Archives For August 2012

 Movement of Rank & File Educators

The social justice caucus of the UFT

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

MORE

 

Weekly Update #22 – 08.29.12

more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

Keep it rolling – Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

MORE Upcoming Events

Sept 12: MORE Planning – 6PM  - right after the UFT Chapter Leader meeting: Killarney Rose at 127 Pearl St New York, NY 10005.

Sept 14: Election comm meet – CUNY

Sept 19: CL/Del Training – Murphy Institute

Sept 22:  MORE General meeting – noon – CUNY – Rm 5409, 5414

Oct. 19: Dist 15 Happy Hour, Freddys bar

 

Help MORE Petition the UFT:

For a Democratic Discussion and Vote in the UFT on the New Evaluation System

Every educator deserves a fair evaluation as a basic part of our working conditions.

Training for new chapter leaders, new delegates, or anyone trying to build activism within the schools.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday September 19

The Murphy Institute

25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues

18th Floor, Room C/D

Labor Notes, a publication for rank and file labor activists that has been around for more than 30 years, is teaming up with MORE to help provide training for UFT activists interested in trying to build membership activism in the schools. At our workshop on the 19th we’ll discuss ways in which we can identify potential activists and leaders within our schools, figure out how to approach and activate them, and discuss what kinds of issues are likely to interest our co-workers.

Join us on the 19th to meet experienced activists from other unions and from among MORE’s deep bench of rank and file leaders.

For further info contact Kit Wainer.

Thanks,

Kit Wainer

UFT Chapter Leader, Leon Goldstein High School

KitWainer@yahoo.com

 

Join the MORE Chapter Leader and Delegate Meet-up group listserve.

 

Send an email to more@morecaucusnyc.org and ask to be added to the chapter leader listserve (not the same as MORE Discussion).

————–

Possible MORE issues for the 2013 UFT Election

 

Expect MORE From Your Union

1. Organizing and defending educators in their schools. (due process for all members)
2. Tenure and ATR’s (arbitrary denial of tenure, making highly qualified teachers go school to school while TFA are placed immediately)
3. Teacher Evaluation/Danielson
4. High Stakes Testing/Curriculum/Common Core
5. Charter Schools/co-locations
6. Mayoral Control
7. Closing Schools
8. No Contract
9. Metal Detectors/Discipline Codes/Restorative Justice
End to the automatic blame the teacher in discipline issues: kids that are crying out for
Help need services.
10. Union democracy

Mike Schirtzer’s additions
As we learn from CORE and continue to build upon social justice unionism we must also have student/parent centric issues on our platform that will resonate with the greater community.
11. Classsize- this has been the main educational discussion in the presidential election
12. Schools staying open later as community centers- before Arne Duncan became tea party he spoke of schools staying open late and weekends
13. Budget cuts- have a disproportionate effect on children in poverty, cuts to arts, musicals, drama, school newspapers/yearbooks . These afterschool programs keeps our children safe in schools with adult supervision, where as the wealthy can afford to send children to private classes
14. Cuts to afterschool programs-budget cuts have also meanr cuts to SAT prep and literacy coaches, honework help after school- again hurting the poor
15. Special ed/esl Are our school doing enough for our students with special needs- do we as a union need to speak for them
16. Layoffs of DC 37 school support staff, has meant a decrease in adult supervision in our buildings
17. 4 years of stem (science technology engineering math)- every high school students deserves 4 full years of classes including science math foreign language and electives. We should push for a change in state standards to represent this view in credit requirements
18. Rich elementary school curriculum- due to test prep there has been cuts to amount of time spent in Physical ed (1 day a week), history, civics, arts
19. School infrastructure- Equality of opporrunity vs equality of condition- new charter schools have beautiful buildings that are fully tech equipped (internet, laptop carts, smart boards) and air conditioned- MORE must fight for equal resources and learning conditions for all our students. All buildings have to be in best condition and equipped for 21st century learning

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MORE’S LISA NORTH ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

Lisa North presented the case against charter schools, and for fully funding public education, at a hearing in Brooklyn on Tuesday.  The public was commenting on two new charter school proposals.  Here is her report.

