Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The Unity Caucus Flyer Does Not Speak The Truth. - They Made ATRs Second Class Citizens.
My school just received the Unity caucus flyer and I was amused at some of the things they claimed credit for. Like retaining our pension. Since when did the State or City propose to reduce the pension for existing members? In fact, under the Unity caucus we have seen new teachers subject to an inferior pension. Moreover, didn't the Unity caucus allow the City to reduce our TDA interest rate from 8.25% to 7% and not receive retiree health benefits until they worked 15 years for new employees (from 10 years) for the two days before Labor Day which should never had been given up in the first place? How about those members who resigned, were terminated, or discontinued, were they made whole? No, they were screwed by the Unity caucus.Finally, we approved a vastly inferior contract that gave us a measly 10% for 7 years while the City has a 6 billion dollar surplus?
The Unity flyer claimed that they negotiated a reduction in paperwork. Really? Ask any classroom teacher if they noticed any change in the overloaded paperwork they are currently experiencing. How about schools that demand that teachers use an online grading book, which just adds to the data collection and micromanaging by both administrator and parent?
What is most egregious is that the Unity flyer claims how they protected all their members "due process rights". I guess the 2,400 ATRs are really not union members because the Unity caucus did reduce the ATR "due process rights" with the 2014 contract. How did they reduce the ATR "due process rights"? Let me count the ways.
First, the Unity leadership allowed the DOE to :"force place" ATRs at schools they do not want to be at due to travel, reputation, and school tone. In fact, they allowed the DOE to "force place" District ATRs into another district school in the same Borough.
Second, the Unity leadership allowed the DOE to terminate ATRs who fail to show up for two mandatory interviews or fail to show up to a new assignment in two days without a medical reason.
Third, only ATRs are subject to a vague definition of "unprofessional conduct" whatever that means and can result in a one day expedited 3020-a termination hearing
Finally, the Unity leadership allowed the DOE to observe ATRs with "flyby observations" by field supervisors who observe ATRs with a classroom of strange students and are expected to show their pedagogy. No wonder many ATRs are being "U" rated and subject to 3020-a termination proceedings.
What should one do with the Unity caucus flyer? Throw it in the garbage where it belongs.