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, Academic High Schools, Vocational High Schools, non-DoE, Ed Issues, and Special Ed. All belong to the same caucus.

The UFT has 32 District Reps. All are appointed by the president, and belong to the same caucus.

We have a diversity of voices in the UFT, but they are stifled by electoral gimmicks and chicanery.

Each division used to elect its own vice president, but after New Action’s Michael Shulman was elected UFT Vice President for Academic High Schools in 1985, Unity changed the UFT Constitution to assure that it would not happen again. Ultimately they made the vice presidents “at large” to prevent a division from choosing its own VP.

The Chapter Leaders in each district used to elect their own District Reps, but Unity eliminated this 40-year tradition, and made the DRs presidential appointees. Who represents the voices of the chapter leaders? On April 7, 2014 the New Action representatives on the UFT Executive Board submitted a resolution calling for UFT District Reps to once again be elected by chapter leaders in the districts. Unity tabled the motion, arguing that appointment is more democratic than elections.

Our union’s strength is our membership. We rely on membership involvement. But by shutting down member voices, Unity has discouraged thousands of members from participating in the life of our union. This weakens us. New Action supports proportional representation for election of NYSUT, AFT and NEA delegates, we support a return to direct election of divisional Vice Presidents, and we support a return to election of DRs by Chapter Leaders.

Put them back!

Klein broke up neighborhood schools – It’s time to fix this!

Teacher Diversity in Our Schools

Under Bloomberg/Klein the number of teachers of color in our system fell dramatically. The UFT’s Social and Economic Justice Committee (which New Action co-chairs) played a leading role making the issue of diversity of the NYC teaching staff a UFT priority, bringing it to our Delegate Assembly in 2011.

The work of this Committee has led to meetings with Fariña’s reps. A current proposal includes selecting high schools to serve as pipelines to recruit young people of color, and publicizing it in community centers, among counselors, at college and career fairs, fraternities and sororities, etc. Discussions have taken place regarding funding. A promising effort is the possibility to partner with the Brooklyn Borough President’s office.

The UFT and DOE are meeting monthly to get these proposals going by September. New Action has been and will continue to be right there to assure these happen.