Norm---Unity slugs have tried to make it seem that only MORE is against the contract and is only taking that position as a cover to attack Unity. I can say that in fact MORE very early on was analyzing the contract and some of us warned not to take an automatic NO position but to hear where people in the schools were coming from. I never expected they would screw up on the money issue and in fact believed they would come up with a winning money package even if the rest of the contract sucked and they would get a slam dunk.
I wrote the below and it will go into teacher mailboxes. The majority in my school are voting NO and many of them will not attend the union meetings with UFT officials to hear bullshit. The NO campaign at PS 8 was taken up by many teachers in my school. It was good to hear people who don't normally voice their opinions talking to others about what a raw deal this is and sending me information and reasons to vote no. Normally I'm the key person to disseminate information but this time many others jumped on board. I'm giving my colleagues some final considerations before Unity arrives at our school. We will vote on the contract on Friday.... Roseanne McCosh, PS8x
Boy was I wrong. I heard from people I had not heard from in years. MORE was inundated with people who from the first word were opposed -- not MOREistas but independents. Roseanne was one of them.
AFTERBURN:Dear UFT Members:The UFT is sending a representative to our school today to convince us to vote YES. This is the job of all who work for the UFT. No one who works for the UFT is permitted to disagree with the union president. Our union president (Michael Mulgrew) did not allow for an open debate on the contract at the delegate assembly. Those of you who attended our last chapter meeting heard Lori (our delegate) speak to what she has witnessed at delegate assemblies—including the one during which the DA passed this contract on to us. Mulgrew filibustered and did not allow anyone opposed to the contract to have equal time to speak to the audience. I’ve already given many reasons why we should vote NO. I will leave you with some final thoughts prior to their arrival:Fear will be instilled as they try to convince us to vote YES. But do you want to know who’s really afraid? The UFT Leadership is afraid. They are afraid that those of us in the trenches will wake up and demand better when they promised NYC that they could corral us in any direction they wanted. Maybe they can corral the majority----maybe not. Time will tell. But I’m not interested in being a member of the majority. I am interested in being an individual who knows when I’m being steamrolled and screwed and who stands up and says, “HELL NO!”However, my NO vote isn't really about my personal circumstances at all. With or without this contract my retirement timeline remains the same and I will retire with a livable income. I can sincerely say that my short distance to retirement means that this vote means very little to me personally. A YES vote means my pension will be higher. I’ll see the same retro as those of you with much longer to go. I’ll just have to wait like everyone else. I am treated well by our current administration and I have handled difficult administrations in the past without ever bending over for anyone. My NO vote is a vote for your future--not mine.
- Health Care: My NO vote is saying that I won’t accept changes to health care that will be made if this contract is approved. Until I see the health care plan to save the BILLIONS Mulgrew promised DeBlasio, I don’t want to hear that there are no givebacks. I don’t want to HEAR anymore. I want to SEE a written plan and know exactly how the UFT is planning on saving those billions of dollars. (see HealthCare Savings section of the contract which is pasted on the back of this page---BILLIONS in Savings but no details as to HOW).
- Stronger Union: My NO vote is about the future of a labor union that has become weaker with each passing contract. My NO vote is my way of saying that all teachers are entitled to due process hearings before their livelihoods are taken away from them. By selling out the ATRs we are giving up our own job security in the future. We will be helpless to an abusive principal.
- Playing us for fools: My NO vote is saying DON’T LIE TO US! Ask [name redacted] from our SBST how she was lied to and was told at a UFT pension workshop that she would get 5% interest on our owed money when the fact is it’s 0%. They lied to all who attended.
- Appropriate Compensation: My NO vote is also saying that teachers should be rewarded for their patience in waiting for delayed increases and retro. And that reward should be the elimination of extended time. The last time we showed patience we got February break included in our contract. This time we get 2 more evening PT conferences and speeches about how lucky we are to have a job and that Bloomberg left the cupboards bare. Ask the Wall Street execs how their cupboards are doing these days. The DOW has reached new highs and the rich of NYC are doing quite well. It is always the working class that is asked to make sacrifices. (CONTINUED ON BACK)
- Scare Tactics: My NO vote is saying that the UFT will not scare me into compliance. Let NYPD and FDNY negotiate first if necessary. They have already said they won’t accept this pattern of delays and retro on retro. The president of SBA (Sergeants Benevolent Assoc) has stated, “I think Mike Mulgrew is out of his mind for doing a deal like that.” We will do better if we vote NO. Don’t let the UFT convince you otherwise. The UFT’s main goal is to not have egg on their face. Their goal is to corral us as they promised NYC they would. Enough with fear based decision making from a labor union leadership and membership….it’s embarrassing. Male dominated unions are not afraid. Why are we?H. Healthcare Savingsa. The UFT and the City/DOE agree the UFT will exercise its best efforts to have the MLC agree to the following:i. for fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015), there shall be $400 million in savings on a city- wide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.ii. for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016), there shall be $700 million in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.iii. for fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017), there shall be $1 billion in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.iv. for fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018), there shall be $1.3 billion in savings on a citywide basis in health care costs in the NYC health care program.v. for every fiscal year thereafter, the savings on a citywide basis in health care costs shall continue on a recurring basis.vi. The parties agree that the above savings to be achieved on a Citywide basis are a material term of this agreement.vii. In the event the MLC does not agree to the above citywide targets, the arbitrator shall determine the UFT’s proportional share of the savings tar get and, absent an agreement by these parties, shall implement the process for the satisfaction of these savings targets.viii. Stabilization Fund: (1) Effective July 1, 2014, the Stabilization Fund shall convey $1 billion to the City of New York to be used in support of the pro rata funding of this agreement.(2) Commencing on July 1, 2014, $200 million from the Stabilization Fund shall be made available per year to pay for ongoing programs (such as $65 welfare fund contribution, PICA payments, budget relief). In the event the MLC does not agree to provide the funds specified in this paragraph, the arbitrator shall determine the UFT’s proportional share of the Stabilization Fund monies required to be paid under this paragraph.
Roseanne was quite insulted when Unity slugs were leaving those comments that MORE was playing politics.
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 8Irony is that she is a former member of Unity -- and let us not give up on all of them -- she is an example that some will see the light. So I issue a call to Unity Caucus members ready to switch: MORE welcomes you. (We also welcomed New Action early this school year but they have another agenda.)