Wednesday, May 17, 2006


by James Eterno, Chapter Leader, Jamaica H.S., H.S Rep., Executive Board

The 2006-07 school calendar has been released (see below) and it is not good news for UFT members. As ICE predicted several months ago on this blog, we will be working a week longer next year as compared to this year. Some UFT members in non extended time schools will be working 192 days next year. The rest of us will be working 190 days. This year we are working 185. Thanks to our Unity Negotiating Committee NYC educators will have the longest school year of any district from Montauk to Manhattan that we know of. We are not aware of any other school system where teachers start on the last day in August and then don't finish until June 27.

Our extra long year is caused by the fact that we don't have a fixed number of days in our school calendar like most districts have (For example, Farmingdale: 183 days per year and Copiague: 183 days per year). Therefore, since some of the holidays fall on weekends in 2006-07, and we added two extra days in the new contract (three for members in Brooklyn and Queens), we are forced to work an unending 190 day year. Anyone who thinks that our students will learn more just because they are attending school for an extra week knows nothing about the law of diminishing returns.

While our year is longer, our pay is still among the lowest in the region and our teaching and learning conditions in terms of class size, school safety, access to up to date supplies and books, etc. will still be the worst in the area. But the UFT won't accept more work time. Thanks a lot! In the next contract we can be grateful that we still have July 4 off.


August 28, Monday The following staff report: Assistant principals and school-based intermediate supervisors not designated to work an increased work year, and staff returning to former Extended Time Schools.

August 31, Thursday Classroom Teachers, Bilingual Teachers in School and Community Relations, Guidance Counselors, Attendance Teachers, Nurses, Therapists, Laboratory Specialists and Technicians, Educational Paraprofessionals and staff new to former Extended Time Schools (except for School Secretaries, Psychologists and Social Workers) report for a Professional Day -General staff orientation. School Secretaries, Psychologists and Social Workers report for a regular work day. Employees in titles not listed should consult the applicable collective bargaining agreement. Students will not be in attention.

September 1, Friday Chancellor's Conference Day for staff development (regular work day for School Secretaries, psychologists and Social Workers).Students will not be in attendance.

September 4, Monday Labor Day.


September 6, Wednesday Early Dismissal for Kindergarten Students Only.

October 2, Monday Yom Kippur

October 9, Monday Columbus Day Observed

November 7, Tuesday Election Day Chancellor's Conference Day for staff development. Students will not be in attention.

November 23, Thursday and November 24, Friday Thanksgiving Recess

December 25, Monday through and including January 1, Monday

Winter Recess (including Christmas and New Year's Day), students return to school on Tuesday, January 2 2007


January 15, Monday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 31, Wednesday Fall Term ends for HIGH school students. HIGH school students will not be in attendance. All other students will be in attendance.

February 1, Thursday Spring Term begins for HIGH school students.

February 19, Monday through February 23, Friday Midwinter Recess (including Washington's Birthday)

April 2, Monday through Tuesday April 10,Spring Recess (including Good Friday, Easter and Passover), students return to school on Wednesday April 11.

May 28, Monday Memorial Day Observed

June 7, Thursday Chancellor's Conference Day for staff development IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS. School staff report to work if required by their collective bargaining agreement. Students IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS will NOT be in attendance.

June 27, Wednesday LAST DAY FOR ALL STUDENTS. Last day for all Classroom Teachers, Bilingual Teachers in School and Community Relations, Attendance Teachers, Nurses, Therapists, Laboratory Specialists and Technicians and last day for Paraprofessionals. An early dismissal of students is to be scheduled under the guidelines outlined in Sections 8 and 9 below.

June 28, Thursday and June 29, Friday All other staff report except Classroom Teachers, Bilingual Teachers in School and Community Relations, Attendance Teachers, Nurses, Therapists, Laboratory Specialists and Technicians, and Paraprofessionals.


Love2Teach said...

You ICE wooses. I welcome every day I can teach my wonderful youngsters. Oh, by the way, anyone have a few bucks for gas so I can get to school?

Chaz said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Unity for your hard work in allowing us fortunate classroom teacher to work longer hours and 190 days! How can any of you complain about the great work Randi & gang has done for us?

