Thursday, June 16, 2016

UFT Unity Fears Us

I knew it the moment I laid eyes on the dubious document at left. Right after the election, right after we win the seats we aimed and fought for, the first thing they do is attack us. They wouldn't do that if they were feeling secure. I'm glad they're on edge because we aim to do the very thing they fear most--introduce democracy right into the heart of the United Federation of Teachers, which Unity deems its personal property.

Let's just look at the surface first. They are, in fact, attacking MORE as though we invented opt-out, and as though we are the sole participants. Can you imagine how much power they've attributed to us right there? Of course they ignore people like Leonie Haimson, Carol Burris, Jeanette Deutermann, Diane Ravitch and Beth Dimino, among many others. But make no mistake, these women stand every inch with opt-out. This attack falls not only on us, but on them as well.

Let's look a little bit closer. They say these "reward schools" will now lose as much as $75,000 in reward money. Whenever I see "as much as" I'm always skeptical. There's certainly something unsaid. And brilliant blogger Jersey Jazzman has already considered that, along with much more.

That leaves them with a six percent shot at being eligible for "as much as" $75,000. And if you're thinking, which I can only assume the target audience of Unity faithful is not, you know that when someone uses a phrase like "as much as," you must always question what, exactly "as little as" is, because it could be zero, for all we know.  And in case it isn't wholly apparent, being "eligible" for something, well, that doesn't mean you get it either. How do you become part of this lucky 6% that may or may not get you as much as $75,000? According to Jazzman, and please read his full column:

Want to become a "Reward" school in New York State, and avoid getting designated as "Focus" or "Priority"? First thing you need to do is make sure you keep your Limited English Proficiency (LEP) rate low; no foreign language students for you. Next, make sure you have small proportions of students of color, either black or Hispanic. Then stock up on Asian and white kids.

Hey, that sounds great, doesn't it? How bad do you feel now about disqualifying 6% of these schools for being eligible for grants ranging from zero to $75K?

Let's turn the focus away from Unity's ridiculous argument and take a look at what making it says about them. First, it says that this was the best argument they could muster. Given that, do you have to wonder why we're getting paid ten years after FDNY, NYPD and most city unions? Do you have to wonder why we get no interest on tens of thousands of dollars per teacher? Do you have to wonder why we have two-tier due process and why we're judged by junk science? Do you have to wonder why we inflicted the lowest pattern in my living memory on our brother and sister unionists, or why our health care benefits have been degraded, and are likely to be further degraded?

I don't think you have to wonder very much. The fact is UFT Unity enabled all of these things. Every single one, and all by themselves. They've boasted of it. I don't need to put on a Sherlock Holmes hat and go wandering the street with a magnifying glass to find arguments about UFT Unity's actions.

Not only that, but the people who work for them are incapable of producing a coherent or defensible argument. And those are the very same people negotiating our contracts. Someone is certainly unfit to lead.

But it ain't us.

The fact that they need to scrape the bottom of the barrel to concoct such a stupid and baseless talking point indicates not only that they haven't got a viable argument, but also that they are absolutely 100% freaked out of their minds. 
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