Saturday, July 30, 2016

MORE, Aug. 3, 3-6PM - Developing a Blueprint to Address the Power Imbalance Between UFT members and School Principals

The DOE gives principals a blueprint, what does the Unity/UFT give you?
Everyone knows that principal academy grads and other principals are prepped on how to take control of a school and they have access to DOE legal on a regular basis. How does the UFT equip our members to stand up to these onslaughts?

Hearing silence, I will continue. In fact UFT middle management either stands with the principals and superintendents or at best urges "find a way to get along."

MORE's summer series of 3 events (July 6, Aug 3, Aug 31) are focused on gut-level problems teachers are facing in their schools, mostly from abusive principals. I have been part of the crew at MORE pushing for some kind of chapter leader support group since the Unity Caucus led UFT has left so many of them hanging, especially since its cozy relationship to Farina, de Blasio and the CSA (supervisor union).

I envision this event as a sort of workshop where experienced people can advise others.

So even if experienced come on down to the Dark Horse this Wed at 3PM and lend a hand.

Look, MORE can only do so much -- analyze the situation and then help people formulate a plan to organize their school to fight a principal. Sometimes when I analyze a situation the best advice I can give is it is a losing battle so get out. But if there is a staff ready to fight - like our friends at Central Park East, then let's figure out how. It takes a lot of resources from a small group like MORE to support people in the schools --

MORE's new HS Exec Bd member Mike Schirtzer has taken charge of this event and that is a good thing since Mike gets it. I look forward to seeing him on the board.

Here is the MORE announcement:
Questions, problems, lack of support from the UFT leadership?
Your principal and APs have a plan developed with the DOE. You need a plan too!

Attend this MORE workshop on August 3 (3-6PM at the Dark Horse, 17 Murray Street NYC – downstairs).
Bring your colleagues and friends too!
Long-time MORE/New Action chapter leaders will analyze your situation and help you develop a strategy to fight back.
We will do case studies of various schools since each school is different.
How can you navigate the UFT/DOE structures by working with your members, staff, parents, local politicians and using the press.
How MORE can assist in not allowing the UFT to get away with ignoring the problems in your schools.
Holding the district rep and other union officials accountable.
Cataloguing and publishing the pattern of lack of responses from the union and the DOE.
https://www.facebook.com/events/570940976401102/
Principals come in with a plan – a blueprint – whether from the Leadership Academy – or advice from DOE Legal or from reading Machiavelli’s 16th century The Prince. Or maybe they are trained in the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC. They are often more interested in playing the power game, not education.
Teachers, especially chapter leaders who resist and become a major target – must deal with a UFT/Unity Caucus leadership that provides few if any tools or blueprints on how to counter these assaults.
While MORE has limited resources, we must jump into the breach and do what we can. At the very least people under attack should not feel they have to battle alone.

22 comments:

  1. Kudos to MORE for organizing this event and helping teachers raise their voice against abusive principals. Thanks for providing teachers with good advise and giving them necessary support in their fight against principals and superintendents.

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  2. You do realize the UFT offers monthly CL meetings with their respective DR's as well as courses for CL's and delegates at 52 and intensive weekend training courses on such topics grievances, health and safety, special complaints, SBO's, SLT's, consultation,budget, etc. Furthermore, the UFT supports its members and its CL's in many ways including utilizing the CBA. Articles 2 and 19 speak to union activities and rights of CL's. If any member is feeling harassed or abused a special complaint under article 23 should be filed.

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    1. You must be a comedian. Monthly dist rep ch Ldr meetings are all about the union agenda filtering down to the schools. No discussions of schools takes place at these meetings but o am urging people to demand these meetings be about helping them in their schools as a top priority.

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    2. I noticed how you dismissed the other trainings and chose to focus on the monthly DR meetings, erroneously I may add. If by "Union Agenda" you mean teaching chapter leaders about how to run SLT and Consultation meetings, how to build and strengthen their chapter, how to file grievances, how to deal with health and safety issues, what to do about harrassment, how to get services like certification and pension speakers into the school and many others. I know because I used to attend them. Nice try though.

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    3. We had almost 40 people at the more event many ch ldrs. The dist reps were almost universally trashed. They don't teach them shit because they see principals as their pals.

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  3. So there's over 1700 schools with over 1700 chapter leader's and an equal number of delegates if not more. Over a hundred thousand members in schools and "almost 40 people" showed up to the MORE blueprint event. Impressive.

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    1. So you have hundreds of chapter leaders and delegates in unity and could barely scratch out 2000 votes out of 19500 HS ballots debts out. Given our size and outreach vs yours our numbers trump - to coin a word - yours by a mile. Plus ours deal with the reality of a school system you guys have allowed to become a shambles with principal unfettered power. Show us how you guys defend these schools.

