Thursday, March 31, 2016

DA Takeaway March 2016

It was very important at the last DA that Arthur Pepper get up and explain to us why it was a great thing to have raised our copays. After all, Michael Mulgrew goes to one of those places with no copay, so he doesn't have to pay at all. Evidently that's reason for celebration. If there aren't any near you, well, too bad. The Great Leader has his and the rest of you can all go to hell.

Of course, along with that comes the usual Unity talking points about what we didn't give up. We aren't paying a portion of our health care out of our paychecks, and it's therefore irrelevant that we are paying more out of pocket when we see a specialist. It doesn't matter that we have to pay 50 bucks instead of 15 to visit the now ubiquitous urgent care facilities. Because with UFT Unity, everything is always good, we're in the best of all possible worlds, and nothing could be better. You're paying the money here and not there, and after all, that is the only thing that matters.

Oh and by the way, we have no idea what future savings will be required under the agreement our Great Leader made. Maybe next year it will double and triple again, but that will be okay because you won't be paying out of your paycheck. And once you are paying out of your paycheck, that will be okay because you aren't paying more out of your paycheck. The only thing we can be sure of is whatever happens, it will be a great victory for UFT Unity.

I've written quite a bit about this over the last few weeks, but I was frankly amazed that Unity would not reject using junk science to rate teachers. The Unity talking point, which is ridiculous, is that MORE wants principals to have absolute power. Evidently, the argument is that if we don't have junk science principals will have total control. Well, principals already have total control, and can say any damn thing they like or invent. I have seen fabricated evaluations written by small minded vindictive administrators. I've actually had video evidence otherwise, but under this system it's just fine for supervisors to make up any damn thing they like.

Perish forbid we should reject it after Mulgrew endorsed it, because then most of the people in the DA would lose that free trip to Schenectady they'd been hankering for. So UFT Unity killed a motion to reject junk science under the black and white fallacy that the only alternative to teachers being rated by virtual coin tosses was total principal control.

I continue to be amazed that UFT Unity can refuse to oppose the new evaluation law, the one that ups junk science to 50%. This is the one that brings outside evaluators to write us up. The assumption, I suppose, is that our supervisors may like us or something and therefore write good things about us. That, of course, would be terrible. So Mulgrew told us what a great job the validators did. Doubtless you're all doing cartwheels when you hear that they turned thumbs down on only 70% of those they observed. Another great Unity victory!

Of course there was no mention of the fact that everyone who received that thumbs down will now be getting a 3020a where the burden of proof is on them. Can you imagine having to prove you are not incompetent?  But UFT Unity doesn't think about that stuff, and they don't want you to think about it either. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. And if the new Heavy Hearts law means 100% of teachers deemed incompetent will be guilty until proven innocent, that's just fine with UFT Unity, who refuse to oppose it. After all, Mulgrew thanked them for it, and you can't have him saying something is wonderful and then saying it isn't. Unless, of course, he does, and then whatever other thing he suggested will become wonderful too. That's what you have to believe when you sign a loyalty oath.

Family leave is another touchy subject. Mulgrew spoke about what the non-unionized workers took, and said it wasn't acceptable for UFT. Then he kind of sniffed around and said he knew what we wanted. This, of course, was yet another inscrutable secret that he can't share with us lowly union members. After all, we haven't got his vision or imagination. Which one of us would have taken the money every other union got in 2009 and arranged for us to get it in 2020 with no interest? That takes a special kind of leader.

Tired of being represented by some smug condescending bald guy from Staten Island? Then I urge you strongly to replace him come May.
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