Thursday, April 13, 2006

Emergency Executive Board Report:

Contract Modified to Eliminate Extended Time Schools and Provide $5,000.00 Sign-up Housing Bonuses for New Math, Science and Special Ed Teachers

Though you will not see it prominently displayed at uft.org or in your next New York Teacher the UFT Executive Board, with little notice, last Wednesday, approved a modification to our contract which will sound the death knell to the Extended Time Schools and provide union approval to a $5,000 sign-up bonus scheme to attract math, science and special ed teachers.

Extended Time Schools were created to provide additional compensation to teachers and staff that agreed to work in mostly failing schools and agreed to work additional time. They were generally paid 15% more for 5 additional days before school began and professional development.

With the new contract and everyone working longer hours the difference between ETS and other schools was not that great and the salary reflected it.

Under the provisions of the new modification the UFT agrees that ETS gets phased out and then eliminated by July 1, 2007. In exchange a new housing incentive program for new math, science and special ed teachers will be made available.

If you have worked for the DOE in the last 2 years you are not eligible for the $5,000.00 bonus.

The modification demonstrates that we are further along a significant shift in negotiation strategy. We are no longer treating salaries for teachers equally. Starting with the lead teacher position this incentive continues our acceptance that all teachers are not equal…or some are more equal than others.

The leadership rammed this modification through the Board citing that “time was of the essence.” Our attempt to delay voting until a more thorough examination can be made of the modification was defeated.

What’s next is unclear but paying our members differently has been a clear goal of Klein and Bloomberg. That alone should give us some hint as to where we are headed.

37 comments:

NYC Educator said...

That's shocking, even to me.

I posted some thoughts on this topic at my blog as well.

Unitymustgo said...

Nothing our union does is shocking to me anymore. There is not a damn thing to be done about any of it. I will try to run against my Chapter leader in my school, but I have no chance in hell.

Anonymous said...

The constant mantra of Randi and her party has been- "What can we do? This administration is very tough." Okay- so we got a bad Contract. Why are we now making things worse?

Chaz said...

This is incredible! They should be using the money for changing the longevity years or at the very least retention of math & science teachers, not to attract new, inexperienced teachers. Again Unity does not have their priorities on straight.

Anonymous said...

I would like to think that any renegotiation would have to be voted upon by the rank and file--who I am sure would vote this unfair proposal way down.

Teachers who are already in service are being treated unfarily by this union.

NYC Educator said...

Actually, the NY Times reports today that the 5K bonuses will be supplemented by $400 a month rent stipends for two years, bringing the bonus above $14,000.

Short-sighted Unity thinks perhaps that bending over yet again will somehow satisfy the lunatics who regularly crucify us in the tabloids. However, regular readers know that's not the case.

When I peruse the free copies of the Post and the News that are dumped in my building, I can't help but notice, despite our unprecedented givebacks, they hate us as much as ever.

Jeff Zahler said...

This "Emergency Executive Board Report" is clearly not a report, reports reflect reality, no reality here.

Mr.Kaufman tells us "Extended Time Schools were created to provide additional compensation for teachers." Does anyone believe the DOE created a program just to compensate teachers? They were in fact created to help low performing kids.

Clearly the Chancellor had the ability to end the ETS program and he notified the union he was about to do so. It was Randi's ability that changed the situation to get the Chancellor to extend the compensation for the program for an additional year.

The housing incentive program makes the headlines and is clearly an attempt to attract and retain teachers with 2 years experience in Science, Mathematics and Special Education to come to New York City and teach in hard to staff schools. It is has been feared that the state would make the city institute forced transfers to meet this need - something we could not tolerate.

What made less of a splash was the housing assistance program the UFT gained for its currently employed members.

If the goal of the the union is to provide better conditions for its members, the leadership of the UFT once again showed vision and creativity in solving a problem for children, while securing an another year of ETS compensation and a new housing assistance program for its members.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff Z. for explaining how our Union secured housing assistance for "our members". Wait a second...I have been a member of this Union for over 20 years and they have never helped me offset the cost of housing let alone the unfair salaries compared to our counterparts in the tri-state area. Where was my signing bonus when I started teaching in Harlem?

