Archive for the 'solidarity' Category

New Action/UFT and MORE: Support Chapter Leader and School under attack

New Action Caucus / UFT and MORE Caucus, and our representatives on the UFT Executive Board wrote to the Unity Caucus controlled leadership of the UFT, asking for real demonstrations of support for an embattled Chapter Leader (Marilyn Martinez, Central Park East 1, facing trumped up 3020a charges) and an embattled school (JHS 145, District 7, threatened with closure at the PEP, in service to Moskowitz).

 Shamefully, the leadership chose not to come to the Chapter Leader’s 3020a hearing. We hope they do better with the PEP in support of JHS 145, but if they do not, you can still attend: Wednesday March 22, 6PM, HS for Fashion Industries, W24th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

March 9, 2017

Dear President Mulgrew, Vice Presidents Alford, Hinds, and Mantell and Assistant Secretary Barr:

As you know, our union, and the labor movement as a whole, is under major threat by the anti-labor initiatives promised by the Trump administration, as well as by the inevitable return of a case like last year’s Friedrichs to the Supreme Court.

In such an environment, it is crucial that the rank and file members of our union see that the UFT is at the front lines fighting to defend members publicly at every available opportunity.

There are two important opportunities to do so in the coming days that our union leadership must act on.

First, the Chapter Leader of Central Park East I, Marilyn Martinez, is facing 3020A charges which are clearly retaliatory from the abusive principal Monika Garg.  Fifty parents and UFT members attended the first two days of hearings last week.  We ask that you or Elementary Vice President Karen Alford attend the final day of the hearing this Friday, March 10 in order to send a clear message to the DOE, the arbitrator, and UFT rank and filers that the UFT supports this chapter leader. We further ask you to offer the assistance of the UFT press office in publicizing this defense.  We further ask that you intervene personally with the chancellor around this case. If we do not defend our chapter leaders publicly and strongly, we may soon not have a union to defend at all.

Second, JHS 145 in the Bronx is facing a closure vote at the Panel for Educational Policy meeting on Wednesday March 22nd. The largely immigrant school community has mobilized to oppose the closing. As unionists committed to defending public education, we must join our voices with those of parents, students and teachers in opposition to this proposed closure. The Delegate Assembly scheduled for that day should adjourn early to allow Delegates, Chapter Leaders and the union leadership to attend the nearby PEP Meeting en masse.

In Solidarity,

UFT Executive Board members high school division

KJ Ahluwalia, Arthur Goldstein, Ashraya Gupta, Jonathan Halabi, Marcus McArthur, David Rosen, Mike Schirtzer

Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE caucus UFT)

New Action Caucus / UFT

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Retroactive Pay and Fairness

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the October 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly)
In a disheartening turn, after unusually harsh commentary by a teacher who is employed by the union,
the Unity leadership, followed by its caucus, voted en bloc against letting the delegates debate the issue.
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2015 October

Many members are happy to find the first lump sum payment from the 2014 contract in our checks. There are a flurry of questions – as is expected. When money is involved, we want to get it right.

The contract left out some groups of UFTers. People who have been discontinued are not entitled to the pay. Nor are people who resigned. Nor are people who left before age 55, waiting to retire when they turned 55. And people who died in service – their survivors are not entitled to the money they should have earned from 2009 – 2011. There is, unfortunately, nothing we can do to correct this unfairness.

But we can help another group. UFTers on maternity leave are not receiving the money due them this week. The City intends to pay them next round, in October 2017. There is a proposed resolution to get our folks the money they are due now. We urge you to vote to put this resolution on the agenda.

Winter “Day of Action”

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the December 2012 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2012 December

New Action proposes citywide mobilizations this winter to address a host of issues in the schools, not least the fact that we have been without a contract since October 2009. Standing with our colleagues at our schools helps build espirit de corp. And at the schools everyone is there – we can involve those members who normally don’t travel.

New Action successfully pushed for a Day of Action this past spring. We now call on the leadership to bring our troops together again. Our issues are varied: fight for basic rights, to stop school closings, against curriculum writing, for a decent contract without givebacks and with retroactivity. But the underlying theme is constant – we need to push back, just to be treated fairly, just to produce a decent environment for teachers to teach and students to learn.

Dignity for All Teachers (Draft Resolution, for October, if necessary)

If June’s no layoffs agreement works as planned, many more ATRs may find regular appointments in the fall. But if in the fall the position and conditions of the ATRs are not improved, then New Action will introduce the following resolution at the October Delegate Assembly:

Dignity for All Teachers

(Draft Resolution for the October DA, if necessary)

Whereas each year for the last several years a significant number of our members have been assigned to the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR); and

Whereas most teachers who are in the ATR arrived there as their schools were shut down; and

Whereas the teachers in the ATR have been subject to a campaign of media vilification, falsely claiming or implying that teachers in the ATR are less able or are bad teachers, and intentionally conflating them with teachers facing disciplinary proceedings; and

Whereas the teachers in the ATR have been targeted for layoff or termination several times over the last several years, including by the Department of Education during contract negotiations; the anti-union group Educators for Excellence in its seniority reform proposal this spring; and Mayor during his campaign to undo Civil Service law in Albany earlier this spring, thwarted each time by the United Federation of Teachers, and its leadership; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR often are made to feel like outsiders in the schools where they work; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR, in too many instances, are forced to perform inappropriate work in the schools where they work; and

