Friday, January 30, 2009

UFT Dues

From every paycheck our union takes $47.27.

What are we getting for this?

The union is running ads on prime time television showing an art teacher in a well equipped room working with two students. Is this reality? I think not. How does this commercial improve my working conditions? Doesn't a lie like this feed into Bloomberg and Klein's Keep It Going NYC Public Schools campaign? Doesn't this support them instead of us?

The union is running worthless and insulting workshops for ATRs. These bright, intelligent and experienced people being told they cannot find a job because of what they are doing, not because of how the union sold them out. My dues is being used for this nonsense too.

I know we need a union but, we need a union that works for us, not against us. The UFT of today is not that union.

Thanks to Mrs. Tsouris, the inspiration for this post.


Mr. Talk said...

I looked at a few of those videos. Those poor teachers reminded me of videos of hostages in Iraq forced to denounce America.

But don't worry--the UFT is having yet another ATR job conference. Attagirl, Randi!Keep doing what works!

NYC Educator said...

I'm very sad to agree with you. A few years ago I couldn't have imagined such a thing was possible. And unfortunately, most of our colleagues are wholly unaware of what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

My son attends school in a nice neighborhood here in NYC and he has NEVER had an art teacher. Luckily, thanks to his "old school" principal in elementary school, he had opportunities to play music. He currently plays guitar and sings. In intermediate school, he has had only music as a "talent". The art teacher is the mythical art teacher who got a job in the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher with eleven years experience working in a large Queens high school who was unable to procure a position closer to my home, despite applying to more than thirty positions on OpenHire in Manhattan. I am currently subbing and this seems to be all I will ever be able to do. Everytime I speak to a union representative about this situation, I get the distinct feeling I am talking to a Board of Education representative. It is quite sad when the people who are supposed to be protecting my rights sound exactly like the people who are attacking me.

Anonymous said...

Dear (2nd) Anonymous - Our union is not supposed to get you a job - you are supposed to be qualified and capable enough to get your own job. If you applied for more than thirty positions and did not secure any of them, then maybe teaching is not the right career for you anymore. It might be time to think about a career in another field for which you are better suited.
Apologies for the directness, but just trying to be honest and helpful.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Mr/Ms Directness,

You have no idea what it is like to try to get a position teaching in NYC if you have more than a few years in the system. Principals only want newbies they can mold to whatever the "in thing" with teaching is. They don't want people with brains, intelligence and experience that know the right and the wrong way to do things. They want people who say "how high?" when told to jump, not "why?"

There are two ATRs in y building with English licenses. Both of them are extremely accomplished, excellent teachers. One of them was in this building for many years until she left to become a mentor. When mentor positions were done away with, she came back. Although her qualifications are excellent and her ratings have always been excellent, she has not been given a full time job. In fact, an opening is now being given to a newbie who is still awaiting certification. Now the system that says this ATR is not qualified to teach has asked her to mentor the newbie.

I am sure there are some people that do not belong in the classroom but just because soemone was turned down 30 times means nothing. The system does not work for us. When Randi gave up seniority transfers, she sold us out.

And, it is the unions job to help find jobs that their members are qualified to handle.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Directness,
You are so uninformed!!! These are excellent teachers with excellent records who are being discriminated against because of their age.

3 years ago Klein issued a directive to principals calling all ATRs "undesirable" and told them not to hire any. As a result, principals who wanted to hire them couldn't.

Do your homework! Go to the NYTimes archives and see the report. Then see if our union president issued a statement against that directive...No, she didn't!!


w said...

It's true what you're saying though....Yes, I'm a newer teacher and it hasn't been so hard for me to be hired. But once I'm not willing to just bow down and be a part of a dog and pony show for the administration, I start having problems. I have good ratings, I get good Regents results, but when I don't ask "how high to jump" I've noticed I've become a target. I even regularly get reactions from leaders in schools who were shocked to learn that I've finished my Masters and my 30+. I think that's been the difficulty that has kept me from finding a new job, because that makes me more expensive. You can be qualified, you can be super educated, you can know your kids and how to prepare them as best as possible for them but if you're not part of the dog & pony show, they don't want you. So Mr/Ms Directness, you really don't know the realities that are involved in the NYC System. Perhaps you should take your own advice and reconsider your own career path.

