Monday, January 09, 2006

UFT Leaders Play Take the Money and Run!

Unity Can't Wait so They Violate their Own Rules with Stealth Vote to Give Themselves a Pay Raise

By James Eterno

UFT Executive Board (Jamaica High School)

On December 19, 2005 the UFT leadership decided to have a secret vote so they could decree themselves a pay raise. UFT President Randi Weingarten would not allow any discussion by opponents of the salary increases. Weingarten went so far as to change the way that resolutions are voted on at the Executive Board exclusively for her money grab so that the opposition would not know when it was time to speak in opposition to the salary increases or vote against them. At the next meeting of the Board, Randi tonight had the nerve to state that the pay raise was approved unanimously by the Executive Board. Truth be told the opposition unanimously opposed the pay raise for union leaders and we were never given an opportunity to express our views on the issue.

At the December 19, 2005 Executive Board, there was a resolution to increase the pay of the UFT staff (president, other officers, District Representatives, etc...) "in the same manner as those negotiated by the UFT represented school system employees." What this meant was for the first two years that were covered by our new contract UFT officers, other teachers and others who work at the union full time and part time would have their pay increased by 5.5% in the first two years of the four year and 1/3 year contract and then in the final two years there would be a salary increase only with some undefined productivity changes.

What that productivity will be was left undefined but you can bet that it won't be to patrol the UFT cafeteria or to have 37.5 minute small group sessions at the end of the day tutoring ten people. It should also be noted that the increases are not for the hard working people of the UFT who are covered by other union contracts that are negotiated separately (employees who answer phones full time, handle security, work for the welfare fund, etc.) This motion to increase Randi and company’s pay was passed by the officers (AdCom) on December 19, 2005 and was sent to the Executive Board for a vote with absolutely no advance notice at the meeting that evening.

Instead of allowing a vote on the issue which was scheduled to be debated on the revised agenda as a special order of business on December 19, President Weingarten brought the issue up in a very brief segment during routine items when the Executive Board approves Ad Com (officers' meeting) minutes. The way the Executive Board operates is that the parts of Ad Com minutes that are scheduled for Executive Board consideration are pulled after approval of the minutes and then dealt with later as part of the special orders of business. The salary increase was on the Executive Board agenda as a special order of business. Who needs to follow procedures when Unity people want their raises before the holidays?

Randi talked for a minute about the pay raise during the routine approval of the minutes and then we voted to accept the minutes as we always do, fully expecting that this issue was on the agenda for later in the meeting as it was scheduled to be. However, neither Randi nor Staff Director Michael Mendel who took over when Randi left, ever returned to the issue that night. We all thought since time ran out but the pay raise issue and another matter were not dealt with that it meant they would be brought up at the next meeting. Well, we were wrong.

Apparently, our leaders who already have six figure salaries and double pensions (one from the DOE and one from the UFT that we pay for) couldn't wait for their money. They decided to change the rules, not tell anyone and then take the money. Why let a little thing like a vote get in the way of a pay increase?

We informed Staff Director Mendel of how troubled we were that we never were able to vote on the pay raise issue in an email that we sent to him when we saw that the minutes of the December 19 Executive Board showed right in the midst of a bunch of resolutions that were voted on during the special orders of business that we voted for the pay raise. We raised more objections at the Executive Board Meeting tonight (January 9, 2006) and were given an opportunity to make a motion to reconsider the pay raise. How can we reconsider an issue that we never considered in the first place? The opposition members from the high schools voted unanimously against Staff Director Mendel's ruling that the issue had been voted upon. The overwhelming Unity majority that will gain from the pay raises of course supported Mendel. The opposition voted again to reject the minutes of the December 19, 2005 meeting as obviously flawed.

Unity leaders will use every trick in the book and even invent some new ones to get what they want for themselves. There desperately needs to be some accountability in this union or situations like this "Take the Money and Run" fiasco will continue and contracts for UFT members will continue to be sub-par.


Anonymous said...

