Having an on-time contract used to matter. The deadline for when our contract expired used to mean something to the UFT back in its early years. I will concede that the UFT worked beyond the expiration date of the contract twice in the nineties and then again in 2000 and 2003.
However, as recently as after the disastrous giveback filled contract in 2005, then UFT President Randi Weingarten talked about us returning to a no contract=no work policy. Those days seem like long ago as yesterday the contract expired and the UFT didn't seem to even take notice.
I just looked at the current UFT Chapter Leader Update. There is not a word about the contract ending on October 31, 2009. We don't even get lip service any longer.
Of course the old contract continues in full force until we have a new agreement because of the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law. However, to not even note the expiration of a contract and have some kind of mobilization ready to put pressure on the city and the DOE for a new one shows just how weak the UFT is.