Thursday, January 19, 2006

Delegate Assembly Misses Opportunity to Stop Improper Money Grab

The UFT continued to try to cover-up the circumstances surrounding their recent staff pay raise by declining to review the action and then “correcting the inaccuracies” that were leveled against them at the Delegate Assembly Wednesday night. For the most part delegates were very surprised that the leaders of our Union increased their own salaries without even mentioning it to the Delegate Assembly.

A motion to rescind the improper and unapproved action was made and did not receive enough votes to place it on the agenda. Feeling that the motion raised accusations that needed to be explained to the delegates, Staff Director Michael Mendel told the body, indignantly that there were several inaccuracies. It was clear that the staff was paid the increase before proper Executive Board approval was obtained. It was also clear that our leadership does not care how it spends our dues so long as it helps line their own pockets.

Randi, herself admitted to flagrantly violating Roberts’ Rules at least two times at the Delegate Assembly. It does not bother her or the other beneficiaries of our hard earned dues to violate our rules and Union constitution at least when it comes to these raises.

Do our leaders need salary increases? Should they be rewarded for increasing our dues, getting a weaker contract that we had and failing miserably in leading our school system away from the corporate mentality that is making teaching more like factory piece work every day.

Many of the recipients of the raise have already received their DOE salary raises. Are they working in the UFT subsidized cafeteria? Are they performing any extra duties that we are required to in order to obtain an increase in our salary?

Since we were unable to properly discuss the merits (or negatives) of a salary increase for our hardworking leaders I put it out to all of you.

Should our leadership get a 15% raise? If you answered yes, then, please provide some suggestions on the increase duties they should be required to do in order to obtain their increases.

If you answered that they should not get a raise please provide some suggestions on what they should do to get a raise.

We will endeavor to bring your suggestions to the next Executive Board meeting. I don’t know if we will be allowed to speak but we will bring your suggestions anyway.


MAD AS HELL said...

Do the UFT leaders deserve a raise? The answer is no. In my view they are already more than generously compensated and should actually be trimming their salaries considering the poor/weak work they put into producing this giveback-laden contract.

What should they do to justify a raise? Well, as Randi said on Teacher Day in November: "Our primary goal is to become a militant organization that is prepared to do what it takes, including going on strike, so that in the next round of negotiations we will be taken seriously by City Hall."

Should the rank and file believe her? Well, at last nite's DA, a teacher, Nick, offered a Resolution that was very throrough and detailed, about the many specific things the UFT can do to increase activisim in the schools and get us prepared for a real battle, including going on strike, at the next contract talks, when our current contract ends in October 2007. A Unity hack got some mike time and spoke against Nick's resolution. He admitted that Nick had many good ideas, but (ah, here's the rub) "there were some impractical things there, and we really need to come up with a realistic strategy." This excellent resolution was voted down (though not by a tremendous majority).

Well, where is Randi' plan to restore activism? What is she waiting for? Two months have passed since she gave that Teacher Day speech. She cannot be believed. Her Unity crew is not be believed.

Deserve a raise? You gotta be kidding me. Throw the shit-eating bastards out! This crap has made me MAD AS HELL!

Anonymous said...

It seems the majority of people who attend the delegate meetings are of one mind--Unity's.

If there was no outrage against the raises, then it doesn't help to post our comments unless it will somehow change the situation.

Many teachers in my school aren't aware of these raises, but wouldn't be happy.

Would a petition help?

ICE in the Winter said...

Apparently not enough delegates were sufficient outraged. The motion to place rescinding the raise on the agenda for next month's DA failed abysmally. Perhaps the problem is your credibility. Despite the fact that the raise was 5.5%, you continue to insist that it was 15%. If you can find a math teacher willing to interact with the ICEcapades, perhaps you can have him explain the difference to you. Telling the truth might go a long way in establishing you guys as a viable opposition. Well, on second thought, never mind, just keep on being the way you are.

