Saturday, May 17, 2014

UFT Contract: A Play in One Act

Special Rep: I should probably schedule some time to come to your school and talk to your members
CL: na, that's alright
Special Rep: well. What's the general feeling over there?
CL: yeah, we're pretty much against it
Special Rep: oh then I really should come down and speak to members
CL: na, that's alright. Thanks though.

--the borough rep is now coming with the Spec rep and is staying here for four hours. They dropped the notice on our mailboxes. Looks like they're hitting 'no' schools.
----------Report from the field


  1. What Borough Reps and Special Reps don't understand is NO ONE TRUSTS THEM ANY MORE.

  2. Prediction. If contract does not get ratified Governor Andy swoops in with cash to save day.

  3. Don't say no one. There are reports from the field that for many people their arguments do work - even in some places where we have strong MORE people to argue the case. But what may turn out to be important is the long-term impact on the credibility of the Unity leadership with the members - especially if elements of the contract begin to unravel. The UFT will suppress as much as they can about atrocities against people by despicable principals - of which there are many and will still be protected by the DOE. If it comes to pass that health care costs go up there will be a counter reaction. If those 200 schools turn into forced enslavement - meaning the 65% approval is forced by principals and sell-out chapter leaders, we will see a reaction. Once the higher paid merit pay people get positions based on favoritism by principals we will see a reaction. If the PD sucks, we will see a reaction. The forced retirements due to the artificial date set for this June will give us an army of retirees who may be activated to campaign against Unity. What they will be careful about is avoiding the worst until after the 2016 UFT elections - when if Mulgrew wins overwhelmingly will lead to "katie bar the door." So in essence, the 2016 campaign must begin right after the votes are in. Obviously I don't believe the NO campaign has a chance to win because the arguments that if NO wins and we leave the follow-up in the hands of a UFT leadership that wants to prove that a NO win is a loss, they will do what they can to NOT get a better deal. But if NO wins an army must be mobilized to make specific demands. Don't get crazy about the money -- ask for a somewhat better deal but not the moon. Instead make the battle over working/learning conditions.

  4. I was out sick when the shills came in to sell the contract. I heard they turned so,e people, but overall my school is mostly a NO school.

  5. Norm you just proved a major point. The No campaign being run by Scott/ICE-MORE is really a campaign against Unity. You guys have planned this from the very begining. You guys would have protested any contract. This time your antics have gone too far because you are playing with peoples jobs and pocketbooks. Shame on you!

    1. You prove a major point -- you are desperate to shove this contract down their throats.
      But you are wrong about MORE running a campaign against Unity. They are running against the contract.
      I am, as I have been for 44 years, running a campaign against Unity because you are the problem. You are the enemy. You are the collaborators and handmaidens of ed deform. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to convince my compadres in MORE to do an all out assault on you. But I won't stop trying.

    2. Anon 10:07: I am proud that people from the Unity caucus are my union brothers and sisters. Regardless of the outcome of this, or any, vote, we are all ONE UNION. That includes me and you. But it also includes Norm and anyone else who will stand up against this contract and vote no until we get a proposal that teachers and parents and students actually deserve. And when we do get that proposal, we'll still be one union. The frustrations expressed in your comment aside, I know you know that we are our union. Let's all have this talk in the comfortable confines of our next DA ;)
      -In Solidarity

    3. Sorry 12:28 I do not agree with you. I am ashamed, not proud of Unity people who would walk blindly off a cliff. They are pathetic and I would never call them a brother or sister. They are not on our side. They are lined up with the enemy in every way and this contract proves it. Until you get exactly who they are you will never defeat them. I assume you are a MOREIsta. My struggle in MORE is to get you to see who they are and have been for 65 years.

    4. So not true that we were ready to lead a vote no campaign no matter what. If Mulgrew came in with 4%+4% (right away added to our checks), we knew it would be popular even if retro was deferred. If he protected ATRS and improved evaluations, we were thinking of maybe supporting the contract or at least not leading a vote no campaign. Needless to say, that is not the contract he came back with. Instead our worst fears were basically realized: weaker due process for ATRs, 4+4 not added fully until 2018, healthcare uncertainty, merit pay, establishing the worst municpal pattern in my years in the system for the next round, etc...

      I said UFT would not sell out ATRs with a time limit to find a new job. I was right but I never imagined they would come up with an expedited firing process based on undefined problematic behavior.

      In fact about a week before the contract came out, I talked with a close MORE friend about not being knee jerk opposition. I was not one of those expecting the worst but since it has more or less happened, I feel compelled to fight it. Right now I would rather this contract go down and get fixed rather than MORE gaining politically because we will be toiling under another awful agreement. We sounded the warnings in 2005. We were right. It does not make me at all happy to have to sound the alarms again.

  6. The NO campaign being run in my school is being run by teachers with no affiliation or allegiance to any caucus. We have defined our reasons for voting NO very clearly. It is a campaign against UNITY because Unity is trying to ram this shit down our throats. And rest assured the day MORE or ICE or anyone else wants to ram shit down our throats we will speak out against them as well. PS 8 is comprised of individuals who THINK and vote accordingly....and some of us may very well vote yes....but those of us voting NO have our reasons and our minds will not be changed by spin. Roseanne McCosh PS 8

  7. Weakened tenure protections for ATRs are weakened tenure protections for all teachers. Loosening union contract provisions in some schools loosens contract provisions for all schools. The administration views union capitulation as an indication that the rank and file are willing to cooperate with the education reform playbook mantras. Merit pay is divisive to the school culture. If my friend down the hall gets merit pay due to principal favoritism, I will be resentful. I will be the last person to help her out with anything she needs. I beg of you New York City teachers to examine the Newark example carefully. We are a few steps ahead of you in the process of dismantling a public school system.

    A Newark Teachet


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