Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are We Close to a Contract?

UFT Changes Sept 16 Chapter Leader Meeting into a Delegate Assembly

The usually somnolent early September chapter leader meeting has been converted into a Delegate Assembly to discuss contract demands. Is it possible that a contract will be handed out 10 minutes before the meeting and people will be asked to vote on it? This is the usual modus operendi of the UFT. But with the million member Unity Caucus dominated negotiating committee having met a few times and having some of the members (at least the non-Unity Caucus ones) kept in the dark about this DA, all balls are in the air.

Many people believe that the entire committee was a sham from day one and that Randi had negotiated a contract before she left on August 1. One thing was clear: the UFT folding on any opposition to mayoral control, term limits, and staying neutral in the mayoral race is part of the factoring in the contract.

Here is the UFT announcement, which asks chapter leaders to report on over sized classes. One thing we can bet our pensions on is the sure bet there will be no class size relief in the contract.

Special DA to discuss contract demands

The first Delegate Assembly of the year, Wednesday, Sept. 16, starting at 4:15 p.m. at 52 Broadway, will be devoted to discussing the UFT’s demands in the current negotiations for our new contract. All delegates are encouraged to attend. Chapter leaders should report to their district rep at the DA how many oversized classes in each grade they have in their schools (see To Do item on class size grievances for further details).


  1. Whether it is announced on Wednesday or not, there is without a shadow of a doubt already a contract. Does anyone seriously believe that Randi would have departed(?)in August, leaving the negotiating to someone with so little experience?

    The only question is how and when it will be announced, in order to gain the maximum political benefit for the mayor and Michael Mulgrew.

    I personally believe the contract will be a "good" one, in the sense that it will not sacrifice the ATRs or include major attacks on working conditions, tenure, etc. That's for the next one, two years from now. After all, Randi and Unity caucus have already paid for this contract by

    - taking a dive on term limits

    - taking a dive on mayoral

    - insuring that Thompson gets
    no real support in the
    November election

    - most importantly, assuring
    the mayor that the UFT will
    sit by while public schools
    are closed, re-organized and
    invaded by Charters

    After all, as we inadvertently learned in the news item about Bloomberg's aerial episode with the birds, Randi is not only his policy-making partner, but his social pal.

    So, rank and file teachers and UFT members (AKA, in their eyes, chumps), as you endure administrative harassment, having your school crushed by NCLB, closed, re-organized, invaded by charters, take comfort in the fact that the AFT/UFT has "a place at the table."

    And that the wine must be superb.

  2. Totally agree with Fiorillo.

    As to betting our pensions . . .
    Look at this parents blog post and see what BloomKlein thinks about lowering class size.


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