Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Why Is There No Contract Book?
After every contract the UFT publishes a book on the new contract that members can review and cite when administrators demand that a member do something that may be forbidden in the contract. However, its been almost a year since the UFT and the City agreed to a new contract and yet there is no contract book, why? Is our disconnected union leadership hiding some unpleasant news that diminishes member "due process rights"? Again, why don't we have a book that clearly spells out the new contract?
Part of the answer that there is no contract book may lie in the changes in the educator 3020-a process that are being implemented in a secret meeting on Feb 24, 2015 between the UFT and DOE that required all NYSUT attorneys, DOE lawyers, and 3020-a arbitrators to attend as reported by Betsy Combier in her blog. What happened at that meeting? Good question. So far the meeting talking points are top secret and the DOE has refused to provide the information to Ms. Combier, despite her repeated FOIL requests. What are they hiding? Eventually, the DOE will have no choice but provide the information to Ms. Combier and we will all know what the changes in the 3020-a proceedings will be going forward.
I suspect the changes in the 3020-a process will diminish the "due process rights" of the educator and result in the burden of proof shifting from the DOE to the educator at the 3030-a hearing. The probable result will be a rise in educator terminations and resignations and more severe "awards" to the DOE in the form of suspensions without pay and/or major fines for the fortunate few who escape termination.
For the naive who believe our union is there to protect you. They have already agreed to make excessed teachers (ATRs) a second class citizen with "forced placements", mandatory interviews, and terminations due to a finding of "problematic behavior". Moreover, the DOE assumes that the ATR voluntarily resigned if they miss two mandatory interview, and most of all, an expedited, one day 3020-a hearing! All agreed to by our disconnected leadership.
I hate to be paranoid but why else is there no book on the new contract, unless the union is hiding some very disturbing facts from the members and don't want us to know the true scope of the "givebacks" the union gave the DOE. I hope I'm proven wrong but I highly doubt it.