by James Eterno, Chapter Leader, Jamaica High School
The Department of Education announced the closing of six schools on Tuesday and threatened that others will be closed later this month. The UFT's response was incredibly weak asking only that "everyone affected is treated with care, dignity and respect." The UFT added, "that staff members who choose to stay on during the phase-out years should have opportunities to work in other schools." Hundreds of more UFT members are about to be displaced from their schools and that's all the UFT has to say?
There is nothing in the UFT's statement even criticizing the DOE for continuing to close schools, even though the Union has passed resolutions saying that the DOE should refrain from closing schools until we can have an independent study done assessing its educational value.
The UFT's statement is more evidence that what the UFT leadership does at Delegate Assembly Meetings and at rallies is mere show for the members but when it comes right down to it, the Union does not oppose the wholesale closing of schools and displacement of even more teachers and other UFT members into Absent Teacher Reserves status (day-to-day substitute teachers with full pay and benefits but no regular class).
Where's the outrage from the Union leadership? We thought the Union opposed this policy. You wouldn't know it by their lame reaction.