Archives For Municipal Labor

A Fair Contract Now!

December 21, 2013 — 2 Comments

No-Contract-only-001

We have worked more than four years under an expired contract. We deserve more!

The Movement of Rank and File Educators believes we should not accept any contract that fails to win the following:

1. Full retroactive pay: We have lived through four years of a wage freeze. Yet our bills, living costs, and transportation have not been frozen. If we agree to a contract now that doesn’t give us full retroactivity we are inviting the city to simply stall all future negotiations in order to impose a de facto wage freeze on us again and again.

2. Clear, enforceable language for reduction of paperwork: The new evaluation scheme, with its artifact collection and the scrutiny of lesson plans, has brought with it enormous paperwork burdens. The current contractual language for paperwork reduction (Article 8I) is toothless, while our right to control lesson plan format (8J) has become difficult to enforce.

3. Revision of the teacher evaluation plan to fix:

  • The Measures of Student Learning that inappropriately rate teachers on work outside of their own subject area and classes.
  • The use of the Danielson Framework, a one-size-fits-all rigid teaching prescription that takes away all teacher autonomy.
  • The problematic use of high stakes tests in teachers’ evaluations. As the UFT’s 2007 task force said, “The American Education Research Association has stated that tests are always fallible and should never be used as high stakes instruments.”

4. Pattern Bargaining: In 2008 most municipal union workers received 4% raises; UFT members have yet to receive anything. Pattern bargaining has been the traditional method for deciding raises for many years, we can not allow the city to deviate from this, because it will set a precedent that will allow them to negotiate no raises for UFT in coming years. This process has kept our unions strong and working together for many years, not receiving the same raise as the other city workers would threaten the very being of the labor movement in NYC.

5. Increased Wages: The city will argue they cannot afford to pay us the retroactive wages we deserve and increase our salary. The data says otherwise: Since 2005, the city has had annual budget surpluses ranging from $2 billion to well over $4 billion. Mayor Bloomberg’s 2014 Executive Budget states that Wall Street profits rose to $23.9 billion in 2012, (third highest on record) and will be $13.4 billion in 2013, tax revenue continues to increase. Let’s not forget the city continues to waste money; The Office of the New York State Comptroller issued an audit examining the DOE’s $342 million in non-competitive contracts. In 2013 the cost of the networks that’s schools belong to was at least $76.6 million. Millions of dollars are wastefully spent on educational consultants, test prep companies, Common Core/Danielson implementation, and on other failed projects such as ARIS and CityTime. We live in the most expensive city in the world and it’s time to give UFT members the raises we deserve!

Rally flier

WE MAKE THE CITY RUN!

ARE WE FED UP YET? There is not one unionized city worker working with a contract right now. Over 300,000 workers in 152 bargaining units have been working without contracts for four, even five years. Now city leaders threaten us with more years of wage freezes and loss of benefits.

Yet we do it all. City workers keep the city clean, we keep it safe, we care for the city’s health, we transport people, we educate its children. WE ARE THE WORKERS WHO MAKE THE CITY RUN!

City leaders and the media have been conducting an organized attack on unionized labor, saying we cost too much money. That’s because they want to lower the standard of living for ALL workers. They target and scapegoat unionized workers because they know that where large groups of workers’ organize, all workers benefit. They want us workers to pay for their unending economic crisis.

A key ingredient in any fight back is workers’ unity. We need to unite across unions and our fight needs to be anti-­‐racist and anti-­‐sexist. That means uniting Black, [email protected], Asian & White, and female & male workers. By targeting mostly Black & [email protected] unionized bus drivers last winter, for example, the city bosses attempted to establish a pattern to drive down wages and benefits for all and put us all on the defensive. Racism & sexism work as a wedge to attack all workers and we can’t allow that! AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.

We in organized labor determine what happens with other workers, both here in NYC and nationwide. If we fight back, ALL WORKERS GAIN.

Wednesday JUNE 12th

4 pm, City Hall FAIR CONTRACTS NOW!

MORE Meet-up Info

4:00-4:30 Gather at 52 Chambers St. Tweed/DOE HQ one block north of City Hall Park

4:30 We march together  to meet UFT contingent at City Hall Rally

6:15 Post Rally Happy Hour  Maxwell’s, 59 Reade St. between Broadway and Church. One block north of Chambers St. (http://www.maxwellsnyc.com). Near City Hall rally

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Follow Us on Twitter during rally for updates and to find us

Here is the Flier to share out wide

All Out For Fair Contract Rally