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united federation of teachers
the tenure track
May 5, 2017
For New York City teachers applying for tenure, success remains far from assured
Sixty-four percent of eligible teachers earned tenure last year. That's down from 97 percent a decade ago.
a new face
April 11, 2017
For the first time, the state teachers union will be headed by a New York City educator
"We’re going to play a role in pretty much everything."
March 17, 2017
After explosive allegations of anti-union intimidation, KIPP files a federal lawsuit against the UFT
Earlier this year, the UFT claimed KIPP threatened to fire teachers who didn't vote to decertify the union.
I'm with him
February 8, 2017
UFT endorses de Blasio for re-election, saying they are headed for ‘another war’
The city’s teachers union announced Wednesday that it endorsed Mayor Bill de Blasio's bid for re-election, and vowed to battle with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
January 19, 2017
UFT files labor complaint against KIPP charter school
"The UFT has never been involved in our school or raised any issues or concerns before now."
January 9, 2017
Trump’s voucher plan would strip funding from over 1,200 schools in New York City, union analysis shows
"The damage would spread through the system, raising class sizes even in non-Title I schools, threatening academic enrichment programs, guidance, art and music."
December 21, 2016
In a win for the UFT, city reaches deal that moves further away from evaluating teachers based on multiple-choice tests
The city plans to use the new evaluation system this school year.
November 10, 2016
How the nation’s largest local teachers union is responding to a Trump future — ‘no choice… but to fight’
"In the months and years ahead, we are going to face some of the greatest challenges that this union and its members have ever faced," Mulgrew wrote.
October 17, 2016
NAACP’s call to stop charter schools’ growth reignites debate in New York City
“If something is working, why take it away from people?”
a little push
October 12, 2016
New York City’s teachers union says it’s time for ‘positive friction’ with city
“We’re not going to get to the results we want unless there’s a lot of positive friction,” he told Chalkbeat.
October 7, 2016
UFT President Michael Mulgrew criticizes Common Core revisions
“We’re not happy with what we’ve seen so far,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said about the state's revisions to Common Core.
October 6, 2016
Teachers explain how Common Core changes could impact their classrooms
How would the Common Core revisions affect classrooms across New York state? To find out, we turned to the experts: teachers.
September 20, 2016
Union pushing more ‘authentic’ assessments in teacher evaluations
What will teacher evaluations look like this year? Details in the city's negotiations with the union are starting to emerge.
still the president
May 27, 2016
UFT president Michael Mulgrew wins re-election with 76 percent of the vote
In a widely expected result, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew was re-elected to a third term as head of the city’s teachers union.
April 15, 2016
As New York reconsiders Common Core, UFT organizes teachers to suggest changes
The United Federation of Teachers has been organizing meetings of a few dozen educators to unpack the Common Core learning standards.
a more perfect union
April 4, 2016
For teachers unions, budget is more proof of a pendulum shift in New York education policy
The charter sector is excited about a funding boost, while the unions are relishing an ideological shift borne out in newfound support for “community schools.”
December 23, 2015
City teachers could see paid parental leave next year
Mayor de Blasio said the city is poised to “immediately enter talks” with the municipal unions like the UFT to extend the benefit.
Counting Class Size
October 19, 2015
Nearly 1,000 fewer classes are overcrowded this year, according to union survey
An annual union survey found that 5,485 classes were overcrowded at the start of the school year, down from 6,447 last year.
May 26, 2015
City doubles number of PROSE schools as program enters second year
Nearly 130 schools will be able to experiment with changes to class sizes, school scheduling, and teacher evaluations through the PROSE program in the next school year.
May 5, 2015
Why city’s unions aren’t fighting Fariña’s school-merger plan
Fariña’s broader plan would share characteristics of the school closures that elicited outrage during the Bloomberg years, with key changes.
March 19, 2015
Amid struggling schools debate, Council members praise early changes at Boys and Girls
The City Council education committee said the city's school turnaround plan needs time to spur improvements, but one school is being lauded as an early success story.
onward to albany
March 4, 2015
In Albany, two very different education advocacy events unfold
Here's what the day has looked like, from the people headed upstate to rally and lobby themselves.
February 19, 2015
New database estimates how much schools are missing from equity settlement
Advocates for school funding equity have launched a new website to show families and the public exactly how much money their school or district is due but not receiving each year under a years-old legal settlement whose terms have yet to be fulfilled.
January 30, 2015
UFT moves quickly to build coalition with a clear target: Cuomo
The union is moving fast to beat back education policies that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing.
