Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Living Under a Sellout Contract…Union Says, “Just SBO It!”

As the impact of the new contract slowly works its way through the schools it is clear that the pre-ratification spin can no longer be spun. Chapter Leader training is scheduled for the next few weeks in each borough. There are more questions than answers, as usual. And even if the Union takes the “aggressive” position it promises it will be hard to protect our members.

Here are a couple of examples.

Under the Circular 6R changes we are now limited to a “menu” of professional items and, of course, the dreaded administrative duties. The Union’s response…just SBO it. Like your principal will agree to forgo this wonderful opportunity to assign us to potty patrol.

The extra 10 minutes and the 37 ½ period at the end of the day….the Union’s response….just SBO it. Make it PD or whatever your chapter wants is the advice. Like we really have a choice.

Now, we are certain there will be Chapters out there with good working relationships with the administration who really can work out some of these things. But, don’t count on your arrangement either being approved or lasting very long.

Under our new contract there is no question that the DOE has the final word on these issues. We will have to learn to live with it.

And there’s more…how do you SBO “Letters to the File?”


Norm said...

How about having the UFT crack negotiating team go in and negotiate all these SBO's with the principals?

And let's have SBO's in the UFT. How about an SBO to allow elections of district reps and high school, middle school and elementary VP's to be voted on by their respective divisions?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have nothing to add except to say you are right Norm. We need to be proactive. We need to make a change. We can't wait until 2007 rolls around. We need to start NOW!

NYC Educator said...

How about an SBO for actually
counting the votes at the DA meetings? Also, a secret ballot would be nice, so people could vote their consciences, assuming their existence.

Anonymous said...

How about an SBO to get Norm, who works for the DOE during his comfortable retirement, to stop pretending that he wants to do anything but destroy the UFT for his masters in Region 4? I wonder how much they pay him for his work as a subversive.

Anonymous said...

This contract is proof enough that Randi and Co. are destroying our beloved union. Norm and the rest of us are trying to save the union from its own destruction.

NYC Educator said...


Norm, apparently, has single-handedly driven some Unity loyalists to Nixonian-level paranoia.

Anonymous said...

SBO means school based option. This is all I really know so please clue me in to the meaning of these comments. Thanks.

Norm said...

Hey gutless anon who works for the UFT for 6 figures (you're the ones who I tell openly what kind of work I do):

You seem disturbed at the 1 day a week I work setting up robotics programs for kids in schools for 10 grand a year. Right, my "masters" have given me the secret assignment to destroy the UFT, who's leaders have done so much to give them control of the schools. Who is secret, me or you?

When Paul Baizerman went around Region 4 trying to give out NO vote liteature, guess what? He was stopped by Unity Chapter leaders who seem to be able to intimidate even principals into keeping opposition literature out of schools.

My mission is not all that secret or subversive - it is to destroy Unity Caucus control of the UFT, which you seem to think is synonomous with Unity. It is not and you are about to find that out. Will my "Masters" be happy if the sell-out Caucus that trumpeted mayoral control and has allowed teachers' rights to be trampled by the DOE should be replaced by a militant group that will really stand up to them?
I think NOT.

northbrooklyn said...

What exactly is wrong with expecting our DR to negotiate the implementation of this contract? It's their job to do so. [we all know they are incompetent and would make a mess of things but they should be the ones to do it and then go back and 'do over'] @ least they would be working for a living.
What exactly is wrong with having the rank and file elect their DR and VP to four year terms? Sounds pretty reasonable to me...sounds like democracy.
What exactly is wrong with counting votes at a union meeting? If it's a delegate meeting, why should it be secret? The delegate is a representative of the rank and file. In other democratic organizations, the representative votes and everyone knows how they voted. It is then incumbent on the representative to explain the reason for their vote.
What exactly is wrong with making vote-taking electronic? what is wrong with surveying the rank and file electronically? Why should important decisions be made by a small group of people without the imput of the rank and file?
With the new contract, we are [possibly] going to clear out our files of unwanted letters and then set up some kind of system to insure that letters to the file are removed when the time comes to do so. Why don't we have a system in place already? Could it be that the union management has no idea how many letters to file there are out there? Isn't that their job?

Anonymous said...

