Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Negotiating Committee Approves Virtual Extension of Giveback Contract

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.

Vote No!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Talk about "half-empty half-full" perceptions.
What about an across-the-board raise of 7.1% for every member in the next school year; a $750 one-time pensionable lump-sum cash payment (bringing the cash increase to 8%) and a new 5-year longevity for pedagogues, paras.
What about The agreement protects members against false corporal punishment charges; guarantees more fairness when members face incompetence charges? What about An increased city contribution to our Welfare Fund?

Anonymous said...

It's peanuts compared to having no right at all. I'd rather have no raise and the restoration of all rights lost in the current contract. Vote NO!

District 32 Delegate said...

What I don't like about it is that those in the ATR can now be harassed into "voluntarily" taking the severance package. Just another way to get rid of us tenured teachers.

Anonymous said...

Vote No!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jeff, for posting this.

This contract was negotiated simultaneously with the last one, as part of a comprehensive, and reprehensible, deal between Bloomberg and Randi.

Randi's bargain with the devil was that he would agree to a expedited second contract, minus substantial givebacks, to follow shortly after the disatrous one of 2005, in time to make her look good for the UFT elections of March, 2006. For her part, she has no doubt agreed to go along with the renewal of mayoral control and increasing privatization of the schools.

While on a certain level you have to admire her Machiavellian skills, what we have is another disgraceful episode in the accelerating decline of teacher unionism and public education.

Randi, if you're reading this, which I assume you are, may your success at motivating your courtiers and sycophants, and manipulating your members turn to bile and ashes n your throat.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if ICE was going to organize an effort to get the UFT
members to reject the new contract. 7.1% over 24 months is terrible.
Obviously Randi sold out to Bloomberg to help her reelection campaign.
An organized rejection campaign would really embarrass Randi before the
elections.

snakehead utp said...

Anon. two posts up hit the nail right on the head. I was thinking the same thing, the whole deal reeks of collusion. Once again we have been sold down the river by our leadership, who have used us as pawns in their political game. Unity, Klein and Bloomberg win we lose. It must feel good to come out on top like that, but we wouldn't know would we?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it this blog that reported way back that the negotiating committee did not want to bring a vote on takebacks?? That was a sign right there that this was not going to be a good deal.

As for Anon #1:

Of course our contract should protect us against false charges and increase the city contribution to our Welfare Fund.
But to completely disregard those givebacks is a disgrace.

Our ATRs are now between a rock and a hard place, and these are long-time UFT members.

I was at a PD today where most teachers were not happy that their were no takebacks.

And I bet that raise you are not in the classroom full time, are you?

Anonymous said...

With inflation in NYC running close to 6% last I looked, this is an unconscionable sellout.

And that, of course, is before negotiations with health and pension.

The Great Randini knows no move but take whatever comes down the pike.

Shame on her, and shame on the Unity minions who pledge loyalty to the caucus at the expense of rank and file.

Jill Levy said...

Thanks for calling 297 fellow delegates mere lackeys of the UNITY machine and convincing me that 3 lone members had the courage and foresight to know better than the negotiating teams of 18 other unions, including sanitation, who blindly walked into Randi's trap!

The wisdom and cutting-edge political analysis expressed on this page have convinced me that you guys should lead my next contract negotiation.

Unitymustgo said...

Face facts.

1. Randi will once again pontificate next Tuesday giving no oportunity for opposition before calling for a BS vote of mostly Unity loyal sheep who will vote to pass the contract on to Wed, where she will stack the room with even more Unity loyal sheep, and once again pontificate and never allow any opposition views to be expressed.

2. Oh wait, there is no two. I stand by what I said above.

Anonymous said...

When will the rank and file have a union?
I know, I know the rank and file had their chance during the summer vacation to fill out an oddly worded survey. It would have been nice to have time to discuss some of the issues the survey raised with other members. It would have been nice to have time to think about, maybe even learn about, those issues. It would have been nice to have had a say in whether the rank and file wanted to or should join the "coalition”.
It would be nice to have a voice that is heard by the people we vote for to represent “us”. It would be nice if we could get back some of the givebacks from the past contracts. It would be nice if the retirees did not have a say in present contracts.
It will be nice when the rank and file stops voting for people to think for them and starts thinking for themselves. It will be nice when the rank and file starts telling their representatives in our union what they expect from them and what they will not tolerate from them.
It will be great when the rank and file has a union.

Anonymous said...