Whereas teachers in the ATR, to the extent they are made to feel like outsiders or feel vulnerable to being moved, are often reluctant to seek appropriate relief; and

Whereas the new budget agreement allows teachers in the ATR to be moved from school to school multiple times each term; and

Whereas the UFT values the dignity of all our members;

Be it resolved the UFT will direct its chapters and Chapter Leaders to reach out to members of the ATR who are assigned to their schools, to welcome them, and to support them; and be it further resolved that

the UFT will educate Chapter Leaders about the rights of teachers in the ATR, and direct its chapters and Chapter Leaders to proactively protect those rights, and to intervene if those rights are being infringed upon by administration, as the ATR may be justifiably reluctant or fearful of speaking up; and be it further resolved that

the UFT will designate a representative or committee Centrally, or will designate a representative in each borough to handle ATR issues; and be it further resolved that

the New York Teacher will run an article on teachers in the ATR, including how teachers became part of the ATR; and be it further resolved that

the UFT has always and will always stand for the dignity of all teachers, including our most vulnerable: probationers, teachers under investigation, and teachers in the ATR.

UNION BUSTING IN PUERTO RICO

New Action/UFT also urges all delegates to support the resolution on Puerto Rican teachers. We are proud to have initiated this resolution at the UFT Executive Board. Puerto Rican governor Fortuno has fired the entire leadership of the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation (FMPR). The teaching licenses of the FMPR leadership have been permanently revoked.

Governor Fortuño is out to destroy the teachers’ union in Puerto Rico much like Governor Walker in Wisconsin and Bloomberg in New York City. An injury to one is an injury to all!

Motion: Resolution in Support of Puerto Rican Teachers Federation Leadership

WHEREAS, the entire leadership of the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation (FMPR) were fired from their teaching positions; and

WHEREAS, the teaching licenses of the FMPR leadership were permanently revoked; and

WHEREAS, the Government has taken repressive measures with the goal of destroying the unions and intimidating the teachers from struggling against the current administration’s plans to privatize the schools and liquidate the teachers retirement fund; and

WHEREAS, Governor Fortuño of Puerto Rico is out to destroy the teachers’ union much like Governor Walker of Wisconsin is out to destroy collective bargaining for public workers in this state; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the UFT express our solidarity with the Puerto Rican Teachers Federation; and be it

RESOLVED, that the UFT inform Governor Fortuño that we oppose his repressive measures and stand with the FMPR in solidarity.

March 2011

WISCONSIN / NEW YORK CITY – SAME STRUGGLE / SAME FIGHT

Wisconsin proves that today we must have a strong union movement. Public employees, especially educators, are under attack all across our country. Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida are also suffering attacks on pensions, health care plans, seniority, and our long and hard fought right to collective bargaining. Mayor Bloomberg WANTS TO END SENIORITY RIGHTS! In reality, he would also like to destroy collective bargaining.

Fortunately, public employees across this country are fighting back.

New Action is proud that we introduced the UFT resolution on Wisconsin and other battleground states. The membership must be involved. We urge the following actions:

  • set a specified Day of Solidarity and ask every UFT member to wear red
  • set a date with our labor allies for a demonstration of support for workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. and against the policies of Mayor Bloomberg
  • raise support among our members by requesting a voluntary donation for a solidarity fund
  • gather names of members who are willing to fill buses and travel to battleground states

We hope these actions will stimulate discussions at the school level and other UFT venues.

March 2011

UFT Resolution on Wisconsin

… and other states. Passed Exec Board, bipartisan support, after several amendments. Will be presented at the March 9 Delegate Assembly (this Wednesday). Needs to be accompanied by concrete actions, such as those New Action has proposed.

WHEREAS, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is scapegoating public employees, including teachers, for Wisconsin’s alleged budget difficulties; and

WHEREAS, Governor Walker has proposed that contracts be no longer than one year, that public employee unions be banned from collecting dues, and that collective bargaining be abolished for public employees, including teachers; and

WHEREAS, organized labor in Wisconsin, including the State AFL-CIO and the Wisconsin Education Association have denounced these wrong-headed plans; and

WHEREAS, this shocking assault on workers’ rights, and specifically teachers’ rights, is part of a concerted national campaign against workers and their organizations with particularly egregious proposals threatening educators and other workers in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, the teachers of New York City and our union, the United Federation of Teachers, are facing noxious proposals by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as part of this same national anti-teacher union campaign; and

WHEREAS, an injury to one is an injury to all; and

WHEREAS, we UFTers as trailblazers in gaining collective bargaining for teachers which we secured in 1961 only after a strike on November 7, 1960 at which time our members showed great courage and determination to have the basic right to be treated fairly and with respect know only too well the significance and vital importance of collective bargaining for teachers and other workers; and be it

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers expresses its solidarity with the teachers unions in Wisconsin, and with all public employees and their unions in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Florida and Tennessee; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will publicize the monstrous campaign against the teachers and all public employees in Wisconsin and other affected states; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will extend offers of material and logistical support to our sister teacher unions in Wisconsin and other affected states; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will join with our state and national affiliates, New York State United Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers respectively, to likewise express solidarity, publicize the struggle, and offer material support to the teachers and their unions in Wisconsin and other affected states.