Feb. 5, 2024 UFT Executive Board Summary/Analysis


  • Ben Morgenroth, who brilliantly presented the bulk of NAC’s Tier 6 webinar last week (PowerPoint link here), spoke well again on the problems with Tier 6. We know it’s bad, but through Ben’s work we see it’s much worse than anyone ever thought – to the tune of millions of dollars of lost income for those who start teaching in their 20s and stick through to retirement. It’s critical that we imminently fix things like the Tier 6 pension tax, already costing members thousands of dollars a year relative to their Tier 4 counterparts.
  • Mulgrew spoke about the problems with the State budget, including the ‘held harmless’ provisions, the bad reformulation of foundation aid, and the issue with mayoral control being seen as Adams’s version or bust – there are many other variants of mayoral control that can be implemented without reverting back to community control, while allowing for checks and balances to the current model. Note: This is not to endorse Mulgrew’s rather tepid critique of mayoral control, which would keep it largely in tact, but to summarize it.
  • A number of resolutions were passed tonight. The only contentious one was about replacing Dave Kazansky as a TRS rep with someone by the name of Christina McGrath. It’s unclear exactly what the circumstances are behind Kazansky leaving. Arthur Goldstein published a piece today suggesting it was yet another instance of Mulgrew getting rid of a competent person for unrelated political reasons, but I can’t confirm that. Either way, the process of having the UFT endorse a UFT staffer for a position that no one has even had a chance to express interest in running for, let alone to vie for the UFT’s endorsement, is clearly against the spirit of union democracy. I spoke against the endorsement that reason, and Mike Schirtzer tried to table the entire vote, but it’s a Unity room, and Unity won both votes. Other UFT members will still be able to run against Christina McGrath, but the UFT endorsement will give her a clear advantage if it’s confirmed at the DA.
  • Tons of resolutions were presented today, most of which are in the appendix. A few others were added later and thus not in the appendix, but primarily are carbon copies of former UFT resolutions. For the bulk of the resolution text, scroll down to the bottom.

Informal Minutes start here:

Open Mic

Tracy Ruffin: CL on UWS in a co-located school, advocating against being re-sited to Ascension Catholic School on 108th Street. Another principal is adding curriculum, such as Russian, which has nothing to do with the community. Those extra programs are requiring more space, and their answer to that space is sending the other school out. There is mutual respect between the teachers here, it’s only Naveed Hasan and this principal causing the issue. We have the only NEXT program in D3. This switch puts the program in jeopardy. It will have a negative impact on us – putting us into an ancient building with a ‘gymnatorium’ and no school yard. Please help us get City to remove this from the PEP agenda and investigate Naveed Hasan.

Ben Morgenroth (full version, cut a bit at open mic due to time):

A few weeks ago I met two women named Jennifer and so we can tell them apart, let’s call them Jennifer one and Jennifer two. The Jennifers met at graduate school where they were studying to become teachers. They finished their studies in 2009 and both started in the DOE later that year as long-term leave replacements, only at different schools. Both Jennifers inquired about joining the pension. Jennifer one was told to join NYCERS until she got an appointed position. Jennifer 2 was given different information and was not enrolled in the pension until a few years later. Today both Jennifers are still teaching. Jennifer one is in Tier 4 and her pension contributions stopped 5 years ago. Jennifer 2 is in Tier 6 and her pension contributions cost her over $500 a month to this day. Jennifer 2’s monthly payments will continue to increase throughout the rest of her career. When accounting for the return she could be earning on that money, she will have contributed well over a million dollars more than Jennifer 1 by the time she reaches retirement. That’s over a million dollars less that Jennifer 2 will have to retire on, all because of the difference in information the two Jennifer’s received . On top of that, Jennifer 2can’t retire until 63 and has to work 8 years longer than Jennifer one to receive her full pension. Around the same time the Jennifers started in the DOE, another teacher, let’s call him Henry, started teaching in a non-Uft position at Hunter High School. As many of you know, a change was made in 2009 to reduce the fixed rate of return on the TDA from 8.25% to 7% for UFT titles only. Henry, teaching under a non-UFT title, earns the full 8.25%. If the Jennifers contribute the IRS maximum to their fixed return TDA, their accounts will accrue $2.3 million less than the Henry’s over the course of their careers.

This story is not unique to Henry and the Jennifers. There are many such stories about teachers who started around the same time, and wound up in different pension tiers. Still others had the opportunity to start teaching under Tier 4 but decided to invest in additional education or industry experience to bring more expertise to the classroom and wound up into Tier 6 as a result. I am one of them. I had the credentials to start teaching as early as 2007 but wanted to bring more experience to the classroom and worked in a number of roles including financial services in the private sector as well as at New York City Transit (where I was not enrolled in NYCERS). I started teaching full-time in 2014. Like the Jennifers, I, and many others across the DOE, are now losing millions of dollars in retirement security through additional pension contributions and a reduced TDA return. Those of us in Tier 6 also need to commit eight additional years of our lives to collect a full pension. This is all because we were either misinformed or made the foolish decision to invest time in gaining expertise before entering the classroom.

And of course our younger members had no opportunity to join Tier 4 either. There is no reason that Tier 6 needs to be worse than earlier tiers .As many of us remember, our pension was once fully employer-funded under Tier 1. The Fix Tier 6 campaign has prioritized returning to a retirement age of 55 for Tier 6 members and that is surely an important priority. The following also need to be non-negotiable. Number one, ending pension contributions for all members after 10 years. Number two, FAS calculation based on a member’s best single year. And number three, restore the 8.25% TDA rate that all non-UFT titles still receive. Our most seasoned Tier 6 members have already contributed for over 10 years, nearly double the amount of our colleagues in Tier 4, and continue to contribute every two weeks. The urgency in making these changes quickly cannot be understated and needs to be part of the campaign. Each month that goes by, our members are losing hundreds of dollars on our retirements. Moreover, we need to know that our financial futures are secure as we decide whether or not we can afford to stay in this profession. We must communicate these non negotiable items and the need for swift reform, and I emphasize swift, to lawmakers in Albany so that teachers in all tiers know our retirements are secure.

