Wednesday, May 21, 2014

UFT Contract: Murry Bergtraum Exit Poll - 71 No, 22 Yes

Some lessons from Chapter Leader John Elfrank-Dana's blog.

Mulgrew's Myth

No wonder so many softballs were thrown at President Mulgrew tonight in the seminar. I don't recall a single questions from a high school teacher. Was there one?

I did spot the high school Vice President and a Chapter Leader in the studio audience. But it was one PS question after another. Either way, it would have just been another softball.

Mulgrew opened with his own myth. That the UFT doesn't want a contract that hurts the children we serve. But, this one does! My question of - Why is there nothing about class size reduction in this contract? Which I submitted 15 min before the start on their online form but was not asked. I suppose if I asked - Why is there nothing to reduce the testing of our students in this contract? Or, Why is there nothing to bring back enriched curriculum with arts, music, and electives? I suppose these wouldn't have been asked either.

I have always asked myself, Would I stand for my own children to be educated in this way? With class sizes so large, with high concentrations of high need students, with stripped curricula? This has always been the driving force behind not being able to keep my mouth shut about this system.

Instead of a meaningful discussion we got redundancy; another rehash of Unity contract propaganda. How many times was he asked if retro was paid after one retires? How many references to the career ladder combined with a murky mix of Prose schools?

There should have been a rebuttal afterward from an opposition caucus. But, let's be real. This crowd is so insecure it has to rig everything in advance. There's no way they will allow an intelligent dissenting opinion to penetrate the ditto head culture. They are counting on most of the members to say "F---k it!," Hold their noses and check the "Yes" box.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Send Mulgrew Back to the Bargaining Table - Why I Vote NO

There's money
I get waiting for the retro, but raises should begin right away. 
Speaking of raises we are talking 18% over 9 years. That's not fair and it sets the bar way too low for our other brother/sister unions who have to follow our pattern.
ATRs deserve full due process. These teachers should be rotated back into a position to become a regular teacher. Why the UFT agrees to keep them in a special category is truly sad. This contract offers them Due Process LITE, expedited firing process. We cannot stand for that.
Enshrining Danielson and MOSL - Anyone who plans on staying more than a couple of years has to take this seriously. This contract does nothing to get rid of evaluating teachers by test scores. The teachers union in Tennessee are getting rid of test score eval. Why can't we?
Backdoor Merit Pay - in the guise of Master Teacher, etc. Undermines solidarity by creating a teacher caste system. 
What's Missing? Class Size Reduction, Guidance Counselor Case Load Reduction, Wrap Around Services for Families, Brining Back Curriculum the children of the 1 percent enjoy: electives, music, art, PE...

We need to do this morally, as professionals who care for those we serve. Our students deserve everything we want for our own children to have in a school. If the parents get behind us, we cannot lose. But, this contract makes us look like defeated patsies. 
Take this opportunity to stand as a proud professional with convictions by saying NO, we and our students deserve better.
In solidarity,
John Elfrank-Dana
UFT Chapter Leader
Murry Bergtraum High School

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This contract is not about class size. Is that something we want and support? Of course out is. But the Mayor has already pledged billions of dollars to that end. Now why should we vote No, when Atrs have FULL due process, no closing schools, not even yours, more teacher voice, school based committees in place, career ladder, IS not merit pay, AND 19.5% higher salaries in 5 years!! Are you serious? #TeamHighSchoolVOTE.YES!