Tuesday, May 7, 2024

TRS Election Issues as Both Campaigns File Protests, A Conversation with Ben Morgenroth: NYC TRS Trustee Candidate

The trustee election is by law supposed to take place tomorrow, May 8, in the schools. It seems to have been postponed to May 9. I pointed out over a month ago that the DOE is not competent enough to run this election. They announced they would do it electronically, which is not what the law says even though that would be the right way to do it. 

I posted details on The Wire - see below. And Nick has the latest from last night's ex bd meeting: What’s going on with the TRS Election? – UFT Executive Board Minutes – 5/6/2024 

The trustee election, for which NAC’s own Ben Morgenroth is running a spirited campaign, is being formally contested by the UFT, as the DOE apparently is not following the letter of the election law. As far as I can tell, Ben’s campaign is more negatively affected by this than Unity’s candidate, since the UFT has directly emailed members with her name (but not Ben’s), whereas the DOE has NOT notified members the two are running – part of the law. (That means UFT members, as well as other TRS members, don’t know that Ben is running – at least UFT members know his opponent is). Edit: Check your DOE emails – while late, at least THAT problem has been addressed – again, not in the correct time frame though. There are some other questions—the election will be digital, something I support in theory, but it’s apparently an alleged violation of the law. I digress. Vote for Ben this week, as the election is apparently happening despite the contesting. It will likely be online, so check your DOE emails and let us know if you face problems voting.

Check out Daniel's interview with Ben:

A Conversation with Ben Morgenroth: NYC TRS Trustee Candidate

Episode Summary
Daniel interviewed Ben Morgenroth, candidate for the upcoming TRS Pension Board election. He is an AP Calculus math teacher at Brooklyn High School, CUNY adjunct, and a former investment fund risk analyst. They discussed the TRS election scheduled to be conducted electronically by NYC schools, on May 8th — and now, according to a recent DOE memo, also on May 9th. They discussed the controversy over how the DOE intends to conduct the election seemingly in violation of Admin code 13-507.

We shared a startling update about the ongoing Illuminated privacy breach of student and teacher data. Also, we aired an excerpt of Chancellor David Banks’ press conference this week where he previewed his upcoming congressional testimony dealing with hate in our schools.

Call to Action: Contact DOE Chancellor and his liaison about failures in rolling out TRS trustee election process

Most teachers and school principals STILL don’t know there is an important TRS trustee election on Wednesday — and, now, also held on Thursday according to DOE ‘hidden’ memo.

There is supposed to be an election in schools this Wednesday for the TRS pension board election. The big problem is that an overwhelming amount of teachers and principals/school administrators have received little to no notification about the election process that the DOE is proposing.

There was a backdated memo released on the DOE backend web pages that reportedly some superintendents received on Thursday morning. And the DOE posted a blurb about their proposed process on its back room intranet, called InfoHub, seemingly late Friday, after most teachers went home for the day. Yet, again, to this date teachers and other TRS members will tell you that no direct email or notification has come from the DOE or their principals about the election, the candidates or its process.

The matter is further complicated since the DOE’s proposed process for this week’s election contradicts the process outlined in the law that spells out what the process must look like.

Call to Action

🚨 Most of the active teachers have little to no details about the election process for this Wednesday’s election for teacher-member for our TRS pension board.

We need to email the chancellor and his liason about this!

Here are their emails:

Rodi Katherine - KRodi@schools.nyc.gov

DOE Chancellor David C. Banks- NYCChancellor@schools.nyc.gov

CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos - Chancellorcommunications@cuny.edu


Michael Mulgrew, UFT President - mmulgrew@uft.org

Beth Norton, UFT legal counsel - bnorton@uft.org

Elizabeth Vladek, DOE legal counsel - evladek@schools.nyc.org

Jumaane Williams, NYC Public Advocate - gethelp@advocate.nyc.gov

Find a sample email template you can tweak to email them.



My name is (name) and I am working at (your school). I have been working for the NYCPS since ….

I’d like to know how TRS members will be able to have their voices heard in the first election in over thirty years for TRS teacher member trustee. I understand the vote has been extended to May 9th. Who is responsible for making sure that all members of TRS get an opportunity to vote? Why are so many of us not aware of this election and its details? Why are so many principals and administrators also unaware of the details and their roles in conducting this process?

Lastly, will the proposed election process comply with the law — namely city Admin code 13-507?

Our pensions are an important conversation for all of us. This election should provide spaces for this discussion. Also, it’s important that the process is done properly or it can adversely affect the taxpayers as well.

Please let us know as soon as possible.


Below, find the DOE memo that has not been effectively communicated to the voting TRS members. Adding to the chaos, the UFT leadership sent out an email, yesterday, sharing election process details that don’t exactly align with the DOE’s proposed plans. It’s leading to more confusion and questions.

There are reports that the UFT and the Ben Morgenroth campaign have brought the issue to the DOE and, separately, have filed formal complaints.

No comments: