Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good Contract, But What Will We Pay In Health Care?

As predicted, the money is similar to the DC37 pact with a 7.1% increase for 24 months with a 2% raise on October 13, 2007 and a 5% raise on May 19, 2008. Notice most of the money is back loaded! Of course we all will receive a $750 bonus in January of 2007. Nice money, almost meets the cost of inflation (9-10%) for the same 2-year period and yes I will probably vote for it. However, I am very concerned about how much the MLC agrees to give the city for health care. 1%, 1.5% (TWU), 2%? You don't have to be a math whiz to figure out the amount the MLC agrees to giveback to the city will reduce our raise from 7.1 to as little as 5.1%!

In voting for this contract, I am uneasy about the ATR buyout. What stops a principal giving an ATR two consecutive "U" ratings and then recommends that the ATR take the buyout or else?
I would like to hear from somebody that understands this problem and whether the union has thought this out?

Nice contract, but there are some questions.


Anonymous said...

Hi Chaz,

the ATR buyout issue concerns me. The "pro" argument is that the buyout is offered to all ATR's (this is in the MOA, spelled out), and so they can't target/force out individuals, plus it will be voluntary...

I feel concerned, though. It makes me nervous.

I'll be blogging the agreement, provision by provision, over the next week or two, and may say a little more. For now though, I am tepidly supporting the agreement. I wanted to get something back, even small, and am disappointed we did not. That being said, I don't honestly believe we could have done much better, and aside from the two question marks you mentioned, (and some mildly misplaced priorities, which I will write about later), we do not lose ground this time.

I think we have a hell of a responsibility to organize for next time.

NYC Educator said...

The agreement is simply an extension of the last one. I don't begrudge paying the Great Randini a quarter million bucks a year, but for that kind of money, she ought to get out there and negotiate.

It seems to me she is simply taking, as you said, what DC37 got. Her willingness to take whatever comes down the pike is disturbing and unworthy of someone of her intelligence.

Unfortunately, the 750 buck one time payemnt, (which Unity treats as though it's part of salary to come to the deceptive 8% figure) is not at all guaranteed to re-appear.

Randi is going to endorse mayoral control continuing as part of this, and she's also buying votes with the 750 bucks, just as Bloomie did with tax refunds.

To further ensure her re-election, I just heard those bought and paid for New Action frauds, many of whom now slurp at the Unity patronage trough, are supporting the contract and running as a diversion to ensure no real change is made in the monolithic 50-year Unity stranglehold on power.

I may even have voted for them in the last election. Like most teachers, I didn't know what they were.

I can't vote for more hall patrol. It's wearing me out. I hate it. The only good thing in the last contract was the 25-55, which has eluded them for its duration.

I can't vote for the thugs who censor my comments and questions on Edwize. If they can't defend their positions, they ought not to take them.

They couldn't even get Veteran's Day off, and tomorrow I'm actually going to have to bring my 10-year-old to work with me.

Anonymous said...

You haven't written in a while. How did you vote?

no_slappz said...

Selective School Choice
March 2, 2007; Page A11

There's something about our nation's capital that converts many leading Democrats to school choice. Perhaps it's the glimpse that Washington, D.C. affords into inner-city public schools.

But in most cases this appreciation of school choice extends only to their own children -- and not to the millions of children in failing public schools. Indeed, a nearly perfect correlation exists among Democratic presidential candidates who have exercised school choice for their own children and those who would deny such choices to the parents of other children.

When the Clintons came to Washington, D.C. in 1993, they could choose any public school for Chelsea. Being responsible parents of means, Bill and Hillary Clinton sent her instead to the elite private Sidwell Friends School. Two years later Mr. Clinton vetoed a bill that would have allowed low-income D.C. parents to use public funds to send their children to private schools. (A subsequent version of that program was signed into law by George W. Bush.)

And today presidential candidate Mrs. Clinton continues to stridently oppose school choice. In a speech to the National Education Association she vowed "never to abandon our public schools" -- speaking apparently as a politician, not a parent.

John Edwards, Mr. Populist, decries that "America has two school systems -- one for the affluent and one for everyone else." He should know. When he joined the U.S. Senate he sent his children to a religious school because, according to USA Today, the D.C. "public schools are deeply troubled." Mr. Edwards, however, opposes private school choice for low-income families on the curious grounds that this would "drain resources" from public schools. By such logic Mr. Edwards himself "drained" approximately $132,000 from the D.C. public schools.

Al Gore, who may yet join the presidential race, has said empathetically, "If I was a parent of a child who went to an inner-city school that was failing, I might be for vouchers, too." But he isn't, and so he is not. Mr. Gore sent all of his children to elite private schools in the nation's capital, like the one he attended growing up. But he militantly opposes school choice for low-income families.

There is only one Democratic aspirant who sent his children exclusively to public schools, and he was also the only one who signed a school choice bill into law in his own state: former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who withdrew from the race when his candidacy failed to gain traction. And there is only one candidate -- Sen. Joe Biden -- who has both sent his children to private school and supported school choice for others.

The mystery man is Sen. Barack Obama, who sends his child to a private school in Chicago yet once referred to school vouchers as "social Darwinism." Still, he says that on education reform, "I think a good place to start would be for both Democrats and Republicans to say . . . we are willing to experiment and invest in anything that works."

Well, school choice works. Every study that compares children who applied for school choice scholarships and received them with those who applied but did not shows improved academic performance. More important, every study that has examined the effect of school choice competition has found significantly improved performance by public schools.

Given their track records it is doubtful how many candidates will agree with Sen. Obama's professed openness to experiment. But as he might say, we can always have the audacity to hope.

Mr. Bolick is president and general counsel of the Alliance for School Choice and senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute.

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