Executive Session Inexplicably Called Tonight

Tonight, 11-7-22, we are being told that it may be an executive session for the UFT executive board meeting. We have not been told why or been given any notice. This means that no observers will be allowed. We will try to present some regular non-session business tonight including the bottom two resos. Otherwise, we will be unable to present minutes tonight.

Update: we were eventually taken out of session and into a regular meeting. Because session ran so long, we opted to wait until next meeting to raise our resos.

Resolution on Abusive Administrators

Whereas, hundreds of DOE administrators have been flagged by UFT members as abusive for creating toxic workplaces, taking liberties with the contract, and/or targeting teacher unionists. 

Whereas, abusive principals can destroy the careers of both tenured and probationary teachers, and in the case of probationary teachers, can do so for “any or no reason.”

Whereas, UFT Leadership does not have the power to hire, fire, or discipline administrators, but does have the power to act on our behalf by petitioning the State for increased legal protections, negotiating with the City for increased contractual protections, addressing the Chancellor during consultation on behalf of affected chapters, and, if necessary, by organizing the broader membership in solidarity.

Whereas, for several years, the UFT had a multi-caucus committee dealing with principals in need of improvement (PINI), only to needlessly disband it in 2016 without any ‘successor’ program. 

Whereas, as a result, the UFT has no dedicated formal mechanism for identifying and pressing for the removal, transfer, or remediation of abusive administrators. 

Whereas, a lack of systematic response by UFT to abusive administrators damages member morale, and signals to problematic administrators that they are immune from consequences.

Whereas, in the wake of the Janus decision, failure to address abusive administrators can lead our members to lose faith in the union, putting our local at risk.  

Resolved, that the UFT will work to amend State law to give probationary teachers more protections so that teachers and other staff are not subjected to arbitrary and capricious actions, and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will work to increase protections and resources against workplace bullying of our members by principals, drawing on recent legislation such as Senate Bill S3395A:  the New York State Healthy Workplace Bill. And be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will work in negotiations to strengthen the UFT contract to afford more protections for both probationary and tenured UFT members, and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will  highlight the problems of abusive administrators, through membership involvement, various forms of social media, publications, etc., and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will employ a multifaceted campaign to end the reign of terror of abusive administrators. This campaign will include the many tools and approaches that have previously been passed at Delegate Assemblies including: taking all legal remedies, establishing “swat teams” to go into schools with a history of abuse, assigning key UFT personnel to monitor and regularly visit said schools, organizing campaigns within and outside these schools to modify the behavior of abusive administrators and if necessary to remove them from their schools. And be it further

Resolved, that the UFT will re-establish a multi-caucus Principals in Need of Improvement (PINI) committee to oversee this process. 

Interim Resolution to Address the Rising Cost of Health Care

Whereas health costs have continued to rise, and 

Whereas, the Municipal Labor Committee, including our own United Federation of Teachers (UFT), agreed to find over $600 million in savings to the City in exchange for past salary increases, and

Whereas, the Mayor and the Municipal Labor Committee(of which the United Federation of Teachers is one of the largest parts) proposed a plan to move retirees to a privatized Medicare Advantage plan, and 

Whereas the proposal to move retirees to Medicare Advantage has caused extreme consternation and anxiety for the 250,000 NYC public service retirees (including UFT retirees) potentially affected due to fears that “cost savings” would be accomplished by reducing access to providers and procedures, and overall diminishing the quality and quantity of health care they would receive, and

Whereas 65,000 retirees were so concerned they opted out of the new plan, and

Whereas, Judge Lyle Frank ruled on March 2, 2022 that the plan could not go forward as presented, as it violated the City’s Administrative Code 12-126, and

Whereas the Mayor and the Municipal Labor Committee agreed to lobby the city council to amend the City’s Administrative Code 12-126 to allow their Medicare Advantage plan to go forward, and

Whereas the proposed amendment to the Code would eliminate the current benchmark, opening the door to changes that could hurt both in-service and retired members, and 

Whereas changing the Code would empower the city to push to downgrade healthcare quality and access in future negotiations, potentially increasing the financial burden and health risk for the city’s entire workforce, which is two-thirds people of color and earn incomes on average much lower than most UFT members, and

Whereas the MLC as representative of over 100 municipal unions should advocate for better funding for health care that does not cause union members, including UFT in-service members and retirees, grave concerns, and

Whereas the UFT and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) have a long track record of supporting budget fairness in New York City and New York State, such as NYSUT’s recent #FundOurFutureNY campaign.

Therefore, be it Resolved, that the UFT now stands in opposition to revising Administrative Code 12-126, and urges the MLC to follow suit, and be it further 

Resolved, that the UFT in collaboration with NYSUT will look for fair funding sources to help the City meet its health care obligations to its employees and retired employees without reducing the quality or quantity of medical service, and 

Be it further resolved that the UFT consider sources including, but not limited to:  a progressive income tax for those with incomes over $5 million; restoration of the Stock Transfer Tax which could gain over to $12 billion of income to the state, or tax on the wealth of billionaires, or closing the carried interest loophole, or a pied-à-terre tax on luxury second homes in New York City, or implementing an inheritance tax on the highest 1% of inheritances, or repealing the corporate profit tax breaks implemented by President Trump within New York State and restoring pre-2017 percentages, or eliminating rebates for taxes on stock buybacks, or repealing tax exemptions on luxury goods such as private planes and yachts, or eliminate city property tax breaks for real estate billionaires and 

Be it further resolved that the UFT will take the lead urging the MLC to wage a full-scale campaign to push the City and/or State to institute or restore these revenue sources, which could be used to secure the continued stability of our members’ and retiree’s healthcare.

Signed by: Ronnie Almonte, Nick Bacon, Ed Calamia, Lydia Howrilka, Alex Jallot, Ibeth Mejia, Ilona Nanay

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