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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chaz' School Daze Post on the UFT Contract, ATRS, and Ebola: A Must-Read

A Must-read for all people anywhere is the new post on Chaz' School Daze blog.

I am re-posting here, but go to the original and read the comments which I am sure will continue to be entertaining.

Chaz is my favorite blogger, he gets it right.

Betsy Combier

Friday, October 03, 2014

Ebola, ATRs, And The 2017 Teachers Contract.

Now that we have a contract, its time to look ahead to 2017 and see how the UFT and the City will finally resolve the more than decade long ATR crisis that wastes talent and money.  

In 2017 New York City finds itself with an Enola outbreak and with close to a 50% mortality rate, its important that the City develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.  How will they get the volunteers to help? However, help is on the way in the form of the 2017 teachers contract.

The provisions of the new 2017 teachers contract will allow the DOE to "force place" ATRs into the City's voluntary Ebola vaccine trials. Any ATR who refuses to participate in the voluntary trials will have been considered to have voluntarily to have resigned.  Moreover, any ATR who refuses to be infected with the Ebola virus in the trials will be charged by the DOE with "problematic behavior"and terminated after receiving an expedited one day show trial by a DOE appointed hearing officer.

The expectation is that of the 2,000+ ATRs, half will be removed from the City payroll either by death, resignation, or termination.  In the New York Teacher Paper UFT President Michael Mulgrew calls this new ATR procedures a victory in draining the ATR pool of 50% of its members.

The DOE wants the surviving ATRs to be fired since they are infected with the Ebola virus and cannot be exposed to the students.  However, in a joint press conference with the new Mayor, Michael Mulgrew stated that the surviving ATRs will be put on a disability pension and receive 33% of their final average salary.  Mr Mulgrew further stated that its a win-win for all parties as he hugs the Mayor, Eva Muscowitz. Not only does the 2017 contract end the ATR crisis but increases educator salaries by the inflation rate and lengthens the school year to 225 days and increases the school day to 9 hours.

Yes, the new 2017 teachers contract is a win for the UFT leadership and the City and we all know that's the only thing that really matters.


Anonymous said...
can we sneak ebola into their lunchins?
Bronx ATR said...
The current ATR regulations expire in June 2016. I expect we will be force placed in the neediest schools, probably for a year at a time, irregardless of license area at that time. I do believe there is a 70% chance that Eva will be the next mayor ( perhaps Randi will become her running mate as she retires from the AFT and Mulgrew steps in). Deadly disease, the DOE, Eva, Randi, Mike, and the UFT all seem synonymous. How sad and sick is that?
Anonymous said...
Chaz, very funny and yes, I can see that happening.
Anonymous said...
With all this talk about "incompetent teachers in the system" who cannot be removed without castrating the rights of all teachers, why has the DOE not yet revealed the results of the Advance evaluations of city teachers for the last school year like the state did? Is it possible because the facts do not back up the claims that most teachers are incompetent like the media and others would have people believe? Show us the facts!!! Publish the results!!! Let's see how many teachers were rated ineffective and developing to prove that all this teaching bashing is necessary! Where are the facts to prove the need for all this talk?
Anonymous said...
Bronx ATR...

"irregardless"... really? Is that a word? (Hope you are not English licensed)
Anonymous said...
11:41, right on. SHOW THE RESULTS BITCHES!!!!!
Jerome'smom said...
Eva Moskowitz may run for mayor of New York City but she will never BE the mayor of New York City.
Anonymous said...
But if Eva becomes mayor and runs the city the same way she runs her charter schools... the foreign speaking people would have to leave NYC...the special needs people would have to leave NYC...there would be no contracts for labor unions...and no unions for that matter... And no one would really excel at anything (after all, not one of her charter kids got into a specialized high school...)

How To Stop Paying For The UFT Political Action Committee, COPE

Are the UFT political statements and campaigns annoying you?
You should opt out of COPE, or The Committee on Political Education, which is the UFT political action committee.
How you can choose not to donate: Fax a letter  to 212-510-6435 with your name, school, file #, and state that you want to opt out of COPE as of the day you fax it. Sign the letter.
You will receive a cancellation notice and you should send this to the NYC DOE payroll office. 
Below you can read the UFT urging all members to sign up and pay for COPE, and below that I have re-printed a post from January 21, 2014 on the BECK Amendment and the movement away from compulsory payment of union dues.

The movement argues that as long as leaders of a union do not fairly represent members, dues should not be paid.

This country is founded upon "no taxation without representation", right?

Betsy Combier

COPE - 1

Politics is union business.
In hard economic times, political action is needed more than ever.
Every member needs to enroll in UFT/COPE.

What COPE is

The Committee on Political Education (COPE) is the UFT’s political action arm. It covers the expenses of meeting with and educating legislators, and helps elect officeholders who respect our members, support education and work for union goals. With COPE, we work for laws and policies that further education and safeguard our rights; we back candidates who back us; and we support public officials who get things done for our members, parents and students.
In recent years, teachers and teacher unions have become the new favorite punching bag for politicians and policy makers. And labor continues to be the number one target of anti-worker politicians. The UFT’s record – on both legislativematters and in elections – would be impressive under any circumstance, but under these conditions it is truly extraordinary. It is made possible by the incredibly hard work of thousands of UFT members and by the funding that COPE provides. None of this would be possible without COPE, and COPE is not possible without you.