November 21, 2014
Mulgrew joins charter leaders’ calls for city to release school enrollment data
Michael Mulgrew joined with charter school leaders in calling on the city to provide student discharge data for district and charter schools.
November 17, 2014
After flood of teacher retirements, UFT and city settle dispute over backpay
An arbitrator’s decision, announced Monday, means that the city won’t have to set aside any more than the $180 million already apportioned in this year’s budget to pay the retirees. The United Federation of Teachers agreed to let the arbitrator come up with a package of cost-saving measures that would adjust the $5.5 billion contract agreement to find $60 million in savings to pay members who retired by July.
October 28, 2014
Cuomo's vow on teacher evals prompts flip-flop charge
Union leaders and educators from around the state pounced on Cuomo for remarks deriding teacher unions and promoting charter schools. Their reactions ranged from confusion and anger.
October 6, 2014
New TV ad from UFT presents rosier view of public schools
After a week of charter school advocates highlighting the public school system’s failures, the United Federation of Teachers is offering a rosier view in a new…
Counting Class Size
September 30, 2014
Quietly, UFT reports that classroom overcrowding is getting worse
In a shift indicative of the new working relationship between city government and the teachers union, the number of overcrowded classes was noted only in an article in the union’s internal newspaper, New York Teacher. And rather than report overcrowded classes at their peak, the story says 3,500 classes exceeded limits — a number from after the city had already begun to reduce overcrowding.
June 3, 2014
At vote-counting, a snapshot of the final step in UFT contract sign-off
Nearly 60 people bunched into long conference tables in a lower Manhattan basement are working through more than 80,000 ballots that will decide the outcome of the city's contract with the United Federation of Teachers.
May 16, 2014
Ballots out in UFT contract vote; results due by June 3
Two weeks after the city and teachers union announced a contract deal, rank-and-file members of the United Federation of Teachers are getting a chance…
May 8, 2014
De Blasio's first budget kicks in aid for after-school programs and arts education
In his first executive budget presentation on Thursday, de Blasio announced a $73.9 billion spending plan that he said was built with an eye on schools and improving educational opportunities for the city’s highest-need students and their families.
May 6, 2014
Teacher salaries to range from $54,411 to $119,565 in new contract, UFT says
Starting salaries for a first-year New York City teacher will increase to $54,411 by 2018, up from $45,530 this year, according to a salary…
May 6, 2014
How the last 20 years of New York City teachers union contracts came to be
Politics, not expiration dates, dictate when teachers union contract deals are struck and what they contain. Here's an interactive look back at how that pattern has played out over the last 20 years.
April 26, 2014
Warm words between mayor and union chief amid contract negotiations
After that gushing introduction, Mayor Bill de Blasio rode a wave of cheers onstage before launching into a speech to teachers at…
April 26, 2014
Fariña hints at changes to arts ed, high school admissions at UFT talk
Chancellor Carmen Fariña didn't make any specific policy announcements during a wide-ranging discussion with UFT President Michael Mulgrew at the union's annual conference. But she hinted that big changes were coming.
Back (Pay) Talk
March 14, 2014
News of unusual back pay proposal draws mixed reactions
On the one hand, some said, the proposal to spread more than $3 billion in retroactive raises over a nine-year contract offers the city an affordable payment option, while creating some budget stability. But on the other hand, critics said, the deal could set a damaging pattern for other unions while still requiring serious givebacks from the teachers.
Raising the Issue
March 13, 2014
As union negotiates new contract, leader says teachers seek better pay
As the head of the teachers union negotiates a new contract with the city, he started to make a public case Wednesday for higher teacher pay.
January 6, 2014
Once a skeptic, Mulgrew endorses Mayor de Blasio’s pre-K tax
The union boss is backing de Blasio's proposal pre-kindergarten tax plan after dismissing it during the mayoral campaign.
December 2, 2013
With an eye on de Blasio, UFT finally signs onto teacher grants
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio with UFT President Michael Mulgrew at the union's endorsement announcement earlier this year. With Mayor Bloomberg on his way out, there's been a small crack in the icy relationship between the city education department and the teachers union. The thaw is taking place over a $12 million grant that the city is eligible for to fund new ways to develop, retain and compensate top teachers. The purpose is to improve teacher retention in high-poverty schools, where turnover is most acute. After holding out for months, the United Federation of Teachers signed off on a grant application that the Department of Education submitted just ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline today. Signatures from the teachers and principals unions were required, but the UFT had declined to offer one for months. Over the summer, Chancellor Dennis Walcott blamed the UFT's unwillingness to support the grant bid on union intransigence. Education officials accused the union of trying to negotiate work benefits that were unrelated to the grant. But a lot has changed since then, most notably the election of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who takes over next month after campaigning as an anti-Bloomberg candidate.
