Thursday, November 19, 2009


President Michael Mulgrew at yesterday's Delegate Assembly convinced the DA to approve, by the usual large margin, a resolution to give the UFT the authority to declare, if necessary, that there is an impasse in bargaining. Our contract expired without fanfare on October 31. (Anna Phillips' piece at Gotham sums up the resolution fairly well.)

If the UFT seeks an impasse declaration, the state Public Employees Relations Board would then have to agree that there is an impasse and then they would appoint a mediator to try to help the parties settle differences. Fact finding and non binding arbitration would come next if mediation fails.

Many UFT members, including me, are very skeptical about fact finding because of how badly we did in this process in 2005. At that time, the fact finders set the framework for the horrible giveback laden 2005 contract that gave us the whole ATR mess as they had the UFT give up seniority and SBO transfers among many other concessions such as a longer day, weaker due process and a return to hall and cafeteria patrol for teachers.

Do we want to go down this road again?

What are the alternatives? The answer is to organize and mobilize.

In other DA news, we heard a report on organizing the community; we heard about special education complaints and there was a passionate plea from somebody speaking in support of Honduran teachers and the Honduran people. A resolution in support of their cause passed unanimously.

Welfare Fund Director Arthur Pepper told the delegates that the UFT will be improving welfare fund benefits.

One last item that is of great importance to those of us who work in D graded schools. President Mulgrew said that the progress reports that were just released don't mean crap. He didn't show up at the press conference where Klein announced them. Mulgrew explained a number of factors that proved the progress reports are unreliable measures of schools. We agree with the president here.

We hope that the UFT will follow our 2007 resolution and not allow any school to be closed based on the progress reports.

Finally, time ran out at the DA without there being a new motion period. We hope this is not a trend that will continue.


We'll Be Screwed Again said...

The last time we went this route, the arbitrators said extend the year, extend the day, get rid of seniority transfers and rights, and end LIF grievances. If it goes to PERB, and the arbitrators say that we should pay a portion of our benefits, diminish pensions, tie tenure into test scores and get rid of ATR's, then the UFT will be crucified in the press if we didn't go along with another sellout contract. No good can come out of this.

Anonymous said...

Hard to argue with We'll be screwed again.

UA said...

They also talked about special ed violations and what the union is doing about them. I wrote something on this just now over at Under Assault.

Anonymous said...

Posted to ICE-mail
Hello all!

Great thread of conversation by all so far!!! By great people who I know cares about our rights in the workplace.


Let the union as we know it fail! Whats the worst thing that could happen? Unity has been in control since the inception of the UFT. We have been complaining and fighting against corruption for well over a decade at this point but for me I feel that we are fighting an equally corrupt machine DOE AND UFT are in collaboration mode.

I argue that we as a caucus should find alternative methods this election year to use numbers against the system AND publish those numbers out to the public whether youtube, print or digital media WE NEED TO BE THE BETTER INTELLECTUALS who can expose the malice these people have brought.

Also in my last chapter elections I was the first at my school to expose the fact that bill gates goal is to privatize our school system AND now tinker and alter tenure in our contract. i can almost guarantee you that by this summer we all will see a new observation template AND new rules for tenure. Why else would prince mulgrew and his excellency chancellor klein send a letter this summer asking for volunteers to reevaluate the observation process. ARE YOU MIDDING ME? since when did any communication have both UFT AND DOE on the same letter head.

James I hope you do what Thompson did not do and get a team an army of researchers who can and will use the sword of the pen and the bombs of the intellect to finally expose these creeps for what they have done to our rights.

If not- what are the rules to disband the UFT and start over a brand new union if members are not satisfied with the status quo?

Thank you all for caring so much and at times when I feel nothing is being done I could always think about you people out there fighting for my rights.

Thank You!