This is a summary of the DA from November 8th, which had a celebratory tone after the overwhelming victory of the No on Prop 1 campaign which could have negatively affected teachers’ pensions and right. Please note that the discussion below does not imply agreement by UFT Solidarity’s council or members and is merely informative.
-We must carry the momentum from the successful No on Proposition 1/Con Con fight forward to Janus fight. We are doing a door knocking campaign to encourage staying in the union and paying our dues. We need an on site person to be in charge of educating members about the Janus Case in each school.
-Pro worker and pro public education candidates won last night, all voucher bills defeated in several states. Some of the most onerous school boards were defeated also. People are waking up and getting tired of policies and politicians that harm neighborhood public schools.
-We need to help Puerto Rico get fresh water. Water filters are necessary. We have worked with the manufacturer of water filters to purchase large filters for Puerto Rican families at cost, $30 each, and ship them to San Juan with local dockworkers union members unpacking them. This saves money because we are working directly with union brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, not going through a middleman.
-UFT is supporting an anti bullying initiative, DOE is acting slowly to support it but not doing enough.
-UFT members and school safety were first on the scene during the terror attack in Lower Manhattan.
-UFT is going to support paid family leave but not if they charge us more than the benefit is worth. We need to bargain for it but not get ripped off. Teachers have long faced discrimination for becoming pregnant, must continue the struggle.
Q- Are principals allowed to requrie us to place lesson plans in a folder on our classroom door for collection?
A- No, routinized collection is not allowed and lesson plans are by and for the teacher. File an excessive paperwork complaint if this continues.
Q- What do you recommend as far as educating members about the Janus case and organizing for it? The state convention vote was simpler because we had an easy to understand slogan and goal, Vote No, but we can’t really successfully protest and picket against the Supreme Court.
A- Very good and important question, thank you. The main push right now is to remind people that all the benefits and rights that we have as a union will erode if people opt out and stop paying dues. There will be a lot of propaganda stating that workers should opt out of unions and give themselves a tax cut, but higher medical premiums and eventually lower salary will take all of that away.
Celebrating 1960 strikers who built this union, supporting Gothamist and DNAinfo journalists who’ve been fired due to a corporate takeover, both resulotions passed.