Sunday, May 27, 2018
Our Union Leadership Has Failed It's Members When It Comes To Negotiating A Contract.
Many of us know that our union leadership has failed it's members as they have negotiated contracts that contained massive "givebacks", inadequate raises, and deteriorating teacher autonomy in the classroom. Since the Bloomberg era teachers have seen many "givebacks" negotiated by our inept union leadership. While the City had highly experienced negotiators at their side, the union leadership relied on their own people, like Adam Ross to negotiate a contract. One City Hall insider snickered that negotiating with the UFT is like a man fighting a boy, with the UFT being the boy. No wonder our contracts are so pitiful. Let's take a look on the many "givebacks" and inadequate raises each contract imposed on the members.
The mother of all bad contracts. The October 2005 contract barely included raises that exceeded the rate of inflation. The raises averaged 3.15% annually.while inflation was 3%. To get this raise the UFT leadership gave the City massive givebacks. This included the elimination of seniority transfer rights and the rise of the ATR crisis. You can read it Here
Second, was the elimination of challenging disciplinary letters to the file, a major blow to teachers who are targeted by vindictive principals. You can read it Here. Third, the 2005 contract negotiated more time in the teaching day and more days, including two days before Labor Day. You can read it Here. Fourth, probably the most nefarious part of the contract that allowed the DOE, using the "probable cause" wording in the contract, to remove any educator accused by a student of sexual misconduct to be taken off payroll and health benefits, if an investigative agency substantiates it, based on the most flimsy of hearsay evidence. This usually results in the educator being terminated through the 3020-a process. Finally, the contract reimposed the onerous "Circular Six" requirements that basically took away our professional period.
While this contract was probably the best contract we received (a 7.1% increase for two years) it still included a couple of "givebacks" This included the expanding of the "probable cause" section to include some felonies. Moreover, this contract was the begining of the DOE's Fair Student Funding" policy that discriminated against veteran teachers and caused the ATR pool to explode with over 2,500 at its peak.
The 2014 Contract:
This contract was short on raises, 10% for 7.1 years or averaged 1.41% annually. True, it gives back our 2009-10 raises but most of us have to wait until 2020 to be made whole. Of course if you resign or die forget about those raises. Here again the union agreed to "givebacks" by making it easier to fire ATRs and further expanded actions under the "probable cause" statue.
Now, our union leadership is in the process of negotiating a new contract. Based on previous contracts look for raises that are less than 2% annually and more "givebacks".