I went to the “public hearing” on two proposed charter schools in District (13).   Only 2 people showed up that were not charter school people…..myself and a representative from City Councilwoman Letitia James’ office.  I started off saying that having these public hearings at this time of the summer cannot be “public” hearings, as the public did not show up.  Also the place of the hearing is NOT even in District 13! (Ms James rep also spoke to these issues).  The DOE rep said that it was the state’s regulations that forced them to be held now and that the D13 CEC offices were under construction (new school being placed there).

I spoke to fact that the two charter school proposals sounded great and the people working to bring them to District 13 seemed genuinely  interested in helping the students in District 13.  The problem is that many of the public schools in District 13 are in great need of resources, not competition from other schools.   If these schools are approved to share a neighborhood public school, it will only HURT the many students already in that school.  Those students will have to share the gym, lunchroom, library, etc. Also taking students to fill up the charter schools means that the neighborhood school lose the funding.  Then that school has less money for arts, music, and partnerships with community groups.  The money to set-up these charter schools should be used to give our public schools more resources.  I told them that they should be confronting/pushing the DOE to allow groups of people to start regular public schools, not charter schools.

I also spoke about the fact that when you control for ELL, special education (especially those that need more services), free lunch (not just reduced lunch), and the students that are pushed out, charter schools do NO better than our public schools. Why not put the resources and your ideas to work in our District 13 schools?

I also asked (during the question period) about how they were both going to fund a longer school day and about the fact that most charter schools only keep teachers for a few years.  There was a discussion about this also.

Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn, is being started mostly by former teachers (some from Brandeis HS).  Many live in Ft Greene (District 13).  They are young and want to make a difference.  They wanted to talk afterwards and we discussed the issue of charter schools being used to privatize ALL education here in the US.  I told them by participating in this charter school they have to know that they are basically part of the problem.  I said you have to see the BIG picture, not just wanting to start a great school for students and teachers.  They didn’t want to look at that, and then I said…..people wanted to have blinders on about global warming…….and now many cannot deny that it is happening.  You must see the implications of your current actions.

Letitia James’ rep said that I had said most of what she wanted to say, then she also discussed some of the issues.   Everyone thanked me for coming!!…..A rep from the NYC Charter School Center came up after and asked why NO UFT reps EVER come to these meetings!  As I was walking away I realized it was because they can’t talk against charters as they SUPPORT them!

I think it is time for the UFT to have a different position on charter schools.  They could  say that they have run their own charter schools.  From that experience they have learned that there is NO silver bullet to improve student learning.  It takes resources to help struggling students like smaller class sizes, programs for parents, social supports for students and families, in school intervention programs, and high quality after school and summer programs, to name just a few.  The UFT could call for a stop to all new charters and instead for the resources to be used for our struggling public schools.  No one is blaming the current charter school teachers who mostly want to help students, it is just that the charter school experiment has NOT worked.

Join MORE!

 

And please take a moment to check out our website at morecaucusnyc.org.

 

Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

We want to hear from you! Check out MORE’s online discussion forum to get the latest news and goings on, and to join in the conversation.

 

Movement of R…

August 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

 Movement of Rank & File Educators

The social justice caucus of the UFT

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

MORE

 

Weekly Update #21 – 08.22.12

more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

Keep it rolling – Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

MORE Upcoming Events

Solidarity with Chicago teachers!

Chicago teachers authorize strike! Come build solidarity & learn about the struggle

 

A discussion featuring a presentation by Kim Bowsky, a CORE activist and Al Ramirez, co-founder of CORE, both members of the Chicago Teachers Union.

