Friday, January 15, 2010
Contract Negotiations Have Reached An Impasse. Why We Should Be Concerned That PERB Will Resolve It By Recommending Massive Givebacks.
I congratulate Michael Mulgrew and the negotiating committee who resisted the City's unreasonable demands for getting the "City Pattern" of two 4% raises (minus the 0.58% that we owe the City for the two days before Labor Day). However, the union has now declared an impasse and that is scary. I am concerned that after the usual mediation process, the contract will go to the "fact finding" phase. By allowing the three member PERB "fact finders" to determine the conditions of a new contract is very disturbing. In this difficult economic environment it will be too easy for the PERB "fact finders" to allow for "givebacks" and to further destroy teacher rights.
While it is true that the PERB recommendations are non-binding, it will be very difficult for either side to resist these recommendations. Therefore, the union is taking a big risk in agreeing to PERB intervention. I hope our union leadership knows what it is doing since I and many other knowledgeable teachers rather have no contract than a contract with significant givebacks.
Remember, after too many years of Randi Weingarten's policy of appeasement and horrible "givebacks" (remember the 2005 contract) for a wage increase that didn't even keep up with inflation and the fact that her lackeys are still in power makes me very nervous and it should you too. Yes, I am pessimistic since this is the same old failed leadership that has made teaching a much more difficult profession in the last decade. I can only hope I am wrong as time goes on.