What's this I hear about giving up the right to vote on any changes to medical? What about having "independent" consulting teachers to come in and further stack the desk against members looking at a "U" rating? What about allowing a terrible Contract to stand- no rights for teachers becomes the status quo? Wow- Randi got us the right to have FALSE accusations of corporal punishment removed from our file!!! Good- because there wasn't room in the file for them anyway due to all the inaccurate and unfair letters in there that we can't challenge. We must not replace our lost rights with pennies. Dignity, respect and pride are priceless- and they have all been sold away by Randi.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please tell Randi- saying the Contract is great doesn't made it so. "No erosion of working conditions." Interestingly the word erosion was used- a gradual wearing away which sometimes cannot be seen, but nonetheless creates change which becomes substantial over time. We definitely hve erosion, last contract we had avulsion- now its erosion. Think before you vote.

Anonymous said...

I often find some truth in this blog. at least it offers us another voice. but now I think you guys are drinking jeff kaufman's kool-aid. this is not a bad deal at all. as a coach, i wish they could have gotten a few more sessions. i used up most of mine before the season even begins. but 12 extra is about 1,000 bucks.

but i don't see any giveback. and yes, the last contract hurt, but give it up already. life is too short.

Anonymous said...

Bryant HS teachers voted unanimously to oppose the contract until they know more about the health and pension negotiations.

jameseterno said...

From the NY Times today:

"This time the city extracted no productivity increases or other concessions, which seemed to be part of a larger strategy by the Bloomberg administration to pave the way for separate talks aimed at achieving crucial savings on health care and pension costs, which have climbed sharply in recent years...But negotiations over health benefits are to be conducted separately in talks with the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group for the city's unions, and since Ms. Weingarten is the committee chairwoman, her good will is essential if headway is to be made on insurance issues."

Are we being set up for something on health givebacks or have we just become a little paranoid by what we've been through in the schools?

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that anyone who actually teaches 6 hours and 20 minutes each day would say forget about what we have given up. It has become impossible to be a NYC public school teacher. Every day is a challenge and the UFT under Randi helps the City to raise the bar every contract round. Get your head out of Randi's a-s, stop double dipping, and really look at the job teachers are expected to do each and every day.

Anonymous said...

The Daily News reported that this will benefit Randi's reelection.

To the coach:
I would rather have our right to grieve LIF, no lunch duty, the right of excess, a return of our holidays... than your ability to make $1000.

Anonymous said...

It's six hours and fifty-seven and a half minutes, we wish it was six hours and twenty minutes.

Anonymous said...

This truly sucks. It barely keeps up with inflation and class size as well as our increased work load are a big issue. Thanks for your input.

mvplab said...

There's not much left to say I guess because every argument that could be made has been made. When this makes it through the DA tomorrow, then the members will have the last say. Prediction: overwhelming acceptance of the contract and ratification. Anyone else predict something different? Anyone have a convincing argument why we should not accept this contract?

Unitymustgo said...

James hits the biggest most important nail on the head of this current new contract offer. A vote for this contract will lead to health care cost increases. If I were a betting person I would say the odds of Randi selling us out when negotiating Health care are better than the chances of snow atleast once this winter.

Anonymous said...

Why would you want an extension of the worst contract ever with some more potential givebacks on health care for 7% that we don't start getting until next year? Why would anyone vote yes?

Anonymous said...

My question is why would any delegate approve a contract when some aspects such as health care and the ATR package have yet to be negotiated?

Would you sign with a contractor who tells you costs of materials will be calculated after the job?

This does not speak well of the delegates. Why can't Randi wait for every "i" to be dotted and "t" crossed before the DA unless we are all in for a rude awakening?

Anonymous said...

The same 3 people that keep writing here must suffer from multiple personality disorder - and have a lot of time on their hands.

Anonymous said...

I think you are just "paranoid" - period.

Anonymous said...

I thought ICE members were on the negotiating committee. Tell me you guys fought like mad throught the negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Correction:

I thought ICE members were on the negotiating committee. Tell me you guys fought like mad through outt the negotiations.

Anonymous said...

We wouldn't get the 7% until next year because this contract is not up. If the detailed demands were hashed out in the negotiating committee, the DA, and the Exec. Bd. and passed each time to go forward, isn't it a little disingenuous to NOW claim "new demands" or a lack of input from the memberhip?

You guys also don't mention the utter joy of never having to negotiate with this mayor ro chancellor again. Isn't that a releif?

The Bronx Latino said...

Wow, this is incredible! Like you, I sat at the same negotiation sessions that you did. How ironic it is that you never spoke about these issues at the sessions when we had time to discuss these issues. Perhaps you should have concentrated a little more on the sessions and on working towards a fair contract than on your own interest.

