It is unreal how many times the UFT makes a deal with the DOE only to be "shocked" when the DOE reneges on the agreement. Of course these broken agreements destroys the trust between the two organizations and hurts the very students that we are mandated to improve academically. Is it any wonder that student scores have remained unchanged since beginning of the Kleinberg era?
The relationship between Randi Wiengarten's UFT and Joel Klein's DOE reminds me of the story of the fox and the scorpion. In the story the scorpion could not get across the river when he encountered a fox. Knowing the fox could swim across the river the scorpion asked the fox to carry him over to the other side. The fox, a cunning animal, said "that you are a scorpion and how do I know that if I carry you over the river you won't sting me"? The scorpion replied "why would I do that? If I sting you we both die". The fox thought about it and said hop on. As the fox was halfway to the other side, the scorpion stings the fox. As the fox feels the poison moving through his body he said "why did you sting me? We both are going to die now". The scorpion's response. "I stung you because that is what I am".
Look at all the agreements the UFT have with the DOE that were either altered, changed, or reneged on.
- The fair student funding program that according to the UFT won't penalize older and highly-paid teachers. Guess again. The DOE is already looking to eliminate that agreement. Furthermore, in anticipation of the fair student funding changes, principals are already trying to hire lower-paid newbie or young teachers.
- The seniority transfer program. The UFT's spin mister Leo Casey in Edwize told everybody that more teachers can transfer because the principals can no longer hide the open positions in the schools. What Leo Casey failed to tell us is that only the younger and lower-paid teachers were being hired under the open market transfer program. The older and highly-paid teachers were being added to the ATR ranks.
- The reduction of ATR's and "rubber room" teachers. The UFT has assured it's ATR's and "rubber room" teachers that she is working on a deal to reduce their ranks in the Fall of 2007. The result? There have been no apparent reduction in either group.
- Increased paperwork mandated by the DOE. Despite assurances by Joel and Randi, the paperwork for the classroom teachers have not been reduced, if anything it is still increasing and there appears to be no end in sight.
- The establishment of the DOE "firing squad" that the UFT knew about but didn't object to until it hit the newspapers.
- The 27/55 retirement program for newbie teachers resulting in a de facto Tier V pension plan. This new pension plan will save the city millions of dollars on the backs of these newbie teachers. Why not 25/55 for them? Wasn't this plan supposed to be revenue neutral?
- The 60-90 day suspension without pay for non-criminal conduct. Randi Weingarten in a delegate assembly meeting told the DA that only teachers subject to felony arrest would be subject to this provision. However, many teachers have been suspended without pay or health benefits without the police every being called.
- The "Holy Thursday" controversy. Despite an ongoing agreement that teachers are allowed to take off for religious observance, the DOE told principals that they don't have to allow teachers to take off. While the UFT did go to court and received a stay. The mere fact that the DOE has the gall to even try this is a show in bad faith and a continuation of their anti-teacher crusade.