Archive for the 'New Action' Category

New Action Caucus Meeting – Thursday, 3/9, 5:30 -7:00 PM

New Action Caucus will have our monthly meeting this Thursday, 3/9/23 at 5:30 PM. UFT-represented newcomers are welcome and can sign up to attend here. We will discuss a number of topics and potential actions around:

We will also leave plenty of time for questions.

Note: for New Action members affected by the elementary school parent teacher conferences (or other conflicts), we can catch you up in committee. The next official New Action meeting after this one will be in April.


UFT High School Executive Board Update!

Dear UFT Member,

The New Action UFT caucus, as a member of United for Change coalition (UFC), would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in last spring’s UFT election. UFC received 42 % of the Active Teacher vote, 32% of the Functional vote, 30 % of the Retiree vote, 43.83 % of the Middle School vote and 55.87% of the High School vote. Our 7 High School Executive Board members have been working the first half of the school year for all members and divisions. Two of our resolutions have received bi-partisan support, while the majority have been shut down by our union bureaucracy. It is worth visiting to read the full informal minutes of UFT Executive Board meetings to get a sense of how hard New Action and other UFC members are working to represent us at the executive board. However, for your convenience some of that work is summarized below. We have put forth the following:

  1. A resolution to preserve our medical benefits for both active and retired members. This resolution, unsurprisingly, was defeated by Unity Caucus, i.e. the UFT leadership. As most of us know, the Mayor and UFT leadership are thus far unsuccessfully lobbying the City Council to do away with 12-126, a statute designed to protect health care for all City employees/retirees. That goal directly contradicts the mission of New Action, who is working behind the scenes to try and preserve traditional Medicare as well as high quality premium-free healthcare for in-service members. 
  2. One resolution to organize and mobilize all members for a contract fight. (Again, defeated by Unity).
  3. One resolution compelling full disclosure of a finalized tentative contract and memorandum agreements to prevent what happened in 2014 and 2018. We can’t allow back-room deal agreements to go into appendixes of which members aren’t informed before a vote. 
  4. One resolution on ending the disproportionate impact of discontinuances of high school probationary teachers. Unlike teachers of the elementary and middle school grades, high school teachers are discontinued from all of the DOE’s high schools, regardless of district, when they are discontinued or denied. This resolution, written by New Action and UFC, would compel the UFT to petition for equalizing the rights of high school teachers. The resolution received bipartisan support and will go to the Delegate Assembly for final approval.
  5. One resolution on Tier 6 pension reform. This resolution would have made the UFT lobby for an immediate return to at least Tier 4 benefits, a return to a 25-55 option, exclude COPE funds from any politician who doesn’t support our pension goals, and compel the UFT to immediately mobilize if any new inferior pension tier is introduced. The resolution was defeated by Unity, who instead opted to push a ‘keep doing what we’re doing’ resolution on Tier 6 reform at the December DA. When New Action tried to put forth an amendment with most of the above goals, Unity defeated the resolution using a dubious parliamentary technicality. 
  6. A resolution to end the reign of terror on abusive administrators by forming bi-partisan “ swat teams “ to go into schools with a history of abuse and restoring the once-successful PINI program. This resolution was also defeated by Unity, who argued that their existing infrastructure is good enough. 
  7. A resolution to fund health care with taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Again, this was defeated by Unity Caucus, who would rather save money by forcing retirees onto Medicare Advantage or making members pay premiums to keep existing traditional Medicare.
  8. A resolution on creating a Minority Report, so UFT members get the full scope of debate in official UFT communications about contentious union issues like healthcare. This resolution was defeated by Unity, who disregarded the15,092 UFT members who voted for United for Change.
  9. A resolution to support the teachers who were allegedly abused by a group of administrators after being brought to NYC from the Dominican Republic. This resolution received bipartisan support and was introduced at the Delegate Assembly. 

