Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's Time For Takebacks In the Next Contract

Last week New York City and the Police Union started contract negotiations and this appears to be the time for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) to start formalizing their own contract position. Yes, we have a 350 member negotiating committee. However, when the actual negotiations with the City & DOE start, it will be led by the same old people who have little interest in what is important to the classroom teacher. Therefore, it is time to put my union on notice that as a classroom teacher, this is what I expect of them.

No Givebacks

There will be no givebacks, none whatsoever! This is a non-negotiable issue and even if we are to be without a contract for years, so be it. Any union official who accepts talk of a giveback should be fired, or at least suspended for 90 days without pay for union misconduct. I would only be too happy to be on that board.


We should have learned our lesson by now. PERB does not take into account the unique differences between unions. Therefore, pattern bargining is used as the basis for any contract. No accepting the pattern and no PERB!

Salary Parity

The next contract should include the provision that the NYC teacher salary, from top to bottom, reflect the Metropolitan Area teacher salary. In particular, the adjoining counties of Nassau & Westchester. This cannot be done? They did this in Yonkers in the 90's because of teacher retention problems and Yonkers was in worse financial shape than NYC.

Salary Adjustments

Make the salary steps more fair for the 5 to 10 year teacher. The lack of a step increase for this group is a significant factor in teacher retention.

City/DOE Match In The TDA

The UFT should demand a minimum of a 3% employer match for teacher contributions in the 403b plan. This is a reasonable demand as many large employers provide matching funds to encourage employee participation.

School Year Limits

The UFT must demand a limit of 183 days as do many school districts have. Our union must stop buying into the City's position that the schools are a baby sitting service. I'm sick and tired of hearing our Union leaders whine how they have no control of the schedule. Bullshit! Having a 183 day school year limit solves that problem.


This is the area that we most fight to the death if necessary. It is time that the Union demand the following takebacks:

1. Eliminate the two days before Labor Day. This was a sellout by our leadership and should be eliminated in the next and all future contracts.

2. The right to grieve. This giveback by the Union was wrongheaded and needs to be reversed.

3. The elimination of the 90-day unpaid suspension for non-felony charges and legal action as well as the removal of students who make false accusations.

4. Teacher control of their classroom. No more micromanagement.

5. Rollback the the 37.5 minutes into teacher-directed activities. Be it tutoring, clubs, professional development, consuling, etc.

6. Eliminate cafeteria, hallway, and bathroom duties in the 6R. No teacher should be subject to these insulting, non-professional tasks.

Additional Items

An increase in coaching hours and per session pay. The per session pay should equal the pay of the mid-salary teacher, not the beginning teacher.

Enforceable student discipline codes with penalties when administrators don't take action.

A narrowing of the Corporal Punishment laws by eliminating the statement "and any other action as determined by the administratior".


NYC Educator said...

Well, Chaz, you've got my support if you run for UFT President.

Unfortunately, the 300 plus member negotiating committee has already specifically rejected the "no givebacks" position, opting instead for a "no added time" stance.

Forgetting PERB is an excellent idea, and I'd like to see it accepted. Note the transit workers refused binding arbitration, having the foresight and hindsight to know it always goes management's way.

PERB is no different.

Chaz said...

nyc educator;

I will repeat this to all. There will be no givebacks and any union official agreeing to givebacks should be fired.

In fact, anybody who believes in givebacks should resign from the negotiation committee. We do not need deafetists negotiating for us.

no_slappz said...


Teachers will never receive the contract demands you've listed. Your best bet is to find a better job where most of your requests are part of the standard employment package.

Chaz said...

no slappz:

You mean the suburbs where teachers are treated as professionals and respected.

no_slappz said...


If a suburban school system answers your employment prayers, then yes, that's your ticket.

The NYC teacher employment malaise is in its current because people line up to take the jobs the DOE offers.

As long as enough people are willing to accept what's offered little change is needed. The willing employees have spoken.

You, and others with your hidebound mindset, perpetuate the inequities of teacher employment by continuing to submit to them while believing you are working for change.

your hope for a better future seems to blind you to the fact that you are accepting what the DOE dishes out. Hence, you don't really object to the current employment structure in which you work.

If you truly objected, you'd do what seriously irked employees do: Leave.

However, if the NYC DOE was suddenly short 10,000 teachers due to mass quitting and retirements, you can be sure changes would follow.

But that won't happen. It won't happen because teachers stick around thinking significant change is around the corner. That's teachers' rationale for accepting the status quo.