Thursday, June 05, 2014

I Have A Life, Thank You For Worrying About Me

A commenter on Thank You Wimps wrote some rather unpleasant names which I deleted and posted that I needed to get a life, which I also deleted because I dared to say negative things about teachers who voted for the contract.

Well dear commentator, Mr. or Ms. Unity Hack, I have a great life thanks to the union of the past.  When I began my career the UFT was actually a union by the teachers and for the teachers.  When contract terms were unacceptable, we went on strike.  Don't tell me times were different then.  Things cost less but we earned much less.  We were single wage earners with families, mortgages, college loans, etc., but we did what we had to do and our union backed us up.  When we went back to work we paid dearly (two days for every day out) but it was worth it.  Conditions and salaries were better for all.  Happier teachers made better teachers.  People wanted careers in education.

No, I don't need to get a life.  I travel, I go to the theater, I eat in nice restaurants.  I do pretty much whatever I please. The UFT of the past helped make this possible.   And, I will continue to write what I want when I want on this blog.  Mr. or Ms. Unity Hack, you probably don't want members reading this and worry they might become disillusioned with you and you will lose the nice life you have made on our backs, doing nothing to help us.  The sad part is that most teachers have no idea what is going on around them and that is what keeps creeps like you in power.

Keep writing in those nasty comments.  I will just keep hitting the delete button on my keyboard.


Anonymous said...

Let's tell more about what those Unity hacks are getting on the backs of the rank and file. It took me a while, even after becoming chapter leader, to grasp the following:
1. All of the "full time" folks at the UFT, including district reps (who have to teach one class per day), earn their full DOE salary. This salary is, however, reimbursed to the DOE by the UFT through our union dues.
2. In addition to this salary, the majority of the above mentioned employees receive $50,000. salary from the UFT. This, too, is paid for by our union dues.
3. Blackberry and service is one of the perks. Gotta have communication.
4. A stipend for paying for little things, like snacks at chapter leader meetings every month.
5. Abundant food. This is one district rep's mantra. It is very important to have food for the rank and file at meetings.
6. Then there is pension. Those Unity full timers receive their TRS pension, AND, a UFT pension. Although it is true that most of them hang around and continue to work way longer than most teachers choose to continue, when they do retire, they get double pensions.
7. Upon retirement, remember that you will continue to pay some amount of union dues every month for the rest of your life.
8. Best of all they do not have to deal with the threat of a letter to the file, a poor rating, a vindictive, incompetent principal, 10 million observations, lesson plans, PD, lack of supplies, or any of the other myriad things that NYC teachers are currently dealing with.

If I have forgotten anything, please help me out here!

burntoutteacher said...

Keep up the good work, Ms. P'Oed. I have been a fan of your willingness to say it like it is ever since I found this blog a few years ago. That you are ruffling some more feathers is a sign that you are doing something very right! I too, as a recent retiree, have only to gain from this new contract but I was quite vocal about how awful a contract it is. There are some very committed and wonderful people working against the UNITY hacks, trying to make the union more democratic, attempting to restore dignity to being a teaching in NYC but until those groups are given the same access to mailboxes, to chapter meetings, to email addresses and to home addresses, the UNITY chapter leaders will continue to browbeat, finagle, manipulate, and coerce their chapters into doing exactly what UNITY wants them to.

I noticed that... said...

Amen Sister! Give Mr. or Ms. Unity Hack a good piece of your mind. If it weren't for the union of the past I would not be enjoy my life as a retiree. The union, the true union, fought to protect teachers, rallied to ensure that teachers were respect, and negotiated with the BoE (DoE is Bloomberg's illegal term)the contracts with strong convictions of getting a decent, fair, equitable raise for ALL its members. Those were the days of true unionism. I'm so happy with the pension I have because of the union of yesteryear.

So my dear colleague, PO'd, you enjoy the life that others with this new contract will NEVER have.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Now we have a group of teachers holding our experience against us?

Did you know there was also a time when Chapter Leaders voted for their District Rep? Those Reps worked hard for the chapter leaders and the schools they represented. Now the are "hand picked" by Randi and Mulgrew and select those who only follow the Unity Oath to a tee. These Reps no longer have to work hard for teachers or their CLs since they are set for life. This was part of the process Randi put in place to make sure her people had total control. Democracy within this union is dead even at DA meetings. Gone are the real Q&As and people allowed to speak their minds. Gone are the members of the Executive Committee that were voted in by teachers they represented like high school, middle school and elementary.

