Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Even Odder Couple

It appears, despite the remarkably effective PR machine driven by Mayor Bloomberg, that parents are not persuaded he needs total control with no checks or balances. It's not all bad news for Mayor Mike, though, because he's now got Shelly Silver, Malcolm Smith and Randi Weingarten in his unusually deep pockets.

Call me cynical, but isn't it entirely possible that some backroom bargaining took place to enable that? I can't speculate on what Mayor Bloomberg may have offered Silver or Smith. But if we have indeed purchased a contract, and the mayor is not opposed by the UFT, we will have paid an extremely high price for something, given past history, we should be entitled to as a matter of course.

When we took zeroes, when we offered outlandish givebacks, when we gave up time, days, rights, perks, and whatever else Joel Klein wanted from us, we were told it was because there was a pattern. In fact, PERB said we had to take the pattern, that pattern bargaining was crucial, and that the world would more or less grind to a halt if we didn't take the pattern.

In fact, when we last took zeroes, the pattern was based on a fraudulent vote by DC37, one that sent its leaders to the hoosegow. No one raised a peep, and no one tried to renegotiate as city workers got nothing during the biggest economic boom in recent memory.

Now, there is a pattern--4% one year, and 4% the next, set as usual by DC37. So here's the question--do we follow the pattern when the city doesn't find it convenient? And if we do, does it come at the price of failing to oppose the most anti-teacher, anti-public education mayor we've seen in out careers?

Only Ms. Weingarten and Mr. Bloomberg know for sure.
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