(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the January 2014 Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: January 2014 Leaflet
MOBILIZE TO FIGHT FOR A FAIR CONTRACT!
The UFT is waiting for a fact-finding report that is due in two weeks. The question is what kind of contract will the fact-finders come up with? and what can we expect from Mayor Bill de Blasio?
We believe that the new contract must include fair pay, no givebacks, and serious changes to this abysmal evaluation system. New Action calls for a 4%, 4% raise from 2009-1011, as all other unions already received, without givebacks. Retroactive pay must cover all members who worked during the years covered.
The actual package will be shaped by the fact-finders’ report. But what is the union’s strategy to bring a decent contract back to UFT members?
New Action believes that a mobilized and informed membership has an important role to play in securing a decent contract. Monday, January 13, 2014 the UFT Executive Board debated the best way to involve the members. The Unity leadership claims the UFT will win a fair contract because of the determination of its members. They state that there will be many ways for members to participate, including coming to rallies, signing up to receive the union’s text and e-mail updates about negotiations and reaching out to fellow UFT members.
New Action agrees that members should commit to strong participation in the fight for a contract. HOWEVER, New Action believes that this falls far short of what is needed. Our basic unit of organization, chapters, should be directing this effort at the school level.
On Monday, New Action called for chapter meetings in every school to discuss and plan actions. We called for actions at each school, such as informational picketing before the school day. We called for involvement of parents in the fight for a fair contract. This was rejected by the Unity Caucus-dominated Executive Board. One member derided our proposals by saying that many members are not part of chapters.