Why COPE needs you

COPE is entirely funded by voluntary contributions. We do not use any union dues money for political action. In these hard economic times, it is critically important that you contribute to COPE. COPE enables us to continue to fight for lower class sizes and additional funding for the classroom, and it will help us make sure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes by extending the millionaires’ tax. Thanks to COPE we are able to make sure that our voice is heard loud and clear.
Thanks to UFT/COPE, we get results.
We need your support to continue this vital political work.
See your chapter leader to sign up or contact COPE at 212-598-7747.

Movement Starts: Toward an End To Involuntary Payment of Dues to the UFT
The BECK Amendment deals with the issue of members' dues to their union, and where to draw the line. It's an issue that needs to be addressed, especially in New York City and particularly with teachers, paras, and other members who pay UFT BIGs - Mike Mulgrew, Leroy Barr, Ellie Engler - a lot of money basically to do nothing.

Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988) is a decision by the United States Supreme Court which held that, in a union security agreement, unions are authorized by statute to collect from non-members only those fees and dues necessary to perform its duties as a collective bargaining representative. The rights identified by the Court in Communications Workers of America v. Beck have since come to be known as "Beck rights," and defining what Beck rights are and how a union must fulfill its duties regarding them is an active area of modern United States labor law.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

And the worst part of this is, UFT members do not have a choice; in blunt language, if you join the UFT you MUST pay your dues. Paying is not voluntary. Doesn't this leave the BIGs to do whatever they want, from helping someone to doing nothing, as they will get your dues money anyway?

Time to do something about this:
1) make paying dues voluntary
2) permit a member to pay their dues money to benefit THEIR welfare, not that of UNITY folk who couldn't care less what classroom or rubber room you are in.

Betsy Combier

Free the teachers from automatic dues

, NYPOST, Jan 21, 2014

AFT President Randi Weingarten and UFT President Mike Mulgrew

A favorite talking point for the teachers union is that charter-school operators earn more than the schools chancellor.
Funny thing: As the United Federation of Teachers’ own spending reports show, at least five UFT executives earn more than the chancellor’s $212,614 base salary; union president Mike Mulgrew makes $250,000.
More interesting is that the source of this money is force. While everything about charters is voluntary — no one forces children to attend, teachers to teach there or foundations to pay executive salaries — it’s the opposite for the rest of the system.
For the salaries of Mulgrew and Co. come courtesy of an automatic payroll deduction from every teacher’s paycheck that goes for dues. And the city does it for them. Thus, Mulgrew is spared the expense of having to persuade the UFT members he’s worth the dues he asks. And taxpayers underwrite public-sector unions that then use their dollars to buy political influence to extract even more money from the public till.

Teachers’ union boss spent $18K in Bond-like HQ spy sweep

, NYPOST, Jan 20, 2014
Something’s bugging teachers-union boss Michael Mulgrew — or, at least, he thinks so.
The United Federation of Teachers president blew a huge wad of union cash to play out a paranoid James Bond fantasy when he paid $17,849 for a security team to sweep his headquarters for bugs, documents show.
A crew from Protective Countermeasures & Consulting Inc. was hired to sweep for listening devices at the UFT’s offices at 52 Broadway, a review of union spending reports reveals.
The payments were made in January and March of last year, just as the union leadership grappled with key strategic decisions such as labor-contract negotiations and who to support as the next mayor.
The union would not say if any surveillance devices were found.
Some union members thought it was unlikely anyone would bug the union — and that it was ridiculous that Mulgrew is using Cold War tactics to play a game of “Tinker, Teacher, Soldier, Spy” in the UFT headquarters.
“I have no idea why they’re doing it. It’s very odd,” said James Eterno, a dissident UFT member who ran against Mulgrew for president in 2010. “I didn’t know we were like the CIA and have to keep secrets. I didn’t think we were that important. It’s not like someone is going to get killed if something leaks out.”
Protective Countermeasures, a New Rochelle-based firm, specializes in identifying security threats such as “corporate eavesdropping” and helps craft “counter espionage” plans.
Its Web site says it uses equipment that “neutralizes” bugs. The sweep also checks the electric grid, light fixtures and walls for video transmitters, infrared recorders and laser technology.
Eterno wondered if Mulgrew was looking for the UFT version of Edward Snowden. “I don’t think there’s any worry about me or anyone else planting a bug in Mike Mulgrew’s office,” he said.
A UFT spokesperson would say only that it pays for “routine security services.”
The anti-spy initiative was just one of the entries listed in the UFT’s $190 million spending report covering its massive empire, fueled by $50 semimonthly union dues paid by rank-and-file teachers. The UFT also poured nearly $4 million into political campaigns through its super PAC, United for the Future, and spent an additional $4.2 million on TV and radio ad blitzes and advocacy.
The teachers union defended its spending as appropriate.
“The UFT’s financial report covers funds spent on our 200,000 members, including refreshments, reimbursement for transportation and parking and other expenses, along with routine security services,” a union spokesperson said.
“We are proud of every dollar we spend on our members and on advocacy groups fighting for better schools.”

$tate of the union

  • 54 union reps and staffers got salaries of more than $100,000. The average was $144,000 — triple the starting teacher salary of $45,000.
  • Five UFT officials were compensated more than the $212,614 base salary for the schools chancellor. UFT chief Michael Mulgrew makes $250,000.
  • $264,000 to groups that campaign against charter schools, including the rebranded ACORN, now called New York Communities for Change.
  • More than $1.7 million on food, including conferences at the Hilton and Waldorf.
  • $150,000 for tickets to movies, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas show, Mets and minor-league baseball games, and union swag such as mugs and tote bags.