Friday, October 15, 2021

Mulgrew Slammed as Delegates React to His Angry Rants - Delegate Assembly (Oct. 13) Report #1 - Updated

Mulgrew sounded like “my angry drunk father”  --- Newly elected Delegate at first DA who also posted-

The woman who stormed out is my chapter leader. She's the real deal.... Tweet

Is there potential of holding a people's DA downstairs outside the meeting -- why go in and be abused?

Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 - 9AM

I will have a lot to say about what happened Wednesday with the joint action of Retirees protesting outside and working members from all active groups in the UFT working the inside -- I have lots of background info and reports are still coming in, including the whining from Unity Caucus about how people are politicizing issues -- HELLO! James and Arthur have detailed reports:

NYC Educator -- On Persuasion, Lack Thereof, and UFT Endorsing a Bought-and-paid-for Charter Shill - Last night's DA was remarkable on multiple levels. There was talk about NYCH, a bill that would provide health care for all New Yorkers. 
 
LIVE BLOGGING FROM OCTOBER DA (unedited, updated with News 12 report); SOME DELEGATES CHANT "HANDS OFF OUR HEALTHCARE" AND WALK OUT AFTER MULGREW ONLY ALLOWS MEMBERS OF HIS UNITY CAUCUS TO MAKE MOTIONS WHILE IGNORING NON UNITY DELEGATES -

Here is an array of first impressions, many from newcomers to the DA.

The first delegate assembly of the 2021-22 school year displayed the full disarray, disorganized, and unhinged leadership of the union. 

Since the start of the pandemic we have had a union that is far removed from its members. Yesterday we saw a leadership that is now in open contempt of its own members. 

The president of our union, paid by our union dues, actually yelled at his own members, working classroom teachers, elected by their chapters. 

Our union leadership refuses to address changes in retiree healthcare which reduced coverage which is bound to happen to active members in the upcoming contract.UFT leadership endorsed a Mayoral candidate they previously opposed, they were forced to call on executive board members who are no longer in the classroom and retirees that last taught in the 1980’s. 

Mulgrew sounded like “my angry drunk father."

A resolution was passed calling for woman leadership of our city council “but we have all men running the largest union of women in the city”  -- Chapter leader and long time teacher

Mulgrew’s report was like the worst PD I ever had to sit through”  -- New chapter leader

Mulgrew and his Unity caucus are more disconnected than ever before. They haven’t been in the classroom since the pandemic, they have no clue about anything teachers or paras deal with daily and it shows when he talks... Veteran chapter leader

Every single health care speaker was chastised, interrupted, and deemed out of order. As a new delegate it appears I'll need clarification on when we're allowed to talk about health care, because this happened during multiple parts of the agenda... New delegate  

There's a lot more to come regarding the walkout, the joint action of so many, some of the speeches made outside, Mulgrew's increasing isolation and deterioration, scared Unity people who fear he may be blowing it for them as the opposition shows signs of uniting for next year's elections, the potential of holding a people's DA outside the meeting -- I mean why go in and be abused?

 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Media Advisory: UFT Members along with Parents and Allies hold a Health and Safety Rally

Come join the party --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Media Advisory: UFT Members along with Parents and Allies hold a Health and Safety Rally 

Press Contacts: 
Sheila   Zukowsky     zuke@gmx.co.uk 
Bennett Fisher         tremblychap@gmail.com 
What:  Serious concerns over  recent privatization changes to  retiree healthcare along with deficits in health and safety pandemic protocols have galvanized both retirees and in-service UFT Members  to rally  together outside the UFT’s Shanker Hall to support  a resolution ON HEALTH CARE PLAN CHANGES – CURRENT AND FUTURE to be presented  inside the first Delegate Assembly of the year.. 
Parents, students, and community organizations supportive of the resolution will also attend.
When: October 13, 2021, rain or shine 
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 
Where: 52 Broadway, Manhattan
Who: We are retirees and in-service members of the UFT along with other retirees from NYC's municipal labor unions and parent organizations. We oppose the City's efforts to patch budget deficits on the backs of its current and past employees by cutting healthcare, when multiple avenues exist for the City to create more equitable solutions. The present and coming changes are sure to jeopardize the health   and welfare of vulnerable  retirees and working members alike. 

 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE PLAN CHANGES – CURRENT AND FUTURE for UFT Delegate Assembly - Oct. 13, 2021

Please share -- 

To be distributed at the DA ----note the logos -- almost all active groups in the UFT are backing this and contributed.

