Sunday, December 03, 2006


The proposed new UFT contract looks very good when it's compared to the last one. After all, there are no obvious new givebacks.

The problem, of course, is we've already given back the moon, the sun, and the stars. And we've done so for less than cost of living. I cannot, in good conscience, endorse a plan that condemns us to another two years of hall patrol, potty patrol, and lunch duty. I cannot endorse a contract that continues to enable the chancellor to fire Teaching Fellows for the offense of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Nor can I vote for a contract that condemns senior teachers to ATR status for the same offense.

I don't delude myself that we will prevail. And I agree with Schoolgal that the more significant battle is unseating the autocratic, arrogant and entrenched UFT patronage mill.

But we pay Unity/ New Action hacks more than working teachers precisely so they can negotiate better contracts for us. This they have failed to even attempt on our behalf. Send them a message that you expect more.

I remember an episode of All in the Family in which Archie says, "Whoop-de-doo, I got a 3% raise." His son in law Mike points out that cost of living is higher, and that he's therefore receiving a pay cut. The audience understands this, of course.

Do 80,000 New York City teachers understand that cost of living is higher here than in the rest of the country? Thus far it's 5.2% in 2006, the proposed raise is 3.5% a year, and it's even less if you consider the first year is only 2%. Are we capable of basic, obvious math, or are we going to say, "Whoop-de-doo" to the cynical and indifferent Unity/ New Action monopoly?

Send them a message now, and prepare to send them a stronger one when they muster the audacity to run again. Vote early. Vote often.

Vote No.
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