Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Today's UFT Delegate Assembly: There Will Be Some Action
Like the early days of pre-planet formation where elements circulate around each other until gravity pulls them together, lots of forces have been congealing within and without the UFT. People from the usual suspects in UFT politics – ICE and TJC – have been joined by members of NYCORE, Teachers Unite, TAG, ISO and independents, especially some educators in Harlem, whose schools are under assault from charters, to form a coalition called Grassroots Education Movement.
Taking on the co-related issues of closing schools, ATRs, high stakes testing, rubber rooms, principal power, DOE oppression, charter schools and mayoral control, GEM has started reaching out to non educators who are also mobilizing around some of these issues, especially mayoral control.
In the meantime, ICE has been meeting on presenting a list of contract demands, which believe it or not, will be discussed at today's UFT Delegate Assembly. Randi Weingarten has promised an open mic – probably after she spends an hour giving her report. While not totally finalized, an ICE leaflet will be given out with the work the ICE contract committee has done so far. I'm including it in this post. (Click to enlarge.)
All these forces are coming together at the DA today, with some people from TAG holding an informational picket. Some GEM people will be coming to hand out leaflets on the upcoming charter school conference at PACE University on May 4. Other GEMers will be handing out a leaflet for the GEM May 14 rally and march up Broadway to UFT headquarters and on to Tweed. A motion calling for No New Hiring Until ATR Teachers are Placed and No School Closings will be presented by another group not affiliated with GEM.
If you are a NYC educator, there comes a time to get involved, even if the onslaught against public schools has not yet reached your school. If you can't make the charter school conference, reserve May 14 and join GEM and its supporters on the rally and march.
Unfortunately, this is one DA I cannot make. But there will be many people attending, some for the first time who will get to see UFT democracy inaction. Look for reports on the ICE blog and web site and some follow-up here.
NOTE FROM TAGNYC:
Teachers, Counselors, Other Affected UFT Personnel, and Allies:
The DA meeting will be held Wednesday, April 22nd, 52 Broadway. There is so much to protest, all of which attacks our careers in the public schools: The Reassignment Centers- a way to terminate or turn teachers into ATRs; the ATR situation (when will they be out on the street permanently); school closings- to create ATRs and devastate public education- AND of course the contractual give backs which have destroyed the strength of the Union. (The DA meeting will begin to address the new contract demands).
Reassignment Center people- Remember these Centers are crowded as part of the above plan.
Come to the DA meeting at 4p.m. with signs to protest the Centers, the lack of hiring of ATRs, contractual givebacks. Bring signs. Some suggestions for signs:
End the Predetermined U
Hire the ATRs NOW!
Get Back the Givebacks
Let Teachers Teach
STOP Juking the Stats
If we don't protest, we can't complain.