Mike Sill is the UFT’s assistant secretary and also serves as the director of personnel, payroll and special projects. Elected to office in 2019, he is serving his first term. Mike received his bachelor’s degree in English from Northeastern University and his master’s in teaching from Pace University.
In his dual role, Mike serves as the primary point of contact with the Department of Education regarding a number of member-related issues concerning working conditions, pay and the implementation of various union and management agreements. As director, Mike has the pleasure of leading a team of hardworking full-time and part-time UFT staff who serve as fixers when members experience problems with leaves, tenure, licensing/certification, salary and the like. Mike’s portfolio includes the implementation of UFT initiatives such as Paid Parental Leave, new school hiring committees, Teacher’s Choice and the Absent Teacher Reserve. At the bargaining table, he has represented members on issues ranging from Paid Parental Leave and the Bronx Plan, to the career ladder. Plus, Mike often appears as an expert witness at arbitration hearings on behalf of members.
Prior to becoming director, Mike taught English language arts at Automotive HS in Brooklyn, where he spent most of his teaching career. While an elected a UFT delegate at Automotive, Mike fought against a succession of terrible initiatives at the DOE, including Restart, Transformation and Turnaround, and worked to keep the staff together through three principals and more than a dozen assistant principals in a four-year period. With the help of the UFT and the community, Automotive stayed open despite the Bloomberg-era DOE’s constant changing of course and mismanagement. Mike later transferred to Spring Creek Community School in East New York, where he was a founding staff member and chapter leader. In 2013, following a brief stint as a UFT PM staffer, Mike secured a full-time union position specializing in personnel issues. Guided by the tenet “don’t ever ask anyone for an answer that you can find yourself,” embraced by fellow activist member, Jose Castro, Mike seized the opportunity over the summer to master the new teacher evaluation system. Reading everything he could find about the new law, especially the Measures of Student Learning (MOSL), Mike proactively infused his knowledge through the UFT’s field system, meeting with chapter leaders and school committees, and helping them make sound choices when implementing the confusing and complex evaluation structure.
He is married to Karina. They are the proud parents of four children: Valeria, Michael Jr., Mia and Matthew.