President’s Report:

Mulgrew: Heavy duty getting into legislative session. The Governor’s budget has some issues; (1) hold harmless; (2) change in foundation aid that is not helpful. We need to change back – or change it right. But the ten year average range makes for an Olympic gymnastic model – not helpful.

All unions are big on tier 6, we can’t negotiate, this is a lobbying effort. Things Ben spoke about clearly getting attention. Will take a few years. Complicated lobbying effort.

Legislative reception was successful. Transparent – main thing is to use leverage. Only thing they’re talking about is mayoral control – but supplanting record state education funding….Already in a lawsuit. Pushing hard. Of course, class size. Complete compliance with law – financial review period – they have a plan to stop compliance through that process – that’s why they’re moving money from the capital fund to reserves. Massive fight now ensued. On mayoral control, we’re explaining different versions of mayoral control – most of the systems we’ve ha….nominating committee. New Haven for instance. So don’t say if Adams doesn’t control the PEP it isn’t mayoral control – there are different models.

Thanks volunteers for Suozzi campaign work. Tough having to do some work – may not love Suozzi, but the other candidate will vote against our interests – that simple. .

Contract report at the DA this Wednesday. Wear red for Valentines.

Point of personal privilege – there’s a reso you have to vote on today, but thanks Dave Kazansky, he’ll be working here part time but also at the AFT – pensions are under attack, so no better person than Dave Kazansky to educate trustees at the national level.


All approved, but with two questions.

Nick Bacon: The Executive board minutes from our last session do not note LeRoy Barr’s point at the end, which he specifically asked to go into the minutes, noting the UFT’s acknowledgement of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

LeRoy Barr: This will be corrected.

Nick Bacon: There’s a resolution approved at the last adcom meeting endorsing someone to take Dave Kazansky’s seat, but this is the first I’m hearing about this or about the person named for the UFT to endorse as his replacement. What was the process to select this person – again, first time I’m hearing about it.

LeRoy Barr: That will be addressed in the motions period.


S. Rockowitz: Mayoral control hearing on Staten Island, talked about checks and balances, most spoke against current form.

J. Hinds: UFT Women’s history had movie on healthcare for women, extended discussion. This Thursday, High on the Hog screening.

K. Alford: Teacher night on Broadway, 500 new members at show. Upcoming guest on April 6 event, early childhood conference, author of the Pete the cat series.

M. Vaccaro: New literacy program, Feb. 12 – all CLS in phase 2 of curriculum implementation were invited. Some issues came up about testing in H and H – meeting with DOE to fix. Email us if you have a problem with such things. If kids are not getting ELL services because of curriculum implementation, also let us know….

C. Cambria: Recent contract ratification vote with Goldman and others, negotiated from Nov. to January and came out with raises of 8% in one year, 7% in the next, with healthcare kept safe. Overwhelmingly ratified at about 99%.

Question Period

Alex Jallot: With everything in Israel/Palestine, when did we start investing in Israeli bonds and why?

LeRoy Barr: Trustees vote on a lot of investments. Primary thing we look for is that pensions are sound – questions about divestment so that these things are taken into account. Request for divesting comes here – we push it back to trustees so that we maintain value.

T. Brown: Tough topic, but as fiduciaries we are bound to act prudently in our decision making process. Our primary focus must be on the brisk recommendation – devoid of personal biases to assess any country risk. While members who have not yet retired and have other income – retirees rely only on pensions for livelihood, so we must use utmost care in deciding on BDS.

Alex Jallot: How does investing in Israel make it safer?

LeRoy Barr: About entire portfolio – analyisis is about returns because of dependence. Understand why you want to target one investment. What doing is maintaining value process.

Ilona Nanay: Not part of our pension – it’s a UFT investment of an amount that is peanuts, but – transitions to question – about funding of a teacher center program.

Mary Vacarro: DOE doesn’t give teacher center a dime. That money is from the state and city council. Paid for 23 coaches, so though no money came in, so 17 under literacy, some others. Agreement was we’d support in classroom. First in a site school….Agreement is………..When internet goes down, illustrative math can’t be taught, so back and forth. Now received grant money. Hope to get to all 1800 schools.

Ibeth Mejia: Answered my question, but I have another.

LeRoy Barr: Have stuff for you (they speak).

Melody Anastasiou: What we can do for what’s happening with removing programs like Peardeck with little warning. Digital citizenship – hard time relaying what students do. Security issue – was able to shut down.

Mary Vacarro: Shut down due to a security issue – conversation to resolve.

Mike Schirtzer: One question for my members – any update on healthcare?

Geof Sorkin: Wish I could say yes, but I cannot. We continue to meet with our finalists.

Ilona Nanay: last annual report of welfare fund was updated on 2019, someone went through and saw we have a billion dollar surplus. How can we use it?

Geof Sorkin: Surplus, looking to enhance. Had pandemic. Looking to enhance benefits.

Report from Districts:

Rosemary Thompson: Conference for school counselors, national counseling week coming up. 20th annual conf. for school counselors, March 16.

P. Crispino: Recommends Narcan training – had good experience with such a training.

Angel: D. 20, JHS 259 basketball against staff at Barclay Center. Brooklyn annual SRP training.

Dave Kazansky: Gathering all DASA trainers, after success teaching thousands, some still doing 10 years on, for a celebration.

Priscilla Castro: Para festival and awards luncheon on March 23.

Seung Lee: Multilanguage learner event in Ian. Superintendent cotaught, admin and UFT working together.

