Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Encouraging Word

I've been attending meetings and talking to people from UFT for some time now. Often, they say things like no city union has a contract. Of course, that's hard to argue with, being that it's absolutely true. But what I rarely hear is that UFT was ignored not only in this round of pattern bargaining, but in the last as well. I've brought that up to vacant stares, and while no one contradicted me, no one seems to comment on it one way or another either.

This piece in the Daily News is all about the taxpayers, and how awful it is that they have to actually pay people to work. Evidently, if teachers, cops and firefighters would work for free, it could save the city billions. Yet those greedy public sector unions, with their health benefits and 5-day weeks, are ruining it for the rest of us.

Despite that tone, here's something I didn't expect to see:

Mulgrew has sought a ruling by a factfinding panel as the UFT seeks to gain two 4% raises that Bloomberg granted to other unions but denied to the teachers after the national economic meltdown slashed city revenue in 2009.
Many labor experts give Mulgrew a good shot at winning.

It's nice to know that the union recognizes this and is not letting it go. Because it's ridiculous that they hold the pattern as sacrosanct when it's crap, and the one time in my living memory it isn't, tell us, "Screw you, you guys get nothing." In fact, it appears Mayor4Life is offering even less:
The mayor has offered raises only if the unions grant money-saving contract concessions, most likely by having workers contribute to health care.

Actually, a raise is when you get more money. For example, the price of gas is constantly going up. The price of food, housing, electricity, and pretty much everything goes up. Yet I, like all the teachers in NYC, haven't had a raise in almost five years. We would be morons to accept a contract under which we pay for our own raises.

Now I understand that Bloomberg wishes we would all go away, so that untrained, unqualified college grads, or non college grads could train our kids how to be Walmart associates. Doubtless the 200 hour a week charter schools are doing just that. 

But I want my kids to grow up in a world where their time and work are valued. I have no problem demanding that for me, particularly as a role model.  So I hope UFT hangs tough and demands the city follow the pattern. 
We deserve nothing less, and anything less is unacceptable.
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