The UFT negotiated for an increase in Teacher's Choice money from the City Council for next year. This is positive news; we will get around $125 per teacher for supplies. While this is a gain, it is still well below the $260 level that was allocated for Teacher's Choice just a few short years back. Furthermore, when the city is flush with cash and the state isn't doing too badly either, where was the push by the union for something really significant?
How about lowering class sizes? I don't think pushing Mayor de Blasio, the City Council and Chancellor Farina to significantly lower class size is even a UFT priority.
Let us not forget that this is actually part of our contract. Notice below how Article 8Ld) calls for a program for reduction of class size in all grades and divisions. The Department of Education and UFT found money for other parts of Article 8L such as the ill fated school wide merit pay program and, to be fair, the the five year salary differential. However, why has lower class size been forgotten? Wasn't the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit settled years ago? Wasn't it Mayor Bloomberg who opposed lowering class sizes, not Mayor de Blasio?
Labor/Management Committee On Long Term Reforms
With regard to the long term recommendations the 2005 Fact Finders made subject to
adequate CFE funding, the parties shall establish a Labor Management Committee to
discuss the following issues: a) bonuses, including housing bonuses, for shortage license
areas; b) a pilot project for school-wide based performance bonuses for sustained growth
in student achievement; c) salary differentials at the MA-5 through MA-7 levels; and d) a
program for the reduction of class size in all grades and divisions. If the parties agree on
the terms of any or all of these issues, they may be implemented by the Board using
whatever funds may be identified.
The UFT just does not play offense very well. I think it is one of the main reasons we are in such a difficult situation as a profession these days.
Anyway, here is the UFT's latest victory statement on Teacher's Choice:
We won a 62% increase in funding for Teacher's Choice in the final city budget that the mayor and the City Council announced late last night. Teachers should receive about $125 in the coming school year, up from $77 this year. Thanks to everyone who participated in the social media and lobbying blitz for this vital program!