CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TO FURTHER DILUTE ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP VOICE
On January The UFT Executive Board is proposing a constitutional amendment that will dilute the influence of active members, accelerate their alienation from our union, and weaken the UFT overall.
If passed, the proposal to increase the weight of retiree votes in UFT elections by 30%. This means that active members will have less of a say over who leads the UFT and what strategies it should pursue. Rather than address an urgent need the Executive Board’s proposal will make our biggest problem -- active membership disengagement -- even worse.
In the past year, the UFT leadership has practically given up on trying to mobilize active members. For example, with layoffs looming, it instructed Chapter Leaders to bring only a few people to the June 14 march over the Brooklyn Bridge. As a result, the union was so weak that it was forced to sacrifice ATRs and sabbaticals in order to avoid layoffs that were fiscally unneeded in the first place. There was almost no UFT presence at the November 17 rally in support of OWS at Foley Square, and at the Central Labor Council march on December 1, the UFT contingent of several hundred was overwhelmingly made up of retirees and staff.
Last spring, it was the new teachers he threatened with layoffs, because he wanted a change in LIFO. This winter it is the entire staffs of more than two dozen so-called “Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools” he is threatening with loss of their positions, because he wants, to mince no words, to effectively destroy teacher due process, aka “Tenure.” To read an analysis by a teacher at one of these targeted schools, reply to this email and ask for the e-article, “Bloomberg the Hostage Taker.”
Please make a point of joining us for our next TJC phone meeting. We will be discussing this upcoming change in the union constitution, the city’s loss of the RTTT funds and what it means, the new plague of school closings and how to address them, and saving tenure, among other matters. Reply to this email to get instructions on how to join the call.
SIGN UP TO DEFEND DUE PROCESS!
TENURE IS DUE PROCESS! Join TJC’s Petition Campaign!
Last June, more than two out of five of new teachers who were up for tenure had their probation extended. For many, probably most, this was unrelated to their performance as teachers. Teachers in hard-to-staff schools with large numbers of students in poverty were much more likely to have their probation extended than those in selective schools. Probation was extended in cases where supervisors had not done sufficient observations or paperwork. In many cases, probation was extended despite principals’ recommending that tenure be granted.
We are asking you to please download our petition to the UFT leaders, get nine of your colleagues to join you in signing it, and mail it back to us. When we have one thousand names, we will present it to UFT leaders. Please reply to this email and ask for the tenure petition.
Joint Contract Campaign: Teachers and Transit Workers
As you know, we haven't had a contract in over two years, or a raise in almost three and a half years. Meanwhile, the transit workers contract is going to expire in a little over a month. In recent years, their union has shown itself unwilling to work under an expired contract.
TJC raised a resolution at the December 7 Delegate Assembly for a joint contract campaign with TWU Local 100. For a copy of the resolution, reply to this email and ask for the “Resoltuion for Strength through Solidarity. Despite the support of what has been estimated as between one and two hundred of those voting at the Delegate Assembly, it did not get on the agenda for discussion. This is all the more regretable, because the Unity UFT leadership effectively has no strategy for winning a good contract except waiting for Bloomberg to leave and hoping the next mayor is more friendly towards us.
MORE SCHOOLS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE:
WHY THE UNION HAS NOT STOPPED THE PLAGUE OF SCHOOL CLOSINGS
Every year, Bloomberg’s DOE puts more schools on “death row,” under the myth that somehow the problems of education come from something in the school. But the UFT, and even the opponents of school closings, continue to make strategic mistakes that doom efforts to save schools. To read our TJC analysis of what it would take to stop the school closing juggernaut, reply to this email and ask for the leaflet “What Will It Take to Stop School Closings?”
Protest March Against Budget Cuts
Wednesday November 30 http://www.sheepsheadbites.
At the November Delegate Assembly, Secretary Mendel had a hissy fit, calling the TJC/GEM resolution to end the ATR crisis “lies,” and carrying on as if it were a danger to the future of the UFT. At the December D.A., he apologized for his behavior. This reflects widespread disapproval of his attack on an honest attempt to protect ATRs. It also shows that unrestrained bashing of the opposition is no longer acceptable.
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