Open Letter to Mike Mulgrew from New York Teachers for Choice (NYTFC)
Update 12-30-20: We sued NYC DOE over this issue and have settled the case. Learn about KANE vs. NYC DOE HERE
Dear UFT President Michael Mulgrew:
When NYC teachers and students are forced to give swab samples during random COVID testing starting October 1st, can those swabs be used for something other than testing for the novel coronavirus? So far UFT has provided no answer to this question.
The agreement published on the UFT’s website titled “School Testing Policy Agreement” has zero protections for teachers or students regarding what their DNA can and cannot be used for.
This is a concern because Fulgent Genetics – the company NYC has contracted with to do the massive unprecedented testing – owns a “proprietary reference library of genetic information,” according to a 2017 SEC filing from the company. This means they profit off of harvesting DNA samples, and the mandatory testing program they will be running in NYC schools is a treasure trove of new DNA samples.
NYTFC members have reached out to their UFT District Reps asking if our rights to our own DNA has been protected in the UFT’s agreement with NYC. Those individuals received no answers. So we need to go straight to the head:
Michael Mulgrew – is the DNA of teachers and students, which we are forced to give to Fulgent Genetics if asked, protected from uses beyond the coronavirus test itself? Or did you allow Mayor De Blasio and NYC to use our rights to our own DNA as a part of their negotiation with Fulgent Genetics?
And someone needs to ask the mayor as well:
Mayor De Blasio – is the DNA of teachers and students, which we are forced to give to Fulgent Genetics if asked, protected from uses beyond the coronavirus test? Or did you negotiate away our rights to our own DNA to get a better price on the testing program?
This is crucial information, and the clock is ticking. We hope a timely public response to union membership, as well as to parents and families, will be forthcoming immediately.
New York Teachers for Choice (NYTFC)
The above open letter was emailed to all of the below UFT officers, Vice Presidents & UFT Health & Safety at 2pm on September 13, 2020.
- Michael Mulgrew, President, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Sill, Assistant Secretary, email@example.com
- Debra Penny, Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org
- LeRoy Barr, Secretary, email@example.com
- Tom Brown, Assistant Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org
UFT Health & Safety
UFT vice presidents
- MaryJo Ginese, Vice President for Special Education, email@example.com
- Karen Alford, Vice President for Elementary Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Evelyn DeJesus, Vice President for Education, email@example.com
- Anne Goldman, Vice President for Non-DOE Members, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Janella Hinds, Vice President for Academic High Schools, email@example.com
- Richard Mantell, Vice President for Middle Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sterling Roberson, Vice President for Career and Technical Education, email@example.com
Sign our petition – NY Teachers Against Vaccine Mandates for Educators http://chng.it/NfSGhmfL (over 3,600 signatures so far, and rising!)