Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Contract from Hell

It was odd watching this new contract come along. First, the much-ballyhooed 300-member contract committee overwhelmingly approved it without even having seen the Memorandum of Agreement. This committee was, of course, top secret, so no one could ever say what the hell it was that they did. And in the end it didn't much matter. After all, what's the point of having a committee that will vote absolutely anything up sight unseen?

I guess it's good PR. Sure, we haven't got a contract, but we have this great committee. And to pretend the game isn't rigged we actually placed those from opposition on it, though in numbers so small they can't make any difference whatsoever.

Anyway, when details finally started coming out, whew, what a stench. The money everyone else got in 2010 doesn't come to us until 10 years later. Our ATR teachers get second-tier due process and the President of the union, taking a precious moment away from face punching, states that if ATR teachers get caught shouting in the halls of two different schools they ought to go up for expedited 3020a. He says it will be good because some teachers deemed the process too long. After all, it's certainly a nuisance to have to call witnesses to testify in your favor when you're fighting for your livelihood. Why not just get the thing over in one day and see if that Walmart place is still hiring?

My AP was a teacher until about a year ago. I don't know how much money she'd get if the city was giving, but so far its offer is zero. I have friends who were fired, and one of them was fired for no reason at all other than they could. Although the city allowed them to work, it's now refusing to pay them at the rate it negotiated. I guess that's a big money saver for the city, and if they're mad at the union, well, at least they won't get to vote in the UFT election for some rabblerouser who believes in democracy or any other such nonsense.

Actually, about the only good thing that could be said about the contract was that those who left before last July would get a big check with all that retro coming at once. Except now it appears they may not. It turns out that neither UFT nor DOE anticipated that if you offered a huge retirement incentive, a whole lot of people would retire.

So what does that mean? Is it a broken promise from DOE? How are they going to come up with the rest of that money? Will they pay a portion of it and make them wait until 2020 for the rest? Will they just take it out of what they promised us? Will they mortgage Manhattan Island?

Tough to say. But it's yet another broken promise, akin to the one that we will absolutely not have to pay into medical. Who knows whether or not that's true? Surely not the people who promised us otherwise. Why do you establish a finite dollar number when you don't know how much you will need to fulfill an agreement?

Only our crack negotiators know for sure.
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