Saturday, July 30, 2011
To The UFT. Do Not Negotiate A Contract With The Bloomberg/Walcott Administration Under Any Circumstances Until Mayor Bloomberg Is Gone.
It is very obvious that Mayor Bloomberg hates the UFT and time and again goes out of his way to slam the union and the protections of tenure and "due process" that the teachers enjoy. His hatred of the union has manifested in his many actions against the teacher union. First, it was the failure to give the teachers union the same "City pattern" he gave all the other unions. Second, it was the his attack on seniority-based job protections known as "last in, first out" or LIFO which ended in his bill to end LIFO for NYC teachers only. Third, it was the massive teacher layoffs he proposed with teachers making up an incredible 80% of the total City layoffs. Finally, his attack on teacher tenure has resulted in an astonishing 42% not receiving tenure this school year and the Mayor's poodle, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, has stated that it will be even higher next year. How would he know this unless Tweed has already decided on a quota system for tenure.
Negotiating with the anti-teacher union Mayor is only a lose-lose proposition. There is no doubt that the Mayor will ask for massive givebacks from the teachers union, similar to to infamous 2005 giveback laden contract that has resulted in the ATR crises and teachers suspended for three months based upon a mere accusation of sexual misconduct. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that the union can achieve the previous two year "City pattern" without a more comprehensive multi-year contract that will include miniscule or no raises and massive "givebacks". With that in mind, it is in the union's advantage to wait out the Mayor.
Remember, without the union's willingness to work out a teacher evaluation system with the City, there is no teacher evaluation system this year. The union would be nuts to negotiate a teacher evaluation system with the City based upon the DOE rubric that in a pilot program showed 18% of the teachers were rated "ineffective". This would eventually allow the DOE to replace all the teachers in the system in a seven year period allowing the City to meet its objectives to have a cheap and replaceable teaching staff. No pension, no retiree health benefits, no nothing.
Negotiating with this Mayor would be a serious mistake that will hurt the teaching profession for many years to come. It is best to simply wait the Mayor out and negotiate with the next Mayor.