Chaz said...

I believe the UFT leaders deserve a raise. However, here are my suggestions for the givebacks. All UFT educrats must report to schools Monday-Thursday for 37.5 minute tutoring of students. They should report to the same school on Friday and clean the toliets, hallways, or cafeteria. Finally, the UFT leaders should contact parents during their prep period (for some of them that's most of the day) to find out why their darlings are not going to school and to inform ACS when the parents don't or won't respond.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed in you guys. First, you don't talk about the Dec. DA "Shout Out".

Then you guys don't allow the Iraq resolution come to the floor.

Now finally there is no comment about the TWU's vote.

I know it is Friday but neither Jeff, Norm or James have an opinion?

Anonymous said...

waging a campaign against the TWU contract came easy of TWU dissidents. A well-organized grass roots campaign caused the contract to be voted down.

What I don't get is how did blue collar workers with no advanced education, no blogs to speak of can wage a better campaign than ICE or UTP?

I think there are lessons to be learned here too.

jameseterno said...

My computer was down a couple of days. I'm back now and I think the TWU turning down their proposed contract was incredible. Maybe this is the turning point in labor history when working people start to say enough with givebacks; we're going to fight back.

jameseterno said...

To ICE in Winter,

We do tell the truth. I posted the following comment in reaction to another comment but it works here too. Please read the entire piece we wrote on the salary increase. It is not surprising that many of the very same people who were getting the pay increase didn't vote against it at the DA.

Read the actual executive board resolution, not the leadership spin, if you want to know that this is a 15% increase, not a 5.5% raise for union staff.

The resolution stated that union staff (president, other officers, District Representatives, etc...) would receive pay increases "in the same manner as those negotiated by the UFT represented school system employees."

The first two years covered by our contract would mean the pay goes up 5.5% for our union leaders. Then in the last two years the increase only kicks in with some undefined productivity enhancements that will end up making the increase the same 15% teachers are getting.

Since the productivity has been left undefined, we are asking our readers to help come up with productivity gains for the union staff that would equal cafeteria duty and 37.5 minute small group instruction that many of us will have to suffer with in the schools. Help us to help the union staff earn their raise. UFT members are paying for the raise with our dues money so why shouldn't we have a say in how our money is spent?

NYC Educator said...

Boy, there's one ironic headline.

They "missed an opportunity" to stop it? Aren't those the same folks who created the opportunity to grab it?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. I thought ICE supported Toussaint. Are you now saying you support their dissenters?

Anonymous said...

Still no comment about the Dec. DA

Anonymous said...

Or about the Iraq resolution.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the TWU issue either. The give-back was about paying 1.5% for medical benefits. 1.5% could translate into a lot of money. I thought Touissaint did not support give-backs. So why was he so disappointed that the contract was voted down?

Anonymous said...

I thought ICE supported Toussaint?

Anonymous said...

ICE is the one who has to learn the lesson on how to properly wage a campaign against Unity. If 4 dissenters at TWU were able to drive a NO vote, then why couldn't ICE. The vote was sooooo close. That's the lesson to be learned.

I still think the TWU got a better contract than we did. Hopefully, the members did the right thing.

jameseterno said...

ICE has never taken a position as far as I know on whether we support Roger Toussaint. Most of us supported the strike and went out on the picket line supporting the strikers. I personally have respect for Toussaint who came from New Directions, a dissident group, that took over that Union.

I also have respect for a number of current dissidents in TWU who are working to stop the dangerous health care givebacks. Whether you support Toussaint or not, it is quite a fascinating development that the transit workers voted down the contract. I'm sure ICE will be discussing this in detail very soon.

Finally, if we had been given the opportunity to get our message opposing the latest UFT Contract out to all the schools in UFT member mailboxes instead of being booted out by administrators and not supported by our union's leaders, I think there is a good chance we would have defeated the "Givebacks R Us" teachers' contract.

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