October 21, 2013
UFT files 17 formal grievances over teacher evaluations rollout
After months of warnings and weeks of grumblings about how New York City is rolling out its new teacher evaluation system, the United Federation of Teachers has filed its first set of official grievances against the implementation. The grievances cover a wide range of issues, from how many people enter classrooms during observations, which make up 60 percent of teachers' ratings, to how principals decided which assessments would be used to measure student growth. The union contends that on each count, practices that are widespread across the city violate what State Education Commissioner John King intended when he imposed New York City's evaluation system back in June. Complaints came in from so many teachers, chapter leaders, and union officials working directly with schools that they "met the criteria for being systematic," UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.
October 10, 2013
UFT calls for moratorium on high stakes for Common Core tests
City schools are just a few months into implementing new teacher evaluations, but the teachers union is already hoping to slow things down. Citing the many schools that still have incomplete curriculum materials that students will be expected to master to pass the 2014 state tests, the United Federation of Teachers wants a moratorium on using the exams to make any high-stakes decisions for both students and teachers. The union's request, which came Wednesday night and just weeks before the legislature hosts a hearing on state education policies in New York City, would require Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Albany lawmakers to make yet another change to the state's teacher evaluation law. "We're 15 percent through the school year and this is still a complete mess," said UFT President Michael Mulgrew, referring to the lack of materials. "We have no choice but to go in this direction."
October 3, 2013
Undisclosed UFT robocalls raise new campaign questions
City Councilman Robert Jackson pictured with Speaker Christine Quinn and UFT President Michael Mulgrew in 2011 on the first day of school. The super PAC for the city teachers union may have violated campaign finance rules by not disclosing spending details for a robocall sent to voters during the 2013 primary elections, GothamSchools has found. A Sept. 8 phone message touting Robert Jackson's education credentials was paid for by the union's independent expenditure group, called United for the Future, according to a recording of the call obtained by GothamSchools from a Manhattan voter who received the message. Jackson, who at the time was enmeshed in a tight primary for Manhattan Borough President, had received the United Federation of Teachers' endorsement. But the union failed to disclose the call to the city's Campaign Finance Board, a requirement designed to improve transparency around spending by outside interest groups. The union reported spending only $12,234 on Jackson for a mailer sent on Sept. 6, filings show. “I think it raises serious questions,” said Alex Camarda, director of public policy at Citizens Union, a good government organization. "What about all the other candidates that the UFT endorsed?" Camarda added. "This might not be limited to just Robert Jackson."
August 30, 2013
At $1.5 million, UFT leads all outside groups in election spending
The teachers union accelerated its political spending this month, pouring nearly $1 million into the campaigns of Bill Thompson and other candidates who received the union's endorsement. The political committee set up for the United Federation of Teachers, called United for the Future, has so far spent just over $1.5 million on the 2013 elections, campaign filings show. Most has been spent on Thompson, but nearly $300,000 also went to local city council races and $28,000 toward comptroller. The union is one of several independent groups that have registered with the city's Campaign Finance Board under new transparency laws that require outside groups to disclose how they're spending money during the campaign. The expenditures are permitted as long as they are made without input or communication with campaigns. So far, 14 such groups have filed spending with the campaign finance board, and the teachers union has been the biggest spender. The next highest spender at $1.3 million is Jobs for New York, Inc., a real estate-backed committee that's focused on local races.
August 8, 2013
UFT's one-month political spending on Thompson totals $580k
The city teachers union spent more than half a million dollars in less than a month on the campaign trail to support Bill Thompson's mayoral candidacy, new filings show. The money has paid for more than a dozen mass communication and canvassing campaigns, including several mailings, robo calls, and a radio spot. The United Federation of Teachers is required to disclose certain details about how it's spending money on the local elections, according to campaign finance laws that were enacted last year. The union's political activities are being managed through a new political committee called United For The Future, which was filed on July 12. The rules also require organizations to disclose the source of their funding and, according to the UFT's filing, the union appears to have received funding from itself. A political action committee called Educators United, which is registered to 52 Broadway, the same address where the UFT is headquartered, contributed $1 million on Aug. 1. The UFT endorsed Thompson in June and has vowed to spend millions to back him in a crowded Democratic primary and general elections. It's the first open mayoral election since school governance was given to the mayor's office and education has been a major issue throughout the campaign.
