Monday, October 10, 2005

Unity Visits Your School

Welcome everyone.  I’m very glad to see you’ve all come here.  First of all, despite the whining of a small but vocal minority of chronic malcontents, I’d like to point out that, under our guidance, teacher salaries have more than doubled over the last 20 years.   Doubled!  That’s quite impressive given the current geopolitical context, and if you have any sense, you’ll be quite impressed, as we all are.

Let’s first talk about the 37.5 minute “small group instruction.”  This is most definitely not a sixth teaching period.  It is instruction, not teaching, and anyone who can’t tell the difference is clearly ignorant.  Everyone with any sense knows that teaching can be stressful at times, but instruction is an effortless pleasure.  Furthermore, those high-achieving students who ask difficult and troublesome questions will have already left the school, so you won’t have to deal with all their nasty curiosity and thoughtfulness.  We at Unity find those qualities distracting as well. That’s why we discourage such vulgar individuals from working for us.

Now, some of our detractors are complaining that the “lead teacher” position is “merit pay.”  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  “Merit pay” is when the administration selects teachers to be paid more than other teachers.  A “lead teacher” will be chosen by the administration to receive additional compensation.  Anyone who can’t tell the obvious difference has not read the official UFT fact sheet, which Ms. Finch is now passing out.

And now we come to the issue of lunch patrol.  If you remember, it was our hard work that got you out of the lunchroom, and we were very proud of that.  It was a tough year and no money was available, so we got you out.  This year, not only did we achieve a raise, but we got you back in at no additional charge to you, or any of your UFT colleagues.  And furthermore, many of you will not serve lunchroom duty, since you’ll be returned to homeroom.  Yes it’s true we got you out of that in the past, in exchange for a zero, but this year we got you back in, once again, with no additional charge.  That was some tough negotiating, but we rolled up our sleeves, put our heads together, and had the chauffers garage all the limos till it got done.

Now a lot of teachers are complaining that the police and corrections officers received 10.25% over two years, while we got 14.25 over four.  Well, you only need to look at those statements to realize how much better our deal is.  We got 15, and they only got 10!  15 is five more than ten!  Do the math, people!

Furthermore, police cadets will receive a drastic cut in salary for their first six months.  I’m proud to tell you that, under this historic contract, student teachers will receive the exact same salary they always have, and their rate of pay has not been reduced at all.  There’s also a lot of loose talk about how they’re getting 12,000 for two years of back pay, while you’re only getting up to 5,000 for four.  All I can say is do the math!  If you take that 5,000 and multiply it by 5, that’s $25,000, which is more than double what the corrections officers got!  Do the math!

Finally, with this historic contract, we have promised to agree in principle that teachers with 25 years service will be able to retire in 25 years.  That’s something that we might get for you in the future, if it’s possible.  Is anyone else promising they might get that for you?  No?  Well, I’m here to tell you that if you vote yes for this contract, you might get that in the future.  Furthermore, under this contract, if you spend one dollar of that raise we got you, you might win the lottery and live a life of luxury in Hawaii, where girls with grass skirts play ukuleles, and bring you drinks in coconuts on the beach.  Who else is saying you might get those things?  No one!  Keep that in mind. Remember, if you vote “no” you might not win the lottery!

Remember, this contract is the best we could do.  If you vote no, the next one will be even worse.  Also, we will immediately go on strike, be replaced permanently by scabs, you will be unable to pay your bills, removed from your home, and forced to live in a pickup truck opposite your school, with access only to gas station and student bathrooms.  Is that what you want?  Remember, don’t let our detractors’ sleazy fear tactics sway you into voting no!

Any questions?  Yes? I deeply regret I will be unable to answer questions at this time.  Unfortunately, I have a rhumba lesson in fifteen minutes, and the teacher has a strict policy about lateness.  As teachers, I’m sure you all can understand that.

Before I leave, let me express my deepest thanks to the silent majority of teachers who support Unity, and this historic contract.  God bless you all, and God bless the United Federation of Teachers.

Thank you, and I’ll see you all again when the next contract comes up for ratification.  Let’s go, Ms. Finch.
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