Digital copy can be accessed here: bit.ly/handsoffhealthcare  

October 2021 Delegate Assembly RESOLUTION ON HEALTH CARE PLAN CHANGES – CURRENT AND FUTURE

WHEREAS the UFT stands in resistance to the privatization of Public Education and Public Healthcare, and

WHEREAS the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) negotiates healthcare benefits for the employees of all NYC municipal unions with the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR), and

WHEREAS the UFT controls the largest percentage of weighted voting within the MLC, and 



WHEREAS UFT, and other NYC retirees on Medicare only discovered in mid-May that the MLC had negotiated fundamental changes to the administration of their Medicare benefits, and

WHEREAS the next cost-saving agreement between MLC and OLR is coming up as Fiscal Year 2022 approaches, and

WHEREAS at recent town halls and Retired Teacher Chapter meetings, Michael Mulgrew has spoken about upcoming changes to the healthcare benefits for in-service UFT members; changes that may result from the next MLC-OLR cost-saving agreement, and

WHEREAS negotiation of that agreement has still not been publicized, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that UFT leadership notify and inform all affected UFT members of exactly what cost-saving targets are being discussed by MLC and OLR, and be it further

RESOLVED, that UFT leadership notify and inform affected UFT members of exactly what healthcare benefit changes may result from those cost-savings, and be it further

RESOLVED, that unlike the recent experience of NYC retirees, UFT representatives to the MLC will not support a plan affecting healthcare changes without at least 6 months of debate among affected UFT members, and be it further.

RESOLVED, that UFT representatives to the MLC will not support a plan affecting healthcare changes without a vote of UFT membership.

Digital copy can be accessed here: bit.ly/handsoffhealthcare October 2021 Delegate Assembly 1 QUESTIONS FOR MULGREW, UFT LEADERSHIP, THE MAYOR AND CITY

DEFEND OUR HEALTHCARE

DEFEND OUR HEALTH AND SAFETY

Mulgrew mentioned at the last town hall that health care will be on the table in negotiations for the 2022 contract. Will there be more information given to active members about health care negotiations than the secretive and rushed conversion to private Medicare Advantage experienced by our retirees this year?

[ tinyurl.com/uftsellsout ]

What other options did you discuss rather than cutting city healthcare costs on the backs of retirees? Isn't it a conflict of interest to have Gregory Floyd, who sits on the board of Emblemhealth, cast his vote in MLC for EmblemHealth/Empire to get the contract for the MA plan?

President Mulgrew, in May, 2015, the Delegate Assembly passed a Resolution in support of the New York Health Act to establish single-payer health insurance in the state. Then, in April 2021, the UFT paid for a political ad opposing the NYHA. What gives you the right to defy resolutions passed by the UFT's highest decision-making body? What makes you feel you can spend our COPE dollars in defiance of positions adopted by the Delegate Assembly? Do you feel you are immune from accountability to support resolutions passed by the membership of this union?

[ tinyurl.com/nyhauft ]

Why, President Mulgrew, do you continue to ignore, through words and deeds, the May 2007 resolution passed by the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter, Stop the privatization of Medicare? Do resolutions passed by membership have no meaning for you?

[ tinyurl.com/uftstop ]

Based on our long-standing stance on stopping the privatization of Medicare and our commitment to providing quality, affordable healthcare to our members, should not the UFT unequivocally reject the idea of any healthcare savings that will produce higher premiums for healthcare, fewer healthcare choices, higher copayments or any other kind of diminishment of health benefits for active or retired UFT members?

Given that the raises in the last two contracts were tied to monies in the MLC’s Health Care Stabilization fund , and now we see recent changes in retiree healthcare, how will this impact the healthcare coverage and salaries of active members as we approach the next season of contract bargaining?

[ tinyurl.com/fundraises ]

Given the city’s unions claim that the change to Medicare Advantage results in 600 million dollars in healthcare cost savings for the city, how do you plan to save a similar amount of money in healthcare savings in the next round of contract talks with active working members? Are there any proposed changes being secretly discussed presently?

Can you guarantee that the Medicare Advantage plan will not lead to the privately managed system potentially engaging in pre-approval gatekeeping that might limit access to life-saving care and procedures, or will not lead to limited access to specific hospital networks? Will you guarantee this will not happen to active workers in any future changes?

The Mayor recently loosened quarantining rules so unvaccinated students will not be quarantined. Why did UFT leadership seemingly cave to the city and allow them to base decisions on convenience instead of safety, especially with breakthrough cases and the highly transmissible Delta variant?

Only 10% of consenting, unvaccinated students are being tested weekly for COVID. LA schools are testing every teacher and student every week. Why aren’t we openly pressuring the city to adopt more rigorous testing to keep us safer? Why is school staff being denied access to COVID testing in schools?

Over 4,000 classrooms only have ventilation through a cracked window and De Blasio’s boondoggle NON-HEPA air purifiers. What are we doing to protect those teachers and students with adequate ventilation? Infrastructure is crumbling around us.

