Around the UFT

Mulgrew: We didn’t start the fire

Around the UFT

CUNY Journalism Graduate School panel

Miller Photography

With Mulgrew are (from left) panel moderator Greg David, a former Crain’s New York Business editor who is now the school’s business and economics reporting director, along with Ward and McMahon.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew spoke about the difficult condition of local and state finances at an Oct. 1 panel sponsored by the CUNY Journalism Graduate School. Joining him were the Rockefeller Institute’s Robert Ward and conservative commentator and frequent New York Post op-ed contributor E.J. McMahon. Mulgrew argued that, contrary to press reports, public-sector employee salaries and benefits were not the cause of the economy’s stagnation, and that public-sector salaries are on par with those in the private sector when education and job requirements are factored in.

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Related topics: benefits

Overcoming the language barrier

Around the UFT

Sixth annual UFT Queens conference for Chinese-speaking parents

Bruce Cotler

Teacher Hai Y. Liang of PS 36 in Brooklyn leads a workshop on mathematics in Grades K-5, including the Everyday Math curriculum, the format and content of state math tests and how to help your child at home with math.

Bruce Cotler

Among those who helped make the conference a success were Yen Chou (center), president of the Chinese American Parent-Student Council, Walker-Yates, District 25 Representative Joe Kessler and Pat Lo of the State Education Department.

Parents want what’s best for their children — but sometimes a language barrier can get in the way. To eliminate that obstacle, the UFT Queens borough office — in collaboration with the Chinese American Parent-Student Council of New York City and the New York State Education Department’s Asian-Languages Bilingual/ESL Technical Assistance Center — hosted its sixth annual Education Conference for Chinese-speaking parents at Flushing HS on Oct. 3.

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UFT participation welcome

Around the UFT

West Indian Day Parade

Members, with UFT President Michael Mulgrew, get ready to roll. Members, with UFT President Michael Mulgrew (first row, left, on float), get ready to roll at the West Indian American Day Parade.
UFT Vice President Karen Alford hands out school supplies and gifts. UFT Vice President Karen Alford hands out school supplies and gifts.

One of the most cheered and applauded of the many floats traveling down Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway in the colorful West Indian American Day Parade on Sept. 6 was decked in UFT blue and white and displayed the powerful message “A Million Minds Matter.” Throughout the nonstop extravaganza of the world-famous carnival, where big name bands from across the island nations compete for big prizes, the people representing the community’s teachers and children “got tremendous surges of support from spectators,” said UFT Parent Outreach Coordinator Anthony Harmon.

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Related topics: parents and community

Hailed for accomplishments

Around the UFT

District 28 representative retires

Liaison Diane Ganz (left) has a hug for her fellow retiree, Reiff. Ganz (left) has a hug for her fellow retiree, Reiff.

Cafe 8 (the eighth floor of the UFT’s Queens borough office) was decorated on June 24 with beach themes that invoked a summer mood and perhaps a suggestion of retirement mode for five staffers who each had dedicated many years of devoted service to children and union members. Emceed by Queens High School District Representative James Vasquez, around 150 attendees celebrated the career of District 28 Representative Janice Reiff, as well as Education Liaison Diane Ganz; UFT Courses Program Coordinator Iris Cabral; and Teacher Center staffers Maureen Ciano and Mary Ann Jordan.

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Related topics: member spotlight

On the run again

Around the UFT

Corporate Challenge

Miller Photography

The UFT team members are all smiles after the race.

Miller Photography

O’Connell on her way to her fifth-place finish.

The UFT Runners Club had 25 members compete in the 34th annual 3.5-mile JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Central Park on June 17. And while its success from last year — when the UFT women placed first, the coed team third and the men fourth — was not repeated, it was still a great success for both veteran and novice participants. “The camaraderie of running alongside fellow teachers celebrating Central Park made for a truly satisfying end-of-year event,” said UFT Runners Club Co-Chair Kevin Miller, a teacher at PS 140 in Manhattan. Not that UFTers didn’t excel.

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Foster parenting discussed

Around the UFT

Brooklyn parent workshop

Bruce Cotler

Julia Boyd (left), who has been a foster parent for 25 years, with Zohar and Patricia Heron-Lawrence, a foster parent for five years.

Bruce Cotler

Zohar answers questions from parents and would-be foster parents after the workshop ends.

Foster parents and would-be foster parents had a chance to talk and share information at a parent workshop held at the UFT’s Brooklyn borough office on July 15. Sixty people attended and heard from panelists including foster parents and representatives from foster care agencies, including Graham Windham and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. A role-play exercise highlighted some of the challenges that foster parents may face.

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Ready for the rollout

Around the UFT

UFT Teacher Center conference on the Common Core State Standards

Cara Metz

Teachers pair up for an exercise.

Cara Metz

Teacher Mary Doyle of PS 58 in the Bronx confers with Arjune Ramdas, the assistant principal of her school.

Cara Metz

Arah Lewis (right) of MS 337 in the Bronx shares her ideas with colleague Noel Luciano.

More than 400 educators brought a high level of enthusiasm and focus to a day of professional development about the new Common Core State Standards on Sept. 1 at UFT headquarters.
“We will be working with all the schools you see represented here from now throughout the year, supporting the school teams and networks as they roll out the Common Core State Standards,” said Catalina Fortino, assistant director of the UFT Teacher Center.

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Surprise 10G contribution to Disaster Relief Fund

Around the UFT

Federation of Nurses/UFT end-of-year meeting

An oversize check shows the nurses’ generous contribution.

An oversize check shows the nurses’ generous contribution to the UFT Disaster Relief Fund. Posing after the presentation are (from left) Anne Goldman, special representative and founder of the Federation of Nurses/UFT; Cora Shillingford, chapter leader, Visiting Nurse Service; UFT Vice President Karen Alford; Cynthia McDaniel, chapter leader, Jewish Home Lifecare; Renee Setteducato, chapter chair, Lutheran Medical Center; and UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

Giving Goldman a standing ovation are Anne Marie Hastings of Staten Island Unive Cara Metz Giving Goldman a standing ovation are Anne Marie Hastings of Staten Island University Hospital and Angela Maloney of Visiting Nurse Services of New York.

Celebrating the end of an eventful year, the Federation of Nurses/UFT held a get-together with dinner, speeches and a chance to catch up at its June 23 meeting. UFT President Michael Mulgrew congratulated the nurses on their “two contracts down and one to go,” and thanked them for their dedication to their patients, saying, “You make us look good with all the work you do.”

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Related topics: community service

‘Distinguished’ honor

Around the UFT

Sen. John Sampson's Spirit of Excellence Gala Awards

At Senate Majority Leader John Sampson’s annual Spirit of Excellence Gala Awards dinner on June 26, UFT President Michael Mulgrew was honored with the Distinguished Labor Award (inset) for his work in leading the UFT, improving the job lives of teachers and other public workers, and defending the public schools, communities and children they serve.

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In good taste

Around the UFT

Kids Who Cook

The UFT Black Caucus does a bang-up job each year in raising college scholarship funds and feasting on good eatin’ through its Kids Who Cook event, and last June 12 was no exception.

Held at Harlem’s PS 154, the event had guests paying $20 per person for an all-you-could-handle sit-down dinner with choices running the soup-to-nuts gamut from peanut butter and jelly to vegetarian lasagna, roasted and barbecued chicken and scrumptious desserts.

Preparing and serving it all were the kids — with a safety-minded assist from some adults, of course.

Read more: Around the UFT
Related topics: community service
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