Monday, April 05, 2010
"Here Comes The Clowns" - The Legacy Of The 2005 Contract- Part 5: "Circular Six" Requirments Reimposed
This is the final part of my five part series on the horrible "givebacks" our union clowns agreed to in the terrible 2005 contract that has helped make the classroom teaching an increasingly hostile environment. Last but for many teachers, not least, was the return of "circular six" requirements to replace a teacher preparation period.
We had ridden ourselves of "circular six" when we agreed to the infamous "double zeros" back in the 1990's. However, thanks to the existing "Unity" leadership we now have to use a preparation period for things like "potty patrol, cafeteria duties, or hallway help". These unprofessional activities should be preformed by non-professionals, not teachers. Further, it put teachers at risk if they try to break up fights in the hallway or cafeteria and may lead to disciplinary actions by vindictive administrators. Here again our failed union leadership are not subject to "circular six" requirements and there were unsympathetic to teacher complaints about reimposing the "circular six" requirements. How can any union agree to "givebacks" that they themselves are not subject to? The answer is that many in the union leadership had lost touch with what the classroom teacher was subject to and this was evident in the 2005 contract negotiations where classroom teachers were excluded from the negotiating process and dissidents were met with evasive answers and insults by the "Unity" propaganda machine.
Now, as we send the contract impasse to PERB (a very bad idea in this economic environment). I fear that the teacher directed negotiation committee, who did a wonderful job in representing us, will be replaced by the same inner circle lackeys who were so instrumental in giving us the terrible 2005 contract, with disastrous consequences for the classroom teacher. I can only hope that Michael Mulgrew or James Eterno remember that they represent the classroom teacher and not the other way around. In any case it is important that whomever is the UFT President that he makes sure that they ensure the members voices are part of any agreed upon contract and that means replacing the clowns that were and are part of the problem and not the solution.