Wednesday, December 30, 2009
My New Year's Wish List
It is time for me to post my New Year's wish list for 2010. While I truly hope that many of them come true, I will not be holding my breath waiting for my wishes to happen.
New Contract: I hope that we will see a new contract that gives us the "City pattern" which is for two years at 4% per year, minus the 0.58% owed to the City for getting back the two days before Labor Day. More importantly, this contract shall not allow for any "givebacks". Under Randi Weingarten's helm we have already gave up too much and any "giveback" is one "giveback" too many. I also recommend that we keep PERB out of the negotiations since going to PERB can provide cover to include "givebacks" in any future contract. Therefore, to ensure a contract with no "givebacks", don't go to PERB!
ATRs: The union must demand that all excessed teachers in the subject area be placed before a Principal can hire "newbie teachers". This simple and fair procedure will eliminate the ATR problem and allow the DOE to hire "newbie teachers" when a real shortage exists. No waivers or exemptions can or should be allowed as was done this year.
Teacher Control: We need to regain control of the classroom and stop using the "one-size-fits-all" methods like the "Workshop Model" that do not work well with many of our urban population and just results in skyrocketing teacher incompetence charges. Moreover, the disciplinary codes against teachers have resulted in more and more teachers being charged with misconduct when there was no misconduct. No wonder we have overcrowded "rubber rooms".
We really need to let teachers control their classrooms to ensure a safe and learning environment. Teaching scared using a program that does not work and with a threefold increase in paperwork over the years is not conducive for real classroom learning. Finally, even the students know that they can get a teacher in trouble by simply making up a story and having his or her friend agree.
Teacher Respect: It is time for our union leaders to organize the 80,000 strong teachers into a potent force by demanding teacher respect from the DOE and their anti-teachers leaders at Tweed. This can be done by the union actively going after the more abusive Principals, known as PINI Principals. Instead of writing about them in the New York Teacher, bring the mainstream media into it. Further, the union can file a PERB complaint against the DOE for allowing a hostile work environment and/or file a lawsuit when serious abuses by the Principal are uncovered. It is difficult for teachers to be respected when the students see how the Administrators abuse them.
Leadership Shakeup: So far Michael Mulgrew has not changed Randi Weingarten's top staff since taking over the UFT presidency. We still have the same failed and out of touch, double pension Randi loyalist in positions of power within the union. It is time that Michael Mulgrew make some real leadership changes and put more involved people into positions that deal directly with the membership.
There are more but let's start with these five issues first and see how it goes and to everybody have a Happy New Year!