Unity has made sure Chapter Leaders do what they want by offering them perks by signing the Oath.

Communists and Fascists make people sign oaths. This is the NEW Union. This is the Union that is being defended by that comment.

Honestly, I wish you didn't delete the comment because nothing would have made me happier than to confront that person head on.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog and I have posted a few comments. I love your descriptions of your college students. You take beautiful photographs. Your Passover Seder felt real. I am Jewish too and I have lost a lot of family members. To me you seem like a vibrant person who takes an interest in everything and everybody. Pay no attention to the naysayers. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Mary Teacher said...

I didn't post any comments on your "Thank you wimps" post but I don't see how you can be so outraged when you resorted to name-calling when referring to people who may have a different opinion than yours.

I'm a Chapter Leader but I have never been ask to sign any oath. I presented details of the proposed contract to my members, both pro and con. I encouraged them to read what the union saying but also to see what others had to say both on the UFT's facebook page and on blogs (but told them to verify everything because there was a lot of misinformation out there). I had a UFT rep. come to our school and I challenged them on things I thought they might be misrepresenting and backed them up on other things only when I was sure I knew what I was talking about.

In the end, all of my members voted and that was all I wanted. I can't tell you HOW they all voted because I honestly don't know. It was a secret ballot and I respected their privacy to vote whatever way they thought was best for them. In the beginning I was firmly on the "no" side but after a lot of consideration I decided to vote yes. I didn't share that with all of my members. I told them if they wanted to know how I was voting they could ask me. Some did, some didn't. It was all good.

Now it's over and the new contract was ratified. The members at my school have already started to step up. We had over 20 teachers show up for our PD Committe Meeting today! Teachers want a voice in what happens in our school more than they wanted immediate retroactive pay.

So you can have your opinion and I respect that, but I think you should also respect that others have a different opinion and not assume that because we do that we are just "wimps".


p.s. I can't speak for all District Reps. but ours is wonderful. She is very supportive and responsive and everyone on my staff respects her for her hard work.

Anonymous said...


You have been posting all over the place. I wish you an enjoyable sojourn in the Land of Make Believe.

Mary Teacher said...

Will do Anonymous. I guess in your opinion I only have a right to leave comments all over the place if it's what you want to hear eh?

Anonymous said...

The mind numbing absurdity of endless repetitive standardized tests, Who likes these tests? The publishers, phony politicians and pompous reformers who have no clue about kids or learning, and conservative rags like the New York Post. Post and their ilk. Probably realize an educated public is their worst enemy!

Bronx Teacher said...

Oy vey! Do you travel! Your life is a travelogue!

Anyway, my 2 cents, you shouldn't have deleted the post. The schmuck wins.

Anonymous said...

You block the comments that you disagree with? What a joke. Seems kind of wimpy.

Pissed Off said...

Only nasty mean ones with no relevance. Yours got posted.

Anonymous said...

Your whole piece is passive agressive. I can see why a teacher would call you names.

Anonymous said...

Mary plays in both ways in her comments, which I have seen on many blogs, always ended in her saying she was supporting the contract. Now she claims her staff never knew where she stood? Looks like she is now playing the UNITY game which is to make a name for herself via the blogs (which is what Redhog did and now works for NYTeacher) get a copy of that oath that she will sign in a heartbeat. It's a game others have played to get into that inner circle.

A person who represents a union cannot do it with successfully if they don't support everyone. By allowing one group of teachers to lose their due process rights is very telling to the type of unionist this person is. Our parent union is now supporting governors for election and re-election that have been anti public education and public school teachers....They don't believe in unions, benefits or pensions, yet if billionaires give them a big donation, Randi will back the devil himself.

If Mary had truly been a unionist, she would have gotten her school to sign a petition saying they don't support the ATR provision and sent it to Mulgrew. Oh wait, then she would be on the bad list and never given a Unity Oath.

Former Union Rep Who Voted No in '05 because money should never trump our rights.