Posts tagged "UFT"
June 12, 2013
A steady stream of blue flowed down the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday afternoon as union teachers marched in solidarity with more than 100 other labor organizations that are without contracts for the first time in New York City’s history.
Public school teachers haven’t had a contract, or a raise, in more than four years since it expired in 2009. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew has said that either Mayor Bloomberg or his replacement will have to find the money to pay his members more than $3.2 billion in back wages.
“It’s time, it’s overdue,” said Rosalina Vazquez, a school librarian. “Not just for the UFT, but for all the unions. We’re here as one, united.”
The teachers ended at City Hall Park where they joined police, fire fighters, sanitation workers, nurses and other public employees who make up the city’s 300,000 workforce for a rally calling on Bloomberg to negotiate back pay in their contracts. (more…)
June 11, 2013
To show that he respects teachers’ hard work, Bill Thompson wants to give each of them $200 a year to use on classroom supplies.
The mayoral candidate and former comptroller made the request during a conference call this morning that his campaign said would focus on “how to cut waste and abuse at the Department of Education.” The department has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on outside consultants and pricey contracts but, when it comes to teachers, has been “nickel and diming them for out-of-pocket expenditures,” he said.
Restoring Teacher’s Choice, a City Council program that gives teachers a small stipend for discretionary purchases, to its pre-recession levels would cost about $15 million a year, Thompson said. He added, “I’m sure we can find those dollars in the excess waste at the Department of Education.”
Thompson’s request comes just a week before the United Federation of Teachers is scheduled to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary. The union helped launch Teacher’s Choice in the 1980s and has advocated annually for its continuation. The union expressed disappointment when the City Council sacrificed the program to avert teacher layoffs in 2011 and last year, when teachers received only about $40 each through the program. (more…)
June 6, 2013
The Department of Education effort to translate the city’s complex new evaluation system into manageable information for the 80,000 teachers who will be rated under it has started with a webinar. (more…)
June 2, 2013
The teacher evaluation system that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on New York City on Saturday was a bargain for the city, Mayor Bloomberg said today.
Late Saturday, Bloomberg issued a glowing statement about the evaluation plan, which he said had delivered almost everything the city had requested. Today, speaking to reporters at the Celebrate Israel Parade, he repeated the praise and pointed out that the city had not conceded anything to the United Federation of Teachers to get the evaluation system.
“New York City now has the strongest teacher evaluation system in the state, bar none, and we didn’t have to give up anything in contract negotiations to get it,” he said. “That is almost unprecedented. … If I said we were going to have this when I came into office 11 and a half years ago, you probably would have started thinking about laughing.”
The system could end up being revised next year when a new mayor takes office and must negotiate a new contract with the UFT. Union president Michael Mulgrew said on Saturday that he would ask to have the system changed if the rollout over the next several months is not satisfactory.
The complete text of Bloomberg’s comments, as conveyed by City Hall, is below. (more…)
May 31, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers won’t wait for a new mayor to expand the school model that the union says could be key to boosting student success.
This fall, at least nine and possibly as many as 12 schools across all five boroughs will turn into “community schools,” offering a full range of social services to students and their families. They will join the half-dozen schools that already transitioned to the model this year, using a combination of union, city, and private funding.
The UFT has made the community schools model a priority in the lead-up to the city’s mayoral election. Touting the model as one that could mitigate against the many obstacles to academic achievement that poor children face, the union organized several trips to Cincinnati, where all district schools use partnerships with businesses and non-profits to provide an array of supports including early childhood education, classes for adults, food banks, and health, dental, and vision services. (more…)
May 30, 2013
With the United Federation of Teachers due to endorse a mayoral candidate in just three weeks, its members are — like all New Yorkers — divided over whom to stand behind.
The union uploaded the cover of the new issue of New York Teacher, its newspaper for members, to Facebook on Wednesday, asking, “Who should we choose?” Teachers and others quickly responded with more than 100 comments that fell all over the electoral map.
