Archive for April, 2010

The End of the Rubber Rooms

In September there will be no rubber rooms. The time-frame for adjudicating all cases, old and new, is greatly reduced. This is a victory!

This agreement directly benefits those members who are in the Temporary Reassignment Centers now and ultimately all UFT members. The threat to send teachers to the Rubber Room is eliminated. And one way of harassing chapter leaders and separating them from their members is gone.

Will the DoE Abuse this Agreement?

While the agreement is a giant step forward, we don’t trust the DoE and we will watch them closely. They could try to twist or pervert anything to use against our members. We cannot predict if they will, or what tricks they might try, but there are two areas we want to watch closely.

  1. This agreement makes the timelines enforceable by grievance – but the DoE might well test whether we are willing to grieve.
  2. And the new agreement’s faster timelines are designed to ensure that members are either charged or returned to the classroom more quickly. We should be ready in case the DoE uses the streamlined process to charge more members.

New Action’s eight members on the UFT Executive Board will work with President Mulgrew, to watch for and counter DoE “gaming” or violations, and to make sure that the provisions of this agreement are implemented to our members’ advantage.

We also know that there are serious problems with the disciplinary process and the 3020a’s, beyond the Rubber Rooms. The process is still stacked against our members, and still needs to be fixed. We pledge to continue to work to get our members fairer treatment and end abuses.

But for today we congratulate the membership on closing the Rubber Rooms for good.

Jonathan Halabi, David Kaufman, Michael Shulman,
Co-Chairs, New Action/UFT

UFT Elections – the members win!

Michael Mulgrew was elected President to a three-year term this week by an overwhelming majority (91%).  New Action’s bipartisan program proved decisive in providing Mulgrew with the largest margin of victory in memory.

The members appreciate the strong first year Mulgrew has had, and his willingness to take on all opponents, starting with Klein and Bloomberg. And members voted in larger numbers than last election – up 3%.

New Action’s message — we support the leadership when they are right, but are willing to engage in constructive criticism and open debate — led to an increased vote for New Action in every division of the union, the only caucus to do so.

And the members returned 8 New Action candidates to the Executive Board.

Our pledge continues to be a commitment to work with all caucuses to improve working conditions for UFT members and fight all plans to take away our hard-won rights. We will also remind the leadership of that commitment when necessary.

Vote for New Action surges; Mulgrew wins big

New Action’s vote total more than doubled among Functionals, and jumped a startling 61% overall. The raw totals and percents increased in every division.

Based on preliminary results, New Action’s vote total increased from 3500 to 5500, while Unity’s increased from 35,200 to 40,400. Two smaller caucuses, ICE and TJC, saw their totals drop to 4000, from a peak vote of 5400 three years ago.

New Action’s presidential candidate Michael Mulgrew ran and won for the first time. He received about 80% of the vote from his own caucus, Unity, and 11% from New Action. This total, over 91%, represents the highest presidential margin going back to at least Shanker.

Importantly, the number of members voting increased in every division, from a total of 29% three years ago to 32%.There were a total of 167,984 ballots mailed, of which almost 54 thousand were returned.

New Action’s vote by division:

  • Elementary: 978, up 74% from 562, three years ago
  • IS/JHS: 421, up 54% from 273, three years ago
  • HS: 774, up 49% from 521, three years ago
  • Functional:  1175, up 114% from 548 three years ago
  • Retirees: 2234, up 38% from 1616 three years ago

New Action finished second overall, and second in Elementary, IS/JHS, Functional, and Retiree Divisions

Eight New Action candidates won seats on the new Executive Board.


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Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
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