Time and again we have seen the United Federation of Teachers sell its members down the river.
From mayoral control, which granted the Little Dictator complete autocratic powers over the NYCDOE, to agreeing to Andrew Cuomo's APPR system that mandates 40% of a teacher's evaluation come from standardized test scores even though state law says it need be only 20% and a court backed that law up, we have seen the UFT cave to politicians looking to railroad "reforms" through the system.
Think Weingarten signing off on the Teacher Data Reports with then NYCDOE deputy chancellor Chris Cerf, ostensibly getting an agreement from Cerf that the TDR's would never be published in the media, then remember how the NYCDOE did indeed happily release those TDR's to the press after the UFT "lost" a court case fighting the release.
The "loss" came in the original agreement when Weingarten acknowledged that standardized test scores measure teacher effectiveness instead of pointing out all of the inaccuracies of the method, including the 52% median margin of error the Teacher Data Reports came with.
Now we have the Hurricane Sandy debacle.
First Mulgrew couldn't protect UFT members from having to come in on the Friday of the storm week when students were still out of school for what the NYCDOE termed "preparation of classrooms."
As was pointed out over and over, teachers are never brought back in on the Friday of Christmas week or Winter Break or Spring Break to "prepare their classrooms," so the rationale for this workday was dubious at best.
In addition, many schools were still without power, so those teachers were being sent to other schools where they did not teach. Whose classrooms were they supposed to "prepare"?
Travel was still treacherous that day, with many commuter rails barely in service, New Jersey transit mostly down, and subway service from Brooklyn still mostly suspended.
Finally, many teachers were still dealing with the aftermath of the storm damage themselves, especially those living in the outer boroughs and Long Island where the surge damage was very bad.
Nonetheless Walcott said teachers had to come to work that day or be dinged for a sick day.
I dubbed Friday the Superstorm Sandy PD Day By Candlelight, since my school had no power, no heat, and if I could make it in from Jersey via kayak, I would be feted with who knows what kind of professional development jive that had been sitting up on the Tweed shelf for the past half decade or more.
I called the UFT office in Brooklyn to complain about this travesty and was told Mulgrew knew people were pissed about the PD Day and was working to make a deal with the DOE on it. I was told we would hear something by 4 PM about this "deal".
4 PM came and went without a word. Later that evening, Mulgrew sent out some letter explaining how teachers were going to have to report to work, teachers who worked in buildings either without power or damaged by the storm would be reporting to other buildings designated by the DOE, and thanks for playing.
Some deal Mulgrew negotiated.
The email for where teachers who worked in buildings damaged by the storm or without power would report to didn't arrive until after 10 PM for many teachers. Even better, the NYCDOE sent out another email at 1 AM Friday telling teachers they didn't have to report to work until 10 AM instead of the customary time.
The UFT never pushed back against any of this nonsense, never pointed out the absurdity of sending the "report later" email out at 1 AM long after people were in bed. The UFT never pointed out the absurdity of the day overall, when teachers were brought in for three hours, told to sit in an auditorium, then sent home.
That was Superstorm Sandy PD Day By Candlelight - another example of the UFT failing to protect its members, to show the public why the DOE was simply engaging in petulance by bringing teachers in on this day to make them sit around for a few hours before dismissing them.
And now we have the Hurricane Waiver Debacle.
Four teacher work days were lost to the storm, five school days were lost to students (some lost even more if they were in schools damaged by the storm or used as evacuation centers.)
The state legislature and senate is looking to pass a waiver for attendance requirements for schools that fall below the 180 day mark as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
Chancellor Walcott told the press he didn't give a damn what the state was doing, that the NYCDOE would be adding those school days back to the school year no matter what.
Rumor has it those days will be added back in February, during the second semester of the school year.
Mulgrew sent out an email telling members that there was nothing that could be done about this, that the days were going to be added back in and people should get ready for that.
Why Mulgrew is agreeing to the added days before the state finishes the waiver process is beyond me.
Or it would be beyond me if I though Mulgrew was actually in the business of protecting teachers.
But he isn't.
He has his own motives for why he does things, most of which stem from things like a) how can I make money off this the way Randi did? b) how can I stay in power the way Randi did? and c) how can I make it look like I am protecting members against Bloomberg and Walcott when I am actually in cahoots with them behind the scenes, a la WWE Wrestling?
So it's not a mistake that Mulgrew has already agreed to the added days before the state finishes the waiver process.
Now he can say, "Gee, I'd like to force the DOE to use the waiver, but I've already agreed to the added days, so there's nothing we can do about this."
And of course that makes Mayor Mike smile and who knows what the Great Philanthropist will be doing with his money as he readies to leave office next year.
It has been reported that Bloomberg plans to shower all different kinds of causes with his money and largesse.
Do not be surprised if Weingarten and Mulgrew are on the other end of some of that cash via some blind conduit.
It's all rigged, folks.
They make this stuff look good in public, but behind the scenes everything is worked out - against us.