Archive for April, 2011

A Real Peoples’ Victory/Good Riddance Cathie Black

by Michael Shulman

The resignation of Cathy Black was nothing short of a peoples’ victory. In a nutshell, Black was unqualified for the job as Chancellor. This was apparent to everyone, with the exception of Mike Bloomberg. His choice of Black showed his arrogance and utter contempt for students, parents, community organizations and, of course, teachers.

Black compared her experience at the DOE with learning Russian in one week and then having to give a lecture in Russian. A question for you Cathy  -Why did you take this position in the first place?

Her comments about birth control and mocking demonstrators at a public hearing was not only evidence of being unqualified and unprepared- it was an act of racism and showed her contempt for the racially diverse population she was supposed to serve.

The PEP rally at Brooklyn Tech on February 3 was a moving event. It was a defining meeting for Black and Bloomberg. The puppet panel appointed to do the mayor’s bidding was given a lesson in how the students, parents, elected officials and rank and file teachers were prepared to stop school closings. The walkout of well over a thousand participants showed the mayor, PEP, and Cathy Black that the school community was not going to take school closings sitting down.

Will Dennis Walcott be any better? The answer is an absolute No! While he is much smarter than Cathy Black, his policies will be 100% the same as hers. They have to be—he is the mouthpiece of Mayor Bloomberg.  One of his first acts as Chancellor designee was to go to Albany to argue against seniority. Sound familiar? We have the same charge as pre Walcott –to fight layoffs and fight against the proposed draconian budget cuts.  Mike “I Need Another Term Because of My Business Expertise During  This Crisis” Bloomberg has to go. We should not be in this position in the first place. New Action opposed mayoral control, opposed our union sitting out the term limit fight, and was the first (perhaps only caucus) to support Bill Thompson for Mayor.

The Chief Administrator is ‘MOST Abusive Administrator’

by Anna-Maria Thomas

When we speak of ‘Abusive Administrators’ only one name comes to mind: Michael Bloomberg.

Bloomberg represents EVERYTHING which is wrong with our NYC Public School System. May I take this moment to add the entire public school system across this country is in the hands of those who hope to destroy the future of our children to attain public education.

The move by Bloomberg to CORPORATIZE our education system must be stopped. Since Bloomberg’s tenure of mayoral control of our education system, the problems we as educators faced have worsen.

Again, I remind you THIS A NATIONAL PROBLEM as well.

We (as educators and as concerned community members) must demand a ‘RECALL’ on Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s continued efforts to destroy our education system by

  1. Installing unqualified Chancellors who have no desire to improve the success of our students,
  2. The effort to remove the BEST educators by any means ‘rubber rooms,’
  3. The lack of willing to negotiate with our union for fair contract,
  4. The misrepresentation to the media and thus the public regarding the true picture of our failing education system for the past eight years,
  5. The inability of the new crop of principals to fairly evaluate faculty,
  6. And giving full control to these inept principals of the school’s budget to hire/fire teachers

…are prime examples of just some of reasons Bloomberg must be ‘recalled.’

Bloomberg must go! This is what WE must repeat until WE get rid of Bloomberg.

Respectfully submitted,
Anna-Maria Thomas, Ed.D
Educator/Guidance Counselor
New Action Caucus

UFT, Chapter Leaders, under attack. Time for New Action!

UFT Under Attack
Chapter Leaders Bear the Brunt of Abusive Administrators
It’s time for New Action!

For years the Bloomberg administration has been waging war to destroy the UFT and its members:

  • breaking up large high schools (once our most militant division) and creating a whole new set of “campus” problems
  • refusing to help struggling schools and then closing over a hundred of them
  • starting charters and co-locating them in existing schools causing inequities that adversely affect the public school
  • breaking one agreement after another
  • establishing the Principal’s “Leadership Academy” which espoused a corporate philosophy and condescending attitude toward educators and the UFT
  • violating our contract (even after a UFT grievance victory) and refusing to negotiate a new one unless it contains one concession after another
  • singling out veteran teachers as scapegoats for every problem of the system
  • pitting newer colleagues against veteran teachers
  • establishing bogus education reform groups
  • using the media to vilify, demean and disrespect educators
  • blaming educators for all the failures of the NYC school system

And now Bloomberg has launched an insidious campaign against seniority and tenure in Governor Walker (Wisconsin)-like fashion. He really wants to destroy our ability to bargain collectively.

In order to accomplish this he has gone after the first line of defense—UFT chapter leaders! The examples are numerous. Many have been reported on in our union paper. But the numbers reported are only the tip of the iceberg.  Some cases:

Chapter leaders:

  • who are singled out for program abuse
  • who are forced to transfer
  • who are harassed with multiple unsatisfactory observations
  • in every borough who are singled out for unsubstantiated U-ratings

And what is the fall-out of this policy? In many cases the school staff is too terrified to back up the chapter leader. After all, if they can abuse a union representative, what chance does the individual member have? Of course, there are notable exceptions where the staff has come together and stood up and changed the policy or the administrator!

At the same time, Bloomberg has done absolutely nothing about abusive administrators like Principals Blige and Bost, to name a few. In fact after abundant evidence they have received only a slap on the wrist or reinstated to their previous positions in the same school.

What Can You Do?

New Action stands ready to help! We can help with advice. We can help develop a wide-range of proven tactics for implementation at your school.  If you can get your chapter and your District Representative to get on board it will improve your chances against an abusive administrator.

Call us at 718 238-8030 or write or e-mail. If you do nothing, nothing can change. Try New Action.

April 2011

New Action/UFT…a caucus of the United Federation of Teachers
PO Box 180574   North Richmond Hill, NY 11418 /

Content Policy

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.
April 2011