Dear MORE members, allies, and all our UFT brothers and sisters,
The indications are very strong the UFT leadership will reach an evaluation agreement with the Department of Education in just a few days. Because of this, we wanted to take a moment to repeat the position of the Movement of Rank and File Educators on the evaluation framework.
- Because the UFT leadership thwarted our attempt to bring this evaluation agreement up to a full membership-wide vote last month, the ratification for this agreement will, in all probability, take place during a special Delegate Assembly meeting to be held this coming Thursday January 17, 2013.
- MORE still believes that an agreement should be ratified by a full member-wide vote, as it has been with so many other NYSUT locals across the state (including Hamburg Central School District, who, sensibly, just recently voted against their APPR proposal).
- MORE asks all UFT delegates and chapter leaders to attend the meeting on the 17th to register their vote against the ratification of this system, and should bring members from their schools to support the informational picket outside the DA that will be taking place at 3:30 pm on Thursday.
- Contrary to what Leroy Barr asserted at the last Delegate Assembly when he said ” … [member-wide] referendum votes only occur on two occasions; strikes and contracts. This is neither .. ” MORE believes that, since the agreement will modify the current contract, and, by state law, future contracts must conform to the evaluation agreement, it should go to the affected members for ratification.#
- In addition to hurting students and teachers, agreeing to this system without a new full contract in place greatly weakens teachers’ bargaining position as the UFT attempts to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement on our behalf.
- This agreement will radically change our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions without any input from the almost 76,000 teachers of the United Federation of Teachers.
Here are some aspects of the agreement that you should pay attention to as the details become clear next week:
- Will evaluations based on the four categories of Ineffective, Developing, Effective and Highly Effective take place as early as this coming June?
- Will Regents Scores (for high school teachers) be used to calculate growth scores under the new system?
- Will teachers have pre or post observation conferences under the new agreement? Exactly how will the Danielson Rubric be used during observations?
- How will the 20% of our evaluations based on local measures of student achievement be determined?
- How will the many teachers who do not have students that take standardized exams in their subjects be evaluated? Will delegates and chapter leaders have time to read and understand the complex “Student Learning Objectives” process for these teachers before voting?
UFT Presidential candidate, Julie Cavanagh said: “In his letter to members yesterday, Mulgrew wrote: ‘If a tentative agreement is reached, it will be up to the DA, the highest decision-making body of the UFT, to decide if we accept it as a union.’ It is unacceptable that he does not recognize the truth: That the highest decision-making body of this union is its rank and file members. We should decide if ‘we as a union’ accept this, because we are our union.”
CALL TO ACTION
1. All UFT members and concerned community members are encouraged to join us at 52 Broadway NYC UFT Headquarters on Thursday 1/17 at 3:30 for a rally and informational picket before the Delegate Assembly (DA).
2. Chapter leaders and delegates call an emergency chapter meetings this week to explain our position that we need more information on the particulars of any evaluation deal before casting our vote, we need a reasonable amount of time to bring any tentative agreement back to our chapters to discuss before a DA ratification, demand a full membership wide vote, and Vote NO until these conditions are met!
3. All UFT members should contact your chapter leader and delegate – ask them to attend the DA, Vote NO so that they can bring back the agreement to your chapter for a full vote. Please join us at our rally at 52 Broadway, NYC
4. Sign our petition: Join over 1,000 UFT members that have signed and 15 chapters that have endorsed our petition demanding a full membership vote on any new evaluation agreement.
5. Stay up to date with the latest details by joining our email list by request at [email protected]
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1. The DOE-UFT contract currently in effect refers in numerous locations to the current Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory evaluation system, including in Articles 8 and 21.