Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mr. Talk Plays Negotiator

Some view Mayor4Life's 2% contract offer a strong arm tactic, but I'm not so sure I agree. It's likely that M4L knows that PERB will give us the 4% we are asking for because they have always insisted on following the pattern. So I think the mayor is trying to offer us a nice shiny carrot in the hope that we'll grab it before PERB rules in our favor.

That 2% means a lot to the mayor. If he gets it, it will show him as a tough guy and fiscal watchdog, and possibly set a pattern for the next set of negotiations. So I say, let's give it to him.
In exchange for givebacks FROM HIM, of course. I'd be happy to accept the 2%. Here's what I'd ask for:
  • 2% for teachers at all salary steps, not just up to 70K.

  • Restoration of seniority transfers and the elimination of the open market. (This would effectively end the ATR crisis by allowing ATRs to "bump" teachers with less seniority. This move would help teachers and save the city 80 million a year--a fiscal win for Bloomy and a real win for teachers).

  • An end to "Fair" student funding that makes principals want to fire senior teachers.

  • The elimination of potty patrol and lunch duty.

  • Restoration of the right to grieve letters in file.

  • An agreement that teachers in the rubber room must have a hearing within 90 days or be returned to the classroom.

I'd ask for the elimination of 37.5 minutes, too, but I'd be willing to give that up in favor of all the above. Bloomy wouldn't ever surrender 37.5 because it would look like a big loss for him, especially since parents would notice their kids coming home earlier every day. But the other points above would hardly matter to the public at all, but they'd be a big win for teachers. M4L could claim that he saved the city millions, which would be true, and Mulgrew could claim that he got a raise while eliminating the most egregious points of the 2005 contract.

I don't think this will happen, because Unity would never want to admit what a mistake the 2005 contract was after humping it for five years. Still, you never know. This could be Mulgrew's chance to seize the reins once and for all from Randi's continued grasp and take us in a new direction. If Mulgrew has the cojones, I'd vote for such a contract. Would you?


Chaz said...

I'm with you but you need to include the up to 90 day suspension without pay or benefits for teachers unjustly accused of serious misconduct based on hearsay or false statements.

Miss Eyre said...

I could live with all that. And no messing with health benefits either.

Ms. Tsouris said...

This is a contract proposal I could live with...even with the 37.5 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Mr Talk you have it right. Your plan would also have the added benefit of allowing senior teachers the freedom to speak up for our newer members without fear of being ATR'd or sent to the rubber room on trumped up charges.We have to be so careful right now b/c old is expensive and principals are just looking for excuses to dump us.

ed notes online said...

While you may be correct about fact-finding giving the 4% there would still be a cost as they often split the difference. Thus, if BloomKlein ask for ATRs to be fired in 6 months and the UFT says "never" they could come back with a year or two. Of course, this is non-binding, but there would be even more intense pressure on the union at that point.

Would it surprise you if race to the top money somehow got tied into the ATR question? As one who remembers the 1975 fiscal crisis very well when school days were cut, class sizes rose, school building closed, preps cut, 15000 teachers disappeared, all balls are in the air.

VEGA said...

If Unity comes up with the goods BEFORE UFT election time they will have the votes. If not, I don't know of too many members who trust them anymore regardless of the current lawsuits and tough talk.

Anonymous said...

As one who voted for unity for a very long time (Tier 2), I agree that if the contract is not signed before elections, I'll go with the "other party" and give them a chance.

How come the media has not picked up on the reorganization for the umpteenth time of the DOE? Maybe, Kline is keeping it under wraps?