Tell the truth Jeff, do you care for the new teachers and paraprofessionals that are going to get a long deserved longevity? Do you care that that people are going to get 750.00 dollars on January 2, 2007 even though this current contract is not over? I don’t get you some times.

To be critical of those that represent us is necessary, but to deliver untrue rhetoric is unfair to those of us who worked through this process. It infuriates me that you think so little of your fellow colleagues on the negotiation committee. We are not all UNITY members and I take offense that you have little respect for anyone who does not agree with you 100%.

I say vote YES! Yes for new teachers! Yes for senior teachers! Yes for paraprofessionals! Yes for everyone who served on the negotiation committee and yes for Randi, for a job well done!

Anonymous said...

jameseterno claimed in another post that "pattern" is almost guaranteed. If that is the case, how would you "get back" all of those things that you are now demanding? DC 37 didn't "get back" anything from their last contract. In fact we did better than they did in this "pattern".

Anonymous said...

If you extend the pattern a few months, you get more money. It doesn't take a genius to do that. This contract is incomplete without an agreement on health care or the ATR's. You Unity guys are just looking to sell more garbage. We could win the takebacks if we were ready for a fight. Unity never wants to fight because that would risk the empire.

The prime directive is to save the empire at all costs.

Anonymous said...

I was at those negotiating sessions also. Whenever someone bought up making a gain, the Unity faithful would shoot it down. Why bother? It's so rigged. Vote no.

I can't believe we are doing this so soon after the last disaster. It is hell in the schools. It feels like it should be April and it's only November. How are we going to survive?

Anonymous said...

Why did the UFT reserve the Hilton last month? They knew this contract was coming. The negotiating committee had no say. This was all done a while ago.

Anonymous said...

The negotiating committee was so phony that some people had the good sense to stop coming. That's all I have to say.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at all the MOA's provisions and stop attacking Jeff and James. They are not the people in power.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. The Negotiating Committee got the Contract. And tonight, the Tooth Fairy is bringing me some bucks.

mvplab said...

Yep, the tooth fairy will bring you $750 dollars up front--a good faith offer for ratifying this agreement. If all goes well you'll get the money the first week of January.
This is not a personal attack on James or Jeff, but they are grasping at straws, and drowning in their own negativity. This is a good contract that secures our immediate future.

Anonymous said...

The sheep in my school already like the contract. I imagine the devil is in the details or in Randi's case, lack there of. Let's wait for the MOA.

Anonymous said...

It seems like Klein is closing schools and redesigning them at his own discretion. I need more info on the ATR situation. A lot of teachers really don't feel secure at all so I'm not sure what mvplab is talking about.

Anonymous said...

MVPLAB is another Unity lackey, no different from any of the others who've signed the loyalty agreement.

mvplab said...

I like numbers--was it 67 to 33 for the last contract? What do you think the vote will be this time? If I try to be reasonable, I will probably underestimate how overwhelmingly this contract will be accepted by the rank and file.
Yessirree Bob!

mvplab said...

Or was it 63 to 37 for the last contract? I think that's right. Sorry about the reversal of digits.

Anonymous said...

mvplab is writing after midnight and then at 9 in the morning when real teachers are teaching. I guess this is the Unity person who has a 24 hour job to monitor the ICE blog. Welcome. Hope you enjoy your double pension for this.

The same people who are urging a yes vote will be screaming about how bad it is when they have to come to school in August. They will also be left hung out to dry when their schools are closed or redesigned and they become Absent Teacher Reserves.

What a disgrace this contract extension is.

SRPUnionist said...

I am starting to think that some of you really believe your rhetoric. Come back to the real world…please! You can disagree with the leadership and have your opinions. That’s not such a bad thing. However, be realistic and truthful, people would at least take you seriously. It seems as if your agenda is to disrupt and smear Randi’s name and reputation and not what is best for the rank and file. Do you really believe that what’s best for the membership is to vote No? Do you really believe this not only gets our members some real money in their pockets and puts us in good position for our next contract? Do you really believe all the conspiracy theories that are pasted all over this blog?

The bottom line is that this is a good deal and we have plenty of time to debate and strategize for the next one. Do yourselves and all of the membership a favor and vote Yes. Teachers do well, Functional Chapters do well, and we all win. I don’t know how you could live with the fact that you would be willing to vote No and jeopardize that finally paraprofessionals will have three pay titles over $30,000. Finally we have a chance to make some money. Let us live…please!