I am Delegate and every once in a while attend the Exec. Board. I went last month and I thought you guys would say something about this. but no one did. Not that I beleieve they may deserve some of the increase that the rest of us got, but you guys just seem to be mad because you let an opportunity both tonight to offer a motion or last meeting to say something.

And please Jeff,Norm and James don't start calling me names. Not every one that attends meetings has to report to you so you can take attendance.

Anonymous said...

What language is the above "anonymous" comment written in, anyway?

It makes little sense.

Teachers write this nonsensical stuff? Teachers of what??? Teachers educated where and by whom???

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon.
I'm not mad at you or anyone. The corn beef and pastrami were great. Good job or catering, Garry. And we won't call you names other than to question the fact that you don't want to id yourself.

Your comment makes it seem that it's all about "positioning" a concept that I personally find distasteful since it indicates it's all about politics and not the issue. In fact the way the raise was passed through voting on the AdCom minutes was unprecedented and I have been attending Exec bd meetings regularly. What's the difference whether Jeff or James say anything or not considering the audience is 90% Unity? But if they didn't say anything why go? To hear a convoluted explanation/justification as to how the UFT contract is actually better than the one the TWU got? I'm waiting for the blog posting on that one so I can understand it. I was too busy with the pastrami.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Martha Stewart can give Randi some pointers about incarceration. I believe the underhanded way the Unity administration gave themselves a raise is against the union constitution and, therefore, a punishable offense. Martha looked good in stripes but I don't think Randi will. Then again, Martha became more popular after her prison term. Maybe this is Randi's strategy....she wants to be popular once again.

Anonymous said...

At last night's Executive Board meeting, Director of Staff, Michael Mendel said that he would entertain a motion to reconsider the resolution in the Ad-com minutes of December 19, 2005 and if seconded would allow anyone who objected to the resolution to put his/her objections and opinions on the record. This is certainly not an example of a "secret vote" as stated by the author. It is more in tune with democracy in action.

If the union leadership voted secretly as the author says, then Mendel never would have offered the vote to reconsider and never would have made a clear statement that he would call on anyone to speak in favor or against the motion to reconsider.

As a reminder, the original resolution came before the Executive Board on December 19, as part of the Ad-Com minutes, and was the only item on the agenda. Randi prefaced her remarks on that night explaining the resolution about staff raises. It was very clear that she was talking about the resolution because it was the only resolution of the Ad-Com meeting. Any Executive Board member has the right to challenge Ad-Com minutes (in this case the resolution), but nobody did. The minutes were accepted unanimously and that put a seal of approval on the resolution. Any executive board member has the right to challenge an item from Ad-Com minutes for consideration of the body, but nobody did.

The Kaufman Gang didn't object to the original resolution because it only included half the raise of the membership - 5.5 of the 11.5 percent - until the union could come up with productivity adjustments for UFT staff. They voted for it then and then didn't even take up the challenge to reconsider the resolution at the Executive Board last night.

Eterno can't have it both ways! He and his pawns approve the original resolution without a challenge and then claim there was a secret ballot to approve the resolution. It's obvious to me that they are posturing for political advantage!

Anonymous said...

"What's the difference whether Jeff or James say anything or not considering the audience is 90% Unity?" Good point, Norm. Then why are you there? You said in a previous thread that ICE is just to raise issues. Obviously few others agree with you guys also. You guys could only nominate 2 other retirees to the Exec. Bd. vacancies. That says alot about ICE.

Anonymous said...

It is not about Jeff or James or Norm. Randi and her gang are unethical crooks. They fight tooth and nail for themselves but they can't fight for their membership. Because Randi does not care about the membership. She cares about herself, Mike
Mendel, Leo Casey and the rest of her fake gang. There is always an attempt to deflect the main issue but teachers are a very smart group and many have figured out what is going on.

They deserve a raise? For what? A worthless contract with which I would not even insult my cute behind!

