Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I just got my ballot, marked ICE-TJC, tore off the front page, placed it in the envelope, then in the other envelope, and mailed it. I urge you to do the same.

Randi Weingarten and Unity let us down. They rolled back every gain I'd seen in twenty years in one fell swoop. They don't understand that time for money is not a raise, and they don't value our time at all. That's why they agreed to pointless punishment days in August.

I do hall patrol every day, thanks to our Unity-New Action negotiators. If they close my school, I'll be a permanent sub, because under Klein's new funding program, a principal would be crazy to hire anyone but a new, replaceable teacher at minimum salary. Unity can boast of no new givebacks in the new contract, but they've done nothing to remedy what they did to us in 05.

In this country, you're innocent until proven guilty. But if you're a New York City teacher, you can be suspended for up to 90 days without pay based on unsubstantiated allegations, and both Unity and New Action's leadership supported this clause. Actually, the only positive thing they offered in 05 was the 25/55 agreement. In case you haven't noticed, in its place, they've thus far offered two years worth of excuses.

Unity can claim the new contract, at 3.5% a year, keeps up with inflation, but the only way they can do so is by consulting a crystal ball and looking two years into the future. At the time they "negotiated" the contract (by taking, once again, exactly what DC37 got) inflation was running 5% in the NYC area.

It's easy for Unity to claim ICE-TJC has no ideas. But ICE repeatedly offered them, and Unity has repeatedly ignored them, preferring to indulge in juvenile, empty invective. In fact, Unity used to write and say precisely the same things about New Action, before it bought off its leaders with patronage jobs and got them to endorse Ms. Weingarten.

There is only one alternative to the Unity-New Action machine. If you think our leaders should go out and negotiate, if you think our leaders should focus on working conditions for real teachers (and learning conditions for real children), if you think class size ought not be ignored for 30 years, if you think the patronage mill should not be the main concern of those who represent us, there is only one choice.

Only one-third of us will even bother to vote. Please join us, and please cast your vote for the entire ICE-TJC slate.
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