 

Thursday, August 23rd

6:30 p.m.

at The Murphy Institute

25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues

18th Floor, Room C/D

 

Please also support Chicago Teachers by donating to the CTU Solidarity Fund at https://afl.salsalabs.com/o/4013/c/468/p/salsa/donation/

common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7204

 

Public schools, teachers and their unions are under attack throughout the country.  The drive to privatize our public schools and strip away teacher protections is only accelerating.   In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled a promised 4% pay raise to Chicago teachers and proposed lengthening the school day by 20% with only a 2% raise.  In addition, Emanuel proposes implementing a merit pay system for teachers–a similar system in Baltimore has led to 60% of teachers receiving unsatisfactory ratings.  In response, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has refused to back down and has shown the power of solidarity, holding large rallies and forging alliances with community members.  The CTU is demanding smaller class sizes, fair pay and a diverse and fulfilling curriculum for Chicago students.  This spring, 90% of all CTU members voted to authorize a strike.  98% of those voting authorized a strike.

The CTU’s campaign has met with some initial success.  Emanuel recently agreed to hire almost 500 teachers, mostly arts, PE and enrichment teachers.  These teachers will be hired from a pool of laid-off, experienced teachers.  The result is that a longer school day will not force teachers to work longer and harder with no compensation.

 

While this victory is inspiring, the CTU’s strike preparations continue, as there has been no agreement on teacher pay, class sizes, merit pay and other important issues.  It is urgent that teachers, parents and community members show our solidarity with CTU.  We also have a lot to learn from CTU’s struggle.

 

Come hear a presentation by CTU members and help organize solidarity for the Chicago teachers here in NYC!

 

Stand with CTU!

 

Sponsored by (list in formation):  Movement of Rank and File Educators, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, Coalition for Public Education, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Labor Notes, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), New York City Labor Against the War, OWS Labor Outreach Committee, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), Teachers Unite

 

Contact nycctusolidarity@gmail.com to help organize the event or to co-sponsor


Help MORE Petition the UFT:

For a Democratic Discussion and Vote in the UFT on the New Evaluation System

Every educator deserves a fair evaluation as a basic part of our working conditions.

Look for more info in our next update.

 

Election committee: Aug. 27, 4PM, CUNY (5th Ave and 34th St.)

 

  • Help choose the MORE slate for the next UFT elections (Jan-March, 2013).

 

————–

Training for new chapter leaders, new delegates, or anyone trying to build activism within the schools.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday September 19

 

Place TBA

 

Labor Notes, a publication for rank and file labor activists that has been around for more than 30 years, is teaming up with MORE to help provide training for UFT activists interested in trying to build membership activism in the schools. At our workshop on the 19th we’ll discuss ways in which we can identify potential activists and leaders within our schools, figure out how to approach and activate them, and discuss what kinds of issues are likely to interest our co-workers.

 

Join us on the 19th to meet experienced activists from other unions and from among MORE’s deep bench of rank and file leaders.

 

Stay tuned for details on location and time (most likely starting 4:30-5 PM).

 

For further info contact Kit Wainer.

 

Thanks,

 

Kit Wainer

UFT Chapter Leader, Leon Goldstein High School

KitWainer@yahoo.com

Join the MORE Chapter Leader and Delegate Meet-up group listserve.

 

Send an email to more@morecaucusnyc.org and ask to be added to the chapter leader listserve (not the same as MORE Discussion).

 

Join MORE!

 

And please take a moment to check out our website at morecaucusnyc.org.

 

Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

We want to hear from you! Check out MORE’s online discussion forum to get the latest news and goings on, and to join in the conversation.

Solidarity with Chicago teachers!

Chicago teachers authorize strike! Come build solidarity & learn about the struggle

A discussion featuring a presentation by Kim Bowsky, a CORE activist and Al Ramirez, co-founder of CORE, both members of the Chicago Teachers Union. 

