Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wize Liez

UFT President Randi Weingarten and her patronage mill promised us 25/55 as part of the odious 2005 contract, the one that brought us perpetual hall patrol, August punishment days, the 6th class for high school teachers, and the demise of seniority transfers (among other jewels). While they may deny it now, an Edwize post by Peter Goodman specifically promised 25/55 without any givebacks aside from the huge number they'd already conceded.

In the proposed Agreement the Mayor agrees to support legislation to create a 25/55-pension system.

It's hard for me to detect nuance in those words. It appeared if we swallowed the poison pill and accepted the very worst contract I'd ever seen, the mayor would support this legislation. Yet two years later, we are forced into a test-based merit pay scheme in order to earn something which, supposedly, we'd already paid for (dearly). And while the UFT says it will not go to individual teachers, the school committees may indeed agree to give it to individual teachers.

In any case, if you walked into a store that was running a special "Pay for two, and get one," you'd probably interpret that as an offer you could refuse. Who would go for such a deal?

Well, the United Federation of Randi Weingarten, without consulting rank and file, has bought into just such a deal, and are now touting it as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

And bear in mind that this benefit is not free. It will cost you 1.85% of your salary, virtually all of the 2% "raise" you just got (the one that didn't even meet cost of living). And this deal is not precisely 25/55, as Mr. Goodman had promised in Edwize:
For future hires, the pension will be improved to an eligibility at age 55 with 27 years of service.

Do they think we're stupid enough to believe 27/55 is the same as 25/55? It appears they do indeed.

Even after paying twice, the Unity-New Action machine fails to keep a simple two-year-old promise. But when more than 75% of teachers can't even rouse themselves to vote in union elections, the patronage mill can do pretty much whatever it likes and get away with it.

Does anyone believe this is the end of "reform" in the city? Does anyone believe merit pay will not evolve into something even worse? Every "reform" enhances Ms. Weingarten's reputation as a reform-minded leader, and that, in fact, is why we pay dues. Over the last few contracts, teaching conditions have become nothing if not more difficult, and issues like class size have been talked to death, but not changed at all.

Randi Weingarten is not a teacher, nor is Peter Goodman, or Leo Casey, or any of her merry band of Edwize propagandists. We are teachers, and it's a disgrace we don't know better than to swallow their perpetual stream of lies.
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