Saturday, April 15, 2006

An Idea Whose Time Has Come (and Gone)

If you read NY Teacher, you know that UFT President Randi Weingarten is floating a proposal to amend the Taylor Law. Ms. Weingarten proposes adding a COLA, so that we won't have to beg for scraps, offer outrageous givebacks, and end up with less than cost of living anyway. That's an idea whose time has come.

Unfortunately, it came two contracts ago. When the first time giveback occurred, I thought it was short-sighted. Having worked in NYC for some time, I remembered many zero percent raises. With that in mind, it was easy to imagine the eventual degradation of salaries, and the very real possibility we'd be doing the extra time for free.

When the second time giveback occurred, not only was it short-sighted, but we seemed barely compensated for it, let alone the grab-bag of goodies Ms. Weingarten gleefully surrendered.

A COLA is a good idea, of course, belated though it is. Is she going to get it through? That's highly doubtful. Canny Bloomberg, with the governor's veto in his hip pocket, vigorously opposes it. The fact is, Randi's gang promised us teachers would be able to retire at 55 with 25 years service, and that Bloomberg supported it. Where has that promise gone?

Is it time to make new promises when you haven't fulfilled the old ones? Sure, why not? Who remembers anyway?

Does the idea deserve our support? Absolutely.

Given her record, do you believe she'll deliver?

There's the rub.
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