We kind of figured the fact finders recommending a settlement for the UFT contract might try to avoid Mayor Bloomberg. This piece from the September 26 NY Teacher (official newspaper of the UFT) confirms our thinking. This is what we learn from NY Teacher:
The UFT has its last scheduled fact-finding hearing for a new contract on Nov. 4. After the final hearing, both the union and the Department of Education will have an opportunity to submit post-hearing briefs.
After the submission of post-hearing briefs, the next step will be for the fact-finding panel to render a nonbinding recommendation designed to help the union and the DOE craft a final settlement. There is no timetable for when the panel will issue its recommendation.
Translation: The process will be left for the new mayor to figure out.
This should be a positive development but since Bloomberg has moved these negotiations, as well as the overall atmosphere in the schools, in such an anti union direction, do not expect much from the fact finders to win our dignity back.
I tend to agree with the Assailed Teacher that eliminating the horrific new teacher evaluation system and restoring the rights we forfeited in the 2005 contract (ability to grieve file letters, preferred placement rights for UFT members when a school is closed, seniority and SBO transfers, no teacher hall, cafeteria or potty patrols, stronger due process rights) should be significant contract priorities.
Here is most of the Assailed Teacher's commentary on our last post:
To be honest, and I don't think I am alone here, I would forgo retroactive pay for a declawing of this evaluation system (as Anonymous said above at 5:49pm, the evaluation is a state mandate and needs to be repealed via the state, so a declawing is the best we can hope for) if not a total opting out of it for NYC. Let King threaten to withhold money like he did earlier this year. It would come back on him and Cuomo more than the UFT. On top of this, we would need a better 3020-a process (including reassignments and investigations), the right to grieve letters in the file and an anti-bullying clause that protects us from Tweedy and Leadership Academy administrators. For all of this, and some more things I can't think of, I would forgo retroactive pay.
Unfortunately for teachers in the schools, the union leadership is still touting the new evaluations and the 2005 contract as wins. They have this narrowed down to the money which we also learn from the NY Teacher:
The dispute pivots largely on the question of pattern bargaining. The UFT’s position is that its members are entitled to the same raises other city workers have received. The mayor contends that the city cannot afford to follow the pattern.
However, the pattern is 4% + 4% and no givebacks.
Do you consider the teacher evaluation system a gain or a giveback?