Sunday, April 06, 2014
Changes The Union Must Push The DOE To Do For The Next Contract.
Presently, the union and the City are negotiating a new contract and there is optimism that a final contract will be hammered out by June. What should the contract include beside the money owed to the educators? Here are some of my suggestions that our union should be insisting on that it include in the negotiations and the final, agreed upon, contract.
A fair and less punitive "teacher evaluation system" with a significant reduction in paperwork and having a "peer review" as part of the system. Every school I travel weekly to, the teachers are under stress with too much paperwork, a fear of snapshot observations, and administrators who are using the Danielson Framework and Common Core as a weapon against teachers they target.
Elimination of the perverse "fair student funding" process which encourages school principals to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their students. Eliminating and not changing the "fair student funding" as Chancellor Carmen Farina wants to do, is the only acceptable approach.
All salaries should come out of DOE Central and not the schools. Since all of us are DOE employees, our salaries should come from the DOE. In turn, the DOE allocates teaching units to each school and the school can hire a "quality teacher" without worrying about the teacher's salary. Another advantage would be that principals would be less inclined to abuse the "sixth period" for teachers since there would be little incentive to give teachers a "sixth period" since all funding for teacher salaries come from the DOE and not just the sixth period classes.
The end of the ATR pool by bringing back the excessing requirements. No outside hires are allowed if the District has teachers in the subject area in excess. All hires from the ATR pool are "provisional hires" and at the end of the school year the Principal and teacher will decide if the school is a good fit and if so, the teacher is appointed and given building seniority. If not the teacher is excessed and will apply for vacancies in their District for the next school year.
For teachers who were subject to discipline that had a substantiated OSI or SCI report but whose charges were found to be embellished, frivolous, or untrue by an independent State arbitrator in the 3020-a process, should have the discipline flag removed from their files. These termination charges could not even reach the level of the "preponderance of evidence" standard used in these matters and its unfair to label the educator as guilty of these accusatory charges when the evidence showed they were not. The 'scarlet letter" was eliminated in the 1700's and the DOE should not be using it now. The MORE caucus has this in its contract demands and our union should as well.
Finally, eliminate "circular six" and if Chancellor Carmen Farina wants more "professional development" use the "circular six" time for it.