Saturday, November 10, 2007

Look Under Every Rock

When UFT President Randi Weingarten approved a merit pay scheme (which isn't merit pay, according to Ms. Weingarten), she included an Easter egg for Chancellor Klein. Apparently, as Woodlass discovered, there could be dire consequences for those who opt out:

A school’s agreement to participate in the bonus program shall be considered, along with other criteria, as a positive factor in determining whether the Participant School is to be phased out or given a year’s moratorium on a possible phase-out. Nothing herein alters applicable law with regard to school closings. [Memorandum, Oct. 23, 2007, no.6]

That is to say, if your school is about to be closed, whether or not it chose to adopt merit pay could be a factor. So if you don't feel like becoming an ATR teacher, wandering the DoE landscape as a permanent sub (at least until the UFT twists the knife they've placed in your back and has you fired), you'd goshdarn well better consider opting into that "optional" merit pay program.

Let's talk charter schools for a moment. Over at Edwize, they've added to their comments section by including incoming links from sites they consider acceptable (not this one, of course--voices of real dissenting teachers can be dangerous). In their most recent attempt to pimp the union-busting, tenure-busting, seniority-busting Green Dot incursion, they included a link to "Democrats for Education Reform."

This group reveals the following:

...the UFT's Jon Gyurko (who used to be the charter school czar in the NYC Department of Education) has a blog post today on EdWize about the union's partnership with Green Dot to do a charter high school in the South Bronx.

It's telling that the UFT sees fit to employ the DoE's former "charter school czar" and of course this speaks volumes as to the priorities of our leadership. The "Democrats" continue:

A very interesting development: Essentially, for example, you have the nation's largest teachers union local endorsing a common-sense, site-based labor contract which doesn't have things like set working hours and is focused on results.

By "common-sense," of course, read no tenure and no seniority rights. By "site-based," infer Green Dot employees will not have the protections in the UFT contract Ms. Weingarten has not yet bargained away. By no "set working hours," read you will work whenever the hell Steve Barr tells you, you won't be compensated for extended jury duty, and you'll be docked whenever you get called away to care for your sick child.

By "focused on results" infer they can hound you out of your job whenever the mood strikes them. The laughable "just cause" job protection has never even been tested. Since there are no seniority rights, they can simply eliminate your position "just cause" they feel like it.

Shame on the UFT, ostensibly a pro-labor organization, for enabling this "union lite" nonsense, which will further erode working conditions for middle-class Americans.
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