Over the summer, the DOE increased classroom capacities to allow only 20 sq ft per student - this does not accommodate students at 3 ft distancing . Why did we let them get away with that? Why have we not fought harder on reducing class size given this pandemic and unprecedented funding window?

What measures and steps are we taking to address continued exposure to the virus and members who are suffering from or may suffer from the lasting, and even life threatening, effects of LONG COVID?

What are we doing to better address the full time school nurse shortage crisis in our schools? Why isn’t there any public outcry for the lack of full time school nurses who provide daily skilled nursing services to students with conditions like diabetes and District 75 medically fragile students? Agency nurses are not adequately trained or supervised by their agencies. They also have no direct access to the student’s medical records.

Why are we not fighting for a more wide ranging remote option for the medically fragile, unvaccinated and vulnerable families when many receive significantly less home instruction under the Medically Necessary Instruction program? With well over 150k students possibly staying home because of grave safety concerns should we not reach them where they are until the pandemic is over? Would this not relieve overcrowding and staffing shortages along with social distancing concerns?

Why are we not offering our cities’ families and staff increased access to the safest masks available like N95s and KN95s?

Why have we not opened more schools as vaccination hubs in our communities with the lowest vaccination rates and sought for an aggressive campaign to promote education to address vaccine hesitancy? Will we support mandated student vaccinations? Why or why not?

Many are reporting significant delays by the Situation Room and contract tracing in notifying parents and educators about positive cases? Why are we not fighting for this to be rectified?

1Today, 10/13/2021, delegates and chapter leaders stand in solidarity with our retiree and in-service family, parents and allies rallying outside of Shanker Hall. We must BE BETTER AND DO BETTER for our members and school communities.

 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Delegate AssemblyGate: UFT Leaders blink, opposition organizes for Oct. 13 DA over medicare and health and safety issues

EdNotes - BREAKING - 3:15PM, Oct. 7 --  Notice to Attend DA Sent out during school day as UFT Leadership Packs Upcoming Delegate Assembly with Unity Caucus Members  ---  IMAGINE -- Actual working chapter leaders and delegates were sent a notice - purposefully when they were in the classroom, thus giving the vast Unity Caucus network, many not in classrooms an advantage in registering - and all seats were filled almost immediately -- thus shutting out the many newly elected (spring 2021) chapter leaders and delegates --- one of the stories was that MORE elected 100 of them and few of them will be able to get into the DA next Wednesday -- but we (Retiree Advocate) will be outside and will urge every ch and del shut out to join us outside shouting -- let us in....  - UFT Closes Doors to DA -- UFT Update: Ant...

Coming Wednesday (Oct. 13), ICE-UFT will be joining with multiple other opposition groups for a Healthcare-Health and Safety rally at the UFT's first Delegate Assembly of this school year. Delegates, Chapter Leaders, rank and file active UFTers, retirees and others will all be there. I have never seen this kind of excited pulling together among opposition groups in the UFT.... James Eterno at ICEUFT blog

Monday, October 11, 2021 - Good morning - happy day off (I barely noticed).

It's in the DNA of the UFT leadership over 60 years of Unity Caucus existence to hold on to power at all costs. This didn't play well with some.

How is this at all reasonable? A teachers union that locks teachers out of its meetings because they're...teaching? Space is certainly an issue, but if there are caps on attendees who want to be there, then this is de facto suppression of full delegate participation. ... A delegate

Chapter leaders and delegates are elected to FULLY REPRESENT their respective chapters endowed with FULL POWER TO LEGISLATE. This is yet another example of seeking to make the DA a rubber stamp for a @UFT leadership that doesn’t consult the rank and file. We must be & do better..... Delegate

Over decades, that has been the major thing they have been good at -- managing the membership. When it comes to the DOE or big progressive ideas or aligning with progressive politicians, the UFT leadership has been mush -- think Schumer compared to Mitch -- they have the same mentality -- it's not in their DNA to fight back, other than to fight back against dissident members of the UFT. That's where they show some level of militancy.

At some point, that single-minded focus on control, especially a leadership totally out of touch with the members, begins to fail. The attempt to pack the upcoming DA with Unity Caucus members while retirees rally outside over the Medicare issue (Rallies, Lawsuit Updates - Retirees go to court ), joined by newly united opposition protesting the way the leadership has handled safety in the schools, may seem like a minor failure, but it is indicative of an increasingly isolated leadership, even within the confines of Unity Caucus and middle management at the district rep level. 

Last Wednesday night Oct. 6), a joint zoom event was held where parents and teachers told their stories. Zoom -- ICEUFT, Educators of NYC (EONYC): Educators Speak Out on Unsafe Schools -

Of even greater concern to the UFT leadership was this posting by Daniel Alicea, of Educators of NYC, promoting the rally outside the Oct. 13 DA:

Note the logos at the bottom -- just about every group involved in the UFT other than Unity is listed -- possibly with more to come -- and of course independent non-affiliated who are always heavily recruited by Unity, especially the newly elected chapter leaders, of which there are many, might be tempted. That MORE can claim 100 CL and Del is significant.

