Tag Archive: teachers

May 24 2012

Meng Passes UFT Test With Flying Colors

Meng gets an A and a powerful boost in her campaign courtesy of the UFT.

Meng receives a powerful Union endorsement.


PRESS RELEASE: The United Federation of Teachers announced its recommendation of Grace Meng’s candidacy to the New York State United Teachers for the newly drawn 6thCongressional District.The union claims a statewide membership of over 600,000 members and represents teachers, professors, healthcare professionals and day care providers.

Assemblywoman Meng said,

Nothing is more important than ensuring all of our children receive an A+ education. That’s why I am honored and humbled to receive the recommendation of the United Federation of Teachers – a union which has done so much for our students, teachers and public education system. I am hopeful to earn the support of the New York State United Teachers in the coming days and look forward to continuing the fightfor healthy and safe learning environments for students, securing the necessary resources our teachers deserve and advocating for a first-rate education in all of our schools as a representative in Congress.

The UFT is one of New York’s largest and most politically engaged unions, boasting an extensive media apparatus, direct communication capabilities and an active and dedicated membership. The union has demonstrated considerable electoral strength in Queens in recent elections by playing a pivotal role in the elections and re-elections of Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder and Senator Shirley Huntley.

With over 13,000 UFT households in the 6th Congressional district, the UFT’s support is arguably the most coveted union endorsement in the race for the newly drawn NY-6.

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You can probably guess why Liz Crowley didn’t get the endorsement.

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/05/teachers-back-meng-uft/

Oct 20 2011

UFT Spox Feels Optimistic About Chancellor Walcott

I was at the Clinton Democratic Club and our guest speaker of the evening was Queens Coordinator of the UFT, Dermot Smyth who came to give an update on city schools. He gave us the straight scoop.

Budget cuts, overcrowding, increasing parental involvement, and decentralizing an out-of-touch bureaucracy at the DOE were the primary concerns amidst a room packed with civic leaders and concerned parents.

His comments give us an inside look at what the UFT has been advocating, and he makes some valid points:

 

Dermot Smyth, Queens Coordinator of the UFT addressed the Clinton Democratic Club. See what he has to say on a host of issues with this QP exclusive report.

On Overcrowding:

“In order to serve our students we need a smaller group in the classroom. We have 20,000 new students coming in and less teachers.”

On Community Outreach:

“We have to strengthen community alliances and work with parents in tandem.”

 On Mayor Bloomberg:

“We cannot allow the Mayor to play politics with our children’s education”

“Bloomberg sold to the public that he’s done a great job. He hasn’t.”

“He’s pro-education, Pro-Bloomberg”

 On Chancellor Dennis Walcott:

“We have a chance because he [Dennis] will listen, he’s changed the tone.”

He stood with us. He talks about Dial-a-Teacher where students can call up for homework help for free.”

“Yes he has to do Bloomberg’s bidding, but I’m optimistic.”

On Former Chancellor Joel Klein:

“Disengage was Joe’s policy.”

On Priorities of Budget Cuts:

“When money has dried-up, we must protect our children –  we should do without, the city is not in as bad of a financial state as the Mayor makes it out to be. How is it fare to put kids on the pipeline?”’

On The Current Role of The DOE:

“Centralization from on high is wrong.”

 On Future Prospectus:

“More fights are down the pipeline. I rep teachers and they have already been cut to the bone”

We need new revenue sources.”

On Role of UFT:

“We will stand with you to protect our schools.”

A Call To Action:

“We need to standup and work together with elected officials so stand with us and protect our children.”

We have to protect our schools as a community institution.”

Outrage

Smyth answered questions from parents dissatisfied with the response of their concerns to the DOE. Joe Vaccarro, a Clinton Democratic Club Member, spoke of a personal experience trying to illicit a response from the central bureaucracy.

“We had every parent write a letter and the Mayors advance team didn’t even show up”.

With what Vaccarro believes to be a boilerplate response, 

“The Mayor told us to go to hell – in a nice way,” he said.

Smyth responded with a sense of empathy to Vaccarro’s concerns.

“The Central BOE is blamed with blanket decisions. It is not looked at from a community standpoint,” according to Smyth.

Darren Kaplan of College Point was outraged with “Phantom Busses” that due to nothing less than an out-of-touch centralized bureaucracy have become a mismanaged resource. Under the present policy, students are denied entry to near empty yellow school busses for no other reason than red tape. The situation is compounded by poor logistical planning by the DOE.

“Even if there’s only three students on the bus,” he said with emphasis,

“My kid has been denied entry, she can’t get to school. There is no junior high or high school in College Point, 194 in Whitestone — is the only one, and they can’t get to it under these conditions.”

“On the night before school started at 5:30 PM, I got a recorded voicemail from the principal: No bus service for 7th and 8th graders.”

“They suggested I give my 13 year old five bucks to take the city bus!”

This is outrageous. But luckily at the Clinton Democratic Club, I counted at least 16 civic and labor leaders. President Paul Vallone encouraged us to take the message back to our respective clubs and organizations. Dermot gave out his contact information to all of the attendees. There was also some scuttlebut about Occupy The Bus Stop at JHS 194. There was a lot of networking and our members did a great job expressing their specific concerns to Smyth who will take the message back to the UFT.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/10/uft/


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