We all have New Year's resolutions. Some are kept, some are wishful thinking. Here are the ones I would like the union to try to keep. I have found that our current union leaders have been unresponsive to the rank and file and have abandoned the reassigned teacher. Further, their lack of democratic transparency has resulted in secret agreements with the DOE that either had no input from or went against the wishes of the teachers affected by the agreement. Examples of this are the 2005 contract, the rubber room and ATR agreements. However, here is what I would like the union to do for the teachers in 2009.
- A new contract that have no givebacks whatsoever. Even if it a two-year 4% first year and 0% second year raise. Under no circumstances, no pension or health benefit givebacks!
- Any negotiated agreement that must include teachers affected by the negotiations.
- An agreement that all ATRs will be placed in their subject area before a Principal can hire a new teacher.
- Allow classroom teachers to determine the best method to teach their students. " Let teachers teach".
- Allow teacher discretion on how to discipline disruptive students without the threat of the teacher being removed. In other words. Give back teacher rights in the Chancellor's Regulations.
- Have an independent investigative process for Chapter Leaders and Administrator accusations that are paid for by both sides. Not the unfair and biased OSI and SCI investigations that assume teacher guilt and administrator innocence. Teacher removals should also be determined by this same investigative process.
- Limit SCI investigations to felony issues such as stealing of funds and serious sexual misconduct.
- Lower class sizes to the average in the rest of New York State.
- Give us back the right to grieve Letters To The File.