Like not getting to talk about how your principal violates the contract daily and you are left helpless?
We have decided to follow in the footsteps of my esteemed colleague, George Schmidt of Substance and Chicago fame, and organize Hardcore Contract Training for chapter leaders, delegates and anyone else interested in exploring the depths of the UFT contract and how to defend it against attacks by your school administration.
Now I know almost nothing at this time about the contract, but MORE has a core of experts who would volunteer to assist. My role is merely getting people together -- like the social director of a cruise ship -- and let's hope we are not rearranging those deck chairs on the Titanic.
We had a planning meeting the other day and some very sharp brains were in the room batting ideas around -- while I ate my giant bowl of rice pudding with whip cream. Here is what they came up with:
· Identify a core of people with extensive knowledge of the contract. Different people can become “experts” on different areas of the contract and be the GO TO person.Well, if you have any interest in this email me and I'll send you something to fill out. You can sign up as a trainer or a trainee or to be a video star.
· Identify the major pillars of the contract to focus on.
· Offer training for MORE activists and supporters who are interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the contract taught by experts within the MORE community.
· Reach out a wider net to those considering running for chapter leader or delegate in the spring 2015 elections.
· Create a series of well-produced short videos on the most important contract items.
· Hold a series of well-advertised drop-in “Contract Training” in local communities underserved by the UFT (the entire city).
· Explore methods of protecting the contract using non-traditional means – going beyond the UFT recommended “file a grievance”- ie, how to use political organizing tools, including social media.
Now I imagine that the minute the Unity slugs read this they will either claim they are already doing this (thus all the people who contact me saying they don't) or announce something -- when all they have to do is use their monthly District rep meetings to focus on the needs of the schools instead of their own claptrap. If I hear that actually happens in most districts I will applaud. But me thinks it will be more like the UFT Titanic.