Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Why Doesn't The UFT Leadership Actively Take Up The Case Of the Reassigned Teachers & Go After The Evil Administrators That Put Them There?
I have been pleasantly surprised by the tone of our acting President, Michael Mulgrew as he seems to lock horns with our billionaire Mayor and his henchman, Chancellor Joel Klein. However, I have also complained that he has not replaced our failed union leadership that has lost touch with their members, especially the reassigned teachers. Based upon my conversations with two teachers who have contact with the UFT leadership, my complaints seem to be still valid.
I was told by a teacher in the Bronx that he had a conversation with one of the union leaders why the union does not go after the administrators that target teachers or have skeletons in their closet. This union leader who is in the highest rung of the UFT leadership, apparently told the teacher it is our union's policy not to go after a fellow union member from the CSA. The teacher was flabbergasted and said that this so-called union solidarity doesn't work both ways as many teachers are reassigned and receive 3020-a charges by the administrators. The union official responded to the teacher and said that is our policy.
This very same union official encountered a reassigned teacher in the Brooklyn "rubber room" who asked him why the union's tepid response to the DOE directed media campaign against reassigned teachers. Especially the Steve Brill's New Yorker magazine's hatchet job as well as the New York Post Sunday campaign.The union official told the reassigned teacher it is best to lay low and be quiet since it is hard to defend some of the teachers. The reassigned teacher, who has been in the Brooklyn "rubber room" for almost three years without 3020-a charges in violation of the union contract, then told the union official that the UFT must confront the media with their own stories of how the DOE files the most frivolous or bogus charges against teachers who are whistle blowers or who stand up for their or student rights. The union official said that he would look into the reassigned teacher's suggestions. The teacher is not expecting any action in the near future. This reassigned teacher wrote the following to me.
"UFT should not allow letting us twist in the wind of rotten press. There are many shocking stories to be told about reassigned teachers, veritable martyrs of Klein’s inquisition. But the UFT has washed its hands of the least of the brethren".
I may not totally agree with the reassigned teacher but it does appear to me that the union has not stepped up to the plate and have allowed the DOE to demonize the "rubber room" teachers in the media without any push back from the union. Yes, some of the teachers in the "rubber room" are guilty of what they are accused of but what about the other 90% who should never of been removed in the first place and are simply victims of vindictive administrators who care little of union loyalty while being protected by our union's misguided policy of protecting them. No wonder we have a hostile classroom work environment and overcrowded "rubber rooms". With a union leadership like ours, it is no wonder that the administrators feel they can do as they please.