Anonymous said...

Thank you skoolgal and p'od for coming to my defense. For Mr. Directness, I have a very good resume. My resume was good enough to be asked to do Staff Development workshops in Queens. My resume was good enough to be asked to mentor Student teachers. My resume was good enough to be asked to be the grade advisor for half the freshman class. My resume was good enough to be coordinator for the incoming freshman class.

Now my resume is not good enough to procure a position as a teacher in a JUNIOR HIGH or HIGH SCHOOL. My permanent state certification means nothing and the Board of Examiner licenses are deemed invailid [I was told that the licenses were too old- I kid you not. Do we tell lawyers and doctors that their licenses are invalid because they are too old? What does this say about us, the holders of these licenses?]

So I had to get a day to day substitute license because not one of the licenses was valid for day to day substitute teaching. I went down to Court Street September 18. On September 23rd, the Doe closed down the substitute teaching office because it was going to revamp the the procedure for getting a sub license. They were going to institute an oral exam, a written exam and who know what else. Sound like the old Board of Examiners. If I had not gone down on that auspicious day, I would not even have a sub license and could not even sub. I now wait be the phone for sub job.

My point is that I applied for thirty positions and I did not even get interviews for the positions. Not many contacted me. I went to schools and was told that everything is done by the computer. They did not seem to know what to do with a live person.

I paid union dues my entire career and I am still paying as a substitute- I have no answer for this one. Now that I have a problem I do not appreciate hearing the same mantra from the union and the DOE- It is my fault that I am unable to procure a position and I need to resign.

ed notes online said...

"we need a union that works for us, not against us. The UFT of today is not that union."

PO: Looking forward to the day when you join us as a retiree helping to organize the building blocks of a union movement from the ranks up. Lunch is on me.- norm

17 (really 15) more years said...

Mr/Ms Directness:
You sound like you are either a Teaching Fellow or from Teach for America- because clearly, you know nothing. "Our" union, as you call it, is supposed to protect teachers- not put up obstacle after obstacle in a teacher's path. Back in the "old" days (prior to the abysmal 2005 contract), a teacher could get a hardship transfer. All of that is gone now.

For you to have the unmitigated gall to tell Ms. Anonymous that she needs to find a new profession is far from helpful. Get your facts straight before you throw stones.

fillebb said...

I don;t know where to go to anymore. The union is obviously not the place to go. Today I just learned that because I switched from a high school into a junior high school I may not be tenured. I wonder if I would ever be tenured and what the benefits of that would even be. I'm so pissed off with union people I could scream. I did not graduate from an ivy league school, get accepted to 5 medical schools and quit for this. There has got to be something better out there. Honestly. I put in a grievance against an old principal and got hired by a new principal. Guess what? Just found out that my grievance will go against my new employer that took me out from the depths of hell where I was teaching. Will there ever be justice in this God forsaken and broken system. It just seems like the corrupt keep getting corrupt and there's nothing honest working people can do about it. Somebody please help!!!

Anonymous said...

The union hired teachers from another country. You need to move to big Tx they pay the teachers good there .

Anonymous said...

We need some new good teach in NYC
most teacher they have are just ther for a paycheck! Best teacher my son had got fire for no good reason all her kids pass her class
room she was tough as nails the kids love her and hated her but most of all they love her. But that okay she sue them and won a big settlement

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting you say "Dear (2nd) Anonymous - Our union is not supposed to get you a job - you are supposed to be qualified and capable enough to get your own job. If you applied for more than thirty positions and did not secure any of them, then maybe teaching is not the right career for you anymore. It might be time to think about a career in another field for which you are better suited.
Apologies for the directness, but just trying to be honest and helpful."

Try ten years in the system and lets see if you are "being honest" because the general attitude is not to hire senior teachers - math and science teachers are needed so senior teachers have a better chance of being hired and abused. Teachers are and have been infighting for years now. What happened to new teachers who knew they are learning and were modest about their abilities?

Try to help by supporting each other and stop the fighting and participating in the division. WE are all teachers working toward the same goal - to educate OUR future - our students and help each other along the way! Do not get caught in the politics of it all - stop putting YOUR JOB on the line - TENURE and the UNION were put into place because of the abuse you are all allowing back into education!