Our dear Unity leaders published a handy dandy Q/A chock full of reasons why this move was necessary. Unfortunately, they are all lies. On the bright side, Mr. Talk is here to translate Unity's gobbledegook into plain English for you....Accountable Talk blog savages Unity: Q and A on Losing Vacation Days to Hurricane Sandy (A MUST READ - SEE SAMPLE BELOW).
I have internet back so expect a deluge bigger than from Sandy -- or Diane Ravitch.
I posted on the make-up day issue: A Debate on Make-Up Days
NYC Educator says in: The Law Is the Law, Says UFT Leadership
However, there is another way to waive the requirement. This, apparently, escaped the attention of whoever wrote the UFT Q and A. The State Legislature can vote to do so, and in fact did so as recently as last year. In fact, on November 1st, they were considering just that.
James Eterno has 2 posts:School districts would face a loss of state aid if they were to have fewer than 180 days of classes. Lawmakers said they would look to modify the law to hold school districts downstate harmless because of the extended school closures caused by the devastation from Sandy.
WE CAN EASILY MAKE UP THE LOST SANDY TIME WITHOUT LOSING VACATION OR INSTRUCTION
Followed by a response to the UFT Q and A.
I STAND BY MY MATH-More details on James' post here:
COMMENTARY ON UFT Q & A ON LOST VACATION DAYS
The Union has produced a Question and Answer sheet pertaining to the three days of vacation time that we are surrendering from the midwinter break because we missed days due to super-storm Sandy. The Q and A explains some of our dilemma but not everything.
We posted Arthur Goldstein's great letter which was also posted by MORE.
On Make-Up Days: Dear Mr. Mulgrew
Apparently the make-up days have triggered a beyond fed-up attitude amongst some bloggers. I posted about that here:
RBE: I've Had It. No More Mulgrew: Vote for Change in New York City
One thing you might remember as you work on those 3 vacation days that we won in contract negotiations years ago, they will be in the middle of the UFT election campaign -- ballots go out around March 1 or so.
You might try sharing something like what Unity Must Go sent out to the staff - people do forget so do this often but that Feb week would be a perfect time.
I am a Chapter Leader and fed up with UNITY caucus. I thought I'd share an e-mail I just sent to my Chapter this morning."I’ve had some wonderful conversations around the building about the job our union leadership is doing for us. One party, UNITY, controls our union. Their entire modus operandi appears to be stay in power and spend your dues. If you are tired of the constant lack of apparent foresight, bad decisions and leadership of our union there is only one party to blame, them. There are alternative parties officially recognized by our union. They are made up of rank and file educators tired of the BS. In the last election they garnered over 4,000 votes! You are not alone if you feel helpless against your own union. I encourage you to learn a little something about the alternative parties and their candidates and to consider casting your vote for them in this February’s UFT elections. Maybe, just maybe some good can come from Sandy and real teachers can take back some control of our own destiny rather than sit back and let UNITY sell us out again and again. Here is some information and a few links to help you get started. I encourage you to read this entire e-mail. "I then cut and pasted much of what i have been reading on NYCeducator, Ednotes etc with a little editing. I strongly encourage MORE, ICE & GEM to jump on the anger that's out there towards our union. This is your opportunity now get your message out there.
SAMPLE FROM AT PARSE OF Q/A:
Why did we have to give up part of our midwinter break? There had to be better alternatives.
First of all, we didn’t have the power to negotiate over whether or not to give up days. (We only have 120,000 members and 125 million of your dollars, which means we'd have to do something and cut back on our croissant expenditures to fight this) State law requires that we make up those days. The discussions we had with the DOE were only about which days to use. (We forgot to bring the subject up) The state requires a minimum number of 180 instructional days and this school year, we were close to that minimum given how the holidays fell.(The number of days this year was an act of God. The hurricane was not. Oh, wait...) If this were last year, when we had 186 days in the school calendar, we would have been able to absorb the lost time. (It would have been a LOT harder to give those days away last year, so we're glad it happened this year) We are dealing with this issue because we have the maximum vacation time in this year’s calendar. (We couldn't even make you work extra PD this June like we did last year!) The union explored every possible option (rolling on our backs with our feet in the air, hoping to get our bellies scratched)
MORE AT: Q and A on Losing Vacation Days to Hurricane Sandy