Friday, January 11, 2013
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.