I was impressed with the tone of our acting President's letter to his members and his responses to Michael Bloomberg's onslaught against the teachers union. However, all talk and no action has been the legacy of our past President which has resulted in Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein riding roughshod over the teachers union this decade.
Over the last decade we have given up some of our "due process" rights in disciplinary hearings, seniority transfers, the right to file grievances, classroom independence, gave up a professional period, and the increase in the school day for a 43% increase in pay. This averages out to be a 4.3% annual increase for the decade which is below the decade inflation rate of 4.5%. Is it any wonder that I am suspicious of all the rhetoric that comes out from our union President? If Mike (call me Michael) Mulgrew wants me to support the current union leadership, here is the actions I expect him to implement.
- File PERB complaints against the PINI principals that the New York Teacher complains about but does nothing to stop it. The DOE will wary of wasting money defending these undependable and vindictive principals and take steps to stop the abuse.
- Start an age discrimination lawsuit against the City and Tweed that has resulted in the ATR crises and overcrowded "rubber rooms".
- Require independent and fair investigations of alleged teacher misconduct. This is especially true for Chapter Leaders. Presently, the investigations process is biased against the teacher and this must change.
- Demand and obtain takebacks and no more givebacks in the next contract. Some of the takebacks should include but not be limited to: Allowing grievances for letters to the file, elimination of circular six, and no hiring of teachers until excessed teachers in the subject area are placed.