Plus the delegates and Ch Ldrs connected to the other groups would be the first real threat to Unity control of the DA since the early 60s. Making sure to keep as many activists out of the in-person DA is right in the wheel alley of the UFT/Unity leadership.

If these groups can actually deliver getting their people to show up that would put icing on the cake and present a real long-time threat to Unity control of the DA -- just imagine if they have to drag out all their people every month -- why they'd have to offer them a post-DA dinner as a bribe.

Was it a glitch?

I was told after posting the breaking story of an attempt to pack the DA (rivaling FDR's attempt to pack the court) by someone with inside info that I was wrong - it was just a glitch and reversed a few hours later. 

I maintain it wasn't a glitch (I had info that for the Sept 22 CL meeting, some Unity people were sort of told to make sure to be there in person) but intentional.

By 5PM, the meeting that was supposed to be socially distanced - the excuse to limit in person attendance -- had been opened up. 

The reversal to open up the space inside the DA was incited by the outrage of chapter leaders and delegates calling and tweeting at union officials. By 5PM the so-called artificial "safety distance rules" set up for the DA - and for the Sept. 22 chapter leader meeting -- where Retiree Advocate/UFT Caucus people were also outside in force.

Let's follow the bouncing ball.

Since the registration [for Oct. 13 Delegate ASSEMBLY] email was sent during the work day, I opened it and registered less than 15 minutes after dismissing my kids. Virtual available only. No other option. Locked out of the full democratic process. Thanks for such a warm welcome to the DA, @UFT! ....Classroom teacher, newly elected delegate

The UFT executive board recently voted to allow a hybrid delegate assembly. While I support giving this option to members, I received an email to register for the DA at about 1:50. When I tried to register in person it said it’s at capacity… Classroom teacher, chapter leader

Response of Brian Gibbons, UFT social media head:

From reports, Brian Gibbons has not been a classroom teacher.

I do find it ironic that the UFT leadership seems fine with sending its members into crowded non-socially distance schools while using the safety issue to restrict attendance and limit democracy at union events. For instance, all Ex Bd meetings are supposed to be open to all members but right now you must be vaxed to attend (interesting that the unvaxed members the UFT is supporting in court would not be allowed in). All retiree meetings this year will be remote - there is one Oct. 13 from 1-3PM -- interesting how that meeting was moved from the usual Tuesday to just before the DA which starts at 4 -- the leadership knew we were planning to rally.

I'm proud of the work Retiree Advocate/UFT has done over the past year -- we are a group of people from various caucuses and have worked very well together - a model of sorts. I wrote this in April, 2021 -- The United Front: Retiree Advocate/UFT brings friends and former opponents together for Retiree Chapter election.

In some ways the actual issues pale compared to the fact that all groups are talking to each other at various levels - privately and in more official ways from what I hear. Working together for the Oct. 13 DA -- the first DA for many who had been elected last spring --- might turn into actually bringing a long-time dream of mine to fruition -- a united slate in this spring's UFT elections. 

Wishful thinking? I'm torn because I don't look forward to getting involved in another UFT election but if wishes come through I will be there.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

REPOST - UFT Closes Doors to DA -- UFT Update: Anti-Unity forces come together for October 13 Delegate Assembly to support Retiree Rally

I'm reposting this from before as this news came in --

BREAKING - 3:15PM -- This just came in -- as we predicted earlier --

Notice to Attend DA Sent out during school day as UFT Leadership Packs Upcoming Delegate Assembly with Unity Caucus Members as way to shut down Chapter Leaders ---  IMAGINE -- Actual working chapter leaders and delegates were sent a notice - purposefully when they were in the classroom, thus givng the vast Unity Caucus network who are not in classrooms an advantage in registering - and all seats were filled almost immediately -- thus shutting out the many newly elected chapter leaders and delegates --- one of the stories was that MORE elected 100 of them and none of them will be able to get into the DA next Wednesday -- but we will be outside and will urge every ch and del shut out to join us outside shouting -- let us in.

Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 10 AM

An interesting event is developing inside the UFT among critical voices. All formal groups and caucuses seem to be working jointly on supporting the cause of retirees fighting the UFT leadership's attempt to force people out of Medicare and into a privately controlled system. They have tied the retiree issue to the current unsafe schools UFTers are facing and are going to urge delegates to support a series of initiatives.

My guess is the leadership will attempt to pack the DA with Unity stalwarts.I suggest they offer a post DA dinner for Unity -- or a raffle to get them to shlep to the DA when they can just stay home and do remote. I and others will be there, glad to meet them with open arms. 

