Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fighting for a pittance

Your $150 Teacher's Choice money is gone. And I say, good riddance.

I thought TC was a joke back when we got $260. It was a bigger joke when the UFT "fought" the city and got us a $110 reduction to the current $150. Now they UFT has fought some more, and we are down to zero.

Maybe it's because I used to work in private industry that I find TC so stupid. I can't think of another single industry where workers are supposed to bring their own supplies. Imagine Doctor's Choice, where physicians would get a small stipend from the hospital and decide whether they buy bandages or sutures, but not both. Hospitals would be sued for malpractice and be rightly fined or closed for such shenanigans. But in schools, it's the norm, and we have to fight to get it.

Heir Apparent to Randi's tarnished crown, Michael Mulgrew, used a chart to show that "“90 percent of our classroom teachers spend more than $100 on classroom needs." I'd sure like to meet the 10% who don't even need a single benjamin a year. The article goes on to state that when we used to get $260 dollars, it cost the city 20 million. What he should have said is that had Klein forced the hiring of ATRs, as he is relucatantly doing now, the city would have saved $40 million a year, giving us enough to cut a check for $780 for TC without costing the city an extra penny.

Instead, what will most likely happen is pretty predicable. The UFT will announce, with much fanfare, that they have managed to restore $75 of TC money through their tough negotiations with the city. Randi will plaster her picture on the front of NY Teacher with her fist in the air and the headline "VICTORY!" In the meantime, you'll be borrowing rubber bands from your brother in law who works at IBM.

What the UFT should do, right now, is start a campaign shaming our mayor for cutting funds to schools. Randi and Mulgrew should shout from the rooftops that no teacher should spend even a single penny on supplies until teachers are given adequate tools to do their jobs, which costs a lot more than $150 a year. They should send district reps in to convince teachers to seal their pocketbooks in protest they way they sent the DRs in to sell us the phony 2005 contract that was more of an anal probe than a legal document. Point out that Bloomberg has already spent more on his power grab of a re-election bid than the entire TC budget for 80,000 teachers.

If we don't start asking, we'll never receive.


Traveling ATR said...

Mr. Talk

You forgot the smiling and cheering Unity hacks that will be shown with her clam of victory.

Randi & gang remind me of Nasser Armies who proclaimed victory while the Israelis captured the Sinai and reached the Suez Canal.

Pissedoffteacher said...

My husband used to do my copying at work and bring me paper from his job as well. Now that he is retired, I am struggling to find supplies. I get chalk from the college I work at in the evening.

Curmudgeon said...

Truly bizarre.

We've got very few limits on that stuff. The bid forms went to the main office the other day - nary a peep about anything. It'll all be delivered at the start of school. Of course, there's a obligatory request to share any extras and not over-order but that's not an issue for anyone I know.

It does seem silly for the district to be paying teachers more than $200/day and then trying to refusing $2 per day for supplies to make that teacher effective.

Penny wise and pound foolish.