Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ms. Weingarten Convenes the Executive Board

And they agree unanimously.

There are no gray areas. Everything is black and white. Unity good, questions bad.

It must be a great burden to be right all the time. If you're never wrong, if you never admit an error, you have to stand by every claim you make, no matter what new info comes along. Yet to judge from what they write, the Unity leadership has never been wrong. I've never, ever seen them admit a mistake.

The "open market" transfer system is a huge success. Those who speak of problems are spouting urban myths. Yet the hundreds, if not thousands of teachers languishing in ATR (even as new teachers are hired) are never, ever mentioned in that capacity. When discussing the transfer plan, they simply don't exist.

Now, there's a party going on about the new partnership with Green Dot. Supposedly, Green Dot teachers are better off than UFT teachers because there's no probationary period. I have a few problems with that supposition. First of all, I think there needs to be a probationary period, and that teachers who don't make the grade (so to speak) ought not to continue to teach our kids. We can try to help them improve, but there ought to be a higher standard than simply drawing breath for awarding tenure.

Of course, I don't accept the supposition that the "just cause clause" is equal to, let alone better than tenure. First of all, someone emailed me a note claiming that Green Dot's removal policy has not even been tested yet, not even once. Second, there's evidence to indicate its "superiority" is not remotely what it's cracked up to be.

Most importantly, though, there are no seniority rights at Green Dot. Therefore, it would be rather easy to simply excess a twenty-year teacher and keep someone who was hired last week. Why even go through the bother of a "just cause" hearing, whatever that may be, when you can just sweep 'em out the door?

Consider also, if the UFT were to accept this policy (sounds inconceivable, but a few years ago, I couldn't have imagined they'd dump seniority placement), Tweed could excess 80K teachers right and left, and simply replace 40K teachers every few years, thus saving valuable stadium dollars that may have been frittered away for salaries and pensions. They're salivating over it even as we speak. Extra bonus---if the new Green Dot teachers become UFT members, the whole thing won't cost the patronage mill a plugged nickel.

In all UFT-produced pieces about Green Dot, lack of seniority is ignored altogether. Either UFT President Randi Weingarten's propaganda mill has not yet concocted a response to it, or there simply isn't one. Either way, without seniority rights, the entire notion of union is drastically devalued.

Someone said to me a while back, "If Randi Weingarten said it was a good idea to drown puppies, you'd read about the virtues of drowning puppies the next day in Edwize."

I'm now beginning to believe it.
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