Ednotes just reminded us not to forget about NAC, the Unity "allies" who wormed their way onto the Exec. Board in the last election on a joint slate with them promising not to run their own prez candidate against RW.
He's right, I had forgotten about NAC.
That's what happens when you trade your opposition for a seat at the table. People don't really think you're fighting the fight anymore.
In fact, it's a good metaphor for Weingarten herself. She turned in her trade union adversarial role for a seat at the table of Bloomberg and quite a few other local barons, maybe even a few national ones.
And that's why we're at where we're at, with a few more pennies in our pockets than last contract perhaps, but not with the careers we signed up for when we first became educators.
SEE ALSO: Michael Fiorillo on the same topic over at NYC Educator.
UFT Prez Michael Mulgrew wrote us today about how terrible Bloomberg's recent speech in Washington was.
Sure enough, he talks a good line about ATRs, rubber rooms and test scores, but who can believe what these union managers say anymore?
When the ATR pool was created, he says, the union had "warned the DOE that faulty implementation of the process would leave hundreds or even thousands of teachers without permanent assignments."
There is no better example of the Department of Education’s mismanagement and failed leadership than this group of dedicated and experienced teachers.Sure looks to me as if he's denying the union's role in negotiating a contract that handed us the ATR situation on a platter.
Let's be clear about this. Randi Weingarten, backed by her indefatigable Unity Caucus, signed a deal that gave principals the right to pass over any or all excessed teachers. The old way, when the superintendent's office packed an excessed teacher off to a new job at another school, was apparently not good enough for our former prez. She tinkered, then tried to convince everyone in a thousand-mile radius that the new contract was just fab for teachers, everyone was so grateful for their new mobility. Yikes.
I'm not saying Klein didn't make it much worse once the union signed on. He certainly neglected the DoE's side of the bargain when he made sure that few ATRs would ever be sent on interviews or get placed. Then he badmouthed unplaced ATRs in the press and everywhere else he could think of. Regardless of skill, seniority, race, gender or creed, once you're an ATR, you're automatically a Bad Teacher. Gosh, even Obama fell for that crap, much to his discredit.
Back to Mulgrew's letter, let me ask the new prez this question:
When the problem of ATRs got out of control and excessed teachers were abandoned by the DoE in droves without interviews or positions, who was the union president and caucus leader who did not have the heart to protest ATR and rubber room abuse? I'm referring to the Candlelight Vigil that Norm Scott describes as "basically a zero. The Weingarten act is wearing very thin," as well as the ATR rally in Nov 2008 and another earlier one in May (I think 2007), which I have to find the link for.
That was Weingarten, and it was Unity Caucus who gave her the supposed "democratic" cover she needed to push that agenda. She even sabotaged one of those rallies, Nov 2008, which was incomprehensible to every one of us who was there at Tweed while she was wining and cheesing a bunch of ATRs at 52 Broadway.
Another question, while I'm at it: Who was the union president who negotiated a "side agreement" to solve the ATR problem, which in the end only codified four different kinds of tenure?
Because don't think for one moment that unplaced ATRs have the same rights as teachers in positions. Not only don't they, but far too many won't ever have a real career again. That's Weingarten also, backed by Unity Caucus all the way.
Unity management works behind our backs and lies to us.
As nice as Mulgrew's letter sounds — and it does sound better than Weingarten's claptrap — I don't believe anything Unity says anymore. Not one word.
They're still lying to us.