So, you must mean Soon-To-Be Members. And as for the State "forcing" teachers to transfer...well there you go again with the Unity spin scare tactics "it has been feared...". If this was such a big fear, NYTeacher would have reported on it and union meetings would have been held to discuss the ramifications. And, our contract would have had a clause protecting against such action. Oh, I forgot, Klein tells us what to put in our contract, and Randi is too afraid of the political climate to take a stand.

If this is a part of "my" contract, then why was my right to vote on this provision negated?

And how can someone from the Fellows program have 2-years experience? You do plan to use Teaching Fellows as well as TFA?

On behalf of all the teachers who have served in economically depressed communities, we welcome the fact that new teachers will get extra money. No resentment here!

Anonymous said...

“The Department of Education had a critical shortage, which we helped resolve,” Weingarten said. “We then used the opportunity to solve other problems as well.”

It's real funny to see our union leadership helping the poor ol' DOE.

The REAL problems remain unsolved, and where Unity is concerned: unspoken.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely true that in the last 4 years and 2 contracts our salaries have not increased approximately 37% and no closer to the suburbs. Although the incentive programs may have not been there 20 years ago when you started, obviously there are inroads now. But I guess you can’t celebrate that.

As for the state's involvement for getting certified teachers in the schools, the state DOE trumps municipal contracts to the degree of having certified staff where they are required (notice that qualifications for our state certificates have no part in our contract because the contract is with the city not the state). This isn't creating a fear it is the reality of state regulations and having certified teachers in failing schools.

The UFT is not "helping the DOE" but rather Randi was able to get involved and be successful at getting something for our members when the city was not obligated to even discuss with us the elimination of ETS schools.

His power by state law, allows him to do it without us but again Randi stepped in and was able to get something out of nothing. That is what gets you mad. Randi's success and how Jeff Kaufman didn't have the leadership foresight to be constructive.

Anonymous said...

Chaz: "the money" you are talking about is not a pool of money for our current or new contract. This is a program to get certified teachers in these particular schools. More importantly as Jeff Zahler says, it is not only the particular housing incentive program but also gained another year of continuity for the current staff at ETS schools. Read the details at:
www.uft.org/news/issues/new_housing_aid/

Anonymous said...

If ALL union members are entitled to this housing stipend, then explain how we ALL should go about getting it.

Secondly, if the state wants to transfer math and science teachers--let them. Watch how quickly we will all leave the system. If this issue was as grave as you write, then it would have been brought to our attention way before this deal was made. We, not Randi, are the union and should be kept informed.

Lastly, this last contract gave up so much--even if anon or Jeff Z. refuses to see that.

I will never celebrate anything that pits teacher against teacher.
If the DOE wanted teachers to transfer, then offer our teachers the money--which was done when ETS were formed--not outsiders!

Klein himself called this merit pay. Oops...was Randi caught in another media gaffe!

I can't wait to see how Leo and friends like you write this up as the best thing that as ever happened since sliced bread. I am sure they will use the term "political climate" to justify this new provision as they did when they sold out excessed teachers.

As for foresight, NYTeacher already has written articles about the increase in LIF and illegal use of extended time. Teachers on lunch duty are suffering because it is exhausting work. However, if Jeff Z., Randi or Leo would like to come to our schools and volunteer for that duty, I would celebrate that!

Anonymous said...

As usual, Kaufman and ICE leave out the most salient facts...

THAT THEY ARE ENGAGING IN A TIRADE HERE AGAINST A PROPOSAL THEY DID NOT EVEN OPPOSE WHEN THEY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY...

Our brave ICE souls cast ABSTENTION votes.

This proposal passed the Executive Board with a single vote against, Ellen Schweitzer of TJC.

Perhaps that was because ICE understood that the DOE has the legal authority to end the ETS schools without providing a one and a half year grace period, and they did not want to have to defend a position resulting in such a state of affairs in those schools, when the UFT leadership had negotiated something far better.

