As the Friedrichs Supreme Court case decision nears, smart minds would think that leaders of the United Federation of Teachers would be a little humbled as they try to keep the union together. After the Supreme Court rules, UFT members may be able to quickly stop paying union dues.
Those dues for teachers added up to a not so inconsequential $1,297 for 2015 plus whatever extra was taken out of the first installment of the arrears payments that the city paid us last October. Over $1,300 is a big chunk of change that possibly could be saved after the Court makes their ruling.
My guess is the UFT's reaction, as well as many other city and state unions, if we lose will be to run to state court to say the Friedrichs decision doesn't apply here as it contradicts with the state Taylor Law. Then, the unions may try to tie things up in court for years while forcing people to keep paying union dues and/or agency fees. That is just an educated guess and could be way off.
However, if one wants a hint at how the UFT will act in the future, just look at their latest piece that was distributed at last week's Delegate Assembly meeting. Unity is in full spin mode and their spin cycle is better than any washing machine.
Take for example this claim in the Unity list of accomplishments:
In service UFT members overwhelmingly approved a contract that includes raises of 29% over seven years.
Hmmm? Well I just added up the increases and can't figure out Unity's creative accounting. In May of 2008 when we received our last raise under the previous contract, senior teachers were earning $100,049. When the final raise for the current contract of 2% kicks in (now delayed to June 16, 2018), senior teachers will make $119,471. Therefore, ten years and roughly a month later the top salary will be a little over 19% higher than it was before the contract. How does that translate into 29% over 7 years? Who is Unity's accountant?
Then there is a further claim that doesn't hold up at all:
NY state suspended test-related teacher evaluations for at least four years.
That's news to us. New York State suspended Common Core grades 3-8 exams and Regents exams tied to growth scores for teacher evaluations for the next four years. The state will still administer the tests and rate schools on them and Regents exams tied to Student Learning Objectives or local exams are still part of teacher evaluations for sure. Next year these exams will count for 50% of our ratings. This blog debunked the myth that test scores are no longer part of teacher ratings last month.
Unity will bombard the schools in the coming months with District Representatives, Officers, Chapter Leaders and others to spread their gospel according to Michael Mulgrew. Why let the truth get in the way of their good story?
Unity also quotes Theodore Roosevelt who once said, "...remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that in the end, progress is accomplished by the people who do things."
TR also stated, "The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything."
When was the last time you ever heard Unity admit they made a mistake? Try never. Does that mean they don't do anything?