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New York Teacher

New York TeacherHighlights from the Oct. 15 issue of New York Teacher:

Two hundred and sixty new chapter leaders spent the weekend of Oct. 2-4 in Princeton, N.J., being trained by UFT instructors on issues ranging from the grievance procedure to how to organize to increase teacher voice.

The UFT’s two endorsed candidates for citywide office, John Liu for city comptroller and Bill de Blasio for public advocate, easily defeated their opponents in the Democratic Party primary runoff election where the organization and enthusiasm of UFT members made a huge impact.

Forty-eight thousand retired and Tier I and II in-service UFT members will soon receive lump-sum payments now that the state Supreme Court has signed off on the $160 million settlement of the UFT’s recent pension lawsuit.

In a move that UFT President Michael Mulgrew said New York City district-school parents would find “troubling,” the mayor announced a sweeping plan to double the number of charter schools in the city and bolster the services that charter school students receive.

While most students with disabilities attend community public schools, some 13 percent of these — those with severe and often multiple disabilities — receive specialized services from District 75 educators. And, often, with great results.

Under persistent pressure and legal threats from the UFT, the Department of Education has finally complied with the requirements of the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard that calls for employers to take specific measures to prevent or reduce worker exposure to blood and other infectious body fluids in the workplace.

The June 28 coup in Honduras that toppled the elected Manuel Zelaya government is meeting fierce resistance — and not just at home. New York’s Honduran population, including a number of UFT members, is mobilizing for democracy, too.

Students at Brooklyn’s PS 86 are overjoyed about being recipients for the past three years of a community program called Operation Backpack.