UPDATE - Breakthrough infections in NY up 7-fold., “Exclusive: Biden sending medical teams to six states to help hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19,” including NY. --- Tell UFT leadership
- I've never seen anything spread as fast -- it's approaching Measles--- epidemiologist on Omicron
- Ask UFT officials about horrendous conditions in the schools and you get a shrug and a "what can we do?"
- What struck me at the election committee meeting was not just the hard position on petitioning, but the sense of callous disregard for UFT members and children's health and safety ... UFT election committee member.
- I'd see the entire city of Newark unemployed before I allowed one single teacher's aide to die needlessly... John Abeigon, Newark Teacher Union president
- President Michael Mulgrew spent much of the Town Hall telling you how wonderful you are for risking your health in a pandemic to come to work...ICE blog
The latter point is hysterical given the outcome of Tuesday's UFT election committee meeting where Unity members acted like the pandemic was over.
I was at a surreal zoom meeting of the UFT election committee Tuesday where the 5 United for Change reps were outgunned by the 8 Unity, all on the full-time UFT payroll on the UFT clock, plus a UFT lawyer. The UFC whose teachers actually spend their days in classrooms, called for emergency changes in the one month UFT election petition campaign beginning next Wednesday, lasting a month, in the teeth of a massive virus outbreak in NYC schools which has caused enormous disruption to normal school activities.When the lawyer cited constitutional issues with all our requests, I asked where in the constitution does it say the caucus in power gets 8 reps and everyone else gets 5.
Just in the past two days, at least two key members of UFC tested positive with one dealing with more than mild symptoms. And the young son of another tested postive today. Until a few weeks ago I didn't know many people who had Covid at the same time. Now it seems everyone working in schools are being exposed. Maybe it's ok over the long run to give us herd immunity. But people have been asking for a few weeks of zoom to let this pass. And we asked for the same thing.
I thought I was at a Trump rally where the Keep Schools Open at all costs campaign was in full force. Ya know Omicron is mild -- mild means you don't end up in the hospital.
The Unity line lines up perfectly with the lies being told about infection numbers by de Blasio. UFT/Unity also buried the stories about the poor filters used in schools by the corrupt de Blasio admin by giving a sweetheart contract to one of his campaign buddies. Or that teachers are spending their own money for masks and testing kits. Or that students are walking out: HUNDREDS WALK OUT AT BROOKLYN TECH.
A Unity hack twitter account liked and reported an attack on these students that claimed radical teachers were behind it. You know, students at Tech are not smart enough to figure out the school was unsafe on their own. I know non-radical teachers at Tech and they say there are rampant infections. There is even a parent who is a major commentator on YouTube whose daughter goes there and she mocks the education she's been getting the past week. Lots of auditorium time.
The Unity election 8 (mostly district and special reps) acted ho-hum. Like nothing has changed since the Dec. 5 first meeting, despite the massive Omicron outbreak in the schools.
I wrote about the first election committee meeting in early December:
At that time, Omicron was still a blip and the one month petitioning and election schedule seemed workable. The UFC people even supported the Unity resolution to get only wet signatures -- no electronic signing. What we fought about was over electronic voting in the election itself. I posted about that issue when it came up on the Ex Bd where I believe only two members voted against.
The reactions of the election committee are almost funny when you consider that all UFT courses for retirees were announced as going on line. And all Retiree chapter meetings are online for the entire school year. But asking people to race around schools in their spare time to gather signatures is fine.
There was a lightness of being in the zoom - a total sense of no urgency. Like if you get sick fine. Like long covid doesn't exist. And reports of childhood diabetes. Or that Omicron is one of most infectious ever -- it may be milder for short covid but the increased numbers put enormous pressure on hospitals.
I raised the point that the numbers before December were not worrisome as every teacher is vaxed but the sudden rise in numbers of vaxed teachers infected in such a short time is astounding. Vax won't stop you from getting it but will mitigate - however greater numbers will be getting it.
|NYC Elementary school teacher with children of her own|
This was a special meeting called in response to a request by UFC/New Action rep Michael Shulman who raised a number of points and requests based on the vision of asking teachers to go around schools gathering signatures in the midst of the worst outbreak we've yet seen with hopes that a few weeks will lead to safer conditions:
- Waive petitioning for this election.
- Add two weeks to petitioning time and move the election back two weeks.
- Allow electronic signatures.
- Reopen the issue of electronic balloting in the face of the pandemic
The Unity 8 rejected every suggestion. I wasn't surprised at their rejection but was astounded at the arguments they were making which seemed so similar to Donald Trump in the initial stages and President Biden today. But then again, the UFT leadership is Democratic Party central and lines up perfectly with them.
Arguments against? Infections are down from last week. Message - it's over. My head hurts from smacking myself. They were proud when a UFT nurse at NYU joined in the pooh poohing. Ya know, like hospitals seem fine. Probably we're hearing fake news about cancellations of elective surgery.
Like there's no way teachers are getting sick --
Two key UFC candidates tested positive on Monday are home sick with some serious issues. The message -- get out of bed next week and go petition.
Every one of these Unity people are either full-time UFT employees who are actually getting paid to attend the meeting and at most spend a period a day in a school. Unity will be holding a big petition signing event at Fashion Industries HS on January 19 after the DA. Someone should go picket the event.
Here are some more voices from classrooms being ignored by the Unity/UFT leadership.
NYC UFT Member twitter thread:
Thanks to the NYC Mayor and DOE I contracted COVID on my first day back
at work after being exposed to multiple students who were positive.
Here is a/thread about my experience /1
an itinerant related service provider for the DOE and am routinely in 3
or 4 schools per week. I worked on Monday servicing students in grades
K-3 in my elementary school. Testers were there in the morning. /2
was unable to get tested because I was “not on the list.” Tuesday night
I was informed via school-wide email of positive cases. I was not
alerted as being a close contact. However, when I returned to school
Wednesday, several of my students were absent so you do the math. /3
alerted my supervisors for my itinerant position. They told me that as
long as my home rapids were negative and I was symptom free, I should go
about “business as usual” and travel to my other schools as scheduled.
I went for a pcr test and also did home rapid tests Wednesday,
Thursday, 2x on Friday (because symptoms started that night), and
Saturday. All my home rapids were negative. However, Saturday night I
received my PCR results and, lo and behold, they were positive. /5
a result of these failed policies by the DOE, numerous students and
staff in MULTIPLE schools were exposed to me. I am 100% certain I was
infectious despite negative rapids b/c my husband and two children - who
are under 5 and therefore cannot be vaxxed - all have symptoms. /6
illustrates yet another hole in the system. My daughter is in 3k. There
is NO DOE testing protocol for 3k and prek kids. They are among the
MOST vulnerable as they cannot be vaccinated. Some also have
difficulties wearing masks. /7
for unvaccinated kids are on the rise. Also, my mother and MIL - who
care for my infant son - were both exposed through me. They are both
over 65. Our nanny was also exposed and she has underlying health
How many of students, educators, and our loved ones have to get sick
and die before the DOE does it job and implements REAL policies that
protect us? A: all of us. They don’t care. /9
Mulgrew is holding a town hall. Get your bingo card.