Perhaps that was because they understood that the NYSED was pressuring the DOE to engage in involuntary transfers of Math, Science and Special Education teachers to SURR schools, on the supposition that they have the legal authority to supercede the contract on that question, and they did not want to risk being the ones which voted for that to happen, when the UFT leadership had negotiated something far better to address that issue.

Perhaps they did not want to be the ones who spoke up against the first opening the UFT leadership had found to create housing allowances for teachers, on the grounds of universality which would mean that it never got started.

Who knows what mysteries work in the synapses of ICE?

What is clear is that they are being entirely dishonest once again.

NYC Educator said...

As usual, Unity members lie about what are the most salient facts, and they most certainly are not the votes of ICE members, which would not have defeated the overwhelming Unity patronage mill.

Pardon me, but if it were not for them, i wouldn't even have known of this latest giveback from the geniuses who managed to negotiate a contract rife with givebacks that failed to even keep up with inflation.

As for housing stipends for curtrent members, I'll believe it when I see it. I firmly expect that will be never.

When I was a new teacher, and lost my job, the UFT offered me no help whatsoever, saying they could only help senior teachers. Now, thanks to Randi's brilliant negotiation,if I lose my job again, the UFT will still give me no help whatsoever.

You're certainly consistent.

I love the way you've rigged the voting. I love the way you censor my comments on Edwize when I mention it.

Thanks, Unity, for the great job you do for us. With friends like you, Klein's in great shape.

Anonymous said...

First, I am in no way a member of ICE. I agree, if ICE knew about this beforehand, they, like Unity should have reported it. At least ICE gave us the heads up before our own leadership did. That is why I come to this blog--for information. I will let ICE answer your comments.
As a teacher and member of this union, I don't appreciate being kept in the dark about the possibility of being forceably transferred.

Again, if the State wants us in a SURR school or any school that is in need, then offer us the same compensation package. Otherwise, math and science teachers already serving in these schools, or schools very much like them, may just as well take advantage of the open-market system and get placed in nicer surroundings--leaving more openings to be filled at a greater expense.

Either way you look at it, this agreement is a slap in the face to teachers, and not just math and science teachers, already serving in those schools. You are telling us we are not worth the extra dollars given our years of dedication and experience to New York City students.

Anonymous said...

Housing for current members? (I shudder to think of the possibilities.)
Sure! Just like 25/55!
Hail the Tammany Hall of 52 Brdwy!
Bless the collusion!
No checks and balances needed here!
Hail the totalitarian union!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I checked out UFT.org but I found it confusing. First they mention a salary of $57,000 and then they talk about a single person making $90,000.

Would you kindly explain the process to apply for these stipends? Would all those who qualify be getting the $400/month? (it better be!)

Don't you think Unity should make this a front page story on the next edition of NTTeacher so we can all take advantage of this.

However, I am still pissed about the signing bonus!!!!! Totally NOT FAIR!

Anonymous said...

Of course, if you are selling the idea of a "lottery" instead of an automatic stipend as a big win for UFT members, then you can put this provision as well as the rest of the contract where the sun don't shine!

Chaz said...

anom;

I would have welcomed the State to try to move math & science teachers to SURR schools. Even in good schools there are not enough qualified math & science teachers. You don't rob Peter to pay Paul. Instead Randi & gang caved in to DOE threats (where have we seen that before?) without getting anything back for the existing teacher.

Nice job Randi, you screwed us again!

Anonymous said...

Once again, if you see there is something also for curreent members - read the details Chaz:
www.uft.org/news/issues/new_housing_aid/

Anonymous said...

NYC Educator: i am sorry that you feel so frustrated that no one is listening to your rants. I'm sure there is a reason why.

As for the "givebacks" that made this current contract so horrible where is the "overwhelming" horror that I am still waiting to hear from all of the schools that are suffering. On this blog it was asked to report the enormity of it and there were even meetings with Chapter Leaders that didn't sound as horrendous as you make it to be. As the NY Teacher pointed out, there was some good and some bad.

You are just bitter and just as your ICE friends, you offer little constructive comments or solutions.

NYC Educator said...

Resorting to invective, are we?

One would think that Unity, which values tone above all else, could do better.