The event will be a test of sorts for the ability of the opposition to actually organize effective actions -- and if they are successful and this leads to more cooperation leading into the spring UFT  elections.

Is the leadership sweating? Last night Educators of NYC's Daniel Alicea led a fabulous workshop of teachers and parents exposing the unsafe conditions in the school being covered up by the DOE with the assistance of the UFT.

Mulgrew, feeling the heat from a few directions -  some anti-vax people who seem to love him for supporting them and helping keep schools unsafe - but they will whine about everything, came out with a rare attack on de Blasio.

Watch the leadership pack the DA with Unity pulling some tricks -- like sending out messages to Unity to get ahead of the line.

Here's James' report ------

ICEUFT JOINS WITH OTHER OPPOSITION GROUPS FOR UFT ACTIVISM

Coming next Wednesday, ICE-UFT will be joining with multiple other opposition groups for a Healthcare-Health and Safety rally at the UFT's first Delegate Assembly of this school year. Delegates, Chapter Leaders, rank and file active UFTers, retirees and others will all be there. I have never seen this kind of excited pulling together among opposition groups in the UFT.

UFTers have finally had enough.

Well, we'll see if UFTers have had enough. I have to see it to believe it.

ICEUFT and Educators of NYC spoke out about conditions in the NYC schools.

 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Zoom -- ICEUFT, Educators of NYC (EONYC): Educators Speak Out on Unsafe Schools - Tonight (Wednesday Oct. 6) 7PM

The DOE and UFT are working together to suppress bad news.

I recommend reading Jonathan's blog with a reasoned analysis -- and some sympathy for unvaxed which I don't share ---

Do No Harm - if the damage outweighs the good sometimes we might pass on that treatment. Likewise, a wiser mayor would have passed on the mandate, in this way,

But I do get the point - it's a race to the bottom for which is more incompetent - the UFT or DOE.

Shine a light and flush out the cockroaches

ICEUFT and Educators of NYC at 7:00 tonight will be on Zoom to speak out about conditions in the NYC schools. I'll bet Unity is sending spies so they can know what is actually going on in the schools -- they are so out of touch they are like the CIA in Afghanistan - [C.I.A. Admits to Losing Informants - The New York Times].

Over 100 registered. Stories will be shared. Anonymity guaranteed -- we will have readers of stories that have been sent in along with live readings. 

Sign up here

 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

UnVaxxed UFTers Face Blowback from Vaxxed - Fall on the sword - get vaxed or take a leave - and is MU a threat?

I love those UFTers complaining about vax mandates. 

Did they ever sit through a mandated faculty conference or a boring PD? 

They are worse than sticking needles into your eye. 

Give me ten vaccines to dull the pain. 


But the hard line taken by de Blasio seems to be working - to some extent. I personally know of at least one unvaxxed supervisor who got the shot before the deadline.  I don't think schools will be as unsafe as the unions are trying to make them seem. Shame on the UFT for using that bullshit but supporting the idea that unvaxxed should go into schools and make them unsafe.

Friday night a loud cheer went up in certain internet circles with this headline:

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Allows COVID Vaccine Mandate For NYC Schools To Move Forward

Peter Zucker takes his shot at one of the more annoying anti-vaxers:

Goodbye, Good Riddance, and Farewell to Stephanie Edmonds

She spent last year HAMMERING teachers who chose to teach remotely because they, we, had underlying health conditions! She claimed we abandoned out students and SHE now decides to change her tune and abandons her students? She's so full of shit. Inserting something into her body that does not fall into line with her religious faith? What faith? She's fucking Jewish. There is nowhere in the Talmud, the Torah, or anywhere where it says that vaccines are forbidden. Orthodox rabbis consider vaccinations a moral obligation.
I'm on a private twitter feed with about 40 teachers who seem to echo Peter's anger and frustration with those who don't want to get the vax. I feel they had the right but not to go into a school. 
 
A comment on Peter's blog: "I just watched her on CNN. She is the biggest, fakest, blowhard of all time. She uses the word, "Dedicated". She ain't dedicated to shit. She is a poser teacher and everybody knows it. The DOE will be way better off without her." 

This seems to represent the sentiments of the majority of teachers -- increasing frustration and anger at the unvaxxed. People are sick of lockdowns, masks, etc and it is clear that if everyone got vaxxed we'd be close to being free. 

MU- not a cow

Now I was at some of my doctors the other day and there is a feeling that in NYC at least we had so many cases and so many people vaxxed, we're getting into herd immunity territory - for adults. So the wild card are the kids - the unvaxxed kids -- Delta is looking for places to land and it won't be  runway at Kennedy -- it may be your under 12 year old. As Dr. Osterholm keeps saying --- the virus is looking for wood to burn and here in NYC those are kids -- and schools are a danger point. So far we haven't seen too many wild outbreaks but Osterholm seesm to think we will see it happen within the next few weeks -- but if it doesn't we will be fairly hone free --- except for MU -- yes MU - a varian that seems to break through vaccines -- and my doc told me the Brazilian delegation to the UN last week brought us a gift of MU -- he said half the delegation was infected -- and his office is not far from the UN. Oy! But so far Delta seems to be kicking MU's ass -- but as some one said -- there are a lot of letter left in the Greek alphabet.
 
