Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mulgrew Demanding Wage Increase in Return for Evaluation Sign-off

In a stunning development, Michael Mulgrew appears to have developed a backbone. According to the New York Post and DOE officials, Mulgrew has refused to sign off any new evaluation system without a guarantee of a wage increase in a new contract:

The teachers’ union has refused to sign a long-awaited agreement with the city on a new teacher evaluation system unless it gets a guarantee of wage increases in the next contract, Department of Education officials charged today.

Lending credence to the usually suspect Post, Chancellor Walcott responded saying, "Mr. Mulgrew’s failure to bargain in good faith and insistence on including issues unrelated to teacher evaluation is unacceptable and illegal." Leave it to Bloomberg's toadie to claim that negotiating a contract is illegal.

Mulgrew declined to comment, saying "“I’m not negotiating in public."

Of course, the Post is possibly the most unreliable paper in the country, but I think this story must be true. Why would the city claim that the UFT is stalling for more money if it isn't? Wouldn't that basically force Mulgrew to do just that?

Also, the terms seem to be somewhat Mulgrewian, in that it appears that the union is asking for a "guarantee" of a raise in the next contract, rather than an immediate signing of a new contract with the 4+4% raises given to the rest of the city's unions. Even if the city agreed, would that contract ever get signed? Does anyone remember when the city guaranteed that Teacher Data Reports would never be made public and then supported them being published in the papers? Moreover, if a new contract isn't signed and we're only given a vague guarantee, would the next mayor have to honor it? Would a downturn in the economy, real or manufactured, nullify it?

So this appears to be real. Perhaps Mulgrew really does feel the heat of MORE and his re-election bearing down on him, especially after he bungled Sandy. We can hope. The signs are good.

Now let's see the UFT execute.

UPDATE: The city has filed with PERB, claiming that the UFT is not bargaining in good fair by demanding an "economic credit" to be applied to any increase in a future contract. See the filing here.


NYCDOEnuts said...

Great piece. I read the Post article and thought the same way you do.

Then I downloaded and read the city's court briefing. I think the headline editor at the Post dipped into fiction. Just my take.

I SO hope I'm wrong and you're right.

Jeff Kaufman said...

Backbone? I don't think so. Try selling the loss of tenure to your membership without a "spoonful of sugar."

I noticed that... said...

I feel that MORE may be one of the prods pushing the union leadership to walk gingerly and talk cautiously with respect to the teacher evaluation and contract negotiation. This year's super-storm, losing 3 days in February (albeit it's the law), and seeing MORE than 30% of the delegates in favor of a referendum allowing the rank-and-file to vote for the teacher evaluation did shake their control power at the leadership level.

This power struggle will unfold itself before January 17th. Will Mulgrew continue to be steadfast in his decision of not agreeing to a flawed-based teacher evaluation or will he continue to show this media-attention bravado where the members will think that he's a fighter for the rank-and-file? Can Mulgrew endure the flexing of union power to the mayor, chancellor, and governor knowing that there will be mass media derision from every corner?

How long before someone in the above fight and struggle will scream "uncle"? The closer we get to January 17th, the MORE interesting it will get for all the members.

Course Evaluation Survey said...

This unique blog is really educating and diverting. I have picked up a bunch of helpful stuff out of this amazing blog. I’d love to return again soon.
Thanks a lot!