Get ready, Randi. You are paid by teachers who work their heads off and more and more want you out. Now! Go, Randi -- Get Out!

Anonymous said...

The UTP post on how the TWU contract was better than ours made sense to me.

Shouldn't someone from somewhere opposed this raise--it's an issue to me.

jameseterno said...

To Anon who Posted at 7:48 p.m.-

I never voted for the resolution on the pay raise on December 19. The procedure at the Executive Board is that ad com minutes are accepted, whether there is one item or twenty, and then items that need Executive Board approval are listed as special orders of business and later in the meeting they are debated and voted on by the entire Executive Board. That's how it has been done for my 8.5 years on the board.

It was a secret vote on the salary increases because none of us knew that by approving minutes we were voting for a raise for Randi and company. Certainly it was a deception. We fully expected that the pay raise issue would be debated later on in the meeting.

As for being allowed to reconsider the issue at the next meeting on January 9, if we reconsidered the raise we would be acknowledging that the issue was dealt with properly in the first place, thus legitimizing an illegitimate process.

People who won't allow a full and open debate on their salary increase until after they have the raise don't deserve the money.

We need accountability in the UFT.

Anonymous said...

I still think you guys are just whining because you let the opporuinity get by in Dec. and now are whining about it. But as Norm said, "what's the difference if Jeff or James say anything"?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm missing the point, but what's the big deal about UFT staffers getting a 5 1/2 percent raise? Aren't they entitled to get a raise when we do? Don't they work longer hours and more days then we do? Frankly, I think this is a non-issue. We get a raise, they should get the same percentage.

Anonymous said...

They deserve a raise like we do???

They work in air conditioned offices. They can go get coffee or use the bathroom any time they want.

They do not have to put up with micromanagement, prepare lessons, marks tons of papers, prepare bulletin boards, do lunch duty, put up with discipline problems and have to worry about a LIF.

They have raised our dues 2x in a two year period and managed to negotiate a contract with extra time, less holidays, more principal control and use of a DOE arbitrator.

And, just try getting a response from a District Rep.

You made a fuss over ballots, but not about this?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 1:28 a.m.:
Yeah, the air-conditioning is a bonus, but the hours are a lot longer and my DR is available all summer and at 9:30 at night. Yeah, she doesn't have lessons plans to prepare, but what about all the grievance she has to hold and the consultations with the LIS and the Saturday training sessions she takes part in? Yeah, there are no kids to deal with, but there's everything else. Oh, by the way, she doesn't have tenure.

Anonymous said...

"Then why are you there?"

Don't you get it?
For the paatrami.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pro-Unity Anon.

"You guys could only nominate 2 other retirees to the Exec. Bd. vacancies. That says a lot about ICE."

I've been trying to convince you: ICE is not a threat even though Unity seems obsessed with us. (Like, why are you wasting your time on this inconsequential blog?) We are just a teeny weeny little group of people.

I guess I could have been nominated for the Exec Bd. But then I might have missed out on the pastrami.

Ask me which I consider more important.

Anonymous said...

What a coup for Randi Weingarten to be able to claim that the UFT Executive Board was unanimous in voting itself a raise. So what if it took a little slick procedural maneuvering to do so?

Well I think it's a major "what," and it distresses me deeply. This recent bit of erosion of democracy and access in the UFT is certainly plausible when one considers Randi's takeover of District Reps a few years ago during the confusion when the BOE was reborn as the DOE.

I urge Randi to restore democracy to the UFT, via substance and not spin.

And I offer this question: Do you think the rank and file (which are busy right now, grumbling about selecting their Circular 6R assignments) would approve a raise for Randi and her team?

Anonymous said...

Okay, Reps work long hours on our behalf. They put in summers too.

Give me a break. If they were successful in what they do, then every teacher would be working in a school that followed all union rules.

If they really want a raise, they should be put on the Merit System.
Maybe then we would see results.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you're espousing a merit system for teachers, too? Based on test scores! And, for DR's you suggest that if their schools followed union rules, you would allow them a raise.

