Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Attending My First Delegate Assembly - An 8th Year Elementary Teacher Comments

That was quite an initiation to the Delegate Assembly ... new delegate

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Last week's first DA of the year has created a lot of comment, including mine - Mulgrew Slammed as Delegates React to His Angry Rants - Delegate Assembly (Oct. 13) Report #1

I guess this is report #2 and more to come. 

While I always enjoy reading Arthur's straight and James' comments on the DA, I loved this report from a first time with her comments. A voice from the rank and file, an early childhood teacher who spends her days in classrooms, as opposed to the people who have been running our union. (I would trust people like her to make better decisions for UFT members. Put real classroom teachers in charge.) I told her she has a future as a reporter from the DA. I hope she comes back regularly to report.

Attending My First Delegate Assembly

by A new delegate

Got through my first UFT Delegate Assembly tonight (October 13, 2021)

Quite an experience. Opted for virtual, since the registration program kept glitching and I didn’t trust there would be room for me. It did give me the chance to take notes/jot down thoughts, some of them here: 

Mulgrew acknowledged repeatedly at the beginning that we are, in fact, still in a pandemic. Strange that this has to be said. 

Clarified that observation options for MOTP are still being negotiated. DOH is no longer conducting investigations re: Covid in schools and they are the ones responsible for setting Covid protocols—this leaves principals on the hook to gamble with spread in their schools when the Situation Room calls. Yikes. 

Continued to tout that positivity rates in schools are low, while at the same time saying over and over that testing "fell apart" this year—how can both be true? 

If our testing is as bad as claimed, why are we trusting the data? 

Claimed that ventilation hasn't been fixed in decades because there's no OSHA for the public sector, but there is PESH, so…huh? 

During a bit about SBOs, Mulgrew asked for a show of hands in person and needed to be reminded to open it up to virtual attendees. He did not acknowledge the reminder. Took until questioning and he had to ask how to let us participate. At one point referred to virtual participation as “Never Never Land," does he intend to take virtual participants seriously? 

Instructed us to tell members “do not be afraid of observations.” Acknowledged that some admins use them as form of harassment, but dealing with that issue won't happen until at least next year. How can we bring that back to our chapters and tell them not to be afraid? 

Mulgrew, why are you using words like “gypped" when you’re speaking in a formal forum?! Are you joking?! It wouldn't matter, honestly, that's not okay. 

Where are all the subs the Mayor promised?: Mulgrew says he has no idea where BdB’s 11k came from, we have roughly 6.5k substitutes. 

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. 

Acknowledged that nurses are being split across schools, some responsible for thousands of students at once. That’s horrific. 

During questioning, Mulgrew only called on people wearing pink for breast cancer awareness. This was audibly evident on the call and confirmed by delegates who attended in person. While breast cancer awareness is a worthwhile cause, that is not how these meetings are supposed to work. A member reportedly stormed out after Mulgrew refused to call on her based on the color of her clothing, yelling that she herself is a breast cancer survivor. 

Motions and resolutions: 

Rules of Order state that motions will only be added to agenda (unless under 3 sentences) IF they are written and distributed to delegates. Received no information via email. Still expected to vote or miss our chance. If motions are being distributed in person only, it seems this would violate the Rules of Order themselves as written. 

Peter Lamphere was interrupted twice and deemed out of order—the second time he wasn't able to even finish his first sentence, he wanted to extend the motion period so more people could speak. Mulgrew interrupted to call him out of order and declare that it was the resolution period—why was Peter permitted to speak and introduce a motion if the motion period was already over? 

Members chanted about health care after members attempted to speak about health-related issues 3x and were ALL interrupted/deemed out of order. 

A number of delegates walked out of the meeting, Mulgrew dismissively said "buh-bye" and insisted that another member introduce a resolution by talking over their fellow members. It was an uncomfortable situation. Mulgrew is expected to represent EVERY member present. 

Mayoral endorsement

Noticed that when a speaker received pushback about THIS, Mulgrew said, “Woah, woah, people get to SPEAK!" So what about the people who were cut off over and over again? 

Also mayoral endorsement: After a number of executive board members chastised delegates and insisted we go along with the group no matter what (barely paraphrasing), the # of people voting "yea" went DOWN, so maybe that tactic doesn't work after all. 

Mulgrew joked that in-person delegates were "gaslighting" him because he forgot whether or not they'd voted already. Does he know what that word means? 

One of the agenda items we didn't address was about domestic violence/intimate partner violence and he's throwing around that word...PHEW. Clearly he takes these things seriously. 

A delegate asked why so much time was spent on questions that have nothing to do with current issues, and again the mere mention of health care was ruled out of order by way of interruption. It was a valid question. 

We didn't actually get to a single agenda item that was actionable. Just voted on publicly supporting political candidates. 

That was quite an initiation to the Delegate Assembly. Now to figure out where to keep my eight pages of handwritten notes. I should probably get a notebook before November.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate this delegate's clear writing. Using full sentences and making a clear connection between the subject and the verb helps the reader to understand exactly what is meant and what was observed.


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