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    2. I wasn't aware that 19,500 HS members voted. Maybe you know something that everyone else doesn't? Unfortunately, we live in an age where many people just don't vote, whether it's in a presidential election or a local city council race and blaming anyone specifically why voter turnout is low is ridiculous. Most people just want to do their jobs and frankly give little thought into the politics that surrounds them. Maybe many are very happy with the status quo, if not they would be more involved in MORE or NAC or Solidarity. Your response that "almost 40 CL's trashed their DR" is both unfortunate and a minuscule amount. I hope they reach out to their respective Borough Reps and demand a higher quality and more substantive meetings. In terms of "shambles" you are dead wrong. The UFT is one of the strongest locals left in an age where unions are constantly under attack. Many other unions are in much worse shape like CTU for example where they are fighting for things we take for granted. Others have almost disappeared(NO) or are shrinking at lightning speed(Detroit, Wisconsin). I think UFT leadership has done an outstanding job over the last 20 years making sure we are a strong viable union who's members still have some of the best benefits and protections in the entire country. It actually frightens me to see just how extreme and dangerous some of your MORE colleagues' thinking is, like a James Enterno who was actively calling to decertify the HS's and form their own Union. Something which I know you disagree with. Finally, the UFT stands up for our members and our chapters everyday through representations, grievances, appeals, article 23 investigations and yes working with the DOE, superintendents and principals to solve problems including administrative removals.

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    3. 19500 eligible to vote. Don't you think if what you say is true you would have won the high schools by a landslide. Something must be wrong when 12000 people vote against you esp if you consider you got 88% of retiree votes.

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    4. I believe my premise was that most people just don't bother to vote ESPECIALLY if they are happy with the startus quo. It's the agitated people who tend to make sure they vote, like an angry YELP food critic. Garnering 20% of the total vote after combining two opposition caucuses is hardly earth shattering. I mean Trump is going to get almost double that and he's a total clown. That said, the UFT is going to continue to provide and expand services to all its members in order to make sure all our members feel satisfied, while providing the steady leadership that has made us the strongest educational Union in the country.

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    5. 20 % with 23000 retirees voting who are definitely not unhappy. 32% of teachers. That's a big chunk. And 27% of functionals who are not as pressured for the most part as much as teachers. And remember it is your gal Hillary running. If a rabbit were running trump would be buried.

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    6. Functionals aren't pressured as much as teachers? Glad to hear how they will be treated and respected in the MORE/NAC alliance. Let me tell you, functionals like paraprofessionals work as hard If not harder than anyone and under the most tying conditions. Social Workers and Psychologists that often sit in hospitals and police stations with the most challanging students in the system are not under pressure? Attendance teachers who go into the most dangerous areas in the city have less pressure than a teacher? I can ho on and on. All functionals feel pressure and all functionals are worthy of respect for the tremendous jobs they do everyday. Well, I can see where you are coming from now and I don't like it. I'll make sure my friends in the functionals know how your caucus feels about them.

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    7. That's my opinion not my caucus. Paras and secretaries are a different category. Lower paid with not as much job security. If you think tracers have less pressure than you do become a teacher.

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    8. Paras and secretaries are functionals as well as Guidance Counselors OT/PT's(who also have lower salaries and job protection) as well as nurses and a few others. Not sure what you mean by tracers but do understand that you have much less respect for SRP's who are an important part of the educational system.

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  4. What do you mean functionals are not as pressurized as teachers. How dare YOU! Do you even know what I DO???

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    1. Tell us what you do. The infantry of teaching is the classroom teacher especially the elementary self contained classroom teacher. I was in elem schools for 30 years. I know exactly what most of the jobs were. 30 kids in front of you all day esp when test scores can mean your job is the most pressured job. Now tell us about your pressures.

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  5. I'm a para for a severely disabled students they can't make eye contact or read or write some of them can't physically stand up they in wheel chairs. This year I was assigned to be a toileting para I help them go to the bathroom and clean them because they cant. Some of them are heavy and I got to lift them onto the toilet and off the toilet. My back always hurts. That's what I do. That's my pressure. My friend works in a site where the kids are always fighting. My vote is as equal as any teacher. My voice counts too. You don't represent me. You think you're better than me. I'll NEVER VOTE FOR YOU!

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    1. I get it about paras who are underpaid and without real protection from their own union which you brag about. Recently a teacher and a para in a class got in some principal made up trouble. The teacher went to a rubber room waiting for investigation. The para has not been paid for 6 months. There's your union -- as a para you should be screaming. And that is pressure on paras. Everyone has pressure in this system. But the highest level of pressure is having 30 students in front of you for 5 or more classes a day with some asshole supervisor looking over your shoulder. Note the nationwide ed deform attack is focused on teachers. The NY Post attacks teachers. Campbell Brown attacks teachers. Teachers have been blamed for everything. The reason all other positions are considered support positions. Every situation you point to also exists for the teachers of those emotional or disabled students.

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    2. Norm. This is a Unity slug. Why would anyone expect someone who joins Unity to vote for the opposition?

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    3. I feel for you sister. Toilet para is one tough job. You can't even complain to anyone if it is physically difficult because you know your union can't protect you.

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    4. You're a para and you don't see how you are getting fucked by the UFT? What did they get for you in the last contract? Terrible job protection. No clear seniority protection rules as far as I know. Even the career ladder to becoming a teacher has been worn away. And cuts in paras does put more pressure on everyone else. Norm should recognize that paras are the most fucked people in the UFT due to a leadership that doesn't seem to care.

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  6. Those who can teach, those who can't become attendance teachers.

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