Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, December 2, 2013

NY Times: Teacher MUST Make Concessions on Seniority, ATR'S, Pay And Scheduling

Usual neo-liberal claptrap in the NY Times on the teachers contract.

The Timesmen want teachers to agree to get rid of salary steps and tie teacher pay to the new APPR teacher evaluation system ("highly effective" teachers would be paid more than other teachers - so what if the system is under attack all across the state, the Timesmen think pay should be based upon it.)

They want the union to throw ATR's under the bus.

They want seniority to be completely dispensed with for layoff decisions.

They want the union to agree to more "flexible scheduling" - i.e., a longer school day and longer school year.

They use all the propaganda nonsense ed deformers usually use to push this nonsense - charter schools outperform traditional public schools (not true according to state test scores), so traditional public schools should follow the lead of charters and increase days and time for longer classes and more teacher meetings.

Senior teachers are no better than younger, more inexperienced teachers and advanced degrees make no difference in teaching skill - all that matters is the final product (i.e., test scores.)

The Timesmen get one thing right in the editorial, however - UFT members are in a particularly sour mood these days - but they get the reason for that sour mood wrong.

It's true teachers are pissed that they haven't had a raise in four+ years, but it's even more true that teachers are pissed over all the concessions the UFT has granted to the state and the city via the APPR teacher evaluation system.

The UFT has already conceded on lost tenure protections (two "ineffectives" and you are fired is lost tenure protections), extra paperwork, extra meetings, mandated lesson plan formatting for Danielson (yes, I know they say it is not mandated, but if you don't do it the way Ms. Charlotte wants it done, you will be "i-rated"), and tying test scores to ratings (sure it's state law, but the UFT did not fight against that law.)

Now the neo-liberals at the Times (and you can bet elsewhere in this city too) want even more concessions to completely destroy what is left of the contract and give the powers that be the legal bludgeon they need to fire senior teachers whenever they want for whatever reason they want, get rid of steps and ladders and shove through merit pay, and add time and days to an already beleaguered teaching corps. - all for the 8% raise we were owed back as part of the old pattern.

I said it before, I will say it again - there must be NO CONCESSIONS in this new contract.

Not on days or time, not on steps and ladders, not on ATR's or seniority.

We have already given our concessions over the past four years and got stiffed on the last pattern raise.

It's fine for the neo-liberals to attempt to get these kinds of concessions in the next contract.

But you should let your chapter leader know that she/he should let the geniuses running the UFT know that if they agree to any of this stuff, there will be hell to pay.

And then you have to raise hell in your chapter to make sure rank and file teachers follow through on that hell the next time UFT elections roll around.


  1. But what's to be done when the only way that Unity Caucus knows how to get raises is by selling off pieces of the contract?

    1. As usual, Michael, you have an excellent point. In the 13 years I've been around, that's exactly what I've seen these Unity people do.

  2. What percent of the rank and file have less than 8 years in the system? Those are the ones that will most likely vote in favor of a dysfunctional contract that is geared towards the genocide of the veteran teachers and the elimination of the ATRs. Let’s look at the percentage. If they're TFA scabs following the cult doctrine/teachings of E$E, they will demand a contract that eliminates as many protection provisions as necessary since TFA feels that they don’t need any protection. Those types of union protections only deteriorate their superiority because they have their ivy-league diploma as their shield. So taking the percentage of those insufferable scabs, the percentage who don't vote in the union election, and the Unity Caucus, damn the remaining rank and file members are so screwed. Each year I see another level of the perverse and maniacal reason for the open market. And, its machinations are deeply rooted in our union leadership.

    1. In my school, people who once supported the union leadership hiss at the very mention of them. Many teachers have been getting beaten up and have gotten no help from the central UFT. The anger and outrage is palpable. Can only speak to that, but I really have seen a change over the last two years.

    2. Same thing is going on at my school. However, even after I have been informing them of how the UFT is actually responsible for the mess we are in as well as handing out MORE leaflets, hardly anyone voted in the last UFT election. Apathy is what is killing the teaching profession in NYC. Any teacher who complains about Mulgrew who did not vote in the last UFT election has no business complaining now.

    3. I know one guy who still voted Unity last time - but next time, he says he's ready for MORE. We'll see how that goes two years+ from now.

  3. TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew)December 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Concessions? As the fireman said on stage to Osama Bin Laden, after 9-11, "you can kiss my royal Irish ass!". Okay, I am admittedly, not Irish, but I believe my point is understood.

  4. Not so, say what you will but there is do difference in how someone is terminated. Only now teachers will have a drove of poorly implemented test scores and ridiculous checklists that are out of the bounds of the state law. Not hearing officer in their right mind will terminate based on the flimsy evidence that is currently being collected.