And what about chapter leaders who don't file incident reports, or SBO's? Should we take away their stipend? Or, teachers who allow principals to conduct lunch hour meetings? So they can get home earlier.

Remember you have to be an aggrieved party to file a grievances. DR's can't file them for you!

Anonymous said...

I just checked the post about the PERB filing. Do we know anything about the outcome?

Anonymous said...

To James Etereno:

What a whiner you are?

Your gang's favorite tactic is calling for a "point of information" so why when you accepted the ADCOM minutes and saw that there wasn't a discussion on the topic didn't you shout that great refrain, "Madame Chair, Point of Information?" I know you know those words by heart. So why didn't you do it?

And on January 9, when you or anyone else was given the opportunity to reconsider the resolution, why didn't you do that and go on record with your arguments? And, don't try the sophistry with the people on this blog. ("...if we reconsidered the raise we would be acknowledging that the issue was dealt with properly in the first place, thus legitimizing an illegitimate process.")


So you raise the objections about the proceedings here instead of on the floor of the executive board.

Sounds like political posturing to me!

jameseterno said...

To Mr. Point of Information above-

My name is Eterno. The least you could do is learn how to spell it. I will resist the temptation to call you "Mr. point of misinformation" and debate you on the merits.

There was absolutely no need to raise a point of information at the time the adcom minutes were approved by the executive board because we approve ad com minutes every meeting and then vote separately on the items that are pulled and are on the Executive Board agenda. I objected well before the meeting as soon as I received the minutes from the December 19 meeting and realized that the minutes reflected an Executive Board vote for the raise that never took place.

In addition, in the minutes the leadership actually had the nerve to place the vote on the raise, not as an approval of ad com minutes, but as a vote in the middle of the other special orders of business. This vote never happened and everyone knows it. Unity Executive Board members now have to protect their ill gotten gains by attacking me for exposing the truth.

Please check out the LM2 report to see what the salaries of our union leaders are. Salaries of union officials are without a doubt an important political issue. (The UFT president makes at least five times more than a starting teacher.)

Furthermore, we raised the objections to the phony vote in an email to the staff director as soon as we received the minutes of the December 19 meeting. Then we objected to the minutes on the Executive Board floor and then we voted that the chair was wrong in upholding those phony minutes. I repeat that everyone knows the vote on the raise never took place. Finally, we voted not to approve the bogus minutes. I think we made our point and did not need to reconsider what was never considered in the first place.

We are exposing reality, not posturing. If all UFT members really knew how the union is run, I am confident they would vote to clean it up.

Anyway, I'm glad to debate anyone on this issue. It's about accountability.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's right. Teachers have to file the grievance and face the consequences while DR's go about their business.

Well, if the job was handled at the top, we wouldn't have to face the firing squard. And your job just got easier since LIF cannot be grieved.

Yes, Merit pay for you guys--not teachers.
And btw we do get elemenatry tests scores up--so which job is harder?????????

And thanks again for all the givebacks.

Anonymous said...

to James Eterno:

sorry about the typo

jameseterno said...

To Mr. Point of Information-

Thank you.

I will respond by rescinding the first paragraph of my last comment. Sorry I don't have the codes or the technological know how to erase it entirely.

Unity Hack said...

We deserved that raise, goshdarn it. It wasn't easy bending over far enough to negotiate that contract.

Anonymous said...

It pains me to see how our dues money is misused to give Randi a raise.

Anonymous said...

Our Leadership deserves the raise. Consider what they've done just recently: solved terrible problems in Africa; rebuilt New Orleans; and, brought our troops home from war. All with our dues.
You're so damn selfish.
We can't pay them enough--although perhaps they can.
I want to RAISE my dues and COPE donation.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the union leaders got a real raise. There were no givebacks. The DR can cut out early; Mike Mendel can take a three hour lunch at the Four Seasons and bill it to his expense account.

Teachers are in a lock-step positon. They get 43 minutes for lunch and then it is back to work. They cannot arrive late or leave early.