Didn't Unity give us a competitive salary in return? Well, no. East Islip Long Island, a typical middle-class school district has a top salary of $122,145 compared to our top salary of $90,472. That is a 36% difference! Yeah, we certainly have parity with the suburbs. Oh by the way, they work 183 days a year also, and they use snow days (3) that are not used as extra vacation days for Memorial day weekend (Tuesday & Friday).

Just give me a wip so I can lash myself while singing the praises of Unity.

Richard Skibins said...

Didn't you realize that we got MORE in this contract than anyone else? We got more hours, more days, more micromanagement and more students than any other school system!

Anonymous said...

Geez thanks UFT. I welcome going back to school in the sweltering August heat so I can have a meeting of the minds and working right up until the end of June is always very intellecually stimulating.

Anonymous said...

Geez thanks UFT. I welcome going back to school in the sweltering August heat so I can have a meeting of the minds and working right up until the end of June is always very intellecually stimulating.

Anonymous said...

What a depressing way to end this year.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall being told that teachers would have the 2 days to set up their classrooms.

Wow! Another lie!

Anonymous said...

Our District Rep just told us that our strike issue for the next contract will be more time. Now, that there's no more time to give... I'm not an Earth Science teacher, but aren't there only 24 hours in a day? I'm not a Music teacher, but I thought "Sunrise, Sunset" was a song from Fiddler on the Roof, not our new hours.

NYC Educator said...

Actually, the agreement to say no to more time does not preclude simply accepting more work, like a full sixth class in lieu of the 30 some odd minute nonsense.

I believe that's what Klein had in mind all along.

Anonymous said...

The latest issue of NY Teacher also talked of "No more time", but there is was NO mention of:

*No more givebacks
*Restoring due process
*Restoring summer vacation time
*No micro-management

Instead, they want to back gay marriage. Now if this issue is going to improve the quality of teaching conditions, I'm all for it. However, I do not see how it will help to include agendas that have no correlation to the contract.

Again, Randi was lucky to find a large group of idiots who will follow her commands rather than stand up for our workforce.

The only person who is happy with the 190 days is that new teacher who posts on Edwize. After months of complaining about lack of support and discipline problems, she now states that she cannot wait for summer to be over so she can begin a new teaching year. She is also probably happy that summer vacation was cut short too under this contract too.

You gotta love these Unity Hacks!

Anonymous said...

Some folks just can't figure out that what you don't say is just as important as what you do say. And in the latest NYTeacher, what they don't say speaks volumes.

In regards to the new teacher posting on EDWIZE, I still have some clowns in my school defending their "yes" vote. They still don't understand how this contract made our working conditions worse, and in effect, lessened our ability to become effective teachers in the classroom.

We need to start spending money attacking Bloomberg. The million spent on the class size proposal (if you ask me, where did the other 999,999 dollars go) was a waste of time. The only city union to get a sweet deal was sanitation, so I really don't expect them to participate in bashing Bloomberg. But the firemen and PBA should join the UFT in making a concerted effort in attacking Bloomberg.

Krazee Kegler

Anonymous said...

Tell Bloomberg and Randi that we all thought sweatshop labor was history but now they are trying to basically turn us into 1900 style factory workers. Let's say it succinctly: the contract is deplorable.

And miles to go before I sleep said...

I was at the Delegate Assembly where Jeff Kaufman was shouted at by the Assembly and Randi for raising a resolution for no more time in the last contract. Randi was furious. Hacks belittled him (and ICE) for this attempts to "tie the hands" of the negotiating committee. Aren't we now closing the door after the horses have left the barn?

Anonymous said...

I don't see how teachers can call themselves professionals and then give themselves two days to prepare for an entire school year. Teachers should start work two weeks, not two days, before students arrive and give themselves time to collaborate, plan, develop curriculum and assessments, and be totally prepared for their students. Instead, they complain about working for two days in late August to put up bulletin boards. Teaching will never be considered a profession until teachers start working together when students are not around.

Anonymous said...

You funny. Your post funny too. Go home troll. Amateur.

Anonymous said...

