You first read our resolution calling for the UFT to protect its Chapter Leaders on this blog this past Tuesday (Chapter Leaders and Rubber Rooms) and so did President Randi Weingarten who admitted at Wednesday's Delegate Assembly meeting that she saw the resolution on the blogs. She did not want to leave an ICE resolution as it was so the UFT adjusted it but basically the Unity resolution is similar to the resolution to protect Chapter Leaders that Norm Scott authored. Below is the original ICE text and then the UFT modified version.
Resolution on Teacher Reassignment Centers (Rubber Rooms)
Chapter Leaders and others have been sent to a TRC after asserting members' union rights, questioning and challenging principals on illegal mandates and practices;
In addition to Chapter Leaders, Leadership Academy Principals have also targeted teachers who show independence or otherwise are perceived as threats to authority;
Sending teachers to the rubber room can be a career breaker for teachers, regardless of the merits of the charges;
Threats of rubber room undermine UFT chapters and have a chilling effect on the professionalism and independence of all teachers;
The number of teachers sent to rubber rooms has escalated since the beginning of mayoral control which has led to an increased level of autocratic rule in many schools;
OSI has investigated in a biased manner;
The UFT will set up hotline for Chapter Leaders sent to rubber room and there will be an immediate response, including a demand immediate information about charges against the teacher, immediate legal assistance, a letter to principals putting them on notice that without a substantive emergency reason for rubber room placement there will be counter charges of harassment based on union/age/freedom of speech issues.
After an initial rapid investigation of the circumstances, where there is a determination of harassment, the union will organize a daily picketing of the school until the harassed Chapter Leader is reinstated.
The UFT will come up with a means to monitor OSI investigations.
Now the UFT version distributed to Delegates on Wednesday:
Resolution on Teacher Reassignment Centers
Whereas, chapter leaders and others have been sent to a TRC after asserting members’ union rights, or questioning and challenging principals on illegal mandates and practices; and
Whereas, in addition to chapter leaders, principals have also targeted members who show independence or otherwise are perceived as threats to authority; and
Whereas, sending teachers to a TRC can be a career breaker for members, regardless of the merits of the charges; and
Whereas, threats of the TRC undermine UFT chapters and have a chilling effect on the professionalism and independence of all members; and
Whereas, OSI has often investigated in a biased manner; therefore be it
Resolved, the UFT will continue the current practice of assigning a lawyer to a chapter leader in this circumstance as well as a swat team to the school and of monitoring the OSI investigation; and be it further
Resolved, after an initial rapid investigation of the circumstances, where there is a determination of anti-union animus, the union will organize actions at the school in concert with the chapter leader and the chapter until the harassed chapter leader is reinstated; and be it further
Resolved, that the UFT insist that the DOE notify the union in advance of the removal of a chapter leader from a school.
Having read both closely, it seems to me like the UFT looked at the original and removed some of its teeth but the substance is not all that different.
UFT President Randi Weingarten probably wanted to make sure that one of us was not seen by the Delegates presenting a resolution to protect Chapter Leaders where ICE would have to get the credit or Randi would have to come out against it and the Unity faithful would then have to oppose extra protections for Chapter Leaders.
Her answer was to have one of her people write a modified resolution, quickly distribute it so only the people who closely read the literature ICE distributed at the door would notice the “old switcheroo,” while other Delegates would think that this came from Randi’s group. Obfuscation at its finest.
At the DA, she allowed no debate on what was really a substitute motion after it was quickly distributed. There was just one speaker in favor. This was not exactly democracy at its finest or the kind of bipartisanship that Randi often talks about. Randi should have let us present the resolution or ask us to cosponsor this substitute resolution. Instead, she took the resolution from our blog, changed it somewhat and presented it as her own and didn’t even credit ICE directly, just some anonymous blogs.
Meanwhile, Unity distributed literature at the Delegate Assembly attacking opposition without meaning. It’s funny how Unity has no problem taking our work and making it theirs and then attacking us at the same time.
We will post a separate piece on the rest of the meeting.