Currently, we are proposing the UFT use all of its resources to keep GHI premium free. We also urge all school chapters to support the UFT teach-in on Jan. 30th and build strong Contract Action Teams. We urge all of our supporters to participate and propose strong, collective rank & file actions.

In solidarity,

Nick Bacon, Gregory DiStefano, Michael Shulman, New Action/UFT co-chairs

New Action/UFT…a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers

Fighting for educators, building chapters, increasing democracy, with a progressive agenda

615 77th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209

New Action to Run Slate in Spring UFT Elections

Priority Issues

Fight administrative abuse – Defend Chapter Leaders, Probationers, and ATRs

Last year NEW ACTION and MORE brought Chapter Leader after Chapter Leader up to UFT Executive Board meetings to speak up against the 200 or so Principals and Administrators who are making life hell for UFT members. These included Chapter Leaders from, CPE 1, Tottenville High School, and numerous members from the Adult Ed chapter, and teachers from other schools.

New Action supports a union led campaign against abusive administrators. We would bring back our Campaign for Principals in Need of Improvement (which Unity dropped without explanation)

The new contract has many more arbitration days. We need to ensure that these are used to fight abusive administrators.

In order to prevent the harassment of veteran staff the DOE must return to unit costing. The current teacher funding formula is a leftover from the Bloomberg/Klein administration. It encourages principals to avoid hiring experienced educators. This hurts principals, teachers, schools, and students. It’s time to end “Fair Student Funding!” The DOE won’t bargain FSF in contract negotiations? Then we should be pushing the issue outside negotiations, and joining with schools and community groups who are also being hurt by this process.

Provide basic rights to probationary teachers. Too often, these educators have been unfairly discontinued by their principals. Where a principal has shown questionable judgment, it is in our interest to challenge that judgment. Basically, probationers can be discontinued without cause. This is just not right or just.



End tying ratings to bogus test scores. –The recently concluded contract reduced the number of observations for highly effective and effective rated teachers to two a year. For Unity Caucus this was a big improvement since only a year ago their leaders were arguing that teachers wanted more observations.

Remove student test scores from teacher ratings.

Allow teachers to challenge the judgment of administrators – we must be allowed to challenge an observation that is wrong


Lower Class Size

We have been dragging our feet to long on this. There have been NO REDUCTIONS IN OVER 50 YEARS. In contract negotiations the UFT has pitted salary increases against a reduction in class size. Why wait to push for the implementation of the CFE court ruling.  How will conditions ever improve until we address this? We need to address class size outside of contract negotiations, and to involve parents and community organizations in this just struggle.



Schools in New York City have become the most segregated in the nation. We have an obligation to remedy this situation. The DoE has ideas. The UFT needs to offering our own solutions.

We must also address the ongoing crisis of disappearing Black and Hispanic educators.


High Schools

Bloomberg, with Gates money, and Unity Caucus support, broke up many of our large high schools. Gates declared this experiment a failure, and walked away from it. Many neighborhoods in New York City are no longer served by an academic comprehensive high school that is large enough to provide rich academic and extra-curricular options. Teachers are denied the opportunity for the range of professional conversations that a larger department provides. Where mini-schools have obviously not worked, we should be urging the Department of Education to merge schools.

High school teachers formerly had borough-wide PD with teachers in the same subject area, with the possibility of a wide ranging exchange of ideas. High School teachers need these opportunities restored.

Regents Exam grading must be returned to the schools.


Improve Our Health Benefits

The newly concluded contract introduced 2-Tier system that places new members in HIP for the first year is a disgrace. In the next contract will the City and our union agree to put new members in an HMO for the duration of their probation? Our dental benefits are woefully inadequate! Why is there no coverage for implants? Shouldn’t deductibles be brought down?

And while we are glad to have won parental leave, the six weeks is just a start. We should be looking for more, for a more comprehensive and longer lasting leave that covers taking care of a sick parent or relative as well as childbirth.

Content Policy

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.
March 2023