Thursday, August 23rd
6:30 p.m. 
at The Murphy Institute
25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues
18th Floor, Room C/D

Public schools, teachers and their unions are under attack throughout the country.  The drive to privatize our public schools and strip away teacher protections is only accelerating.   In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled a promised 4% pay raise to Chicago teachers and proposed lengthening the school day by 20% with only a 2% raise.  In addition, Emanuel proposes implementing a merit pay system for teachers–a similar system in Baltimore has led to 60% of teachers receiving unsatisfactory ratings.  In response, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has refused to back down and has shown the power of solidarity, holding large rallies and forging alliances with community members.  The CTU is demanding smaller class sizes, fair pay and a diverse and fulfilling curriculum for Chicago students.  This spring, 90% of all CTU members voted to authorize a strike.  98% of those voting authorized a strike.   

The CTU’s campaign has met with some initial success.  Emanuel recently agreed to hire almost 500 teachers, mostly arts, PE and enrichment teachers.  These teachers will be hired from a pool of laid-off, experienced teachers.  The result is that a longer school day will not force teachers to work longer and harder with no compensation.

While this victory is inspiring, the CTU’s strike preparations continue, as there has been no agreement on teacher pay, class sizes, merit pay and other important issues.  It is urgent that teachers, parents and community members show our solidarity with CTU.  We also have a lot to learn from CTU’s struggle.

Come hear a presentation by CTU members and help organize solidarity for the Chicago teachers here in NYC!


Stand with CTU! 

Sponsored by (list in formation):  Movement of Rank and File Educators, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, Coalition for Public Education, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Labor Notes, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), New York City Labor Against the War, OWS Labor Outreach Committee, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), Teachers Unite


Contact nycctusolidarity@gmail.com to help organize the event or to co-sponsor

Please also support Chicago Teachers by donating to the CTU Solidarity Fund at https://afl.salsalabs.com/

o/4013/c/468/p/salsa/donation/
common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7204

Please forward widely, sign the pledgeshare your testimony of support, and give to the Chicago teacher solidarity fund!

Karen Lewis speech to May 23 rally.

 Movement of Rank & File Educators

The social justice caucus of the UFT

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

MORE

 

Weekly Update #20 – 08.14.12

more@morecaucusnyc.org

FACEBOOK WEEKLY TOTAL REACH THIS WEEK:

25,571 +4,394.0%

 

Keep it rolling – Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

MORE Upcoming Events

Help MORE Petition the UFT:

For a Democratic Discussion and Vote in the UFT on the New Evaluation System

Every educator deserves a fair evaluation as a basic part of our working conditions.

Look for more info in our next update.

 

MORE Summer Series

Fourth Session: Thursday, August 16, 5PM

Growing into the Fall: Launching our Fall Campaign

 

LOLITA Bar – located at 266 Broome Street (Between Grand & Delancey Streets) NYC, take the F to Delancey St. or the J, M, Z to Essex St.

 

MORE Caucus committee meetings

 

MORE open steering: Aug. 16, 2:30PM (Email us for location).

 

Election committee: Aug. 27, 4PM, CUNY (5th Ave and 34th St.)

 

  • Help choose the MORE slate for the next UFT elections (Jan-March, 2013).

 

How the UFT supports charter schools and even co-locations

 

————–

Save Our Schools (SOS) 2012, Wash DC Aug 3-5: Kozol, Deb Meier, Nancy Carlsson-Paige (Matt Damon’s mom) and more

 

See videos and commentary and links to other bloggers who were present posted at Ed Notes Online.

 

Here are the links to the GEM vimeo site:

https://vimeo.com/gemnyc/videos

 

and links to Norm’s blog posts:

 

 

———-

 

Chicago teachers authorize strike! Come build solidarity & learn about the struggle

 

A discussion featuring a presentation by a Chicago Teachers Union member

 

Thursday, August 23rd

6:30 p.m.

at The Murphy Institute

25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues

18th Floor, Room C/D

 

Public schools, teachers and their unions are under attack throughout the country.  The drive to privatize our public schools and strip away teacher protections is only accelerating.   In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled a promised 4% pay raise to Chicago teachers and proposed lengthening the school day by 20% with only a 2% raise.  In addition, Emanuel proposes implementing a merit pay system for teachers–a similar system in Baltimore has led to 60% of teachers receiving unsatisfactory ratings.  In response, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has refused to back down and has shown the power of solidarity, holding large rallies and forging alliances with community members.  The CTU is demanding smaller class sizes, fair pay and a diverse and fulfilling curriculum for Chicago students.  This spring, 90% of all CTU members voted to authorize a strike.  98% of those voting authorized a strike.

