Friday, September 25, 2009
My Union Hero And Villain
As many of my readers know, I have complained about our union leaders since they seem to have lost touch with the members in the trenches they represent. For example, I have never had a union leader ask me my opinion of issues of importance to the teacher (except those stupid surveys that nobody in the union takes seriously). However, in the sea of uncaring and clueless in he classroom union leaders there are some shining stars. One of these shinning stars is Amy Arundel who has time and again went out of her way to help teacher due process rights. Amy is a special representative headquartered at 52 Broadway and tackles some of the more complex issues that cross her desk. Presently, she is looking into principals that skirted the DOE hiring freeze by hiring special education teachers for mainstream classes or long-term subs. All Chapter Leaders need to contact Amy if your Principal is guilty of hiring special education teachers for regular education classes. While I have had no personal experience with Amy Arundel, I Had heard from numerous teachers how helpful she has been in dealing with their issues. She is not beyond making calls to the DOE to work out potential problems and does not hesitate to file a grievance if the DOE refuses to work out the problem.
On the opposite side of my spectrum is Leo Casey, the "Unity" spin mister and apologist for the terrible 2005 contract that has doomed many a teacher and has made the classroom a more hostile environment. Apparently, Leo has not been in a classroom since the great flood and it wouldn't surprise me that it was Leo Casey who told the Unicorns that the rain coming from the sky was just a shower and continue playing rather then board Noah's Ark. This is the same Leo Casey who told us how wonderful it was that seniority transfer and bumping is no more and now is strangely quiet as the ATR population exploded into the thousands as a result of it. Most of them senior teachers. Yes, and it is the same Leo Casey who thought the probable cause section of the contract was a great idea since it will eliminate the pedophiles and perverts from the system. However, it also allowed the DOE to charge any teacher with it merely based upon Hearsay, and when the teacher is found not guilty of sexual misconduct, the Arbitrators never gives the teacher back the money they lost while being suspended for up to three months without pay and benefits. Further, Leo seems more interested in Durfur and Mexico than the overcrowded high schools that he is supposed to represent. To understand Leo Casey you just need to go back to his infamous Edwize article of October 20, 2005 where he defends the indefensible 2005 contract and insults teachers in the process.
When it comes to the UFT, my hero is Amy Arundel. My villain Leo Casey, who else?