Monday, May 26, 2014


There is an article in today's NY Times about the UFT contract ratification vote.  Actual real life teachers who are voting against the contract are quoted.  The UFT's strong sell is covered in some detail as are some of the arguments against the contract.

However, the NY Times did not think it was worth bringing up much about weaker due process for Absent Teacher Reserves, who can be subject to termination based on two cases of "problematic behavior" if this contract is ratified. ATRs will only have one day hearings to defend themselves.  Regular teachers can take months to fully defend themselves.  Weaker tenure for a whole class of UFT members is a deal breaker for anyone with any sense of union solidarity.

Two members of the Unity Caucus (Michael Mulgrew's invitation only political party that has run the UFT for around fifty years) have expressed serious public reservations about the contract mainly because the ATR's are been treated unfairly. Unity party members saying something in public against anything the caucus does is unheard of as it goes against their caucus membership obligations to support caucus decisions in public.

The writers of this ICEUFT blog have made our feelings on diminished due process for ATRs very clear. We oppose!  NYC Educator also had something to say about it this morning. The Times, on the other hand, did not see fit to cover on this major aspect of the story.

MORE also picked up some Times attention.  Here are the two paragraphs:

Leaders of one caucus within the union, the Movement of Rank and File Educators, have decided to vote no on the contract and are hosting informal discussions to urge members to think critically before voting.
“It seems misleading to me that our union is saying, ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, your health care costs won’t go up,’ when that isn’t something they can promise,” said Megan Moskop, 27, a teacher at Middle School 324 in Washington Heights who is a caucus member.

It will be very difficult to defeat any contract because of how our union is run but there is a substantial portion of our membership that is unhappy with this particular deal and some are willing to express the displeasure in public.


Anonymous said...

Just vote no if you haven't yet done so.

Anonymous said...

Vote no if you have voted already!

Anonymous said...

MORE= less

Mr.Hughesonline said...

Which school system would you prefer to work with?

A) One that will ask you to take a steep pay cut, as well as contribute additional funds to your health coverage?
B) One that will lay off more than 200 teachers and staff members by the end of this school year?
C) One where your tenure is non-existent (that would be three states and the District of Columbia)
D) One where despite what's going on in the climate of education today, you can sign a contract for an 18% raise over 4 years, full retroactive pay, extended professional development, mandated curriculum to be provided by administrators, more protection for ATR's?

I think the decision is a very easy one.

Anonymous said...

What an absurd question. Based on choices that don't apply at all and the falsehood that ATR teachers get more protection with reduced due process. Outrageous that this is what Unity caucus has. Enjoy your free trip to the convention on my dime.

Anonymous said...

Unity caucus made all of this happen. VOTE NO!

John Kamps said...

UFT brothers and sisters,
Regardless if your unity,more,ice or noncaucus member please dont lose sight of the fact that we are all members of the same union and whether you choose to vote yes or no that there is still a great deal of work to be done! And today of all days we should understand how important it is to strive towards a goal together!! Happy Memorial Day to you all.

Anonymous said...

0Another ghandiesque "why don't we all just get along" note. Here's the answer ....because the UFT - Unity is about to throw thousands of senior teachers under the bus for a 1.9% annualized raise, a raise that does not keep up with inflation.

Wise no!

Michael Fiorillo said...

Mandated curriculum, tied to the Common Core and its attendant high stakes exams?

That alone is reason to vote no ... and there are so many others.

Anonymous said...

Vote NO to this poorly negotiated contract. Mulgrew is showing his true colors with this. He does not care about teachers or working conditions. He is a huge disappointment and needs to be voted out!! He belongs in another profession.

Anonymous said...

In response to the comment by MR. HUGHESONLINE:
You argued beautifully for why we should NOT vote for this contract proposal.
This garbage that Mulgrew has served up the membership will bring us closer to that which you described.
The day where YOU have no rights.
But you WILL still need to cough up your union dues.
The camels nose is under the tent.

Anonymous said...

You need to go back to math 101. Its 18% over 9 YEARS.

Anonymous said...

Vote NO to this contract!!! We can do so much better with money and working conditions. This contract is an insult to us. Mulgrew is aiding and abetting everyone else but the teachers. Just remember the union has two charter schools of their own.

Anonymous said...

The proposed contract is an insult for a variety of reasons that have been mentioned previously.

The teachers need an attorney who's experienced in contract negotiations, and who has a proven track record of success, to be on the negotiating team.

Attorneys who negotiate contracts for athletes, actors, newscasters, and other well-known people generally have the requisite legal skills.

Does anyone know the names of the attorneys whom the UFT has been using to negotiate and review proposed new contract language?

Does the UFT use compensation analysts to evaluate the present and future worth of the City's salary/benefit package?

What are the UFT's criteria for deciding whether the changes relating to the employment of ATRs are fair or unfair?

UrbanEd said...

Here here!

UrbanEd said...

MrHighsOnline, I've just been through your blog and have seen that you have been a victim of a capricious and malicious principal. I would expect a 4 part multiple choice question like that (that ignores different scenarios) from someone who didn't know any better. But you do and you still choose 18% over a thinner workplace protection clause and a general knowledge of a little thing called inflation. Your argument of "Yay! A raise worth less than inflation is GREAT because look what these other guys got!!" will certainly win the day, but it doesn't make it any more intuitive than it is now (which is counter).
Enjoy the 18% and best wishes

Anonymous said...

We got nothing for 5 years!! If this contract passes, in the next 4 years I will see an 18% increase in my salary. I cant change what I earned over the last 5 years and I cant go back in time. Voting no makes no sense

Gladys Sotomayor said...

Actually the NYTimes mentioned briefly ATRs stating that the city gains additional powersbto remove ATRs. No mention on the ATR plight nor how the UFT negotiations weakened tenure by singling ATRs in the creation of a separate due process.

Anonymous said...

MrHughesonline....I'd actually like to work for a school system whose teachers are represented by a union leader less cowardly than Michael Mulgrew. Roseanne McCosh PS 8.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hughesonline is clearly a UNITY member...