Professionals with equal education make $73,000 after a year or two; not after 14 years of experience.

What othe profession turns on 20/20 on a Friday night, only to listen to how "public schools are cheating our kids" and "no one learns anything" and "the union has a stronghold on the schools" and, GET THIS, 'a good teacher does not need tenure".

This insulting rubbish is broadcast nationwide, with an excerpt from Jack Welsh advocating to drop the lowest performing 10% of teachers.

Unity, why aren't you out there defending us an supporting us and influencing the public's view? Randi, where are you? Too busy going to the bank?

Anonymous said...

If the membership votes on contracts how come we can't vote on randi's raise?

Anonymous said...

It's about time this blog got some activity. What happened? You guys wake up?

Anonymous said...

Anon asks "Perhaps I'm missing the point, but what's the big deal about UFT staffers getting a 5 1/2 percent raise?"

Do you know how much the union leadership is making already? Randi earns $220,000 not including her limo and expense account. Others earn their teacher salaries in addition to their $100,000 union salary. You have to ask, 'What exactly did they do to deserve this raise? Did they take a risk? Did they stand up to Napolean Bloomberg? Did they work for us? Or did they roll over in the mud and play dead?

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see Norm got 2 more people to blog to make it seem like 6 people are interested. That is right ICE is not about political positioning. It is about . . . ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,

Just to let you know, nobody "got me" to address this blog. I speak and act when I feel it's appropriate. This matter of Randi and her crew getting raises is a sore point with me and many of my colleagues. We don't believe she did enough for us to warrant a raise. We believe she could have, and should have, gotten us a much better contract.

Out in private industry nowadays the compensation of many CEOs and top executives is tied to specific performance criteria. Such should also be the case for our leadership.

The pain and suffering that Circular 6R is causing teachers across this great city is real and the UTP believes it is unconscionable for Randi to vote herself a raise, and we particularly deplore the way she did it, as James Eterno so clearly delineated.

I didn't begin my second career as a teacher for the money. I became a teacher because I wanted to make a contribution to society; I got tired of serving corporate greed on Wall Street. As a high school teacher with five classes, I spend a lot of time at school and at home preparing lessons, grading papers, planning interesting curriculum for my students. But now, with Circular 6R, one of my prep periods has been converted to make work, because people like Mike Bloomberg and his puppet Joel Klein think I work only 6 hours and 40 minutes a day and am nothing but a lazy unionite. This is not true for me, nor is it true for many of my fellow teachers. How could Randi buy this line from City Hall?

It is for these reasons that I joined the UTP and admire and support groups such as ICE and TJC. I'm tired of being bashed by the powers that be, and the media they control. I was especially disgusted.though not at all surprised, by the 20/20 program that suggested that unions are cheating students in America. Big business billionaires, such as our esteemed mayor, own the media and will continue to bash organized labor. We need labor leaders to fight back and win the public's confidence. Unfortunately, I felt that Randi's performance on that program did not help our cause at all.

Anonymous said...

ICE is about bringing some justice and dignity to a phony Union leadership that does not give ice in the winter!

If you truly cared about the membership you would have put our needs first! You would never have allowed us to work under this miserable contract. You would have never caved in; never rolled over and played dead. Of course, the leadership is not dead enough to turn down a raise which they shamelessly accepted.

2007TeachersStrike said...

Dear Joe Mudgett;

Thanks for your recent comments. The 20/20 show was horrible. Imagine, these poor students. All they want to do is learn and they are subjected to ignorant teachers who have all these rights because of unions. These teachers are so useless that you need Jack Welch (on the program) to advise principals to get rid of the bottom 10%!

This dislike and distrust comes at us from all ends; Randi and Bloomberg and the NY Post and John Stossel and Jack Welch and Jay Greene and Deans of Education in colleges. Teachers are the whole problem! Teachers are the reason the public school system is failing!

