Sunday, September 13, 2009
Has A New Contract Been Negotiated With The Bloomberg Administration?
There are persistent rumors that at Wednesday's Delegate Assembly meeting a tentative contract will be presented to the delegates. This was first written about by Ed Notes Online last week who reported that the Chapter Leader meeting was suddenly replaced by the DA assembly meeting to discus the contract negotiations and in articles in Gotham Schools and the New York Times. In addition, I have always suspected that a contract was nearly complete as far back as June and I have previously posted an article about it . The broad parameters of a contract were already agreed upon between Randi Weingarten and Mike Bloomberg and it was up to the Mulgrew gang to dot the "i" and cross the "t" to finalize the contract.
It is too bad that there haven't been any leaks about what, if any, "givebacks" the union has agreed to. I assume that if there were any real "givebacks" the non-Unity factions on the 300 person negotiating committee would have leaked it out like the dissidents did in the Washington D.C. teacher negotiations. However, the damage has already been done to us in the previous contracts and that if the union does not obtain " takebacks", the situation for the teacher will only get worse. As of Friday, the New York Post said there were 1,600 ATRs still in the system, despite 1,300 vacancies not filled! This intolerable situation can be blamed on the previously negotiated contracts that eliminated seniority transfer and the placing of excessed teachers before hiring "newbie teachers". I hope the union has learned their lesson and requires that all ATRs be placed before "newbie teachers" can be hired.
As for the monetary part of the contract assume that we will be getting two 4% raises for the two years of the contract, minus the 0.58% that Randi negotiated with the Mayor to get back the two days before Labor Day. However, it is possible that the contract may be more than two years if there are additional items included in the agreement. An example of this would be enhanced health and welfare benefits, a reduction in workloads, etc. Presently, these items don't appear part of the new contract but things can change.
Finally, no matter what the new contract will say it is time for the union to become pro-active and file PERB complaints when the DOE abuses teacher due process. Under Randi that did not happen. Let's see an aggressive change in the union position on teacher rights. Time and again the UFT negotiates with the DOE and when the DOE reneges on the agreement the UFT has failed to take action. This must stop and time limits must be adhered to by all parties not just one.