To the anon who said "Teachers should start working together to plan..."

That was also taken away from us. Originally we were supposed to use the 100 minutes on extended Mondays to do just that. Instead principals turned it into Detention Mondays with topics that were unrelated to both our students and our professional development needs. Collaboration, planning, or looking at student work in order to alter lessons was not allowed.

However, now all subjects are more or less scripted because the DOE feels all children have the same learning styles and develop all the same way.

Now, who the hell are you really?

Anonymous said...

The fall semester for the high schools will be 98 days! What do they expect us to do?

reality-based educator said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reality-based educator said...

I mean Randi and Unity/New Action, btw.

dsalkin said...

From Monday, May 29, 2006

By DAVID ANDREATTA Education Reporter

May 29, 2006 -- Veterans are blasting a city plan to keep public schools open on the observed Veterans Day in November, calling it "absurd" and "a disgrace" with the country at war.

The schools are traditionally closed when Nov. 11 falls on a weekday, but this year it's on a Saturday. The city is giving civil servants a day off Nov. 10, when the federal government is observing the holiday.

But the city Department of Education - claiming a 45-year tradition of keeping the schools open whenever the holiday falls on a weekend - is opting to hold classes that Friday.

Word of the move has enraged vets.

"It's absurd and really shows a lack of respect to those people who've served," said Patrick Gualtieri, 61, executive director of the United War Veterans Council of New York City. "It's a special day - not just a white sale."

Joe Graham, 63, president of the Manhattan chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, agreed, calling the city's excuse "nonsense."

"Take a look at our VA hospitals and see all these young people coming back to New York missing parts," he said. "For the schools not to observe it is wrong."

Other large school districts across the state are closing schools Nov. 10, but city Department of Education spokesman Keith Kalb said its practice of keeping them open on observed Veterans Days dates to 1961.

"In honor of our veterans and in recognition of the upcoming Nov. 11 celebrations, we plan to ask our schools to emphasize the importance of this day," he said.

Memorial Day honors those killed in war. Veterans Day honors all who served. The former Armistice Day originally celebrated World War I's end.

NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc. NYPOST.COM, NYPOSTONLINE.COM, and NEWYORKPOST.COM
are trademarks of NYP Holdings, Inc.
Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the Department of Education cares about veterans?

Anonymous said...

The Union leadership are total sellouts. They have no respect for the average teacher toiling 72 hours per week. They have the slightest idea about the day of a teacher, nevermind the year. These sellouts must be routed out from their trenched positions, making salaries above teachers, perks, and priviliges given to them from the table of their bosses, in exchange from keeping us in check. Let them insult us in their blogs, they are afraid of honesty and the truth. Let them tremble!

Anonymous said...

Long Live Brooklyn Queens Day

By Kenny Bruno
(From the Queens Ledger)

Brooklyn Queens Day was sweet. Brooklyn Queens Day was special. BQ Day was, as MS 51 graduate Joshua Paris says, simply, "the best holiday ever."

But Brooklyn Queens Day is no more. This year students in all boroughs have the day off, while teachers in all boroughs must work. My 14-year old daughter calls this "the most disturbing thing I have heard in my entire life." A weapon in her fight against the "Brooklyn Sucks" crowd across the river has been coldy confiscated.
R.I.P., BQ Day. Let us now praise Brooklyn Queens Day.

I suppose the single most delightful thing about Brooklyn Queens Day was that it was a day off from school for no apparent reason. Grownups had to work and therefore couldn't schedule any vacation-like activities. Unlike Christmas or Thanksgiving, there were no holiday curricula, no commercials, no traditions to uphold and no family events to attend. It came in June, during the best weather and longest days. The kicker was that no one else had this day off. You could actually go to Manhattan and see to it that your Manhattan friends, if you had any, would look enviously at you from inside their prisons.

Or you could play basketball. You could watch Gilligan's Island. When you were older, you could go behind the school and...well, nevermind.

BQ Day was marvelously uncontroversial. There are no records of Bronx people protesting the exclusion of their borough. A review of Brooklyn Eagle letters to the editor from the early 20th century reveals that some people did get upset when the schools opened one year, but who can blame them?

