Monday, July 29, 2013

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Bloomberg?

My buddy Chaz just wrote a piece explaining why New York is not like Detroit.  This is a response to a blog from Ed in the Apple, represented in Gotham Schools as a "union blogger." Ed in the Apple certainly is a union blogger, as he appears to support absolutely everything UFT leadership supports. As far as I can determine, that's his job.

This is the same union blogger who fervently supported the 2005 contract, the one that dumped thousands of teachers into the ATR pool, made it impossible to grieve letters in file for factual inaccuracy, and sent teachers to patrol hallways and bathrooms.

If I'm not mistaken, this union blogger raised not a peep when we supported the disaster that is mayoral control, not once, but twice. I do not recall this union blogger saying one word against the new junk science evaluations that will cause UFT teachers to be fired based solely on test scores. Nor can I recall this union blogger saying one word against Reformy John King unilaterally dictating the particulars on NYC's junk science plan. I don't remember this union blogger objecting when we managed to enable this system without even procuring the contract or raise that most city employees got between 2008-2010.

So pardon me if I see this union blogger as having contributed directly toward enabling the city's resolve, Detroit or no. If they can get UFT judged by junk science while giving absolutely nothing in return, as Mayor Bloomberg boasted, why should they worry about teacher contracts? Personally, I see these things as having contributed heavily to the cynicism and apathy that precluded 82% of working teachers from even bothering to vote in UFT elections.

All this aside, the "union blogger" is now predicting the next contract will call for contributions to health care and is tamping down expectations for a raise. After having watched almost every city union get raises of 8% for the 08-10 pattern bargaining season, I'm really amazed that this is the message our union has for us. Be judged by junk science, based on a law we helped craft, get nothing in return, and after all that expect to get even less than nothing in the next contract.

I'm really beginning to understand the cynicism of the non-voters. After all, it wasn't them who wasted precious minutes checking a box, sealing an envelope, and walking it to the mailbox. And in fact 52% of the vote was retirees. Working conditions don't even apply to them.

No wonder he's the only "union blogger." If I had a message like that, I'd close the blog, shut the hell up, and resign.

Sometimes people criticize independents like me. They say our messages give comfort to Bloomberg, that our "real" enemies delight at seeing us fight amongst ourselves. That may or may not be true. But you'd better believe Bloomberg and his minions are dancing on the tables when they see representatives of the controlling caucus tell working teachers to forget about raises and get ready to give up part of what they already earn.

Thanks to Art S. for photo
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