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Mulgrew urges chapter leaders to get safety training

President's report
New York Teacher
Man speaks at podium in front of a seated crowd
Jonathan Fickies

UFT President Michael Mulgrew delivers his report to the Delegate Assembly. 

Two women and a man pose for photo displaying a grey t-shirt
Jonathan Fickies
Chapter Leader Amy Bernstein (left) of PS 272, Brooklyn, and UFT Secretary Howard Schoor admire the saying on the shirt worn by Chapter Leader Sarah Evens of MS 172, Queens, which reads: It's the U and I in UNION that makes us strong.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew reminded the Delegate Assembly on March 20 that the new citywide safety standards called for in the DOE-UFT contract are in effect and urged chapter leaders who hadn’t gotten the necessary training to do so as soon as possible.

“You can’t properly use those safety standards you have now if you’re not trained,” he said. “Our job is to give you the tools you need and help you use them.”

Mulgrew said more than half the chapter leaders in the city have already been trained. “This is the fastest we’ve ever done this,” he said.

Mulgrew also applauded the more than 400 chapter leaders who have submitted their consultation committee notes to the union.

“Those notes make sure you have empowered yourself inside of your school, and your principal now has to pay attention if he or she wasn’t doing so before,” Mulgrew said. “We have to get this done in every workplace. It’s really that simple.”

Implementation of the new contract, which took effect on Feb. 14, is moving forward, Mulgrew said, but there is still work to do. Besides safety, he said the DOE and the UFT were still in discussions regarding the implementation of A+ credits as well as changes to observations, which will take effect starting in the 2019–20 school year.

“Remember, to get the MA plus 30 differential, you are no longer limited to getting 30 college credits,” he said. Now, he added, in addition to college credits, College Level Examination Program credits and P-credits, the UFT and the DOE will preapprove a range of workshops and courses — including certain CTLE workshops — as A+ credits that are “aligned to the actual work you do.”

“Teachers who were hired this year will be able to get up to six credits next year toward their A+,” Mulgrew said. “That means we have to have enough classes to meet the demand.”

The union has been meeting with the DOE to develop the workshops and the courses, he said.

Mulgrew reminded the body that every worksite needs to receive training about the new observation cycle early in the new school year.

“Every school should have in place its basic instructional practices,” he said. “This should lead to the ability for the school to analyze its students, select the proper curriculum and align professional development to whatever you need.”

Mulgrew said the 51 schools selected to be in the Bronx Collaborative Schools Plan — another product of the new contract — were designing their action plans.

He also noted that the new process provided in the contract to address oversize classes was successful at the handful of schools on a semi-annualized schedule. But the real test, he said, will be in September “when we have a much larger number of oversize classes to deal with.”

The Delegate Assembly on March 20 voted unanimously to honor Ray Frankel, one of the founders of the UFT, who died on Feb. 23 at age 98.

Former UFT treasurer and fellow founder Mel Aaronson introduced the motion, while another founder, former UFT vice president George Altomare, called Frankel an “unsung hero.” Staff Director LeRoy Barr pointed out that Frankel didn’t just want things done, she wanted them “done right.”

The body also approved two other motions: one in support of Federation of Nurses/UFT members at Staten Island University Hospital South, Northwell Health, who had just submitted a 10-day notice of strike to management; and a second one calling for the union to raise awareness of human trafficking and to support solutions for change.

Read the full resolutions.