Monday, March 5, 2018

There's Another Wall Some Would Like Built

Get out! 
   There seems to be a prevailing presumption that our $1400 in dues rightfully belongs to the UFT. It does not; it's your money and being forced to hand it over to an organization that gives you no value for it, doesn't value you and has no values is theft. Some Chapter Leaders may balk at representing those who will not pay, but they are being compensated by the DOE with a free period a day to do so. If they choose not to represent those who opt out that could be viewed very unfavorably by the DOE. If they feel this one period is unsatisfactory, their position is optional and they can opt out. This is both ironic and hypocritical when one thinks of the decades many of us have been forced to pay dues for merely breathing the air as teachers. Then there's the fact that the UFT royalty get two pay checks - one from the the DOE and one from the UFT. If most members opt not to pay, UFT reps are still being compensated, as they are collecting a DOE salary and not teaching (and don't forget the double pension). I bring this up not because I care what UFT leaders are or aren't getting, but because I want to put some of the vitriol being catapulted at prospective non-due paying teachers into its proper context. Posting names to shame non-paying teachers, as some have suggested, may backfire as it may become a point of pride. There seems to be a complete ignorance from those lucky enough to be teaching in non-toxic schools concerning the amount of anger and disgust many have towards the UFT.

  The forced payment of dues is unconstitutional. Your choice of how you use your money was taken away. Some may feel taxes are unconstitutional, but the UFT is not the USA. Trump wants to kick 'illegal' non-tax payers out, much like the enlightened elitists of the UFT would like to do to the non-due paying teachers. Would the UFT have its members refuse undocumented children? No, only non- due paying teachers (and ATRs even those that pay dues, of course).  Optional dues will be devastating for those unions, like the UFT, that do little or nothing for its members. The NYFD, NYPD, etc. won't have that problem as they work for their members. I want a union that represents us fairly. I want the UFT to do that. I would like to continue to pay dues. I believe in unions, but the UFT is not a union. There are those that say we must work from inside to make the changes we want to see. That is impossible. The entire operation is rigged from elections, voting, decision making and the indifference it exhibits (that is as devasting as targeted aggression). The UFT sees what's coming - having door knockers beg us isn't going to work. It's all about the dues for the UFT, but it doesn't acknowledge that it's NOT about the dues for most of us. It's about respect, being able to teach and having some type of security. When the UFT came into my former school to answer questions concerning 150 of us becoming ATRs, we were told to adapt, (the rest of the sentence was purposely left unfinished - or die). I would suggest the UFT follow its own advice. If or when the charter schools almost completely take over, the UFT can blame those that will opt out - but that opting out and its eventual demise will be because of its systemic indifference and languid long term sale of our hard earned rights.

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Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.