T. Murphy: retirees used to travel around country, would see thousands, instituted virtual. Presidential session coming, retirees needed to volunteer.

Nancy Armando: thanks for supporting D15.

Ilona Nanay: Black lives matter day of action. BLM at schools. Google. Series of events, 15th youth block party at ya ya network, with everything going on, authentic coalitions…

Raul Garcia: Online, had over 900 psychologists and social workers working on implicit bias. Next week is social work appreciation day – expect event to be well attended. March 8, all day ….great 50-50 raffle… last time someone went home with almost 2k.

D. Rodriguez: Great time at event for Bronx high schools in January.

Legislative Report:

Vanecia Wilson: Chapter training weekend – thanks everyone who came out – I gave them a political presentation – wonderful event -. Annual legislative reception went well in Albany. Shouts out DRs and BRs for getting the event off the ground – Manhattan had meet and greet, great presentations – Souzzi actions, shout out to tremendous work. When labor shows up to vote it’s a wrap.


All motions approved today (see appendix, which has most of their text via approved adcom minutes). Some debate only on resolution to replace Dave Kazansky with Christina McGrath on the TRS board. That debate is shown here, followed by an appendix with everything else.

Dave Kazansky: Last 9 years, it’s been an honor of being teacher trustee on TRS, would have loved to continue to do so until I retired, but just can’t turn down new opportunity. So, come together, support C. McGrath, pension rep, hear more about her from others.

Victoria Lee: Support for election, speerheaded numerous pension workshops.

Tom Murphy: So important that retirees have an element of trust in whoever is serving. Trustees work hand in glove with…

Janella Hinds: Not only speak in favor, extend gratitude to Dave Kazansky.

Tom Brown: congratulate David for a job well done. Support C. McGrath, former elementary teacher, CL for many years, currently NYSUT delegate, pension consultant in the Bronx. Helped a lot of people retiring during COVID. As trustee, must oversee investments, and as trustees oversee distribution of checks, she’s up for it. Understands role of fiduciary. Defender of benefit plans. Will fight. All trustees have complete confidence.

Mike Schirtzer: As LeRoy said – we need to keep our pension strong, solvent and sound- as Tom Brown said they are in charge of billions of dollars of investments -it seems to me – turning over 2/3 of the teacher trustees board put that’s in jeopardy- we have the steady experienced hand of Mr. Brown, but this body ought reject Mr. Kazansky leaving his critical position and he should reconsider his decision- with that in mind I would like to motion to table this resolution.

Motion fails with some yes votes from High School Executive Board members.

Nick Bacon: Since that motion failed, which I would have supported, I must speak against – not because I have any particular issue with Christina McGrath. Other than what has been said about her tonight, I know nothing about her. Maybe in the end I’ll vote for her, but that’s not the point. The point is about process. This election, whether this body endorses Christina McGrath or not, is open to any teacher who wants to run and gets 1,000 signatures. I don’t think the democratic process is followed when we endorse someone before we even know who else is running. To my knowledge endorsing her vs. endorsing anyone else was not discussed in this or any other body. We should see who else wants to run, what they might uniquely bring to the table, before endorsing Christina or anyone else for that matter.

Resolution passes with some no votes and abstentions from some high school executive board members and others.


Approved minutes from today (includes most of the text from the resolutions approved tonight):

Executive Board Minutes, January 22, 2024

Present:      Adika, Aklu, Almonte, Aromando, Arroyo, Artis, Arundell, Atkinson, Bacon, Barker, Barr, Bello, Bennett, R. Brown, T. Brown, Calamia, Cambria, Conaboy, Coppola, Crinigan, Destin, Diakite, DiBenedetto, Eaddy, Espert, Franks, Friedman, Garcia, Geist, Ginese, Gordon, Highland, Hill, Hughes, Jallot, Josaphat, Kazansky, Khalid, S. Lee, V. Lee, Mantell, Mejia, Miller, C. Murphy, Nanay, Perez, Polite, Poulos, Ramos, Robbins, D. Rodriguez, L. Rodriguez, Rogers, Romero-Lee, Rotkowitz, Sandau, Santos, Shapiro, Sill, Silva, Surpris, Thompson, Usatch, Vaccaro, Waltzer, Webb-Geddes, Weinerman, Williams, Williams-Crawford.

Excused:     S. Abrams, Alexander, Alford, Anastasiou, Ayrovainen, Bart, Bongiovanni, Castro, Colvin, Crispino, Gaglione, Goldman, Harmon, Hinds, Kuzar, Lozupone, Mulgrew, T. Murphy, Negron, Nobles, Peña, Pender, Penny, Reed, Rock, Rosier-Rayburn, Ruiz, Rzonca, Sarabia, Schirtzer, Sorkin, Tindal, Wilks-Duplan, Yon.

Secretary Barr called the meeting to order.

A moment of silence was observed for all the lives lost and affected by the conflict in the Middle


The following minutes were approved:  Executive Board minutes of January 8, 2024 and AdCom minutes of January 19, 2024.

Secretary Barr announced that Chapter Leader Training – Part 2 takes place this weekend.  Part 3 takes place on March 2-3.   The Paraprofessional Conference is on March 23.  The Early Childhood Conference takes place on April 6.  Two very important dates to remember are the UFT’s Anniversary on March 16 and the first strike that took place on November 7 in 1960. 

Vice President Mary Vaccaro reported that this coming Monday we will meet with members that are part of the new MOA who hold an ELL or bilingual license.   This will be a virtual meeting to discuss options to transfer or move into a vacancy if they so choose.  New Teacher Night on Broadway is on February 1.   If there’s a new teacher in your school, let us know.  On February 12 we will hold a phase 2 literacy meeting with all chapter leaders from the 17 districts.   There will be a trauma informed instruction meeting on March 12.

