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DA Report

New contract gives more voice — so use it!

President's report

Michael Mulgrew standing in front of podium and a large display screen Jonathan Fickies

UFT President Michael Mulgrew discusses how to file a complaint about workplace issues.

Resolutions: 3 measures approved

Three senior men stand among a crowd that is applaudingJonathan FickiesGeorge Altomare (center) and other founders of the union stand as former UFT Treasurer Mel Aaronson (standing, right) introduces a resolution to honor them as the 59th anniversary of the union approaches.
The three resolutions voted on at the Delegate Assembly on Feb. 13 were all unanimously approved. They were:

  • To honor the founders of the union in light of the March 16 anniversary of the founding of the union in 1960.
  • To endorse the nomination of UFT Treasurer Debra Penny for re-election to the New York City Teachers’ Retirement Board
  • To work to increase New Yorkers’ participation in the 2020 federal census.

See the full resolutions.

The state of the union — as in the United Federation of Teachers — is good, UFT President Michael Mulgrew reported to the Delegate Assembly on Feb. 13.

The reason? The new Department of Education-UFT contract that was ratified by members last fall.

It’s a contract that locks in salary increases — including a 2 percent raise that took effect on Feb. 14 — at a time when the city is discussing budget shortfalls.

“We chose the right timing for our contract agreement,” Mulgrew said to the delegates gathered at Shanker Hall in Manhattan.

It’s also a contract that gives UFT members, as Mulgrew put it, “more voice than ever before.”

Mulgrew stressed the importance of implementing the elements of the new contract that give members new ways to tackle workplace issues at the school level. He used a PowerPoint to walk through the new process with the delegates.

“These are your rights,” he said. “If you don’t use them, what are they worth?”

Mulgrew asked chapter leaders to use a new online form on the UFT website to submit their monthly consultation notes to the union.

“We want all consultation, good and bad,” he said. “Consultation works in the majority of schools, and we need to be able to show what’s working and offer help when it’s not.”

Man speaks into microphoneJonathan FickiesChapter Leader Antonio Jacobs of PS 87, the Bronx, asks a question about the new A+ courses that can be used toward the MA+30 differential. Man with beard and glasses speaking into microphoneJonathan FickiesBryan Finnegan of Forsyth Satellite Academy in Manhattan asks a question about community-based organizations in schools. Chapter leaders now have a new process to address violations of the new systemwide standards governing the following workplace issues: paperwork, curriculum, professional development, basic instructional supplies, workload, space and safety. They should first attempt to resolve the issue with their principal through a one-on-one conversation, an email or their UFT consultation committee. If the issue remains unresolved, Mulgrew said chapter leaders should notify their principals that they have five school days to resolve it; meanwhile, chapter leaders should immediately fill out the online form on the UFT website.

“Once it’s online, the clock starts ticking,” Mulgrew said. “That’s your protection.”

Mulgrew urged chapter leaders to begin exercising this new contractual right as issues come up at their schools.

“When it comes to the day-to-day operation of the school,” he said, “you need to file a complaint if the contract is not being followed.”

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