UFT Executive Board Sends Contract to Delegate Assembly
Michael Mulgrew led a question and answer session for over an hour. The session was open, and observers asked questions. Mulgrew was confident – he clearly believes the agreement is good.
The format was not ideal for reading off lists of questions, but quite a few from my list got answered. I’ll fill them in. But no Memorandum of Agreement was distributed, and I expected to get much of the information from there.
My confidence that the contract was mostly ok was not at all shaken. Money is mediocre, but not unexpected. I have a bunch of detailed money questions that didn’t get answered, but I’ll read the MoA. I don’t like the Master/Model/Ambassador, opens the door to merit pay schemes, but is not itself merit pay. I like losing the faculty conferences. PROSE is a mistake, albeit consistent with other things our union has pushed, and 65% is way too low for a 3-5 year SBO. The changes that directly affect excessed teachers may well make people nervous, but will help some teachers get placements, and are not setting them up for firing. I like the extra pay for hard to staff schools – in fact, $5k is not much, not really enough. I’m ok with restructuring the 37.5, but was not pleased that they still have their eyes on multi-session schools.
But there is a huge question mark on health. Mulgrew was not at all specific about what changes were being agreed to, and that should be of great concern.
I was not happy to be asked to vote without seeing the MoA. Apparently it is almost 50 pages long, and they are delaying putting it on line until they have checked it for grammatical errors.
But we are weeks ahead of where we expected to be in the process. There is time to get the MoA out for CLs and delegates to read. There is time to get the health care details published.
At the end of the Q&A, Carmen moved the report as a whole (to send to the Delegate Assembly).
Janella Hinds rose to support the motion.
I rose to table it, to give delegates and CLs time to see the MoA, and to see the details about health care (though I was not allowed to say all that, a courtesy has been extended to officers several times this year). Motion was defeated on a caucus-line vote about 80-7.
Nina Tribble called the question. Michael Shulman rose on a procedural point, there had been no speaker against. Mulgrew put it to the body in a way that favored letting Shulman speak, and it was allowed.
Michael pointed out that there was time, that the leadership could put back the DA as long or as little as needed to let people read for themselves (he mentioned Friday, he mentioned next week) and that we would still be far ahead of where we thought we would be.
And then they voted, with the only no’s coming from New Action.
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Earlier in the meeting the leadership moved an endorsement for Adriano Espaillat in the primary for US House against Charlie Rangel. I asked why, and the reporter listed warm fuzzy stuff about Espaillat, but did not explain why we were dropping Rangel, who the UFT has supported more or less forever. I live in the district. I abstained.