Assistant Secretary Michael Sill reported on the class size legislation implementation.  The law says that the DOE must create a plan and it must be signed off by the UFT and CSA.  The DOE convened a class size working group.  We believe that they did this to circumvent the partnership they had to demonstrate with the unions.  They did not account for the public sentiment about the class size legislation because of the pushback they received.  The class size working group, which included UFT members and many of our allies, put together recommendations that is a roadmap to the way that the DOE can actually implement the class size law.  Almost immediately after the recommendations were submitted to the chancellor another group called PLACE put out what they called the minority report.  On the DOE website they show the recommendations of the class size working group right next to the so-called minority report.   A few of us attended a meeting in District 25 where these PLACE folks overtook a CEC meeting by advertising that it was for parents from Queens, Bay Ridge in Brooklyn and Staten Island.  They were pushing scare tactics about class size legislation by saying their students would not be allowed to attend the school they want to go to.   The stakeholders that came together in the class size working group really did the work.  At the next executive board, we will bring forth a resolution in support of their recommendations.   It is a long document about 50 pages long.  Please search for it under class size working group recommendations.  If you can’t find it, email Sill and he will get a copy for you.  Please read it before our next meeting.  We want to show support for them and fight against the forces trying to destroy our schools.

Secretary Barr reported that a press conference was held today with the chancellor, CSA and community partners about creating a safe environment for our children and making sure schools have what they need such as the discipline code and lessons plans to deal with the magnificent diversity of our population.  We are fortunate to be in a city where 180 languages are spoken.   It’s a beautiful mosaic of diversity.  Our children have a great opportunity to learn about different cultures.  We thank teachers and members that in the face of this adversity have not been fearful to have those conversations with their students.  They have done a tremendous job.

Vice President Richard Mantell spoke about the DOE email to all school nurses that says they should report in person on the 29th.  There are 2 types of school nurses.  The Office of School Health nurses represented by DC 37 who must report in person.   The DOE nurses that we represent, however, do not have to report in person.  It is a remote day for them.  The email did not differentiate.  Please let Mantell know if any school nurses that we represent are being told to attend in person.  He also announced that the Hamilton scavenger hunt is on March 9.  Flyers are on the table.  We will meet here and explore the Wall Street area.  It is a fun event.  Families are welcomed.  In addition, the Annual 5K Run is on June 1st in Maimonides Park at 9 AM.

Vice President Leo Gordon reported that the CTE Conference on Impact on Achievement will take place virtually on January 29.  Collette V. Smith of the Jets will be the guest speaker.  Registration is still open.  The CTE Awards Ceremony will take place on February 9.  Two-thirds of our awardees have already registered.   We will open registration to everyone else in the next two days.  Please ask awardees to make sure they register.  Otherwise, there will be a problem once registration opens as this event is always packed.  Thanks to Mary Vaccaro and the Teachers Center.  On Thursday, Friday and Saturday this room was filled with educators from across the country.  It was a well-designed and amazing event.  Thanks to all the schools that were involved.

Motion:         To adjourn.


Respectfully submitted,

LeRoy Barr, Secretary


52 Broadway

New York City 10004

AdCom Minutes

January 26, 2024

Present:       Alford, Barr, Brown, Ginese, Goldman, Gordon, Hinds, Lee, Mantell, Mulgrew, Sill, Vaccaro.

Motion:       To send 1 member to the Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections conference on February 14-17, 2024, in Boston, MA at a cost of $1,926.


Motion:       To adjourn


Respectfully submitted,

LeRoy Barr



52 Broadway

New York City 10004

AdCom Minutes

February 2, 2024

Present:       Alford, Barr, Brown, Ginese, Goldman, Gordon, Hinds, Lee, Mantell, Mulgrew, Sill, Vaccaro.

Motion:       To send 4 members to the ACTE 2024 National Policy Seminar in Arlington, VA, on March 17-20, 2024 at a cost of $2,197 per person.


Motion:       To approve the following:


WHEREAS, the UFT will celebrate its 64th anniversary on March 16; and

WHEREAS, the United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, was formed in 1960, when members of the Teachers’ Guild, AFL-CIO, voted to merge with a group of high school teachers known as The Committee for Action Through Unity; and

WHEREAS, we remember our founders who took major occupational risks to establish the UFT so that educators would have a common voice to advocate for quality public education; and

WHEREAS, the UFT brought dignity to all educators in New York City and the lives of its members, and has been a model for educators throughout the country who aim to be treated professionally; and

WHEREAS, the UFT is, today, a powerful advocate for public education, healthcare professionals, children with special needs, early childhood education, workers’ and civil rights, occupational and environmental safety, judicial proceedings, and mental health among many others, which benefit society and contribute to a healthy democracy; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that we thank those who preceded us and paved the way for us to celebrate our 64th anniversary, knowing that the UFT has made unique and important contributions to public education, to the labor movement and to millions of people’s lives; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we will continue our founders’ work to preserve public education, protect workers’ rights and do our part in solidarity with our fellow workers to fight for a nation and world where we all can live and thrive in our workplaces and in our personal lives.


