LET’S WORK WITH DE BLASIO TO PUSH OUR PRIORITIES

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the February 2014 Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: February 2014 Leaflet

LET’S WORK WITH DE BLASIO TO PUSH OUR PRIORITIES

The election of Bill de Blasio and the appointment of Carmen Fariña opens the possibility of correcting 12 years of Bloomberg’s destructive policies. The damage done cannot all be repaired overnight. However, some important advances can begin now. High on the list is negotiating a good contract with retroactive pay. New Action/UFT proposes some additional priorities.

New Action has always acknowledged that there are many collaborative and professional administrators. But unqualified principals, often with no or little teaching experience, are running too many of our schools. A principal can avoid a conversation by saying, “I have to run this past Legal” knowing full well that these Bloomberg appointed lawyers tell principals to deny everything. Those with who never were decent teachers, or with inadequate experience can feel threatened by our members’ knowledge, and treat suggestions as insubordinate. Many become petty dictators. Their orders are sometimes arbitrary, sometimes nonsensical. They don’t discuss issues with members, because they cannot. And some target Chapter Leaders.

IT IS TIME to press this issue with de Blasio and Fariña and modify the behavior of all of these abusive administrators, and long overdue that the Unity leadership demand an end to the harassment of chapter leaders. The leadership has targeted problem principals in schools where the entire chapter is ready to fight back. But this is a drop in the bucket. In most of these schools members are scared, intimidated, not ready to stand up on their own. We must help them at the school, AND bring these cases to the new administration. And we have progress already: Carmen Fariña has announced that all new principals will need to have at least seven years experience.

We can work with Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Fariña, and at the same time help our membership to become active at the school level to tackle these and other issues.

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