Another lovely thing about Brooklyn Queens Day was the lack of information. We never asked, and were never told, what it was about.

Now that its era has ended, I will hereby reveal the murky origins of this most meaningless of holidays (and I say that in the most affectionate way). Drum roll, please.

What was originally called Anniversary Day started in 1814 to celebrate the founding of the Protestant Sunday School Union.

Yep, that's it folks. That's the whole story.

How did the glory that is Brooklyn Queens Day evolve from these humble beginnings? The crucial moment, according to a 2002 article in the Brooklyn Papers by Paulanne Simmons, came around the Civil War era, when "a bill was drafted declaring Anniversary Day an official school holiday in Brooklyn, but not a bank holiday." Genius. Brooklyn became part of NYC in 1898, but el pueblo certainly was not going to give up this perk.
But hold on a sec. "A bill was drafted??" This is no time for the passive voice, Ms. Simmons! This was a legislative legacy that would father generations of fond memories. Who drafted it?

Well, no one seems to remember who wrote the bill. But whoever it was, we love 'em.

This seems like a good time to settle one contentious aspect of holiday history and nomenclature. During research for this article, both the Brooklyn historian Ron Schweiger and my friend Jenna, who is from Bay Ridge, reported that growing up they called it "Brooklyn Day." Jenna tried to suppress a supercilious look as she said it, but we both knew this was a slight to Queens.

Now even the Queens library website acknowledges that this great tradition started in Brooklyn. But a mere century after the passing of the aforementioned landmark legislation, the Queens Federation of Churches pushed through a bill closing schools in both Queens and Brooklyn. Since both boroughs were part of New York City by then, the signing of this bill surely counts as one of Governor Nelson Rockefeller's most remarkable political acts.
Thus, since 1959 BQ Day has been a bi-boro bonanza. The former Interboro Parkway is mostly in Queens and only a little in Brooklyn, but it wasn't called the Mostly Queens Parkway! Enough with the Brooklyn chauvinism, Jenna. The Day belonged to both boroughs.

And wherefore the demise of BQ Day? At first I thought there might be deep significance, something to do with Brooklyn and Queens becoming so hip and so expensive that they no longer needed what some might think of as Underdog Day. But the culprit, I'm afraid, is an organization to which several of my ancestors belonged, the United Federation of Teachers. In 2005, the teachers signed a contract, which stipulates that the first Thursday in June shall be a school holiday for the entire city (though teachers have to work on staff development). Thus did the UFT undo the fine work of the Queens Federation of Churches and negotiate away our patrimony.
But wait, say the UFT lawyers. Look at subparagraph 7.C of the October 6 2005 Memorandum of Agreement, to wit: "All teachers...will also have a professional day on Brooklyn-Queens day." In other words, kids in all boroughs are off, yet it is stilled called Brooklyn-Queens Day. Hallelujah, the BQE is saved from being the only thing left in this world with both "Brooklyn" and "Queens" in its name.

Brooklyn Queens Day as we knew it is no more, but its spirit lives on. For example, there will still be marches in both boroughs commemorating the lack of school this June 8. The Anniversary Day Parade celebrating Christian Education in Brooklyn and Queens is scheduled to start on Fresh Pond Road and 68th Avenue at 10:30 a.m. The marchers are heading to Myrtle Avenue and back.

And I bet you didn't know that just a half-hour later not even two miles south, the Brooklyn Sunday School Union, a federation of dozens of churches, is holding its 178th annual parade not far from the site of the first Anniversary Day parade in 1829. They will start on Thomas Boyland Avenue and Fulton Street at 11 a.m. If you're still on your way from the Queens parade at that time, you can catch them by noon or so at Stuyvesant Avenue and Fulton. The route will finish at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Fort Greene.

Councilwoman Letitia James marches every year. I asked Ms. James, a Brooklyn girl who represents Fort Greene, what would be different this year. She said, "Nothing is different. No one comes out, but we're going to march like we always do." And how did she feel about Manhattanites getting to join in? "I never paid any attention to them anyway."

Touche, Councilwoman. See you at the parade. And Long Live Brooklyn Queens Day.

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