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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope that 2016 brings all my followers and readers good cheer and that you all conquer whatever challenges you have in front of you!
All the Best!

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter

and Max, my rescue Golden Retriever/Lab mix after a loong New Year's Celebration

MORE: The 2016 Platform

Jia Lee has the right stuff!

Betsy Combier
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter

Jia Lee

2016 Platform

“Our Working Conditions are Our Students’ Learning Conditions”
With A Membership-Driven Union We Can:
  • Enforce Our Contract and Organize for a Just Contract in 2018
  • Defend Public Education
  • Combat Systemic School Segregation and Racism .
  • Support Opt Out and Oppose Common Core, Danielson Evaluations and High Stakes  Testing
  • Make the UFT a Democratic,Transparent and Accountable Union.
I-Enforce Our Contract & Organize for a Just Contract in 2018
  1. Mobilize members for a stronger contract with higher salaries and immediate payment of retro.
  2. Fight for CFE (Campaign for Fiscal Equity Funding) funding to lower class size, provide more books, art materials, and after school programs, and also to improve teachers’ capacities by increasing per session funding and the number of prep periods.
  3. Establish paid maternity and paternity leave on par with international standards.
  4. Win due process rights for untenured educators and launch a campaign for due process for all New York City workers. Strengthen whistleblower protections for all educators and make the tenure process shorter, clearer, and fair.
  5. Revise the ‘Fair Student Funding’ Formula. The DOE must return to the system in which each school’s budget was charged the same fixed amount per teacher. The current system incentivizes principals to hire inexperienced teachers. We must restore the right of an educator to transfer on the basis of seniority or to further integration.
  6. More teacher voice in shaping professional development and equal access to PD opportunities.
  7. Take on abusive administrators and allow teacher evaluation of administrators.
  8. Expand contract Article 8E so that not only the format of a lesson plan, but the teaching of the lesson is up to the professional discretion of each teacher.
II-Defend Public Education
  1. Organize with parents to ensure New York City enforces the Contracts for Excellence (C4E) law, passed in 2007, which required NYC’s Department of Education (DOE) to achieve the following numbers: no more than 20 students in K-3 classes, 23 in grades 4-8, 25 in HS.
  2. Oppose co-locations and convert charter schools into public schools covered by the contract.
  3. Fight to end closures and receivership.
  4. Hold principals accountable to parents, teachers and students with regular audits and contractually-empowered SLTs.
  5. Fully staff schools and provide wrap around services, including more teachers, paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, and school counselors with reduced caseloads.
III-Combat Systemic School Segregation and Racism
  1. Work with the DOE to recruit and retain a teacher workforce that matches the diversity of New York City.
  2. Initiate and promote programs to integrate schools and provide equitable allocation of resources such as arts, music, after-school programs, sports, food programs, etc.
  3. Win funding for restorative justice coordinators and racial equity teams in every school. These coordinators and teams should work with  safety committees and school leadership teams to come up with school-based safety programs that fit each school.
  4. Work for an overhaul of the state standards based on a democratic, grassroots process involving teachers, students, and parents to determine what our communities want students to learn.
IV-Support Opt Out and Oppose Common Core, Danielson Evaluations, and High Stakes Testing
  1. Support the opt-out movement and oppose high stakes testing which disproportionately harms special ed and ESL students.
  2. Initiate a shift to alternative and teacher-generated portfolio/project-based assessments.
  3. Educate parents about their rights to oppose testing.
  4. End test-based, snapshot evaluations, and outside evaluators.
  5. End mayoral (and gubernatorial) control of the schools.
V-Make the UFT a Democratic,Transparent and Accountable Member Driven Union
  1. Subject all UFT positions to election and recall, including DRs, and put union officers and staff on the member’s pay scale.
  2. Build school-level and boro-wide alliances between UFT members, parents, and communities.
  3. Create a fully staffed internal organizing department to rebuild chapters that are not functioning and improve support of Chapter Leaders.
  4. Open negotiations. Let the members know what is on the table.