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Yesterday’s Town Hall

May 22, 2020 pm31 2:46 pm

A friend took notes

Here they are

(I know other versions are out there)

UFT TOWN HALL MEETING (via phone) 

May 21, 2020 @ 3:15 pm 

Michael Mulgrew, speaker, then member Q&A

 

MICHAEL MULGREW: 

 

    • Many thanks to everyone; things are constantly changing 
    • We are definitely OFF Memorial Day (1st official day off since Feb. break)

 

  • Spring Break:

 

      •  UFT challenged; it got ugly.  CAR days are in but still seeking full compensation 
      • Still seeking full compensation for those 7 days
      • Was the peak of the virus in terms of loss of life (68 UFT members/ 54 from the retired chapter)
      • Possible future action regarding these deaths
    • Received our raise and should have budgets shortly
    • THE BIG TWO QUESTIONS:  How to we ensure our safety/ How do we protect our livelihoods (economy) 
    • Last Few Days? How do teachers “close up shop” safely?  Guidance pending? 

 

  • Summer school:

 

      • 6 weeks remote learning
      • Postings go live tomorrow (May 22)
      • Will include clear definitions of remote learning nomenclature (Ex: “synchronous” “asynchronous” with protection from labor management
      • Very clear that these terms are only during this emergency situation 
      • Delay in summer school information was the city’s fault 
      • A massive amount of students; WILL STUDENTS COME?
      • How many teachers will we need?

 

  • SEPTEMBER:  3 possibilities

 

      • 1. There is a vaccine/ cure and we return normally (unlikely)
      • 2. Full remote learning (definite possibility as more city children get sick
      • 3.  A hybrid of remote and in-building learning

 

  • HYBRID Thoughts (part time in school/ part time remote) 

 

      • Staggered schedules?
      • Schools in cohorts, like A/ B/ C…  2 cohorts/ building/ day?
      • Have to analyze building space; shared spaces, 
      • Teacher focus groups already planning– inspiring ideas already happening
      • What needs to be done before teachers and students can return to school buildings? 
      • Will follow CDC guidelines, not DOE or Tweed
      • Which teachers will be remote vs. in school? 
      • Schools cannot be programmed by Central. Each school building is too unique.
      • Likely a whole new workflow will emerge; a whole new way of teaching and learning 

 

  • The BUDGET⇒ SAFETY + ECONOMY (LIVELIHOODS)

 

      • BUDGET/ ECONOMY
        • Petitioning city council that education budgets NOT be cut 
        • Huge national fight already; AFT first organization to petition the government to save school budgets
        • Most state budgets are coming out July 1; NY’s came out April 1.  Government is putting out cuts soon.
        • Cuomo seems to want to wait for Senate budget first
        • Huge political game; really disgusting how they talk about how importance education is, then take away funding
      • SAFETY 
        • Do all kids need masks?  What about temperature checks
        • Each school needs/will have a dedicated NURSE
        • CLASS SIZES need to be smaller ⇒ MORE teachers needed not less (yet hiring freeze?)
        • Suggested having wills/ healthcare proxies in place just in case

 

  • THE HEROES ACT
  • Federal aid package that has passed the House and goes to McConnell and Senate soon
  • Petition says it MUST include monies for teachers/ education without loopholes
  • Text ‘LIFELINE’ to 306-44 to “sign” the virtual petition

 

 

 

  • Q&A

 

    • Q: When will we know which method of teaching for September?
    • A: Board of Ed already a month behind/ no one is making decisions; UFT predicts a hybrid method (subject to change, of course); Already planning for it and will be following CDC guidelines; certain staff will be doing full time remote: hopefully BY THE THIRD WEEK IN JUNE

 

    • Q: What about D75 schools?  (bad reception; question skipped) 
    • A: They are being thought about and planned for. 

 

    • Q: When will we get an updated calendar?
    • A: UFT/ DOE agreed about it a month ago; DOE refusing to release it, afraid that “something will change” (of course it will).  Need a calendar ASAP to be able to do SBO votes/ Comp Time positions; CAN vote on Comp Time positions now, but many chapters prefer to do their votes all together. 

 

    • Q:(from a nurse at a Regional Enrichment Center) What’s up with the RECs during the summer?
    • A: Can pull most back;  A need to rotate people out/ seek volunteers to stay in; NO ONE will be forced to work through the summer

 

    • Q: What about teacher evaluations? Observations?  What about the non tenured/ tenure process?
    • A: SED says no teacher evaluations; People CAN still get tenure and less continuances this year.  SED needs an executive order to waive evaluations; Cuomo must pass it; would need a “waiver” but can’t do evaluations without changing the contractual agreements

 

      • Q:  Should we have some sort of “Day of Action” to drum up support for THE HEROES ACT? Social media blast?

 

  • A; Sure, and love the enthusiasm! 

 

 

      • Q: D75: so hard to keep students with very severe needs apart; impossible to not share toys/ supplies

 

  • A: We will hear from these sites to help discover what is realistic; similar issues to early childhood learning 

 

 

    • Q: Remote Learning for September:  Are there checklists?  Guidelines to follow?
    • A: How can there be checklists? Working on those definitions of terms (mentioned previously) to help clarify what can and can’t be asked of us.  Remote learning can’t and doesn’t function like a “traditional school day”. Impossible to insist what everyone must do.  Checklists sound like they would come out of DOE central and not from the UFT, because we need teachers to last through the year and not burn out!

 

    • Q:  How will accommodations be made for members with underlying conditions?
    • A: Criteria will be put into place. Remote/ vs. in-person. Schools will have to do some social distancing, but it is still a gathering of people, which will always carry some risks.  We will get our safety intel from CDC and science, not Tweed.

 

    • Q: Teachers who are parents; how do we handle conflicts between our work/ kid’s school schedules?
    • A:  We will all have to do our best. There WILL be problems to work out.  Daycare systems will be in place for essential workers, as teachers are. 

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