 

The CTU’s campaign has met with some initial success.  Emanuel recently agreed to hire almost 500 teachers, mostly arts, PE and enrichment teachers.  These teachers will be hired from a pool of laid-off, experienced teachers.  The result is that a longer school day will not force teachers to work longer and harder with no compensation.

 

While this victory is inspiring, the CTU’s strike preparations continue, as there has been no agreement on teacher pay, class sizes, merit pay and other important issues.  It is urgent that teachers, parents and community members show our solidarity with CTU.  We also have a lot to learn from CTU’s struggle.

 

Come hear a presentation by a CTU member and help organize solidarity for the Chicago teachers here in NYC!

 

 

Stand with CTU!

Sponsored by (list in formation):  Movement of Rank and File Educators, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, Coalition for Public Education, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Labor Notes, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), New York City Labor Against the War, OWS Labor Outreach Committee, Independent Community of Educators (ICE).

 

Contact nycctusolidarity@gmail.com to help organize the event or to co-sponsor

————————-

Change the Stakes

Are you interested in working in the battle to reframe the debate on high stakes testing? Join Change the Stakes at its next meeting, Friday, August 17, 5PM at CUNY, 5th Ave and 34th St. Room 5414 (bring id.) Many MORE members are involved in CTS along with NYC parents. MORE will be funneling its high stakes testing work through CTS.

————–

Readings and viewings

UFT VP on Board of new Charter School (Gotham Schools reports)

UFT support for charter co-location if there is room (based on what criteria) and the school agrees (problematical given the principal would be under the gun of the DOE.)

MORE’s Mike Schirtzer posts:

As if we need more proof that our union leadership is not supporting it’s rank and file educators or public school parents, in fact they are doing more harm than good, here comes this smoking gun. Here we have have official documentation that the UFT’s own Vice president Leo Casey sits on the board of proposed new charter schools. Here is the documentation http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/documents/TheNewAmericanRedacted.pdf

Not to be self-righteous but if this is not enough to say we need a change in leadership to a union that defends public school teachers, parents, and students not actively opposes them as we see here, then what is?
Hate to sound like a shill for MORE but the future of our public education system in New York is at stake without new leadership.

Here is the Gotham Schools article and Ednotes detailed report/investigation
Gotham Schools
http://gothamschools.org/2012/08/13/in-a-first-district-school-is-aiming-to-expand-as-a-charter-school/

Ednotes
http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2012/08/exposing-uftcharter-connections-as-uft.html

What Spain’s Protesters Are Doing to Get Attention
http://world.time.com/2012/08/15/spains-creative-protests-flamenco-flash-mobs-and-supermarket-robin-hoods/

 

Video: California panel discussion: Who’s Behind ED “Reform”?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAeRbh1KVkg&feature=player_embedded

————–

Training for new chapter leaders, new delegates, or anyone trying to build activism within the schools.

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday September 19

 

Place TBA

 

Labor Notes, a publication for rank and file labor activists that has been around for more than 30 years, is teaming up with MORE to help provide training for UFT activists interested in trying to build membership activism in the schools. At our workshop on the 19th we’ll discuss ways in which we can identify potential activists and leaders within our schools, figure out how to approach and activate them, and discuss what kinds of issues are likely to interest our co-workers.

 

Join us on the 19th to meet experienced activists from other unions and from among MORE’s deep bench of rank and file leaders.

 

Stay tuned for details on location and time (most likely starting 4:30-5 PM).