WE MUST FIGHT FOR OURSELVES. NO ONE WILL DO IT FOR US. No one even likes us or respects us.

Anonymous said...

Randi, on the 20/20 program showed her militant stance -- all image; no substance- yelling at the top of her lungs to masses of teachers. In a clear, calm, soft voice, she could have intelligently outlined what teachers are up against and how we must stand strong. It was never an issue of a contract 'at any cost'. It was an issue of a fair, just contract which offers us a real raise. The excerpt can only encourage the union bashing that has become part of this country's attitude. And the point is not lost among these midwesterners or southwesterners that these leaders are Jewish or people of color.

Anonymous said...

Great posts by Joe Mudgett and Teacher Strike 2007. You guys really hit the nail on the head. Our rights and our professionalism are being stripped away. Our union leadership has done nothing to fight for us. Unity really seems to be collaborating with the mayor and the DOE. They consistently do what is best for themselves, and show nothing but contempt for the membership. Throughout the contract battle we were told it was the best they could do, and under the circumstances we would just have to bite the bullet. Then they go and vote themselves a raise! If it wasn't such a slap in the face to us, it would almost be comical. We are swimming with sharks, and thanks to our new contract there is plently of blood in the water. If we don't fight back now, Unity and the powers that be will continue the erosion of our trade. (I can't call it a profession anymore) Groups like ICE, TJC, and the UTP are the only hope. Its a David and Golliath battle, but it must be waged, or all will be lost. We are stuck between the mayor and the chancellor, whose only goals are to continue to make us suffer and make our jobs worse for their own political gain on one side, and our union leadership who willing collaborate with them for their own political and financial gain. We are in sad shape, opposition is our only hope.

Anonymous said...

Can't we do something about these illegal raises? Who can we report this to?

Anonymous said...

Somehow this raise was lost under the radar, or some people on the Exec. Board need to be a bit more diligent when it comes to approving the minutes in the future.

Anonymous said...

$100,000 in addition to a teacher's salary? Where did you get that figure? You're so far off, it's laughable. You need a fact adjustment.

Anonymous said...

Where can one find the factual report on these salaries???????

Don't we as dues paying members have the right to know?

An Educational Voyage said...

I blog for myself, and have never been asked to blog for anyone, anywhere. I see it as a right, privilege, and responsibility to praise or question issues I feel are important to me and others like myself.

Leadership, their raises, and the contract are a disgrace. If you don't think the UFT is going down the tubes, ask yourself this: How do you think this smoke and mirror shell game would fly with the Electrical Union? It wouldn't. Just try to plug in a light bulb at Javits yourself without Local 3. That's a union!

I'm really fuzzy on the big wins for membership in this contract: What gains?

Job security? No.

Same or better geiveance protections? No.

Less Micro-management? No- wording was too vague.

Pay Raises? No, barely cost of living increases.

Same work hours? No. More givebacks. A shortened 6th period, with lesson plans.

What was leadership to do?
1. Tell membership to vote no and go back to the table.

2. Not give themselves a raise on the backs of the foot soldiers.

I wonder why shortly before the Teacher contract fiasco, the Teamsters removed themselves from the AFLCIO. Perhaps they saw the writing on the wall, and did not want to be associated with weakness.

It has been sad for me to see things at the UFT fall apart so quickly. I remember the days when a school rep really took on administration on every point. Everyone worked hard and felt valued. Teachers hardly ever hear a compliment anymore. Administrators fear giving compliments because if they decide to go after you for some micro-management garbage, you might come back and say, "But you said I was doing a great job?" Sad.

Unfortunately, the UFT is apparently gone wimp soft and deaf, unable to intellectually match those who seek to destroy us, and all unions in an era of media OWNING (literally owning) billionaires. Our dues should have been used to retain TOP NOTCH negotiators, not for self proposed pay raises for already over paid, ineffective leadership. I fear the UFT will soon become a completely impotent dupe of the KleinBerg Gang. Do you really think media mogul Bloomberg wants unions in his shops making him treat his workers fairly? That would cut into money needed for anti missile systems for his private jet!