If non-vaxxed were in schools, imagine the sound of MUs.

James Eterno is not as caustic as Peter but has this report:
LEONARD PITTS SAYS GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE TO THE UNVACCINATED - The piece below is from the Miami Herald from syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts.... James Eterno


This headline expresses the increasing anger and generally pissed off feelings toward the unvaxxed. Especially those who threatened to pull their dues from the UFT -- and the leadership actually caved into them and backed the lawsuit. 

on behalf of the rest of us, the ones who miss concerts, restaurants and other people’s faces, the ones who are sick and tired of living in pandemic times, here’s a word of response to those quitters: Goodbye. And here’s two more: Good riddance.

I hadn't thought about what we have all been giving up and hoping we can end this soon and go back to normal. Guess who has been standing in the way of all of us? 

Yet they whine about forced mandates. We have a million forced mandates every day --- if you don't want to stop at red lights, give up your right to drive. What I find funny is that just by taking the job of a teacher, you are facing enormous controls -- you can't say shit in the classroom without it appearing on the internet and facing 3020a charges. 

You know there's a mandate that you have to stay in the classroom and teach even if you don't want to.

You're not an excellent teacher if you are willing to risk the health of your students --- We heard the  line that the system was going to lose excellent educators -- not so excellent if willing to risk their students' health.

Their final plea was let them be remote -- I'm sure the vaxxed teachers going into schools would have been thrilled. 

There is a lot of mocking of the leadership for supporting the extreme minority that is willing to go into schools --while the UFT itself will only allow 200 to meet for a DA and CL meeting in a room that holds 865 --- no 3 ft distance for UFT leaders. Monday night they held an Ex Bd meeting where proof of vax was required. Those meetings are supposed to be open to all UFT members. But they wouldb't allow the anti-vaxers they support to pass through those doors.

Where there may have been some level of sympathy for those who fear the vaccine, there is none for those proclaiming their libertarian right to refuse a vax. I've seen comments from the overwhelming majority of vaxed UFTers saying "good riddance  - we don't want to work with people so willing to  risk our and the children's health."

Fall on the sword.
I do not disagree with the libertarian view totally about not wanting to be forced but don't force me to be in the same space as you. If I weren't willing to get vaxed I would still try to be very cautious around others --- and I'd take a leave of absence. These are schools, not isolated offices.

If you are so against getting vaxed take a leave - you still keep your health care -- and I saw some angry comments from women with children who were pissed they are getting health care while they had to go back to work so soon.

Bill Maher who has vax issues pointed out he took one for the team.

So there are more and more angry if less vocal publicly UFTers. This will last way past the pandemic --- they may be treated like strikebreaking scabs in the future -- how dare they endanger our health?

One of the latest arguments from the unvaxed is that the system will lose so many excellent educators -- they are not excellent if they are so willing to put their students at risk.

Previous coverage

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Randi has done it again - maddening playing all sides of the field with people who were OK with teachers giving up their lives to save the economy

They will debate this and hold multiple positions, but never a forum on something like union democracy or class size solutions... A NYC teacher

She and Leo Casey said the same thing about Bill Gates – saying it’s always good to discuss and bring people to the table.  I agree with that. But not give them a public forum to transmit their toxic ideas!  That’s completely different.... Parent activist

Randi working with the Open Schools Movement people - and a guy who said teachers dying was the acceptable cost of opening schools. The message to him should be FUCK OFF! But she is saying FUCK OFF to teachers risking their health in overcrowded schools.

She wants dialogue with our enemies but ignores the progressive voices in her own union. 90% vaxed but she and Mulgrew cater to the resisters. There's an entire resistance movement in the UFT but too progressive for Randi and crew --- she may be the Kyrsten Sinema of our union. I put her closer to Joe Manchin than Bernie Sanders.


See https://twitter.com/rweingarten/status/1443237326172442625?s=20 See thread and responses

She invited Dr. Jay Bhattacharya co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, to speak at her Town Hall tomorrow. 

Bu

https://gbdeclaration.org/

Yet she just tweeted that the Great Barington Declaration was “reprehensible”.  Reminds me of when she invited Gates to speak at the AFT convention.