 

For further info contact Kit Wainer.

 

Thanks,

 

Kit Wainer

UFT Chapter Leader, Leon Goldstein High School

KitWainer@yahoo.com

 

 

Join the MORE Chapter Leader and Delegate Meet-up group listserve.

 

Send an email to more@morecaucusnyc.org and ask to be added to the chapter leader listserve (not the same as MORE Discussion).

 

Join MORE!

 

And please take a moment to check out our website at morecaucusnyc.org.

 

Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

We want to hear from you! Check out MORE’s online discussion forum to get the latest news and goings on, and to join in the conversation.

 Movement of Rank & File Educators

The social justice caucus of the UFT

“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions”

MORE

 

Weekly Update #19 – 08.7.12

more@morecaucusnyc.org

MORE Upcoming Events

 

MORE Caucus committee meetings

 

MORE open steering: Aug. 16, 2:30PM (Email us for location).

 

Election committee: Aug. 27, 4PM, CUNY (5th Ave and 34th St.)

 

Help choose the MORE slate for the next UFT elections (Jan-March, 2013).

 

 

MORE Summer Series

Fourth Session: Thursday, August 16, 5PM

Growing into the Fall: Launching our Fall Campaign

 

LOLITA Bar – located at 266 Broome Street (Between Grand & Delancey Streets) NYC, take the F to Delancey St. or the J, M, Z to Essex St.

 

———-

Thursday, August 23, 6:30-6:30 PM

 

Supporting the Chicago Teachers Union in their struggle

 

Lessons from CORE’s history and organizing model, background to the current struggle in Chicago, lessons we can learn from how CTU has prepared for a strike, support for CTU’s contract demands since we are facing many of the same issues here in NYC.

 

Help build solidarity and educate teachers and union activists in NYC about the issues they’re facing and the importance of this struggle for the labor movement as a whole and the fight for public education in particular.

 

For more information or to RSVP, please email:ebehrent@gmail.com

 

————–

Solidarity Update for Friends and Allies on Verizon Fight: Good News, Bad News, and Lots of Work to Do

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’m writing to update you on the battle to preserve good jobs and a fair contract at Verizon, and what you can do to help.

First, the good news.

Thanks to all of your efforts, our leading statewide elected officials weighed in strongly with the Verizon 1% last Wednesday and Thursday, urging them to stay at the federal mediation table and continue negotiating towards a fair contract for 45,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia.

In large measure due to the pressure you helped generate, management lifted its self-imposed “drop-dead deadline” of Friday, August 3rd for the conclusion of mediation, and agreed to extend talks for another week.

But despite management’s willingness to keep talking, what’s actually coming out of their mouths is not good at all.  Despite continued flexibility from the unions, Verizon is relentlessly pushing for:

·      Even more drastic givebacks in health care.

·      Devastating cuts in pension security for current and future employees.

·      Gutting of job security protections.

·      And an open door to increased contracting out and off-shoring of good, union jobs to low-wage, no benefit domestic and overseas contractors.

In another significant development for the future of good telecom jobs, press reports last week indicated that the FCC and the DoJ are preparing to sign off on the Verizon/Big Cable Deal with minimal conditions that will do little to preserve good jobs building and servicing the FiOS network, or to ensure that the citizens of upstate New York Cities have access to competitive, state of the art broadband networks.

So here’s what we need our friends and allies to do as we ramp up the pressure on both fronts:

*  Wednesday, August 8th is “Wireless Wednesday.”  We are asking all of our CWA activists and all of our allies to join us in a massive day of leafleting at Verizon Wireless stores.  Please contact Erin Mahoney in the CWA District One office at 212-344-2515 or emahoney@cwa-union.org <mailto:emahoney@cwa-union.org>  for specifics if you can help. A flyer for distribution is attached.

