GOING FORWARD IN 2012-2013 … OUR PRIORITIES

(from the New Action September 2012 Chapter Leaders meeting leaflet)
For a printable version click Leaflet 2012 September)

GETTING RID OF MAYORAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION

Mayoral Control has been an absolute disaster for educators, students, parents, and our communities.  Bloomberg has literally wrecked our schools with constant reorganizations, test prep, bashing our members, attacking our union, gutting special education, and closing schools.

ABUSIVE ADMINISTRATORS

We sincerely hope you are in one of the many schools with collaborative principals. That relationship makes for a healthy work environment and benefits staff and students. Too many principals, however, are not collaborative, and many are downright abusive. We need to modify the behavior of all abusive and troublesome administrators.

Last year New Action worked to rid Bronxdale High School of John Chase. He was removed from that school. New Action has published “14 Things You Can Do to Get Rid of an Abusive Administrator” which you can find on our website – or e-mail us at new.action.uft@gmail.com.

DEFEAT THE ULTRA-RIGHT

The current election is a choice between the current administration, and a party that would gut social security,  medicare, and Medicaid, a party that would promote vouchers, a party that displays outright hostility to unions, their members, and their rights. We cannot afford to have Scott Walker’s “no contract” policies go national.

We must commit ourselves to tirelessly working to reelect Barack Obama president. This includes phonebanking, talking to friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and even making trips to battleground states. We are under no illusions, we have had serious disagreements with Obama, including around Central Falls and Race to the Top. But where we disagree, we can talk and engage in dialogue.

We must do everything in our power to reelect President Barack Obama and defeat the ultra-right in November.

CONTRACT

The settlement of our contract is long overdue. The economic situation in no way the hang up. Rather, Bloomberg has insisted on outrageous concessions, including some that pit newer colleagues against more senior, that erode tenure, and that allow teachers to be fired as a result of a school being reorganized.  Bloomberg’s contract demands would disrupt schools and communities, and his “reforms” have.

We are currently in factfinding – but there is a danger that when the factfinder gives us some of what we want, and gives them some of what they want, that non-negotiables will be included.

We demand a good economic package, with no concessions on core issues.

TEACHER EVALUATION

We oppose tying tenure decisions to standardized tests. The negotiations on Race to the Top in New York State led to many dangerous concessions. 25% or 40% of tenure decisions will be based on student test results. This has the potential for disaster for our members.

The DoE shows nothing but bad faith on our current appeals process. 100% of the decisions being overturned is not a process – it is a farce, a cruel hoax.

New Action remains deeply concerned about the potential for Bloomberg’s proposals for teacher evaluation system to be a thinly disguised assault on due process rights.

STAND UP FOR CHAPTER LEADERS

As part of Bloomberg’s campaign against seniority and tenure, he has singled out one group of unionists in particular: 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 include chapter leaders being singled out for program abuse, forced to transfer schools, harassed with multiple “unsatisfactory” observations, and in every borough, chapter leaders who are singled out for unsubstantiated U-ratings.

We need to stand up for those who are our first line of defense—UFT chapter leaders!

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1 Response to “GOING FORWARD IN 2012-2013 … OUR PRIORITIES”


  1. 1 paulvhogan October 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Obviously the union has to protect CLs. There are profound systemic problems , however, that make such harassment inevitable.

    Let’s stop avoiding talking about them.

    There is a fundamental flaw in the system and it is this: we are attracting the wrong people into school administration and they are being attracted for all the wrong reasons. People who LIKE teaching are loathe to leave the classroom. People who hate it or are no good at it, OTOH, are anxious to “move-up.”

    Other attractions of administrative work speak to “the dark side” of human nature. Admins don’t have to account for their time; hence they can come and go ( mostly “GO”) at their discretion. Similarly there are all sorts of ways to play around w. the school budget. Who is *really* watching…. and how closely?

    The opportunity to wield *power* over other adults is also tremendously seductive to sociopathic personality- types. There is a myriad of ways that school admins can and DO wield their power to intimidate and manipulate school personnel. Ranging from stalking and harassment to handing out special favors to friends and saddling others outside of their “circle” w. onerous assignments.

    Not all admins are Iris Blige ( the Bronx principal who told her APs to U-rate teachers she didn’t like BEFORE they even observed the teachers) but enough of them exhibit Blige-like qualities that it is …. or OUGHT to be… a systemwide concern.

    Let’s stop tap-dancing around these issues.


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