“Liu. He was pro teacher and Union before he was Comptroller and not running for mayor like they all are now, feeding teachers what they want to hear,” wrote David Pambianchi.
“I teach in the Flushing area, and Liu was always very supportive of our school when he was councilman. I’d back him if I thought he had a shot to win. Too much scandal around him,” wrote Gary Malone. “I’d say Thompson or Deblasio.” (more…)
May 23, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers might not have endorsed a mayoral candidate yet, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been busy picking politicians to support. The union has endorsed candidates in more than 40 local and citywide races, too.
The UFT endorsed 13 City Council candidates in their Democratic primary races at its Delegate Assembly meeting Wednesday night. Seven of them are running for seats whose current occupants cannot run again because of term limits. The union plans to endorse candidates for all 19 open council seats.
The union endorsed state Assemblywoman Inez Barron in the primary for the 42nd district, an East New York seat that has been filled by her husband Charles for the last 12 years. It’s support that Charles Barron could not secure last year while running against Hakeem Jeffries in a Democratic primary for Congress. In that race, the UFT opted not to endorse either candidate.
The UFT is also supporting one of its own in the 47th district primary, which encompasses several southern Brooklyn neighborhoods. Mark Treyger, a civics teacher and union delegate from New Utrecht High School, officially got the union’s support on Wednesday evening. (more…)
May 23, 2013
After hearing candidates pitch ideas to teachers at union-run forums across the city over the past few weeks, members apparently heard enough. They voted to scratch plans to open up Wednesday’s union-wide Delegate Assembly meeting to comments. The meeting instead adjourned after UFT political director Paul Egan explained what laid ahead in the final stretch as the union prepared to make an endorsement.
The workload includes a lot more vetting, with viability as a crucial quality, Egan explained, according to several people who attended last night’s meeting at 52 Broadway. Over the next four weeks, Egan said his team of political consultants, which includes the firm Red Horse Strategies, will analyze fundraising and expenditures, who’s advising and consulting for the candidates, and lots of poll data.
There’s one more task, too. The union said it plans to meet with and interview Anthony Weiner, who formally announced his candidacy on Wednesday.
As usual, the Delegate Assembly meeting was closed to the press. But afterward, many delegates were eager to talk about their opportunity to play a role in the outcome of a monumental election. (more…)
May 15, 2013
When former comptroller Bill Thompson took the stage at the United Federation of Teachers conference on Saturday, he joined fellow mayoral candidates in criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s education record.
But Thompson, the former president of the city’s Board of Education who ran against Bloomberg is 2009, took a more measured approach when putting together his formal education platform. He outlined the platform today in a policy speech at New York University, becoming the first candidate to set out a complete education agenda.
Thompson’s platform — which skimmed over some important issues — reflects ample criticism of Bloomberg administration education policies. He reiterated a commitment to avoid school closures, promised to “lead with teachers” rather than threaten them, vowed to involve parents in policy making, and pledged to reduce schools’ emphasis on testing.
But it also signals that Thompson would expand, not end, many of Bloomberg’s school policies. (more…)
May 13, 2013
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn fought hard to distance herself from the Bloomberg administration during a mayoral debate hosted by the teachers union on Saturday, but she could not escape being the only candidate to be booed by union members angry at the mayor’s education policies.
When UFT officials asked the mayoral candidates at the teachers union’s spring conference whether they believed the next chancellor needs to be an educator, Quinn’s answer stood out from the chorus of “yes” responses.
“Not necessarily,” she said.
It was not a new stance for Quinn, who has said for months that she believes a qualified non-educator could successfully lead the school system. But when she cited as someone who fit the bill U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose agenda overlaps with Bloomberg’s, she drew loud boos from the crowd.
It was a major misstep for Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner, as she worked to hit the right notes during the United Federation of Teachers’ mayoral debate, which came a month before the union — one of the city’s most powerful political forces — plans to endorse a mayoral candidate for the first time since 2001. (more…)