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS, since Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court during the Trump administration, the conservatives on the court have consolidated their majority; and 

WHEREAS, since Justice Kavanaugh was seated in October 2018, seven long-standing Supreme Court precedents have been overturned, including Roe v. Wade; and 

WHEREAS, at the close of the 2022-2023 Supreme Court Session, the conservative majority on the court issued decisions banning the use of affirmative action and ruled that the constitutional right of free speech applied to certain businesses refusing services for same-sex couples; and  

WHEREAS, these decisions are evidence that these conservative justices are using their power to push a conservative political agenda not supported by the majority of Americans; therefore, be it  

RESOLVED, that New York State United Teachers encourages the American Federation of Teachers to call on the U.S. Congress to check the power of the U.S. Supreme Court by holding hearings and investigations; by impeaching justices who violate their oath of office; and by exploring the possibility of expanding the number of justices who serve on the court. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


Whereas, Affirmative Action was established in 1961 to promote equal treatment regardless of race, color, religion, and national origin, later expanded to include gender in 1971; and  

Whereas, Affirmative Action addresses systemic discrimination by ensuring opportunities for marginalized groups and admitting qualified individuals traditionally excluded based on gender, race, ethnicity, and disabilities; and  

Whereas, Affirmative Action has significantly impacted employment patterns and diversity in educational institutions; and  

Whereas, in 1978, the Supreme Court allowed race as a factor in college admissions but prohibited quotas; and  

Whereas, the Supreme Court upheld diversity benefits in education but struck down quota- like admissions policies in 2003; and  

Whereas, in June 2023 the Supreme Court banned the use of Affirmative Action in college admissions presenting Asian American applicants as victims of Affirmative Action and unfair admission policies disregarding their decades-long fight for equity; therefore, be it  

Resolved, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) continues its support of affirmative action and together with the American Federation of Teachers seek federal legislation to uphold its original intent; and be it further  

Resolved, NYSUT reaffirms the need for affirmative action to ensure representation and promote diversity and opportunity for all marginalized groups in all sectors; finally, be it  

Resolved, NYSUT asserts that affirmative action should continue until discrimination no longer exists in America and will address misconceptions and challenges to Affirmative Action policies 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:



Whereas, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) prioritizes the health and safety of all its members and students, recognizing each school has a paramount obligation to prevent injuries and death, as the latter leaves the school community heavily impacted by grief and trauma; 

Whereas, there have been incidences in schools where staff and students have needed life-saving measures that were not readily available, were delayed with devastating results, and the current wait time for a medical response is almost 11 minutes, exacerbating the risk of adverse outcomes in emergencies;  

Whereas, according to the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention, 48% of the students who died in schools nationwide between 2005 and 2019 have died from either undiagnosed cardiovascular illnesses, congenital abnormalities, asthma, neurological or seizure disorders, or other medical conditions where immediate CPR, AED, and First Aid interventions were vital; and having people on site who are trained in these life-saving measures can significantly reduce the risk of a child or staff member suffering or dying from medical causes; 

Whereas, some school districts have settled lawsuits with NYSUT members due to the trauma of the member experiencing the death of a colleague or student due to the lack of preparation of staff trained in life-saving procedures; and 

Whereas, professional development and training should be geared toward meaningful and impactful pedagogy and relevant in addressing issues within our school, therefore be it  

Resolved, that NYSUT calls for the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to provide a policy guaranteeing free valuable and necessary training in life-saving measures in AED, CPR, and First Aid, ensuring that such training is accessible to all in-school staff members who want the training; it is recommended that the policy include, but not limited to school districts allocating resources to conduct comprehensive and regular sessions for all staff members, purchase of First Aid Kits and defibrillators and maintain them through regular checks of these life-saving equipment and supplies, ensuring their availability and functionality; and be it further 

Resolved, that NYSUT supports a plan that is consistent and ongoing for training in life-saving measures in AED, CPR, and first aid; it is recommended that the plan requires school districts to collaborate with reputable training organizations to provide Professional Development (PD) on one of the designated Staff Development Days at the beginning of each school year for those whose certifications are set to expire and want to renew; be it further  

Resolved, that NYSUT will advocate for a mandate requiring  

1.             Multi-level schools should be equipped with one defibrillator per floor in the most centralized location, making it equally accessible for anyone on that floor.  

2.             School districts to supply First Aid Kits in each classroom for the quick administration of necessary life-saving measures and first aid measures for students and other staff members when needed until medical help arrives; be it further 

Resolved, that NYSUT calls for establishing an ongoing dialogue and educational initiatives within schools and communities to raise awareness about the importance of proper safety and health protocols and will encourage collaboration between its locals and their school districts to organize informational sessions, workshops, and community outreach programs to ensure that parents, students, and staff are well-informed about life-saving measures and emergency response procedures to create a safer and more prepared school environment. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS, New York is home to a rich and diverse community of Hispanic and Latino individuals, representing various countries, cultures, and backgrounds; and  

WHEREAS, Hispanic Heritage Month, observed annually from September 15th to October 15th, provides an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the contributions, history, and cultures of Hispanic and Latino Americans; and  

WHEREAS, according to the US Census, at almost 4 million, Latinos comprise about 19.5 percent of the total population of New York State; and  

WHEREAS, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) reported that 29% of the students attending public schools in New York state, making up its second largest ethnic group; and 

WHEREAS, the 2023 theme of Hispanic Heritage Month was “Todos Somos, Somos Uno: We Are All, We Are One;” a demonstration of the diversity of Latinos in New York, who represent various racial, cultural, linguistic, economic, religious, and political experiences; and  

WHEREAS, educating students about the diverse cultural heritage of our city fosters an inclusive and respectful learning environment, promoting cultural competence and understanding among students; and  

WHEREAS, embracing diversity and inclusivity in education is essential for preparing students to thrive in a global society, and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is a meaningful way to achieve this goal; and  

WHEREAS, it is the duty of educators to ensure that all students have access to a well-rounded and culturally relevant curriculum that reflects the experiences and contributions of all ethnic and racial groups; be it therefore  

RESOLVED, that New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and its members affirm their commitment to observing Hispanic Heritage Month in our schools, recognizing its importance in fostering awareness, appreciation, and understanding among our students; and be it further  

RESOLVED, NYSUT will continue to amplify the fight for equity for all New Yorkers, regardless of documented immigration status or national origin, primary language spoken, or employment and income; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT and its members continue engaging in events, activities, and programs that celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, to promote unity, inclusivity, and mutual respect among students, staff, and the community at large.  