 

Rallies, Lawsuit Updates - Retirees go to court - NY Post, AETNA LAWSUIT Calls for halt to Medicare change - Wants piece of $38 Billion up for grabs

...on Friday, some 100 retirees had a die-in press conference at City Hall where they dressed as the Grim Reaper and mimicked choking to death in protest of the plan. Sarah Shapiro, a retired teacher with the Cross Union Retirees Organizing Committee, said they are being thrown “under the bus after decades of service to this city. We are in the midst of a pandemic. We have frail and sickly retirees who are in the middle of cancer treatments,” she said..... NY Post

Question of the day - or year - or decade: 

Why does the UFT leadership oppose Single payer, medicare for all plans and promote privatized MedAdv plans with its profits, high salaries and lower level of service?

Norm's commentary: 

There is a bunch of news around the joint union/city attempt to move 225k retirees out of Medicare and into a privatized version known as Medicare Advantage. A law suit by retirees and a law suit by the losing bidder, Aetna - both reported on below my commentary.



There is an option to opt out and remain in traditional Medicare, which an increasing number of people are taking but at a cost -- it will cost me and my wife around $4500 a year for the same thing we've been getting for free. An extortion plot hatched by our union leaders. The more you know about Medicare Advantage, the more you want to vomit.

Read these for a deeper dive --  

The Retiree Advocate/UFT caucus has been leading the battle since April with press conferences, rallies and marches.

Our vote total went up to 30% in the retiree chapter election in April when many retirees had not yet heard of the change. With a general UFT election coming this March-May and the retiree vote crucial for Unity Caucus control of the UFT, another 10 point slippage might put the election in play for the first time. (Already retirees are asking to be added to the oppositon slate.) Add this to the general unhappiness with the UFT by working members over school safety and their support for the minority of unvaxed teachers, this election can be interesting.

I reported on recent events, some organized by a cross union group that included Retiree Advocates --- We had a great Die-in on Friday near City Hall with hundreds of people --- people in hospital gowns were "examined" by doctors - some of them real docs - and rejected, upon which they "died" on a mat while the grim reaper stood over them. (There were also concurrent Taxi and Climate protests in the same area- a perfect day for protests.)

 [ see - “Die-In” is to publicize the inadequacies of the NYC Medicare Advantage switch-over by Mayor de Blasio and Unions]

We were out in force at the  Sept. 22 UFT chapter leader meeting, which ironically was limited to 200 people in Shanker Hall which seats 850 -- ironically because the UFT seems OK with sending its members into crowded schools with little social distancing. Monday night there was an Ex bd meeting in person where everyone had to show proof of vax. I'm wondering if the UFT has a must vax order for its own employees.

The Aetna lawsuit has a better chance of halting things before Jan. 1 than the members vote -- I didn't join as a plaintive but wish them luck. Aetna is pissed because they lost out and are claiming the people who won out are incompetent at managing these type of plans. I join Retiree Advocate in opposing all private insurance and wanting a medicare for all, single payer system. Yes, it's socialized medicine -- but Medicare has basically proved that it works. Below the break are details of the lawsuits:

Sunday, September 26, 2021

School Staff Complains About Undisclosed COVID Cases at Clara Barton HS -- Guess Who the UFT is Busy Defending?

We don't feel safe in our community anymore. We love our school and know it can be better. We want a safer school and we do not want additional COVID outbreaks. 
 .. Clara Barton HS staff members
UFT claims not allowing unvaxed into schools makes them unsafe while seemingly OK with letting them in and threatening COVID spread? WTF

Staffs are going to war with each other over masking and vaccines. Talk about a threat to the union. Where is the UFT? I have an idea -- threaten to stop paying dues and watch how fast you get a meeting and a response. 
 
The UFT leadership is so focused on the minority unvaxxed, they are losing sight of the real threat to the union, with the overwhelming majority vaxed and masked and getting more and more pissed off. Religious exemptions? Don't dare try using Jewish as an excuse. The other real threat is future refusals to get vaxxed for anything and wild measles and other outbreaks to come. We are going back to the dark ages and the UFT is paving the way.


I'm hearing this from other schools -- There is a Zoom on Wednesday at 7PM for people to tell their stories, anonymously if they want.

Such stories are rolling in and ignored by the UFT leaders which is focusing its attention on due process for the unvaxed. Do the vaxed get due process for their health conditions?

district36@council.nyc.gov,
askjb@council.nyc.gov,
District45@council.nyc.gov,
drose@council.nyc.gov,
borelli@council.nyc.gov,
district41@council.nyc.gov,
District31@council.nyc.gov,
District30@council.nyc.gov,
KPowers@council.nyc.gov,
district7@council.nyc.gov,
gethelp@pubadvocate.nyc.gov,
action@comptroller.nyc.gov,
da@brooklynda.org,
askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov,
bk09@cb.nyc.gov,
LCOLONB@schools.nyc.gov,
Office of Superintendent Michael Prayor <admin@supmprayor.com>,
kwatts@schools.nyc.gov,
osi-inquiries@schools.nyc.gov,
sci@schools.nyc.gov,
pep@schools.nyc.gov,
cec17@schools.nyc.gov
bcc:normsco@gmail.com
date:Sep 25, 2021, 7:37 PM

 

To Whom It May Concern:

We are a group of constituents from the Clara Barton HS community in Brooklyn. We have sent the following to our principal but we have not seen any substantial change in our community. We have staff calling out and rumors are flying it's for undisclosed COVID cases. Students are in quarantine. There was a nasty fight this past week and nothing is being done to control students from unmasking in the halls. We do not feel safe at all. Please help us! We have contacted the press. 

