Sunday, October 29, 2006

Chapter Votes Unanimously to Win Back the Givebacks!!

Jamaica Chapter News
October 30, 2006
by James Eterno


As per suggestion from UFT President Randi Weingarten, the Jamaica High School Chapter did not distribute but rather we discussed the UFT’s bargaining demands for the next Contract at Friday’s Chapter Meeting in the library where there was standing room only. Even though the current Contract does not expire until October 12, 2007, the UFT is in a coalition with other unions to try to negotiate economic and some non economic matters.

After the demands were presented to the body, Debbie Saal noted that the UFT did not ask to win back any of the givebacks from our latest Contract. The Chapter seemed revolted by this fact. Debbie proposed that the UFT demand that we take back what we gave away in the last round of negotiations. These take-backs would include:

A full summer vacation, no school before Labor Day

Preferred placements in vacancies for members if a school is closed or reorganized

Right to fill a vacant position if a member is excessed

Transfers based upon seniority and/or School Based Options Committees, a majority of who are UFT members

Chapter leaders collaborate, not merely consultation with principal, on professional activities menu

Hall patrols and cafeteria duty strictly prohibited by contract

Members will be allowed to grieve unfair/inaccurate material in their files

Members will be allowed to grieve unfair/inaccurate observation reports

No member shall be suspended without pay based upon probable cause of serious misconduct or sexual misconduct (members are innocent until proven guilty)

No expedited 3020A hearings for time and attendance matters

The end to the 37.5 minute small group instruction period they have in many schools.

Eric Chasanoff seconded the motion to take back the givebacks and Bob Klugman third, fourth and fifthed the proposal. A full discussion followed with the only reservation being that we separate the economic from non economic demands since some will cost us money that could be taken from a potential pay increase. It was agreed to prioritize them. Some of the math teachers pointed out that in the last two Contracts we have added about a month's worth of extra teaching time (extended day and year) but we were never fully compensated for that time as our sick days remain at a NY Metropolitan area low of ten per year.

Mike Pallisco summed it all up when he made the following statement that could be our rallying cry: “A bad Contract is a bad Contract; let’s fix it.” You can’t get something if you don’t ask for it so the Chapter voted unanimously after the discussion to demand that the UFT take back the givebacks. Later in the day the same proposal to win back the givebacks was made by me and unanimously endorsed by the Independent Community of Educators (ICE). It should be noted that the city and the coalition including the UFT are in serious negotiations for new Contracts. More details will follow on this issue soon.


Anonymous said...

I applaud you and your chapter. It shows that we are not all sheep, and that we can stand up.

Now we need to spread the word to other schools. I'll work on mine.

Anonymous said...

Our chapter leader is asleep at the wheel. I will print out your entry and post it wherever I can, and slip a copy into our CL's mailbox. Thanks for your chapter's courage to stand up and act like a union, not part of the KleinBloomGarten patronage mill.

Anonymous said...

Our backs are to the wall. We MUST fight now!

Anonymous said...

Time to stand up for yourselves UFT members. It's now or never.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the Jamaica High School proposal. Please visit my blog on what I said about the takebacks.

Anonymous said...

I'll get my chapter to support this.

Anonymous said...

From the NYC Educator Link to this Post-

It's a wonder such thoughts never occurred to the union leadership. What do those folks do, anyway?
Fred | 10.30.06 - 4:52 pm | #


Fairytales can come true, they can happen to you....with different leadership.
Schoolgal | 10.30.06 - 7:26 pm | #

Thanmks to NYC Educator

Anonymous said...

More schools come on board please. We need to have something to be optimistic about going into the November Delegate meeting.

Anonymous said...

Let me see what be the same Eric Chasnoff, Internet pit bull of James Eterno, who wrote a few days ago...

>> My vote is an 18 month contract with a 6% raise and "no givebacks"! If we can get it. <<

Now he and the ever wise James have decided that this contract may be within reach, so they have found a new position, and think nobody will notice.

17 (really 15) more years said...