Little hot under the collar there, Norm, about your DOE job. Do you get your orders to disrupt and destroy the UFT from Irizarry or directly from Herr Klein? And I applaud the chapter leaders of Region 4 for keeping your poisonous lies out of the mailboxes. Seems to me Unity's DR's are quite competent.

Chaz said...


I do not understand why the UFT educrats hate you so. It seems to me that your suggestions are good ones.

I think Randi and her stooges should be working hard to ensure that the DOE does not force the classroom teacher into a sixth period. Instead it seems that they are more interested in worrying about world politics.

Anonymous said...

Anon --

Norm and everyone else is fed up with Unity because they are self serving liars. You are the best representation with your poisonous little lies. Lucky for you you have a little job -- no one else would ever bother to hire you.

Maybe Norm can make you a little robot to keep you company!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the BASIS DR is a known giant of unionism. Largest geographical area, but no car? With that huge salary? How can you hold the job for that long, but not get to the schools...?

Dump Unity in 2007 said...

Anonymous said:
"And I applaud the chapter leaders of Region 4 for keeping your poisonous lies out of the mailboxes. Seems to me Unity's DR's are quite competent."

Well, let me say a few things:
1. I, an elected chapter delegate who is fed up with the poisonous Unity lies, distributed ICE and TJC handouts exposing the truth about the sellout contract. One of my colleagues then decided to join TJC.

2. While my DR may be competent, she is still a Weingarten stooge. She actually had the nerve to admonish me for hanging anti-Weingarten literature and for wearing an anti-Weingarten T-shirt in the building on a non-instructional day.

3. The DR's must toe the line because Weingarten actually has threatened several of them with removal from their DR positions for having the nerve to tell her that the contract stinks. The UFT sounds more and more like the USSR every day.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:57-

Self-serving? Isn't that what ICE stands for, the Intergalactic Confusion of Egotists?

And thanks, but I already have a BIG job: I'm a New York City public school teacher.

As for the little robot Norm could make for me, he's already done that by creating you. And I do so enjoy the few things he allows you to say.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon:

I got just 2 words for you -- and it isn't "Merry Christmas."

I have more intelligence in my little toe nail than you have in your entire brain. And if you let Norm make a little robot for you, you may actually increase your IQ to 85.

No wonder we are in so much trouble -- look at the rubbish that is allowed to teach AND work for Unity!

Anonymous said...


How very clever you are to be able to discern my IQ through one or two comments on this blog. Be careful that you don't reveal this hidden 'talent' to too many people or you'll end up with your compadres in the rubber room.

I do so admire your facility with words. That comment about your little toe nail is just sooo witty. I look forward to hearing you make a fool out of yourself at the DA.

Oh, and I wish you a Merry Christmas too, as well as a Happy Thanksgiving.

Abused in Region 4 said...

I need this question answered: My principal has the balls to say that instead of the 37 1/2 period at the end of the day, she will extend each period by 5 minutes. This couldn't be legal, could it? Please direct me.

Anonymous said...


which district in region 4?

jameseterno said...

Region 4-

If it's a multiple session or district 75 school then the principal could add the time on the school day. However, if she's adding five minutes to each period, assuming an eight period day, the principal would be adding 40 minutes to the day each day. That's more time than the UFT gave away in the last two contracts.

37.5 minutes combines the twenty minutes from the last contract with the ten in this contract and adds it up for four days a week to make a 37.5 minute small group instruction period four days per week.

Abused in Region 4 said...

District 32

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous,

I am not Karnak. Nor do I even go to the DA meetings, although I did manage to sneak in to the crucial one and even vote.... ha,ha.

The rubber room is a sham. Teachers sit there with trumped up charges leveled against them that have no basis in reality. If you want names, I can give you names.

A responsible, caring union would be in that rubber room every day of the week fighting "tooth and nail" to exonerate these teachers.

You could care less about teachers or any of their rights! You only care about ridiculing serious, intelligent, independent minded teachers who want a decent contract.

No need to wish me a Merry Christmas. I celebrate Hanukah. No doubt this small fact will get wrapped up in your litany of insults!

John Doe said...

I can tell you how they're handling letters in the file at my high school . They are writing A LOT MORE U OBSERVATIONS since the new Principal's Academy stooge took over. People are beginning to shudder at the thought at not having the option of grieving whatever crap the principal shoves at them.

