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Spring Break 2020 – Part I

January 6, 2022 am31 12:12 am

Cuomo and de Blasio had a feud. Mulgrew was on Cuomo’s side – for no reason that any UFT member who I talk to could understand. They kept bickering as the sleezeball’s state and the goofball’s city became ground zero for COVID worldwide.

When de Blasio issued a “shelter in place” Cuomo overrode him, and then issued his own, and called it something else. I’m not sure why we left them in charge so long, behaving like toddlers but in charge of our safety, though this January 2022 and with some luck we will have seen the last of both of them.

At the end of March teachers, students, schools, were a mess. We were just learning zoom, everything was overwhelming and exhausting, and at that moment Cuomo ordered schools to stay open through Spring Break. Here’s how Marty Scheinman tells it:

On March 27, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order (“EO”) No. 202.11, which, inter alia, waived the one hundred eighty (180) instructional days requirement for school districts and directed schools continue to “first use any vacation or snow days remaining.” (UFT Hearing Documents, pp 35-38).1 On March 30, 2020, the State Education Department (“SED”) issued a clarification “school districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and childcare for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020, and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time” (UFT Hearing Documents, p 39).

Martin Scheinman, Spring Break Arbitration Decision

Teachers were outraged, incredulous, furious. How did Mike Mulgrew respond? Well you can guess – The UFT was sucking up to Mulgrew, why change now?

You would think that Mulgrew represented Cuomo, not members.

Insult on top of injury, de Blasio followed up by cancelling the last two days. What does the UFT think about de Blasio? You know. Mulgrew blasted him:

Mulgrew was angry over de Blasio’s steal of 2 of our days, but supported Cuomo’s steal of 5?

They were kicking us when we were down. There is no time I can recall when a break was more needed. And yet Mulgrew was more interested in sucking up to Cuomo than in protecting members.

The DoE unilaterally gave us 4 CAR days (sick days) to make up for the theft, which we took, but did not accept as compensation. For almost two years most meetings with Mulgrew have included the question “what about our spring break pay?” And when it could, the UFT leadership filed for arbitration.

to be continued

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