In a vote with 3 members voting in opposition the negotiation committee agreed to a tentative deal, last night, with the DOE almost one year before our current sellout contract expires. The details of the agreement provide for a pattern increase (Randi will spin that this is larger but the contract is now extended for 24 months instead of the DC 37 pattern of 20 months.)
What is most disturbing is the failure of the negotiating committee to put before the DA a contract which deals with any of the givebacks of our current contract. We still can't grieve letters or go to step 2. We still have the 37 minutes and 6th teaching periods disguised as Circular 6 not to mention potty patrol and loss of seniority transfers and erosion of our workplace rights. The negotiating committee did not deal with the current pain that our members go through each and every day.
We lost the right to even question administrative decisions and we stand at the mercy of anti-union principals who control through intimidation. I guess in the final analysis we lost any attempt to return to the professionalism teaching once proudly exhibited.
The new contract proposal contains some items of concern which have been termed by Randi as "gains." These include a voluntary severance package to get rid of ATR's who have not found a job in a year. The right to have an outside person evaluate your lesson and have that report admitted at a hearing to terminate you. And of course a wonderful provision which basically waives our right to bargain about health benefits and gives this power to the Municipal Labor Committee. That, of course, means that we will never vote on any loss of valuable medical benefits.
It is clear that our Union's leadership believes that we are incapable of organizing our members, a promise that was made early on.Why settle a contract with one year to go this time and wait over two years last time? It is clear that the contract will be rammed through so that the membership will forget our current contract when the UFT elections are held next spring.
Why else is there such a rush?
The Executive Board meets Tuesday at 10 AM and the DA will have it on Wednesday. (Wow, are we lucky we reserved the Hilton. It's like we knew what was coming down the pike).
We can do better. Let the negotiatiors negotiate. Don't rubber stamp a contract that gives us nothing but the pattern and institutionalizes further the givebacks we current toil under.