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS, a robust curriculum embedded with career-connected learning acts as a vital on-ramp to comprehensive Career and Technical Education (CTE) and is designed to keep pace with the rapid changes in various industries, sparking student interests, motivating them to become innovators and leaders experiencing a foundational glimpse into the vast array of professional avenues available; and  

WHEREAS, early engagement is crucial, as it lays the groundwork for the more specialized and intensive training that quality CTE programs offer; and 

WHEREAS, career-connected learning is the first step in preparing students for the complexities and challenges of their chosen fields affected by the advancements of the accelerating pace of industry evolution caused by artificial intelligence (AI); introducing them to various careers through advanced skill development, accompanied by an in-depth, hands-on within CTE programs which ignites curiosity and motivation; and 

WHEREAS, students are equipped with a foundation of specialized knowledge and technical, marketable skill sets necessary to excel in an AI-influenced landscape through subsequent in-depth education and training provided by quality CTE programs; and 

WHEREAS, career-connected learning is the gateway through which students can discover their passions and potential career interests, and quality CTE programs are structured educational environments where these interests are honed into professional expertise; and 

WHEREAS, a symbiotic relationship exists between career-connected learning and quality CTE programs, creating a continuum of learning and skill development essential for our economy’s vitality and future workforce’s success; therefore, be it 

RESOLVED, that New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) continue to uphold the integrity and advancement of quality CTE programs crucial to a skilled workforce, by creating a task force that will explore and advocate for beneficial policies and resources that support the growth of career-connected learning as an essential component of a student’s educational journey; be it further 

RESOLVED, NYSUT will continue to encourage school districts to provide career-connected learning opportunities that are accessible, diverse, and effectively integrated into the broader educational framework, thereby serving as a springboard into the more specialized and rigorous training that quality CTE programs provide. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) acknowledges the importance of suitable, welcoming, and comfortable learning environments for students, allowing NYSUT members to ensure effective teaching and learning; and

WHEREAS, temperatures in New York State, schools have been rising, posing potential, significant challenges to the well-being and learning environment of students and NYSUT members; and  

WHEREAS, the impacts of extreme temperatures on transporting, learning, and working conditions, exacerbate by the rise in temperatures above 90 degrees brought through heatwaves that are expected to increase over time, underscore the urgent need for comprehensive and effective measures to address this issue; and 

WHEREAS, it is crucial to establish a balanced approach that considers both optimal comfort levels, indicated by OSHA as between 68° F and 76° F, and possible implications for temperatures exceeding 88° F (students and NYSUT members passing out and being taken away in ambulance); and  

WHEREAS, NYSUT, in partnership with students, parents, administrators, and legislators, is committed to advocating for legislative changes that address the challenges posed by extreme temperatures in schools; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will continue the dialogue with its affiliates, coalition partners, and the State Legislature to build upon the proposed legislative bills by establishing a maximum temperature standard of 76°F in classrooms and school facilities, where possible; be it further  

RESOLVED that at 76°F, schools must take action to decrease temperatures and to execute a removal plan that could, but not limited to relocation, evacuation or school closures if above 88°F, until acceptable temperatures are restored; be it further  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will support its locals in urging school administrative authorities to install and maintain air conditioning, window shades, and other necessary measures to ensure acceptable temperatures within the specified range; be it further 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will continue its fight to ensure adequate working and learning conditions by advocating for repairing, upgrading, and retrofitting HVAC systems and individual air conditioning units in schools; be it further  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will lobby the state legislature to try to secure funding in the state budgets, and NYSUT locals will work with their municipal legislatures to ensure those budgets are being utilized for the installation and maintenance of air conditioning systems and other measures to regulate temperatures effectively; be it further 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will actively engage with coalition partners and the state legislature to pass comprehensive legislation aimed at monitoring, standardizing, and ensuring safe and acceptable air quality, including temperatures, in all NYSUT members’ working spaces that also provides remediation measures, such as relocation or school building closure, until acceptable temperatures are restored, ensuring the well-being of students and educators. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:



Whereas, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) recognizes the crucial role Paraprofessional  and Teachers Aides play in addressing the diverse needs of the student population: 

Whereas, adequate staffing levels of these positions are essential for fostering an inclusive and supportive environment that meets the educational, health and social needs of all students; and 

Whereas, the existing shortage of Paraprofessionals and Teacher Aides has led to increased workload and challenges in providing individualized attention and support to students with unique learning requirements; and 

Whereas, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbate the social-emotional and mental health needs of students, causing urgency to expand the support staff to address these challenges effectively; therefore be it 

Resolved, that New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) advocates for the hiring of more Paraprofessionals and Teacher Aides to address the growing demand and ensure that students with unique learning requirements receive the appropriate resources necessary for their academic success; and be it further 

Resolved, that NYSUT urges the NYSED to implement an expansion program of Paraprofessional and or Teacher Aides, by developing a markable recruiting and incentive plan to attract more paraprofessional and teachers aids to provide students with comprehensive social-emotional support; and be it further 

Resolved, that NYSUT calls on the New York State Board of Education to work collaboratively together to develop and implement a training program to incentivize and retain qualified Paraprofessionals and Teacher Aides to create a supportive learning environment, be it further, 

Resolved, that request for regular progress from the agencies involved in the Emergency Housing Assistance Program to assess the effectiveness of the initiatives and make necessary adjustments. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS; NYSUT’s mission statement clearly states that NYSUT improves the professional, economic and personal lives of our members and their families, strengthens the institutions in which they work, and furthers the cause of social justice through the trade union movement; and

WHEREAS; NYSUT’s core value of justice requires us to stand for equality, human rights for all, and embrace inclusiveness for all people and groups; and 

WHEREAS; NYSUT’s fight for justice includes all those we represent and serve, particularly our students, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, national origin, religion, disability status, and economic class; and 

