While UFT Executive Board meetings have had their moments of contention tempers grew to a melting point this evening in what some have said is a rehearsal for the showdown at the Delegate Assembly meeting tomorrow at the Brooklyn Marriot.
The Executive Board is heavily composed of paid Union officials but a few “school-based” members serve. When HS Rep James Eterno complained that few of the voting members would ever have to live under the provisions of a contract based on the severe givebacks outlined in the fact-finding report tempers boiled over. Papers flew, voices raised and we were attacked.
There is little doubt that the members have reacted negatively toward the fact-finding despite the claims of the Union leadership. It is clear that our leadership will still try to claim victory in the jaws of defeat. Give up on this senseless document. No self-respecting union person would even consider any part of this anti-union document.
The following is the text of the Resolution passed tonight over the objection of the opposition caucuses. The Delegates and Chapter Leaders vote on this tomorrow. Tell your reps not take this vehicle down a long road to hell!
Whereas, UFT members have been without a current contract for 28 months and without a salary increase since September 2002; and
Whereas, the UFT has waged an extensive campaign including 5,000 actions culminating in a 20,000 member rally at Madison Square Garden to build public support and convince the administration to conclude a fair agreement; and
Whereas, the administration has adamantly refused to bargain a fair contract leaving the union to exhaust its last legal recourse — fact finding, which has just concluded with the release of a non-binding report; and
Whereas, the report has pluses and minuses; it recommends an 11.4% pay increase, protects tenure and provides job security for excessed teachers, but — seeks more time from educators and gives principals more discretion; be it
Resolved, that despite its problems and subject to working out acceptable language and changes, we use the fact finding report as a vehicle to conclude negotiations on an agreement within the next few weeks; be it
Resolved, that the UFT continue the aggressive action plan that we started last winter to demonstrate the urgency of the contract issue; be it
Resolved, that the October Delegate Assembly be moved to early October to review the status of negotiations; and be it further
Resolved, that if negotiations have not produced a contract by that time, the October Delegate Assembly consider the Union's options including a strike authorization secret ballot vote by the membership and/or a mayoral endorsement.