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Michael Mulgrew is the fifth president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), whose 200,000 members include teachers and other professional staff in New York City public schools in addition to family child-care providers, nurses, adult education instructors and retired members.
As UFT president, Mulgrew has led the union’s efforts to transform education in New York City and to secure the rights to jobs, justice and freedom for all New Yorkers.
He has led advocacy campaigns to lower class size, increase education funding and restore family child-care funding for working families. Mulgrew also headed the union’s successful effort in state court to halt the Department of Education’s destructive move to close rather than help struggling schools.
Responding to the high rate of poverty among New York City schoolchildren, Mulgrew has overseen the UFT’s mobilization of a diverse coalition to pilot the Community Learning Schools Initiative. Each school in the project becomes a hub of its community by delivering health and social services on site to students, their families and community members.
Mulgrew’s staunch advocacy for economic fairness, equality and justice extends to all working families. He has helped to lead advocacy campaigns on behalf of the city’s homeless, against unfair labor practices, and in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. In order to maintain and increase funding for schools and the social safety net, he helped spearhead the drive to retain the New York State millionaire’s tax.
In addition to his UFT responsibilities, Mulgrew is a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers and an executive board member of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). He also sits on the boards of the Council for Unity, CUNY’s Joseph S. Murphy Center for Labor, Community, & Policy Studies, and New Visions for Public Schools. He has received numerous labor, education and public service honors awards.
Mulgrew spent 12 years as a classroom teacher at William E. Grady High School in Brooklyn, where he also served as UFT chapter leader. He was vice president for career and technical education high schools and later chief operating officer of the union before becoming president of the UFT in 2009. Mulgrew won election to his first full term as president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2013.
A Staten Island native, he attended CUNY’s College of Staten Island and has degrees in English literature and special education.