UFT Executive Board Minutes, 1/22/2024

Summary/Analysis: Mulgrew wasn’t here tonight. Several speakers mentioned questionable implementations of DOE contracts: PDs that should be remote being in-person, teachers not sure how to fight abusive administration, and questions over excessive scheduling during Regents Week. The question of whether UFT would continue to support DOE curriculum mandates came up, with the unfortunate response that Teacher Center will continue to adjust PDs rather than the UFT itself fighting against mandates in the first place. No specifics were given when a HS executive board member asked about putting data on the website as to why we aren’t supporting the NYHA, a law that NAC supports in its current form to help solve our healthcare mess.

Open Mic: Two speakers spoke on the situation in Israel/Gaza. One speaker asked for a moment of silence for the casualties in Gaza, which LeRoy expanded to include Israeli victims and the Oct. 7 hostages. A moment of silence was held for casualties on both sides, with all executive board members participating.

Minutes Approved, including the most recent ADCOM meeting below:

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

Motion:       To send 3 members to the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD, on March 13-16, 2024 at a cost of $1,642 per person.


Reports (Mulgrew not here):

LeRoy Barr: Marc 2, March 3 para conferences. Early childhood conferences. Celebration March 16.

Vacarro: ELL Meeting for folks who are a part of the new MOA. OCT 1 meeting for new teachers. Feb 12. new phase 2 literary regardless of curriculum. HS meeting to come. March 12, Trauma informed instruction.

Sill: Class size legislation. DOE – class size working group, not in good faith, put together a road map of how could implement class size though, not to get around as originally intended. PLACE organized a minority report and multiple meetings in specific neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island (dog whistles) to get parents to believe the class size legislation would keep kids from getting into the top schools. Not true. Make sure to read the working group report before the next meeting.

Mantell: Janella reported that the 29th is remote. PD day, having teachers told to come in on the same day. Same thing is happening to nurses. DC37 nurses have to report in person, but UFT nurses don’t. Hamilton scavenger hunt on March 9, hopefully you can make it.

Leo Gordon: Jan 29th virtual workshop. Feb 9th, CTE Awards, make sure awardees register. Showcase of CTE went well recently.

Question Period

Ibeth Mejia: Citywide issue, process for relief for teachers facing unprofessional actions. Happened in schools – admin bullied. My school, told to change shirts that say ‘respect educator voice.’ No retaliation talk yet.

Long back and forth starts here between LeRoy and Ibeth, but his main point is that district reps know how to handle this and escalate this when needed. Speak to your district rep.

Ilona Nanay: One way to handle this would be to use CAT teams for an organizing training.

Question on new H and H curriculum mandates that might hit high schools. Given the issues with implementation, are we rethinking change in approach?

Mary Vacarro: Training isn’t H and H, aren’t supporting it. Unpacking materials and what we will give in phase 2 in high schools. Not being mandated there, will support.

Nick: New trend of high schools transforming Regents week into PD week. Teachers at multiple schools increasingly being asked not just to proctor and grade but to also go to many hours worth of PDs. Is this kosher?

Leo Gordon: No, need to intervene.

Ronnie: Data question. Glad to see Manhattan Institute link taken off the website, but still haven’t seen data published for members to see why UFT is not supporting the NYHA. Know I missed a meeting after it was rescheduled, but will that data be made available to members?

LeRoy Barr: No problem sharing data – it would blow a hole in the budget of NYS. Gustavo Rivera meeting also, you’re invited to come. We want people in the room to know so members aren’t confused. Even the reso that is always quoted says it has to be financially sustainable.

Alex Jallot: AFT passed a resolution. What is our relationship with them when they pass one?

LeRoy Bar: AFT has executive council. We have some UFT officers on that council. They pass resolutions that cover 1.7 million members. Is there a policy that we must pass a reso if the AFT does? No. We could. They cover us. AFT is our national, umbrella union. Now if we disagreed with them and needed to separate, could do that, but there is also a sense of redundancy (if not).

District Reports

Para rep Coordinator: 1/12/24 M. Boro paras had ‘get your paint on’ 55 paras registered from Manhattan, good feelings.

Lamar Hughes: D25 NE Queens. 1/27 at Family Night (Islanders) – sold out. Political action rally, Bay Terrace (10 AM) for Suozzi. 1/23 paraprofessional D25 Zoom meet and greet.

Camille Eady: 1/11 Brooklyn Mayoral Control, 100 + members spoke, parents students. Adams rescinded cuts, MC hearings aren’t over, keep it up.

R. Brown and T. Franks: Black History Film Series starting on Feb. 1. Come out to that – was shared in the CL update. Please don’t feel like black history isn’t for everyone.

Seung Lee: Don’t need to be AAP to enjoy the Lunar New Year Banquet – first and foremost a parent of middle schooler. Manhattan mayoral control needs to change – good event – lists some people who spoke including Ronnie Almonte.

Ilona Nanay: Final MC hearing on Monday in SI. There was a rally outside B. Hall, getting Moms for Liberty out of NY. Very cold. Some spoke.

Leg. Report: Labor had reception for Suozzi. Kennedy for C. 26. Volunteers needed for phone banking, etc. Gov. Hochul may have said plans to maintain mayoral control, but still want changes to the model currently in existence. Announcement of special election in this body, unfortunately today received notice of Dexter Scott King death.

LeRoy Barr: Jan. 27 is Holocaust International Remembrance Day. Ask that that’s part of the minutes and that we participate.

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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