I brought this up at our chapter meeting today. Our CL said, "Forget about it, what we gave up is gone." She then went forth to spout the typical Unity rhetoric. When I told her that it is up to EVERY chapter leader to bring his chapter's demands back to the delegate assembley, she shot me down. I'm not giving up- I'll print this out and spread the word.

jameseterno said...

Nobody is my pit bull. You can't link what is said on someone else's blog to me. I have nothing to do with any blog but this one. Other bloggers are putting out their own positions and I respect that.

I have never changed a position on the contract. I wrote an ICE blog piece in August critical of the DC 37 pattern and I have not changed positions since then.

My chapter wants to take back the givebacks and I will work as hard as I can to support this position.

Anonymous said...

some teachers in my school expressed an interest in picketing the next D.A. to demand that the chapter's be able to discuss the non-economic demands. they were very upset that they were not able to discuss these demands. they were also upset that class size is not being discussed, regardless of that survey that as far as i can tell, few teachers participated in. what do other people think? any interest in picketing the next or future DAs?

Anonymous said...

I am interested in picketing the DA assembly over the contract

Anonymous said...

The next DA is on Nov. 8 at the NY Hilton. Even if there's no picketing people might go and sit in the visitors section to make their wishes known and provide a counter to the Unity machine.

Picketing at the Hilton would force people outside and there are a number of entrances. If people want to picket a DA they might want to consider doing it at one at UFT HQ.
Unless they make this location permanent. They used to hold the meetings at Fashion Industries on 24th st and that seemed to work fine.

Remember how Unity dropped the ball at the Oct. DA -- the most crowded of the year where they tried to cram almost 1200 people into a room that maxes out at 850 or so - and they used the concept of having DA's at union HQ as a selling point for buying the buildings. While I facetiously posted on the Ednotes Online blog that they were out to drive independents away, I really think in this case they were just not paying attention, which is astounding. But they are preoccuppied with creating spins for everything.

They immediately sent out a letter of apology and will hold the meeting at the Hilton (too bad it's not at the Bklyn Marriott where the macadamia nut cookies are awesome.)

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should limit the DA's to CL's and delegates. No more DR's or retirees. Then we can all fit.

Anonymous said...

Just put it out there that we want some takebacks and let's see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Wake up from your long slumber teachers before you get run over.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say run over again by Klein, Bloomberg and Randi.

Anonymous said...

ICE serves on the negotiating committee. Did you folks ever object to strategy? I'm not on the committee,so I'm asking. Do you take responsibility for your actions and inactions alike? Did the ICE community answer the survey?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that Unity hacks need to put words in the mouth of James Eterno to make their arguments. That's the same crowd that accused the UTP of nazism and condemened ICE for associating with them.

If they were capable of formulating proactive arguments, like James, we'd all be a lot better off.

I've no doubt that Unity voices overwhelm any and all others on the committee.

jameseterno said...

Thanks NYC Educator.

What goes on in the negotiating committee is supposed to be confidential so we really shouldn't discuss it here. We will be happy to explain the ICE positions on negotiations as the last piece did and we will keep doing that as we go forward.

Anonymous said...

So Jamaica High School is negotiating their own contract! I wonder with whom? In fact, I wonder who could possibly take them seriously? The Icicles there have decided that a contract following the pattern, with no erosion in work rules, boosting our top salary near $100,000 and providing a bridge to get past the Bloomberg/Klein era is worthy of picketing and protesting. This kind of silliness just proves that the nutters on this website do not have the best interests of UFT members in mind. Instead of criticizing, complaining and fantasizing, ICE should be thinking of ways to thank Randi Weingarten for her hard work and negotiating skill if she can pull this off for us

jameseterno said...


DC 37 gets 6% over 20 months without any givebacks to set a new pattern for city unions. For thirty years, when one union settles and sets a pattern, all other unions are pretty much guaranteed the same settlement. You call that skill to say, "Me too." I say a five year old could do that. It requires no skill.

Improving our working conditions, that requires skill.

Anonymous said...

So Eric Chasnoff is not your pit bull? Well he certainly is your puppet, as he goes from saying that all he would support a "no givebacks" contract to demanding a "takeback" contract on your cue?