I went to Albany yesterday with the UFT. We sat for about an hour in a hotel ballroom. Then we listened to a bunch of strong speeches. Some were great. Afterward, a bunch of waiters passed out some rubber chicken. After traveling three or four hours, with a choice of rubber chicken or rubber chicken, you tend not to complain.
We waited an hour to get into the Senate building. We had a 1:30 appointment to meet a legislator, but didn't actually get into the building until about 2:30. An intern took us into an office, and interviewed us for a while, when the legislator suddenly came back, for some reason or other. He told us the bill to end reverse-seniority layoffs was dead in the water, or at least in the Assembly. We were pretty happy to hear that. There's far less chance Bloomberg will fire anyone if he can't pick and choose, or simply use salary scale rather than seniority.
But he said something else that was very disturbing. He said there would probably be some compromise bill. He said the UFT tended to do things like that, just as they did on the evaluation system. Now here's the thing--the evaluation system, based on value-added, is crap, because there is no validity to value-added.
The official UFT rationale, that value-added is only 20-40% of the evaluation, is nonsense. The argument that some states have 50% based on value-added, and that we therefore made a better deal, is also nonsense. That we accepted less crap than some other state does not mitigate our acceptance of crap. That we accepted additional crap in 02, and a ton of it in 05, means that there simply is not room to handle much more of it.
Here is the stance we should take on this new "reform"--we refuse to discuss it until and unless we get the 4/4 raises all other city employees got.
Then, and only then, should we calmly sit down at the negotiating table and tell Mayor Bloomberg and his band of corporate goons to go to hell. After that, we can explain our positions to faux-Democrat Andy Cuomo.
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