Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ed. Notes Has No (Great) Expectations

While rummaging through the Feb. '02 edition of Ed Notes I came across this article. The Exec Bd meeting referred to probably took place in Jan. '02 and Randi Weingarten was hinting that someone was leaking info from the meetings to the NY Post, looking at me while she said it. If anyone was leaking it was surely her people, if not she herself. This was a very short time after Bloomberg was elected and the honeymoon was still on, which by the way I still think never really ended no matter what has been said. A great cartoon if you just change the location and author. (Any photoshop experts out there who want to take a shot?)

At a recent Ex. Bd. meeting, Randi Weingarten made some comments regarding Ed. Notes. She seemed to feel that Ed. Notes was holding her to certain [unattainable?] standards. Or perhaps she assumed the laptop computer being used by the Ed. Notes reporter had a direct link to the NY Post.

Weingarten should be assured that Ed. Notes holds her to no standards.
We know that there will never be changes in the Taylor Law, no matter how many of our endorsed candidates get elected.
We have no expectations that she will deliver a contract with anything of substance other than money.
She will continue the tradition of her predecessors of promoting a contract that has been basically unchanged in over 30 years.
We don’t expect her to address the horrendous working conditions, the demoralization of teachers (Will a big raise really solve THAT problem?), the large class sizes, the negative impact of testing, etc., etc., etc.
We do not expect her to try to find long-term solutions to the many problems that teachers and schools face.
We do expect her to continue to put the bulk of our union’s energy into short term crisis management and into the political arena.
By the way: the Ed. Notes reporter was playing Solitaire on the laptop and wasn’t even listening. We’ve heard it all before.

Ed Notes Reprint Feb. 02


  1. I'm gonna have to take exception that the contract was unchanged for thirty years. We've had some improvements, to wit:

    1. the UFT transfer plan
    2. reduction of lunchroom duty to only once every six years
    3. the elimination of lunchroom duty, along with hall duty and potty patrol

    I'm sure there are many others I haven't thought of. However, we've also had some setbacks:

    1, the elimination of the UFT transfer plan
    2. the re-introduction of lunch, hall and potty duty as permanent assignments
    4. the 37.5 minute sixth class (the one that is not a class)
    5. School in August
    6. The inability to grieve LIF
    7. the Absent Teacher Reserve

    I'm sure there are others. But we are definitely seeing changes in the contract.

  2. NYC,
    My memory is sketchy about contract changes through the years, but writing that in early '02, and never having not been accused of using just a bit of hyperbole,

    I was focused on things like class size, the grievance procedure (now worse than it was 35 years ago), the ability of teachers to have more say in their schools, early stages of erosion of seniority rigts, and general working conditions.

    The removal of potty partrol in the '95 contract really affected only a few teachers in elementary schools as it was the cluster teachers who did the duty, and often in exchange for less teaching periods.

    Generally what I was seeing in early '02 was the beginning of erosion of things we had for 30 years. Knowing what happened in Chicago under mayoral control, I knew much worse was coming and had no expectations Weingarten would do anything to protect us.

    I agree the contract HAS changed, especially in the last few years -- for the worse.


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