Friday, December 04, 2015
Sometimes Our Union Does Protect Their Members.
I have been extremely critical of our union leadership and rightly so, as they seem to care more about their political views than what's important to the members. Examples were the inferior contract to make Mayor Bill de Blasio look good, the support of the APPR that no sane teacher likes or wants, and our President's active support of the destructive Common Core. Furthermore, lets not forget how our union failed to support the "opt out" movement. However, for once, our union leadership stood up for the staff at one large campus where the DOE tried to force the staff to enter and leave through one set of doors with the campuses students, a real concern and a safety issue. Yes, the same old DOE that is permeated with the Bloomberg ideology, that treats teachers like unwanted orphans rather than the professionals they are.
The DOE and the four school administrations at the campus decided, without staff input or safety considerations, that all staff, with the exception of school administrators, would enter or leave the campus through one set of doors. It mattered little to the DOE that the school administrators carved out an exception for them and granted themselves access to a separate set of doors near the small parking lot that they parked in. This was not only unfair, but violates the UFT/DOE contract. Thanks to the union, a grievance was filed about the punitive and unfair treatment to staff that deprived them access to the staircases in and out of main parking lot and required staff to squeeze through one set of doors with the students. The DOE, faced with a potential defeat that could affect all schools, decided to compromise with the campus staff and reopened the doors to the staff parking lot for all campus staff.
Special thanks is afforded to UFT Borough President Rona Freiser, Special Representative Washington Sanchez, and the campus Chapter Leaders who filed the safety grievance and forced the DOE's hand that gave the campus staff back their parking privileges and staircases that makes it more convenient and safer for all staff. Admittedly, without the support of the Queens UFT leadership this victory may not have happened and I applaud them for supporting the campus staff in maintaining our rights.