Anonymous 

Dear Dr. Forman:

We are a group of staff from the CBHS community who are really concerned. We have brought concerns to the UFT reps to take to consultation. But we feel that nobody is doing anything. 

While you hide in your office we have observed the following in Barton:
1. Teachers and paras not wearing masks around children during class time.
2. Deans and aides not masking in the Deans' Office.
3. Students smoking weed communally during class time in Stairwell E And F.
4. Large groups of faculty in the auditorium meeting without social distancing on Sept 9
5. Classrooms with no open windows or purifiers. 
6. Staff and students who have said: "COVID is a lie produced by the  media and masking/vaccines don't work."
7. No social distancing or ventilation in the cafeteria 
8. Faculty unmasking in meetings

We don't feel safe in our community anymore. We love our school and know it can be better. We want a safer school and we do not want additional COVID outbreaks. 

If our needs are not addressed promptly the media and the City will be notified. We do not want negative attention to our community. We just want a safer work environment and a safer learning environment for the kids. 

Thank you.

Anonymous

 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Today 4PM -“Die-In” is to publicize the inadequacies of the NYC Medicare Advantage switch-over by Mayor de Blasio and Unions - Broadway side

Who: We are the Cross-Union Retiree Organizing Committee (CROC) composed of retirees from NYC's municipal labor unions. We oppose the City's move to save money by endangering the healthcare coverage of vulnerable seniors.

I'm heading back into the city for this well-thought out event that includes reps from many municipal unions.  I'm not the grim reaper and I'm not laying down because I won't get up so I am handing out leaflets. COME ON DOWN!!!

BTW - here is opt out link: https://nyc-ma-plus.empireblue.com/optout/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Advisory: Municipal Worker Retirees Plan Protest To Halt Healthcare Changes

What:  NYC municipal union retirees will stage a "Die-In" at City Hall Park to protest the life-threatening danger faced by 250,000 retirees as the City prepares to switch their traditional Medicare coverage to a  privately managed Medicare Advantage plan beginning Jan. 1, 2022.  At a mock "Medicare DisAdvantage Clinic" overseen by the Grim Reaper, participants will enact the potentially fatal consequences of restricting healthcare for seniors.

The protest comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Aetna charging the City and its Office of Labor Relations of bid-rigging in awarding the health coverage contract.

When: Friday, September 24, 2021, rain or shine

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p. m.

Where: The Broadway side of City Hall Park (between Murray & Park Sts.)

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Who: We are the Cross-Union Retiree Organizing Committee (CROC) composed of retirees from NYC's municipal labor unions. We oppose the City's move to save money by endangering the healthcare coverage of vulnerable seniors.

Press Contacts:

Sarah Shapiro, spokesperson for CROC (sarahmorah@gmail.com)

Len Rodberg, expert on Medicare issues (lrodberg@gmail.com

 

“Die-In” Action

 

When: Friday, September 24, 2021 

Time: Participants arrive at 3:15pm for a rehearsal. The action takes place from 4:00pm-5:00pm.

Where: on Broadway next to City Hall Park between Murray Street and Park Place

 

The point of the “Die-In” is to publicize the inadequacies of the NYC Medicare Advantage switch-over by Mayor de Blasio and to pressure the new mayor to scrap the plan .

 

There will be a Medicare Dis-Advantage health clinic on the Broadway side of City Hall between Murray Street and Park Place. Some participants will play sick patients waiting in two patient feeder lines to be examined by other participants dressed up as doctors and nurses. These mock doctors and nurses will theatrically examine three or four patients for 30 seconds. Then the patients will be determined ineligible for treatment. To communicate this, the doctors and nurse will hold up “No Authorization” signs. Patients will then walk over to the death mat and die in whatever way they like for 30 seconds while a drum rolls and the Grim Reaper approaches. Patients can get back in line to be examined and die multiple times. Protesters with signs will stand on the sidelines. We cannot block the sidewalk! A picket march down Broadway and through City Hall Park will take place once there is a large enough crowd of protesters. We are hopeful that a few politicians will attend, and if they do, we will pause the action for a few minutes in order for them to speak. We expect some press to be there too.