Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mike Schirtzer UFT Exec Bd Report: Adult-Education Chapter Stands Up and Fight Back

There is positive energy coming from MORE holding these EB seats - people feel they can come to these meetings and raise issues with the leadership with the sense that MORE has their backs. Read Mike Schirtzer's report on the Adult Ed chapter complaint. First let me make the point that the UFT District Rep was present at the meeting where the verbal attack by Supt Mills took place on the teacher and remained silent. A more aggressive UFT is needed to put a stop to this type of aggression by DOE people.
Teachers on the consultation committee and the UFT district representative of the Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE) were verbally attacked by Superintendent of OACE, Rose Marie Mills. At these meetings where the divisions' teachers and principals from across NYC come together, Ms. Mills is exclusively in charge and has historically not even allowed the principals of respective districts to speak. At the last meeting the Superintendent yelled, screamed, stood up and accused UFT members of being "crazy" because they had asked to halt constant interruptions of administrators entering class-rooms to request data. Ms. Mills treated them in a threatening and aggressive manner through-out the meeting. It was extremely unprofessional. Consultation meetings, as President Mulgrew has often reminded us, are our agendas and our meetings. This was clearly not the case.

The educators that were attacked responded by signing a joint letter to the UFT executive board with a full report of the incident, they reached out to MORE to work with them in presenting to the board, came to our pre-meeting to share their letter with demands, and presented the attack to the entire UFT Executive Board. They stood up for themselves by coordinating a response and demanding the UFT leadership tale action. They will not allow this bully administrator to get away with this.

They asked that the UFT take immediate action and inform chancellor Farina they insist on her presence at the next meeting. UFT Secretary Howard Schoor responded that they will bring this up with at their consultation with the Deputy Chancellors this week and seek recourse....
....Mike Schirtzer, UFT Ex Bd member, MORE/UFT Caucus
The Adult ed chapter of the UFT has been savaged over the years going back to when we formed ICE in 2003 and David Greene, my old high school pal, told us stories of what they were doing. Some members have started coming to MORE for assistance and when they came with this issue, they were invited to attend the pre-Ex bd meeting that begins at 5PM on the day of the EB meetings. I arrived in the middle and was sort of surprised to see them so ready to stand up publicly since there has been so much fear in the chapter -- Ed Notes receives regular communications from people in the chapter. My sense is that there is positive energy coming from MORE holding these seats - people feel they can come to these meetings and raise issues with the leadership with the sense that MORE has their backs.

If you asked me a year ago whether much would come of MORE winning the high school Ex Bd seats I would have yawned -- poor people, wasting their time talking to a roomful of Unity - some of whom, slugs. But so far this time I am fairly impressed by the role our great MORE team of Ex Bd members have been playing and the Unity response. They ask for info and reports and they get them. They can ask as many questions as they want and get a fairly respectful audience. They raise resos and we see some serious discussion.

There is a somewhat different atmosphere at the EB than in the past -- maybe not as much hostility or mockery towards the opposition. This is not the old New Action with older or about to be retired people other than Jonathan Halabi -- now he is one of the oldest opposition members of the board. The EB is more diverse - color and gender - than in the past -- and blunts some of the more aggressive social justice race issues when brought up by white people in the opposition -- the optics of lecturing people of color on race doesn't play. (I went up and shook Leroy Barr's hand the other day for his wonderful speech on the complexities of race at the AFT convention - which was about as social justicy as things could get - and maybe indicative of the problems facing the Democratic Party -- economic issues were not

And best of all Arthur Goldstein does meticulous minutes published on NYC Educator - see the latest here - UFT Executive Board November 28th--We Can't Risk Offending People by Mentioning Trump and a follow-up. Arthur's voice and stature as one of the most read blogs keeps them somewhat accountable.

Tomorrow - Monday - is another EB meeting at 6PM and even though shlepping from Rockaway is not appetizing - and neither is the food -- I may go - partly because I felt the debate over the use of the Trump name - as Arthur reported -- was fabulous and I felt the kind of discussions that should be taking place all the time -- and I also think the Trump victory has made both the leadership and the opposition see things in more common ways -- that the very union is threatened. I will try to do a follow up piece on this before I leave tomorrow for the EB meeting.

Now I have to get over to my acting class at the RTC where I will not be doing Shakespeare.

1 comment:

  1. Mills attempted to report data from the LPN program to access state funding reserved for lower functioning students who would show gain.... when the funds had to be returned to the state she got rid of the LPN program. There were many other options to fund the program. Then she crammed as many students as possible into the CNAA programs... how many actually passed the exams?? Mills stated that she only cares about data Does anyone care about the quality of adult education??


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