August 1, 2013
De Blasio says UFT snub makes him tougher on contract talks
Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is casting his lack of support from municipal unions — including the teachers union — as a good thing for the city, saying it'll make him a tougher negotiator if he sits down with labor leaders to hammer out new contracts as mayor. "I am unburdened by the support of the municipal labor unions," de Blasio said this morning at an event at the CUNY Institute for Education Policy. The comments are significant coming from de Blasio, the city's public advocate, who positioned himself as a labor-friendly candidate early on in the Democratic primary. He was among the candidates who jockeyed for the United Federation of Teachers endorsement, but was passed over for former comptroller Bill Thompson. "I know Mr. Mulgrew very well," de Blasio said, referring to UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "He's someone that I work well with, but he obviously went with another choice." Negotiating the teachers union contract is one of the biggest education issues in the mayoral election. The UFT has made it clear that one of its sticking points is securing up to $3 billion in retroactive pay for the years since the teachers' contract expired. Back pay for more than 100 labor organizations without contracts adds up to roughly $7 billion, according to city budget estimates.
July 30, 2013
Voters' mailboxes get pro-Thompson spread touting education
The opening spread of a Bill Thompson education mailer sent out by a new committee called United for the Future. A political mailer hailing Bill Thompson's education credentials is being sent out by a new political action committee with some vaguely familiar initials. The committee, United For The Future, hasn't yet registered with the city's campaign finance board and won't have to do so until next month's deadline. A spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers declined to comment, but as Politicker points out (among other things), the committee was filed with the state's Board of Elections last month by Paul Egan, the UFT's political director. The UFT has endorsed Thompson and promised to back him with millions of dollars to support his candidacy, including advertising buys. The glossy, four-page spread, which opens up to a large picture of the former comptroller and four black and white images of city life, is a sign of the surge of ads and direct communications that is expected to flood voters' televisions, radios, mailboxes and Facebook feeds in the next 43 days before the Democratic and Republican primaries. Much of the spending will come from outside interest groups working independently of candidates.
July 29, 2013
Classroom spending totals finalized for teachers
Teachers will get reimbursed for the first $57 that they spend out of their own pockets on classroom supplies, according to totals posted…
July 22, 2013
Latest dispute with UFT could cost city $15 million in grants
UPDATE (7:30 p.m.): The deadline for the city Department of Education to submit a grant application to the State Education Department came and went with no signature from union president Michael Mulgrew. Read our update here. The Department of Education has until 5:00 p.m. to get Michael Mulgrew's signature for a grant application that could bring in as much as $15 million in funding for professional development and other teacher training resources. Today is the deadline for districts to apply to New York's Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Grants, a $72 million pot of money from the state's $700 million in Race to the Top winnings. The grants are designed to encourage districts to develop policies to better retain and reward teachers — often through higher pay — who receive top ratings on their evaluations. Some of the grants were finalized earlier this year, but a second round totals $49 million, 30 percent of which — or $15 million — New York City qualifies for. Applications require sign-off from the teachers union, but city education officials accused United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew on Sunday afternoon of ambushing the process to secure unrelated job benefits. They said that a final offer was rejected by union leaders on Thursday evening. "By refusing to sign the grant and inserting unrelated issues at the eleventh hour, the UFT is once again hurting the students and schools of New York City," Walcott said in a statement on Sunday. City officials said they already offered some concessions to the union as part of negotiations over the grant, including a request that the proposal allot more money that went directly to schools for professional development. But they said the union also wanted reduced paper work, a persistent gripe that both teachers and principals say have taken away from their ability to focus on instructional practice.
June 18, 2013
In a polarized education climate, Bill Thompson appeals to all
Bill Thompson stumped at an education event earlier this year. Thompson, seen as a strong contender for the UFT's endorsement this week, has also cozied up to charter school advocates during the primary season. Even as Bill Thompson has continued to criticize the Bloomberg administration's education policies, he has courted the mayor's education allies. Thompson has privately dined with charter school backers and assuaged their fears about what his mayoralty would mean for them. He's taken thousands of dollars in campaign donations from a Success Academy board member and won the fundraising support of Merryl Tisch, a top state education official who helped expand the charter school sector. Most recently, he has distanced himself from some Democratic rivals by refusing to oppose a key education policy that the Bloomberg administration has used to help non-union charter schools thrive. Thompson has managed to stay in favor with these groups even while getting support from Randi Weingarten, an old friend, and emerging as a favorite to get the United Federation of Teachers endorsement, which is scheduled to come on Wednesday (The principals union, a close UFT ally, is endorsing him on Tuesday). His ability to cultivate support from advocates who are often at odds with one another on education is a testament to his political savvy and his experience as a schools policymaker in New York City, political observers say.
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