WHEREAS; in 2023 there were at least 31 transgender and gender non-conforming people murdered in the United States; and 

WHEREAS; in 2023, a record 520 anti-transgender state laws and 23 national laws were introduced, including more than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed, more than 100 anti-LGBTQIA+ curriculum censorship bills filed, and 45 anti LGBTQIA+ drag performance ban bills filed; and 

WHEREAS; a report by Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD from June 2022 – April 2023 states that there were over 356 anti-LGBTQIA+ hate and extremism incidents documented across 46 states and the District of Columbia, with California, New York, and Texas seeing the highest number of incidents; and 

WHEREAS; according to the ADL/GLAAD report, trends in target type of hate and extremism incidents were also recorded, with 138 incidents relating to drag events and performers, 33 incidents relating to schools and educators, 23 incidents relating to healthcare facilities and providers, and 22 incidents relating to government buildings and elected officials; and 

WHEREAS; these incidents create fear and divide our communities with mass disinformation and misinformation that continues a cycle of hate and bigotry which is destroying the basic freedoms of the LGBTQIA+ community while dividing the country further; and 

WHEREAS: all this targeting of the LGBTQIA+ community has instilled fear among NYSUT members, making it difficult to effectively perform their duty to foster a safe and affirming working and learning environments for all students, parents, and community members with fidelity; and  

WHEREAS; these restrictive and punitive measures make already vulnerable students even less secure, which has been shown to lead to students missing classes, underperforming academically, and dropping out of school, as well as making them prone to homelessness; and 

WHEREAS; a study by the Center for American Progress found that LGBTQIA+ patients report experiencing discrimination in healthcare settings, ultimately discouraging them from seeking medical care, and, as a result, LGBTQIA+ people experience greater difficulty in finding alternative services if they are turned away; and 

WHEREAS; the Trevor Project, a national organization founded to eradicate suicide and other mental health challenges facing the LGBTQIA+ community, reports that affirming school environments were found to have the strongest association with reduced odds of suicide attempts among LGBTQIA+ youth; and 

WHEREAS; suicide is the second-leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 34 years old in the United States, and transgender and nonbinary adolescents are reported to have significantly higher rates of suicide attempts, up to five times greater, compared with their cisgender peers; and 

WHEREAS; a 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey indicated that 43 percent of transgender youth have been bullied on school property as well as 29 percent of transgender youth, 21 percent of gay and lesbian youth, and 22 percent of bisexual youth have attempted suicide; and 

WHEREAS; the aforementioned laws and their proponents have legislated and misused the courts to enact policies that promote discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning individuals: 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will continue to defend the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community to teach, learn, work, and live freely without fear of harassment and discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or their gender identity or expression; and 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will continue to vigorously defend school, healthcare, and public employee workers who support LGBTQIA+ youth, their families, and the broader LGBTQIA+ community, as well as those who teach about their existence, history, and the fight for dignity, rights, and pride for LGBTQIA+ people; and 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will advocate for and support LGBTQIA+ inclusive schools and curriculum; anti-bullying and harassment policies; professional development continuing education and training for school staff; complaint procedures that are inclusive of LGBTQIA+ pupils; and clear, age-appropriate, and inclusive policies relating to the use of school facilities, including, but not limited to, classrooms, bathrooms and locker rooms; and 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will engage local affiliates in critical community conversations that connect students, parents, patients, and community with NYSUT members to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community and broader movement to ensure equal protection and the full participation in society for all students, families, and members of the community, including the rights to use bathroom facilities, receive medical care, live in communities, and attend schools that are safe and welcoming; and 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will support resources and advocacy organizations― including, but not limited to, Pride at Work, PFLAG, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, and the Trevor Project―while also identifying local, community-based organizations that provide support and services to LGBTQIA+ youth, workers, and families; and 

RESOLVED; that NYSUT will continue to encourage, support, and conduct LGBTQIA+ trainings, NYSUT’s safe space trainings, and workshops to all members and other NYSUT conferences and convenings; and 

RESOLVED; that the NYSUT LGBTQIA+ Committee will help guide and support the work of the above actions. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


Whereas, in 1954, following unyielding efforts by the NAACP and the courage of the petitioners who brought the case, the United States Supreme Court finally struck down the legal basis for racial discrimination in public facilities by ruling that segregated public schools were inherently unconstitutional in Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al.; and 

Whereas, at the national level, the Brown decision was pivotal in fueling and strengthening civil rights activism in the United States and must be considered foundational to the achievement of such transformational legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and 

Whereas, with regard to public schools, the Brown decision and the Court’s subsequent directive in Brown II to desegregate schools “with all deliberate speed” accelerated the movement toward realization of an equitable, multiracial democracy in the United States but also that such movement was immediately countered by opposition at individual, institutional, and governmental levels by forces bent on defending and entrenching racial discrimination in education; and 

Whereas, even as historic progress has been made in the desegregation of schools, continual and continuing resistance and backlash– what author Carol Anderson terms “White Rage”– have impeded the complete dissolution of segregation in public schools, thus rendering fulfillment of the principles and practices embedded in Brown incomplete; and 

Whereas, the metrics of public education– literacy, achievement, discipline, educator diversity, school funding, graduation rates, college enrollment– all confirm the persistence of dire racial and socioeconomic inequities in education; and  

Whereas, some of the central moments in the civil rights movement – from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was organized by labor activist A. Philip Randolph, to Martin Luther King Jr.’s solidarity with striking Memphis sanitation workers at the time of his assassination in 1968– are testament to the symbiotic relationship between labor and civil rights; therefore, be it  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will partner with its local, state and national affiliates throughout 2024 to commemorate and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and be it further 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will honor the authentic legacy of Brown v. Board of Education with teacher learning programs and resources designed to expand historical understanding of Brown but also forward-looking programs that document the degree of ongoing racial and socioeconomic divisions in public schools today and thus underscore the urgency of educator- and union advocacy to fully dismantle segregation in our schools. 