Many will regret voting Yes to this union busting contract - as predicted.

Jane Doe said...

A very worrisome state of affairs. My opinion is start investigating schools outside of the New York City system. There may be some nicer schools in NJ or Westchester or Nassau Cty.

I am not going to worry about pension etc. My biggest concern is to have secure, fair working conditions. I can't go to work everyday and walk on eggshells.

Worse possible scenario is that I'll look for a job in another field if need be. One thing I am certain of ...I will not teach a 6th period.

Richard Skibins said...

We can file complaints with the state department of labor, or even file our own personal lawsuits. I would even go as far as suing the UFT.

Jack Hammer said...

District Representatives should be elected by the membership. There is no reason why they shouldn't be (except of course then our leadership couldn't ensure that they were all Unity lackeys). This is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Anonymous said...

Richard --

What are we filing a lawsuit about? We voted for a contract which gave us more time for money.

The membership is as much to blame as Unity. This is what is so upsetting. Put a K into money and you have monkey. Monkey see, monkey do, monkey follow UFT leadership!

Richard Skibins said...

"We" did not vote for the contract. 40% voted against it. As far as lawsuits, harassment is a crime the last I heard. And the UFT leadership is derelict in their duty for not protecting the membership against harassment. A good union leadership would have fought Chancellor Klein at every turn without giving a rat's *ss about what the media nad the public think.

Anonymous said...

If this new contract protects against micromanagement, then why are principals doing "walkthroughs" and handing out classroom evaluations and "suggestions" on how to arrange your room and bulletin boards????????????

The UFT is aware of this, yet nothing was done to stop it.
Why is that Randi???????

Anonymous said...

She won't answer you because she is too busy thinking of photo ops and what we can give up next time around.

Advisor said...

She is not: how rude! She's busy with her resume, and she's got Unity running around trying to stamp out the seeds of discontent.... Attempting to smear, crush and discredit all voices that want reform and change--instead of embracing reform.
But the upcoming "historical" (read: hysterical) DA is the best Unity can do--and it should be humurous.

Anonymous said...

Richard --

Can't we blame both Unity and the membership? Why did 60% say yes to this contract?

Unity and the membership are responsible.

Anonymous said...

A lot of teachers in my school believed our UFT rep. when she told them it was the best we could do and if we vote no, we will strike! And if not strike , we will go four years without a raise. A lot of teachers were scared. They really felt they had no choice. A couple of teachers actually felt it was a good contract until I explained to them what we were giving up and the terrible precedent this contract was setting. Again, the UFT rep. stressed to them it's the best we were going to get. I have contempt for those who told me outright that they were voting yes because they will be retiring in a couple of years. I'm really angry at those who knew this was a bad deal but said nothing. I blame Randi and Co. They are the ones who knew this was a crappy deal and did everything they possibly could to get it ratified. If the details of the contract were known to the entire membership, there was no way it was going to pass.

Anonymous said...

The details of the contract were available to the entire membership. Every member had a copy of the Agreement mailed to them. The Agreement was also available online. And lots of 'explanatory' position papers were put out by various factions of the UFT. If 60% of the membership voted for the contract, it was because they accepted it. Like it or not, the membership has spoken.

Pissed Off Queens Teacher said...

The literature mailed to the membership had the typical Unity spin. We lost so many things, but Weingarten claimed that it was a victory because of some token bullsh*t about bulletin boards! And rather than using the threat of a strike against management, she used it against the membership! Now, Dump Unity is right. My DR told me that she told Randi that the deal was awful. Randi told her that if she said one more word, then she would remove her from her DR position.

The answer is clear: we must reform the UFT laws. Have the DR's elected by the district members, not appointed by Randi. Stop the slate voting. Have each position voted as a separate vote. Have elementary elect its officers and VP. Have middle school, high school, and District 75 do likewise. And, impose term limits. If it's good enough for the city, it's good enough for the UFT.

Richard Skibins said...

I like the term limit idea. Like bread, leadership that's been around for too long becomes stale.

Anonymous said...

It somewhat reminds me of when Saddam Hussein (in 2002)wins 100 percent of the vote.

"Like it or not, the membership has spoken."

I'm sure the vote was fair and accurate.