Friday, April 20, 2018

Repost 6/10/15 - What Does a NYC 3 Billion Dollar Surplus Say to Teachers?

During the last contract we were collectively sold a load of hot air on how the city was broke;  we couldn't get much ; had to give undefined healthcare givebacks and agree to an expedited dismissal process for ATRs - in order to get pay that we worked for and were owed. This is still in the process of being repaid in slow drips and drabs, over years with no interest. There is now every indication that the city will want even more healthcare givebacks, as well as an even longer teaching day - that may no longer include sideshows from inexperienced, highly paid circus performers on Mondays. The raises will be in the form of givebacks - for every dollar of givebacks, we will get a nickel in the form of a 'raise'. The last contract's most egregious, abject betrayal of our rank and file was the ATR provisions, that were based on the worst stereotypes imaginable. (This was in addition to the refusal of an ATR Chapter, questionable representation from Mulgrew's chosen ATR liaisons and the invalid ability to be involved in voting for representatives or running for office because of our transient positions.) They were agreed upon by Mulgrew and sold to the rank and file. For this type of betrayal we are told we must remain loyal and continue to pay dues to the UFT. There are those that naively feel this is a mandate from heaven and that without it we will all perish. They also feel that even though they have been working their entire professional careers to change the UFT,that this is still a viable plan. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Although these individuals are of high moral and ethical standards (and many of them have spoken out, helped individual ATRs and attempted to help us collectively, their rigidity in this matter further weakens their and our impossible dream). It's seen as a sign of weakness and gullibility by Mulgrew, - who actually despise the very same long term members that are trying to keep the UFT alive. The dues are trivial to most of us who are on top salary. We played by the rules, supported the UFT for decades, were given demoralizing positions as defacto subs and told to be happy we have jobs. Now we are heckled and ridiculed, even by those that realize how we have been treated and tried to help us (even they are using the same UFT despicable quote - 'lucky to have job'), to imply we are potential freeloaders that will ride on the backs of those who pay for the privilege of the next abject contract, or mediocre lawyer or representation by the commonly frightened, ill informed chapter leader.
The article below was requested as a reminder. UFT, give ATRs and the rest of your long term members a reason to stay in the UFT - I need one, other than fear of the Koch brothers- I don't care about an app or a discount card - it's ridiculous on a surreal level.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What Does a NYC 3 Billion Dollar Surplus Say to Teachers?

 Last spring, listening to "doom and gloom" Mulgrew on how the city really couldn't afford to give us much, I shook my head. I thought to myself is anyone going to buy into this? I figured there was no way the contract would pass- after all, teachers are the most educated and thrifty (don't deny it) group around. There was also the undeniably abject provisions in the contract against ATRs.
While the UFT was marching for justice, they were discriminating against their most veteran members. The contract passed by 77%! Another great victory for the UFT, teachers and Mike Mulgrew.

     Years ago when Oprah's show was hitting the stratosphere, she had to renegotiate her contract with the network. At the time she had her agent go into the negotiations. He came back to her with what seemed a reasonable increase and she was going to sign the contract. What changed her mind? Well the network executives came out, told her that her agent was a great guy and slapped him on the back. It dawned on her that if someone is supposed to be negotiating the best deal for you, they are not going to have that kind of reaction with an adversary. She fired her agent. (She started her own company and started making serious money.) Will teachers ever have this epiphany?

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