by James Eterno, UFT Chapter Leader, Jamaica High School
On a steamy June Monday, there was a Citywide Chapter Leaders' meeting at the Marriot in Brooklyn. We were called in for two purposes: to organize people to join hands across New York City at City Hall and to pick up anonymous surveys to rate Joel Klein's performance.
We also found out there isn't much the UFT can do about us working in the oppressive heat in the schools.
The rally's objective will be to keep pressure on the City to put the money for schools back into the budget. The rally will be on Monday, June 16th after school. To our Unity readers who like to comment: I will be there and I will ask my Chapter members to attend as well.
The purpose of the surveys is to rate Klein and the central Department of Education. I seem to remember that we engaged in a similar endeavor in 2005 during the Contract fight. We graded Klein in the schools and then we announced the results at a rally inside Madison Square Garden. You see how much it accomplished. Within a few months we accepted the horrific Fact Finding Report that led to the terrible 2005 Contract where we gave away so many of our rights (longer day, longer year, weaker due process etc...). What makes us think there will be any different results this time around?
Please note again that I will hand out the surveys and encourage all the members of my Chapter to fill them out as I am a loyal UFT Chapter Leader. Also, I really do hope this does some good. However, forgive my cynicism because we've all seen this movie before. It didn't end too well last time. Maybe the sequel will be better.