We simply cannot surrender our right to share with our coworkers information that affects their livelihood. We were elected to the Executive Board to amplify the needs of our members, not to make decisions unilaterally behind their backs....
Alex Jallot and Ronnie Almonte, UFT Ex Bd High School (as of July 1, 2022)
The cone of silence descends on the UFT negotiating committee. Some UFT Ex Bd members refuse to sign the Non Disclosure Agreement.
I believe just about all contract issues have been pre-decided by the leadership already - including what they will accept. Don't hold your breath for inflation matching raises. Any hint of preventing this farce by open bargaining has been disparaged by Unity -- you don't bargain in public.
Until you do:
Feb 8, 2022 — from Jane McAlevey ... How unions negotiate is a strategic choice. Seldom do union members experience the actual process of collective ...
|UFT will put a giant version of the cone of silence over contract meetings.|
I raised some questions on the then 350 member Neg Comm, now expanded to as many as can fit in the cone of silence dome.
Questions on the Negotiation Committee: How are people chosen to be on this committee? Of the 350 committee members how many are in Unity Caucus? Does secrecy mean that Unity Caucus members don’t discuss the issues brought up for discussion among themselves? Are we to believe that the only discussion that takes place among Unity Caucus members is in the committee room?
WE believe our union's contract should be open and transparent to all members and stakeholders (see the work of Jane McAlvey).
Under the duress of our union leadership's decision to keep talks with management confidential. I am compelled to sign today's agreement because the interests of my chapter must still be represented in these negotiations.
As newly elected Executive Board members, we have been invited to join the union’s contract negotiating committee. In a time of pandemic and budget cuts, it’s critical that we bargain for better salaries, benefits, and working conditions.
As workplace leaders, we also believe that our union’s strength depends on making decisions collectively with openness and transparency. Unfortunately, the UFT has a long practice of requiring members (who are hand-picked) to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as a condition for serving on the negotiating committee. We oppose this policy because it prevents the membership from holding the committee accountable, puts pressure on the UFT to broker backroom deals with politicians rather than rely on the strength of the union membership, and thus undermines the union’s ability to win a strong contract. For this reason we oppose the NDA, and refuse to sign it as much as we would like to join the committee. We simply cannot surrender our right to share with our coworkers information that affects their livelihood. We were elected to the Executive Board to amplify the needs of our members, not to make decisions unilaterally behind their backs.
The upcoming negotiations with the city must be open and transparent. In this way the membership can be made aware of what’s at stake, can follow the progress of negotiations, and can be mobilized in moments where the city refuses to compromise. Our members are the union, and their activity is the source of its power. Open bargaining is the path to securing the working conditions we deserve, and the schools our students need.
Alex Jallot, Ronnie Almonte
Ex Bd meetings will be fun again next year.