Kindly enlighten us as to what is good about a contract that, after a two year wait, failed to even meet inflation, and had massive and unprecedented givebacks.

We're all ears.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think "Unity Anon" confuses me with NY Educator. First, NY Educator would never publish under Anon as you and I do.

Second...thanks for the compliment:)

Anonymous said...

http://madtedious.blogspot.com/

A must read for Unity Anon!

NYC Educator said...

Basically, if you make less than 56K, you can get counseling. Otherwise, you're eligible for a lottery for low cost housing or apartments.

It ain't exactly 14,600 bucks, and you aren't guaranteed anything, but at least, as Unity trumpeted when marketing the contract, you can retire at 55 with 25 years experience.

Wait, scratch that..

Anonymous said...

You know NYC Educator not everyone needs to be in a political caucus to have an opinion. Internal union politics is not at the forefront of everyone's agenda.

Anonymous said...

Randi does whatever Randi wants to do. We is small people. Why on earth would she ever listen to us? This is good for us and everything else she's done for us is good for us. We just don't know it. Don't you see, that's the ticket! Randi has taken us to the promised land.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves correct no one said 25/55 is a done deal nor that it would occur overnight. Historically when it has been agreed upon by both parties then the stae legislature has supported changes also. In fact Randi has already mentioned at an Exec. Bd. that it starting to look good again. The UFT cannot control politicians despite what you or the NY Post believe.

NYC Educator said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NYC Educator said...

You know NYC Educator not everyone needs to be in a political caucus to have an opinion.

I appreciate that, and agree 100%. Unlike you, I'm not in any political caucus, so I'll keep expressing mine.

Internal union politics is not at the forefront of everyone's agenda.

It is, however, the primary topic of this blog. Odd you chose to visit.

The UFT cannot control politicians despite what you or the NY Post believe.

What a pity Unity hacks, pimping the contract in Edwize, led us to believe otherwise.

It's refreshing, though, that you openly admit how unreliable they are. Thanks for that.

jameseterno said...

I was away on a wonderful vacation this past week. It's good to see everyone back home debating UFT issues with passion.

To the one person who criticized the ICE abstentions on the MOA,

The emergency Executive Board meeting began around 12:30 p.m. on April 12. We were not handed the Memorandum of Agreement on Housing and the Extended Time Schools until after the meeting started. It was 4 pages of very small type buried in the middle of fifteen pages worth of material.

Randi gave a brief explanation of the Agreement; a few speakers were called upon and then the question was called and there was a vote.

We were not even given time to fully read the agreement. There was no way I would vote to support or oppose any issue based on that time frame. Jeff Kaufman asked for more time and was turned down.

Ed Beller and I have complained for years that to give Executive Board members complex material and expect a vote on it fifteen minutes later is not right.

While the debate on this blog is interesting, it should have taken place before UFT representatives voted on the proposal.

Anonymous said...

ICE has been on the forefront many times, but is overpowered by the UNITY regime. Eventually, even if too late, their ideas are often adopted by UNITY. For example, during our last negotiation period when ICE asked for a resolution in the DA to recommend that calls by the DOE for any additional time be rejected, they were abused by rampant name calling and general disrespect with shouts of sit down, shut-up or worse because "THEY WERE TYING THE HANDS OF THE NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE." Now (it's too late- we've already given away the store) the Agenda for Wednesday's DA lists Agenda Item #1: Resolution on No More Time. A question to Randi, or Mr. Zalhler, or any of our UNITY leaders- won't this resolution be tying the negotiating committee's hands?

NYC Educator said...

Ed Beller and I have complained for years that to give Executive Board members complex material and expect a vote on it fifteen minutes later is not right.

That's precisely how the Bushies operate.

Anonymous said...

Today was great DA! Are you guys going to report on it?

17 more years said...

Unrelated issue but- can administration collect plan books and keep them overnight?

Anonymous said...

On the DA:
The most important thing is that Ron Isaac made a brilliant presentation.

Anonymous said...

On the DA:
The reason it was a great DA is that Ron Isaac made a brilliant presentation of a motion. Nothing else really matters.