Friday, April 24, 2009

Ms. Weingarten Takes a Firm Stand

Part-time UFT President Randi "Everything's on the table except vouchers" Weingarten was very much against the DoE using test results to determine which teachers do or do not get tenure. This very much vexed Mayor Mike and all the Tweedies, who felt the state tenure laws were inadequate. After all, for thirty years the city had pretty much granted tenure to anyone who drew breath, so the solution, rather than simply enforce existing tenure laws (which work OK in my neck of the woods), was to change the law altogether.

It couldn't possibly be the mayor's fault Joel Klein went to Albany and begged for the right to hire or retain 14,000 city teachers who failed a basic competency test, some dozens of times. Accountablity only applies to unionized employees, so there must be something wrong with the existing system. Ms Weingarten took quite a bit of flack for resisting that train of thought. It's well-known she's a new kind of labor leader, not one of those cigar-chomping anachronisms always demanding higher pay and better working conditions. And for goodness sake, if she can get by on a piddling 350K plus perks, why should anyone complain about trying to make ends meet?

So now, Ms. Weingarten is trying to get a discussion going about using test scores to determine tenure. After all, the UFT contract expires next October, and why not get started with the givebacks ASAP? I believe after we gave up UFT transfers, days in August, a planning period, 30 minutes a day, the right to avoid lunch and potty patrol, the right to grieve letters in the file, the right to not be suspended without pay based on unsubstantiated allegations, and whatever else she tossed Chancellor Klein over the years, Ms. Weingarten and her patronage mill committed to keeping UFT HQ open an extra hour a week, so that they could do even more of whatever it is they do there.

Perhaps after she sacrifices the newbies, to whom she already broke the promise of 25/55 (for them it's 27/55), she can keep the office open another half hour. Patronage employees are always willing to do more of whatever it is they do, and after all, they're always building up those UFT pensions, you know, the second pensions we lowly teachers have the rare honor of supporting.

What other givebacks do you suppose Ms. Weingarten has up her sleeve?
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