Mulgrew Addresses 20,000 UFT Members on September 2021 School Re-Opening

***Come to NY UNIONS FOR CHOICE PROTEST 8-25-21 learn more HERE***

by Michael Kane

COVID Testing

Forced Vaccination

Listen to entire town hall HERE


Today’s phone call from UFT President Michael Mulgrew was a mixed bag, but we did find out many important pieces of information. Here is the info at a glance:

  • COVID testing for children cannot be required in-school since NYC is not offering a remote option. UFT is bargaining to get a remote option
  • In-school COVID testing will still be made available to adults
  • Mulgrew signaled, but did not directly state, that adults can choose to get tested in-school or outside with choice of own medical provider.
  • Mulgrew stated, “You can’t say unvaccinated should not be allowed to work (in schools).”
  • Mulgrew stated details on testing will be “collectively bargained” (details below)
  • NYC only testing unvaccinated because they only have the capacity to do 85,000 tests a week.
  • Mulgrew said governments can mandate vaccination, said EUA status is irrelevant (which is challenged here), and invoked the often cited 1905 Jacobson case.
  • Mulgrew stated one of the “silver linings” of last year’s failure was that it is now definitive that in-person education is far superior to remote.

COVID Testing

I am very glad Mulgrew said the words “collective bargaining” in regards to COVID testing of educators. We sent him a list of demands yesterday and it looks as though Mulgrew will be pushing to secure much of what we have asked for. Seems that way, for now.

Most importantly he stated that while there would be an option to get COVID tested in school, he signaled outside testing may also be acceptable. This is one of the key areas TEACHERS FOR CHOICE is suing NYC DOE over in the case BUENO vs NYC DOE. That Article 78 petition has been in front of a judge approximately 80 days and we still don’t have a ruling as of yet.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that students cannot be force COVID tested in-school this year. The reason why is that in the case AVILES vs DE BLASIO the court ruled it was legal to kick children out of in-person education for not consenting to COVID testing because they were placed on remote learning. Since that is the only court decision on the matter thus far, it is effectively the law of the land, and NYC DOE has announced there will be no remote option this school year. Mulgrew stated UFT wants a limited remote option and he insinuated UFT is trying to use this to force children to continue COVID testing.

But how is that going to be possible when we have nearly 1 million students and testing capacity is for 85,000 per week?

Forced Vaccination

Mulgrew screamed early, and loudly, “THERE IS NO VACCINE MANDATE.” That is because his counterpart at NYSUT, Andy Pallotta, put out an outstanding statement yesterday saying NYSUT does not support vaccine mandates. That is what I want to hear from Mulgrew, and Randi Weingarten, but we didn’t get that.

Instead, what we got was Mulgrew’s interpretation of what his attorneys have told him about the famous 1905 Jacobson case. Mulgrew insisted this case has always held up in court for over a century to compel forced medical mandates. He did not mention that one of those mandates it upheld was forced sterilization of 70,000 individuals then called “imbeciles,” people whom today we would call intellectually disabled.

So clearly Jacobson has not always been perfectly applied.

He also didn’t mention many other major differences. Jacobson dealt with the smallpox vaccine which provides sterilizing immunity, the COVID vaccines do no such thing and no one is arguing that they do. The smallpox vaccine in Jacobson’s time had been around over a century. The COVID vaccines are barely 1 year old. Lastly Jacobson was never force vaccinated, but made to pay a fine of $5.

However I did appreciate when Mulgrew stated that people need to stop saying unvaccianted educators must be kicked out of school buildings. It is unfortunate, but in NYC such nonsensical, radical rhetoric is common from certain corners, so it is very important that Mulgrew pushed back against it. I thanked him via email for this earlier today.

Mulgrew also stated that everything he was talking about “is subject to change.”

6 thoughts on “Mulgrew Addresses 20,000 UFT Members on September 2021 School Re-Opening

  1. Michael thanks for the complete and succinct account of Mulgrew’s every significant statement today! Seems there may be hope – for the kids not having to get tested (unless he gets his way and they get a remote option), and also for us being able to choose our doctor for this – friggin nonsense (but some consolation, to keep our jobs for God’s sake:-). More court battles ahead to deal with the nonsense, God willing……



  2. Thank you for the summary and your tireless dedication to uphold human rights and dignity. Was on the call and what it shows is the power in numbers. We have to keep building that up so that there are more voices and remain vigilant, as there are many forces at play here and a complete lack of transparency and truthfulness from our leaders.


    1. Very good point Dean!

      I heard many times that Mulgrew “referenced” teachers for choice without saying our name. Our action alerts had an impact on him, for sure, and are forcing him to do his job to represent ALL union members.

      That does NOT MEAN we are going to get everything we want. But it does mean we will get some of it. If we are quiet we will get NADA!



  3. These totalitarians and their useful idiots need to stop citing and perverting the 1905 Jacobsen ruling. Jacobsen was never forcibly injected; the man paid a five dollar fine and went on his way.


  4. Did someone forget that the PCR tests were proven false??? They were recalled but unfortunately won’t be pulled till December. How that’s possible I don’t get. If Tylenol got recalled it’s off the shelves immediately, this test stays till December even though it was proven that it can’t tell the difference between the flu or covid. Our children, educators, and other staff should not be doing these tests! Mulgrew is a snake.


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