Motion:       To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS the profoundly negative impact of social media on the mental and physical well-being of our students is widely recognized by mental health and educational experts; and 

WHEREAS, the use of social media has become an integral part in the lives of student, offering both opportunities and challenges; and 

WHEREAS, the excessive use of social media has potentially devastating effects on students’ mental health and well-being, including increased anxiety, depression, and social isolation; and 

WHEREAS, cyberbullying and online harassment have become prevalent issues in the digital age, causing significant harm to students and impacting their ability to learn and thrive in a safe and supportive environment; and 

WHEREAS, the dissemination of false information and misinformation on social media platforms can mislead and misinform students, potentially undermining their critical thinking skills and ability to engage in informed discussions; and 

WHEREAS, it is essential for educators and parents to collaborate in addressing these concerns and equip students with the necessary skills to navigate social media responsibly and safely; therefore, be it 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT take proactive steps in addressing the concerns of social media on students in New York State; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT advocate for comprehensive digital literacy programs in schools that educate students about responsible social media use, online safety, and the identification of misinformation; and 

RESOLVED, that NYSUT collaborate with NYSED to develop policies and guidelines that promote a safe and inclusive online environment, including clear protocols for addressing cyberbullying and online harassment; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT provide professional development opportunities for members to enhance their understanding of the impact of social media on students’ well-being and equip them with strategies that support students in navigating the digital world; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT help locals to engage parents and guardians in educational initiatives that promote digital citizenship and provide resources to help them support their children in using social media responsibly; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT encourage the establishment of student-led organizations or clubs focused on promoting positive online behavior, digital well-being, and raising awareness about the potential risks associated with social media use; and  

RESOLVED, that NYSUT will support legislation that will require social media companies to restrict the addictive features on their platforms that most harm young users; and will prohibit online sites from collecting, using, sharing, or selling personal data of anyone under the age of 18. 


Motion:       To approve the following:


Whereas, in 2003, the New York Court of Appeals determined that NYC public school class sizes were too large to provide students with their constitutional right to a sound basic education;

Whereas, following that decision, class sizes in NYC schools increased, and to this day, remain far larger than in the rest of the state;

Whereas, in June 2022, the NY Legislature overwhelmingly passed Education Law 211-D by a vote of 59-4 in the State Senate and 147-2 in the Assembly, requiring that NYC implement a five-year class size reduction plan beginning in the fall of 2022.

Whereas, on Sept. 8, 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law, based upon an amendment that the phase in would begin instead in Sept. 2023;

Whereas, the law calls for class size caps to be achieved over this period of no more than 20 students per class in grades K-3, no more than 23 students per class in grades 4th -8th, and no more than 25 students per class in high school, with physical education and performing art classes capped at forty students per class;

Whereas, instead of taking any steps to start lowering class size, average class sizes increased citywide this fall and, in most districts, and in elementary and middle school grades this was the second year in a row of increases;

Whereas, since coming into office, Mayor Adams has repeatedly cut school budgets;

Whereas, these budget cuts have occurred despite more than $1.3 billion in additional annual state aid provided to NYC schools as a result of the settlement of the CFE decision;

Whereas, the Mayor has proposed more than $2 billion also to be cut from the new proposed five-year capital plan for school construction, that would likely make it impossible for schools in the most overcrowded communities to lower class sizes;

Whereas, given current trends, it is increasingly unlikely that the DOE will make the mandate in the class size law next year that 40% of classes in compliance with the new caps, and even less likely that they will achieve the mandates in years three to five;

Whereas, a Class Size Working Group was created by the DOE and tasked with proposing a variety of actionable and effective policies that would enable the DOE to lower class sizes to the mandated levels starting next year and beyond, therefore be it:

Resolved, that the United Federation of Teachers calls on the Mayor and the Chancellor to refrain from cutting school budgets or the capital plan, but instead to increase their funding, and be it further:

Resolved, that the capital plan should specify where new schools are needed to create the space to lower class size, and should fully fund all those schools, and be it further:

Resolved, that the UFT urges the Mayor and the Chancellor to adopt the Class Size Working Group’s proposals as soon as possible, to ensure that schools are able lower class sizes to the levels required by the law.


Motion:       To approve the following:



Whereas, David Kazansky, Teacher-Member of the Teachers’ Retirement Board of the City of New York (TRS) will be vacating the position at the end of his term, and

Whereas, Christina McGrath has the complete confidence and support of the Teacher-Members of the Teachers’ Retirement Board of the City of New York, (David Kazansky, Tom Brown and Victoria Lee); therefore let it be

Resolved, that the United Federation of Teachers endorse Christina McGrath for election as a Teacher-Member of the Teachers’ Retirement Board of the City of New York for a three-year term beginning in 2024.


Motion:       To approve the following:

Be it resolved, to re-appoint Thomas Brown, Assistant Treasurer, as a SHIP Board of Trustee member.  He will serve for the term from January 1, 2024 until December 31, 2027.


Motion:       To approve the following:

Whereas, Debra Penny, Treasurer, will retire as a SHIP Board of Trustee member on January 30, 2024 after many years of outstanding service in which she fostered and improved the institution as a vital supplemental health service for UFT retiree members and spouses/partners;

Be it resolved, to appoint Victoria Lee to fill the vacancy created by her departure.


Motion:       To approve the following:

Resolved, that to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Debra Penny, that Victoria Lee, Treasurer, be appointed as a SHIP Board of Trustee member.  She will serve for the term from January 30, 2024 until December 31, 2024.


Motion:       To adjourn.


Nick Bacon is a co-chairperson at New Action Caucus. He is also an elected member of the UFT executive board

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