Friday, December 23, 2016

Does UFT Unity Support Mom and Apple Pie?

Not necessarily. For one thing, they just voted down a class size resolution. They generated a lot of pseudo-argument that didn't make any sense, but what it comes down to is they haven't got the wherewithal to enforce a fundamental concept of our Contract--that class sizes are limited.

They pay lip service to the fact that they gave up money, 50 years ago, and perhaps it's true. But that's not at all relevant or important. Every teacher knows how hard it is to deal with an oversized class, but that doesn't phase anyone hanging around 52 Broadway, or any hanger-on on UFT payroll.

I asked how many oversized classes still remained in New York City. Instead of answering, they sent out the head of the grievance department to tell me she was scheduling some meetings somewhere that may or may not accomplish something sometime. You can imagine how much better my members must feel. Sure, their classes are oversized, but some UFT rep is having a meeting somewhere, sometime, maybe, and that makes everything better. It's a great honor to pay that person's salary and expense account.

For a while, I was seriously thinking of bringing the following to Executive Board or DA. I've decided against it, but if anyone else wants to borrow it and have them vote it down, have at it. It's an extreme modification of the original resolution, but I dropped the demand we not rehire any arbitrator who makes insane decisions on class size. You see, UFT leadership seems to feel if an arbitrator had a lucid moment in the distant past, whatever they follow it with in the future is absolutely hunky-dory. Also I made sure not to mention Donald Trump.

At the moment I wrote it, it seemed funny to me. But what UFT leadership did is not funny at all. It's not really necessary to make UFT Unity vote against Mom and apple pie because, in fact, they already have.

                                          Mom and Apple Pie Resolution

WHEREAS, the United Federation of Teachers absolutely supports motherhood; and

WHEREAS, many members of the United Federation of Teachers are mothers, and

WHEREAS, mothers are parents, and NYC parents have overwhelmingly stated, when surveyed, that class size is the most important factor in the education of their children; and

WHEREAS, we love apple pie; and

WHEREAS, we therefore wish to share it with our students, and

WHEREAS, the smaller their class sizes are the more pie they will get, be it therefore,

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will vigorously enforce existing contractual class size regulations, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will advocate with the Mayor and the Chancellor to adhere to class size caps of 28 students in grades 1-3, as was done in earlier years; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers will lobby the City Council to create a dedicated funding stream to lower class sizes, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will advocate with the Council to appoint a Commission to improve the school planning and siting process, as Class Size Matters and Make the Road have proposed, so that sufficient school space is built along with development and not years afterwards, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the UFT will publish lists of oversized classes and arbitrators’ resolutions as a matter of course in NY Teacher, and that UFT will have a standing committee dedicated to monitoring and correcting class size violations citywide.
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