Friday, January 11, 2013

The Contract Buzz


Can you hear it? The low, droning sound that indicates a contract may be near?

I've heard it. I have no idea if it's true, but I remember there was a buzz last time the UFT was about to pull the trigger on a deal, and it turned out to be true. Many younger readers may not have even been around then, as the last time we actually signed a contract, it was 2007. But the buzz was there.

And it's back. I'm hearing it in my building today. I emailed a friend of mine in another building to find out if he heard it, and he had. The buzz is all over.

Of course, it may mean nothing, but I can tell you this. Both my friend and I got the old "wink wink nudge nudge" from our CLs. Is the UFT hinting to chapter leaders that they should prepare the membership for a deal?

Let's face it. Mulgrew wants a deal. The city wants the evaluation system. Sooner or later, they will have to come to terms. Why not now, while there is $250 million on the table? It might be too much for Bloomie to pass on, and he may not get it absent a contract.

I have no idea what the alleged terms are, other than it's not going to be the 4+4% other unions got for nothing. It may be spread out over time. It may not include retro money. Who knows?

The only thing for certain is that if there is a deal, it will include the awful VAM portion that will end up getting a lot of teachers fired. A raise won't do you much good on the unemployment line.

If the rumor is true, my vote will be pretty simple. I will vote no on any contract that doesn't give us a full 8% plus retro that we are entitled to, and I will vote no on any deal that includes VAM, no matter what the money terms are.

Of course, that won't matter, as any contract that offers any kind of pay increase will be voted in with 90% or more in favor.

You heard that buzz here first.

11 comments:

Pissed Off said...

I am in comlete agreement with you.

Anonymous said...

I've heard no such buzz at my school. That may very well be because my CL and delegates sadly are out of tune to what is really happening outside the building. I am however in total agreement with you that I will not vote to ratify any contract if it includes unfair ways to measure my job. A couple of thousand more a year isn't going to do that for me nor should it do for the rest of the rank and file. Sadly, the uninformed, which include the majority of teachers, will ratify it if indeed the buzz you speak of is true. Kind of an oxymoron correct - the uninformed when speaking about teachers - so so sad!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add a couple of more things: 1. Your post seems to be linking a new contract with a new evaluation. I thought the two were completely non related? Am I wrong or may the Union and the City be using tying in a contract with a new evaluation as a "sweetened pill" to finally just get it passed?
2. If a new contract is passed, all members of the school staff within the UFT get a raise - paras, secreteries, social workers, guidance etc. DO you see the problem here? They will not be subjected to VAM or growth measure. What skin do they have in the game? None as fas I can see. So they will of course vote anything in leaving the teacher to face all the risk.

Mr. Talk said...

My understanding from the UFT brass is that they can add an evaluation to the contract without a vote of the membership--just the DA, which Mulgrew has in his pocket. Of course, the state law says that a new evaluation is supposed to be part of a new contract--but both sides can overlook that if they want, I suppose.
More to the point is whether Mulgrew will use this evaluation as the bargaining chip it is, or will he just give it away to the DOE for nothing? The Buzz says he's hammering out a contract with a raise, but my gut tells me that's a long shot. Still, the buzz has been correct before.

ed notes online said...

The UFT is trying to avoid sending this to the membership but if a new contract they have to. So I imagine there is some money on the table to get people to support the deal and also vote for Unity in the election. They postponed elections for a few weeks to get time to hit the schools selling the deal and Mulgrew -- a pre-election shot that keeps the opposition out of the buildings.

Anonymous said...

Chazz, quick question: Let's assume that the Unity hacks agreed in principal to a crappy new evaluation today and it is attached with a contract with a tiny raise. That would mean that the rank and file would have a chance to vote for it between Monday and Thursday. My question is, would the vote have to take place via paper ballot in the schools? Seems to me like there is not a lot of time for the Unity crew to "sell" this deal in a propaganda campaign with just a few days left. I know for sure that I will be standing by the door of the teachers lounge on my preps and lunch telling teachers that I think they should vote NO.

Anonymous said...

Chazz, quick question: Let's assume that the Unity hacks agreed in principal to a crappy new evaluation today and it is attached with a contract with a tiny raise. That would mean that the rank and file would have a chance to vote for it between Monday and Thursday. My question is, would the vote have to take place via paper ballot in the schools? Seems to me like there is not a lot of time for the Unity crew to "sell" this deal in a propaganda campaign with just a few days left. I know for sure that I will be standing by the door of the teachers lounge on my preps and lunch telling teachers that I think they should vote NO.

Mr. Talk said...

Chaz, I'm sure the DA could push through an eval deal today with the promise of a raise. DA could approve the eval part and send the rest to the members.

Members will vote for any deal with money, unfortunately.

NYCDOEnuts said...

I can't imagine they would vote for this. And I can't imagine the leadership would take the risk of letting it go to a vote.

ed notes online said...

Anyone up for a rally in front of the DA on Thursday? Imagine if people would come out with all the press there? We would be the ones standing up while Unity, E4E, Students First and Bloomberg all stand together.

chaz said...

That Chazz is not me. I agree with DOEnuts that the union will not allow the members to vote and Bloomberg will not be giving us any money.

I may be wrong but any teacher evaluation system will not come with a contract vote.