I do hope I'm wrong, and that new blood will pick up the reigns and genuinely care for membership. There must be a young Al Shanker out there somewhere...

I personally am blessed to reap the benefits of our Welfare Fund. I am so grateful to the the UFT of yore: The UFT that stood up for teachers, striked, grieved, and made our pensions what they have been so far.

I am also grateful for those who dare to speak their minds and question issues of such great importance as this. My experiences have been that those in power who have done nothing wrong, usually have nothing to fear. It is the less-powerful that gets dumped on and scape-goated. Leadership I'm sure has no qualms about making public transcripts of official meetings. Allowing unfounded rumors to float around is unfair to them. It is better to say, look, this is documentation of how it went down: fair, proper, and in accordance with rules of order.

If everything is on the up and up then no harm done. If on the other hand, things are not as they should be, dues paying membership has the right and obligation to ask questions and expect answers. And, yes, I believe it should be public, with clear documentation for everyone to read and decide for themselves.

As for leadership that feels that responding to anyone, even a single member who fears wrong doing, is beneath them, then trust is lost forever. Each and every member is important enough to respond to. This is not a private comany. This is a non profit organization that is supposed to be working for it's members, not the other way around.

My compliments to those that have the fortitude and courage to question AND answer.

NYC Educator said...

Actually, the ICE website has a link to UFT salaries. Many are over 100K.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Still no comment about the December "Shout-out". Why not?!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,
You and that guy from TJC watsed our time at the DA tonight and we didn't even get to vote on the war in Iraq! Nice going!

Anonymous said...

Lets start a book club. First book on the list is the one written by Czar Bloomberg himself. Lets all read it and discuss it. For example, I understand he is very good at evading certain taxes and excels at buying votes. How will this help teachers? We can have more insight into his anti-labor views.

Of course, lets make sure we buy it from Teacher Choice money. Save the receipts.

Anonymous said...

To NYC Educator:

You're right, but most of those people do not collect a DOE salary in addition to what they make from the UFT. They also cannot make per session and they work longer hours and more days a year. So maybe $100,000 isn't so attractive when our top salary is now $93,000. And yes, I suppose they can go to the bathroom in between phone calls, member grievances, meetings and schools visits. By the way, their raise was 5.5%, not the 15% we got.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon,

Even 5.5% is 15% too much. Job One is to negotiate decent contracts. It didn't happen. Why do you think I'm MAD AS HELL?

jameseterno said...

Read the actual executive board resolution, not the leadership spin, if you want to know that this is a 15% increase, not a 5.5% raise for union staff.

The resolution stated that union staff (president, other officers, District Representatives, etc...) would receive pay increases "in the same manner as those negotiated by the UFT represented school system employees."

The first two years covered by our contract would mean the pay goes up 5.5% for our union leaders. Then in the last two years the increase only kicks in with some undefined productivity enhancements that will end up making the raise the same 15% teachers are getting.

Since the productivity has been left undefined, we are asking our readers to help come up with productivity gains for the union staff that would equal cafeteria duty and 37.5 minute small group instruction that many of us will have to suffer with in the schools. Help us to help the union staff earn their raise. UFT members are paying for the raise with our dues money so why shouldn't we have a say in how our money is spent?

Anonymous said...

Hey James, why no comment about the Dec. DA?

jameseterno said...

What do you want me to say about the December DA? I was there and there was some interesting ideas. Let's see if they go anywhere.

Please read what we wrote in December about being skeptical about real reform going on in the UFT. On one hand Randi is talking about "No contract= no work" and on the other hand she is pushing a bill in Albany that will give the city six months to stall after a contract expires and then send us right back to mediation and arbitration where we will lose like we just did.

I think it is fascinating that when TJC's Nick Licari proposed a resolution in January to prepare UFT members for a real mobilization, our Unity leaders said no, the time wasn't right. Nick did get a substantial number of votes, however.