 

* Thursday, August 9th is “Solidarity Thursday.”  Please join our before-work or lunchtime picketlines.  Main locations in Manhattan will be 12 noon at 140 West Street or at 230 West 36th Street.  In most other Manhattan locations, picketing will be before work at 6:30 or 7 a.m.  If you want to picket in other boroughs we can put you in contact with locals.

 

* Call or write FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and let him know that the FCC must not approve the Verizon/Big Cable monopoly deal without conditions requiring:

 

o    No cross-marketing by Cable TV (Time-Warner and Comcast) and Verizon Wireless within the “Verizon Footprint” from Massachusetts to Virginia.

o    Require Verizon to build out FiOS to reach 95% of the homes in the “Verizon Footprint.”  This action would create at least 25,000 good jobs in New York alone and ensure that all of our upstate urban residents are guaranteed a competitive choice of cable and internet providers.

o    Call Genachowski at  800-230-7676 <tel:800-230-7676> and also leave a comment on the deal at http://www.fcc.gov/comments. When you get there, click on #7 Verizon Wireless/SpectrumCo and Cox.

o    We will be happy to provide your organization with a sample e-mail to blast out to your list on the latest on the Verizon/Big Cable monopoly deal.

This week is critical.  Our local unions and our members are gearing up to do whatever it takes-including hitting the streets once again-to fight for good jobs at Verizon.  We will keep you posted as the situation develops.

For now, thank you so much for all you have done already and for your commitments of support and solidarity.  It means the world to the 45,000 members of the Verizon 99%, fighting for fairness at the nation’s 15th largest corporation.

In Solidarity,

Bob Master

Legislative and Political Director

P.S.  Don’t forget to download a copy of our latest report, “Leaving New York Behind:  Verizon’s Attack on Consumers, Economic Development and Jobs.”  You can find it at http://speedmatters.org/verizoncabledealand then click on the button at right which says ‘Download the NY Report.”  The report lays out Verizon’s overall strategy for New York and how it hurts consumers and workers alike.  We’ll think you’ll find it of interest.

 

—————–

San Francisco: Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU) opposes contract signed by union leaders. Member Lisa Gutierrez made a presentation at the AFT Peace and Justice Caucus meeting in Detroit. Here is a message from Lisa:


All,
This is the group that I told those of you who attended the P & J Caucus Panel all about when I presented my bit a week ago at the convention. As I had mentioned, we had an Executive Board meeting on 8/1, a couple of days after I got back from the A.F.T. Convention. The members of the E.D.U. Caucus were the only ones who voted against recommending the tentative agreement to our members (14 ayes, 7 nays).
We’re hoping to turn the vote around among the members. We’ll keep you informed!
In struggle,
Lisa Gutierrez GuzmánSan Francisco

You might take a look at this SF Teachers Union reform caucus statement calling for a NO vote on the tentative contract agreement as an example of the kind of fight back we need throughout the union movement.

http://educatorsforademocraticunion.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/no-means-no-edu-response-to-tentative-agreement/

 

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Change the Stakes

Are you interested in working in the battle to reframe the debate on high stakes testing? Join Change the Stakes at its next meeting, Friday, August 17, 5PM at CUNY, 5th Ave and 34th St. Room 5414 (bring id.) Many MORE members are involved in CTS along with NYC parents. MORE will be funneling its high stakes testing work through CTS.

MORE Summer Series continues

Learn about MORE this summer: Can YOU imagine a transformed UFT?


Come to our Thursday Night Summer Series at:
LOLITA Bar – located at 266 Broome Street (Between Grand & Delancey Streets) NYC, take the F to Delancey St. or the J, M, Z to Essex St.

 

5pm-8pm

Each “listen & learn” discussion will be preceded by a brief membership meeting at which all are welcome, and followed by happy hour socializing & schmoozing

 

Fourth Session: Thursday, August 16, 5PM

Growing into the Fall: Launching our Fall Campaign

 

 

Join the MORE Chapter Leader and Delegate Meet-up group listserve.

 

Send an email to more@morecaucusnyc.org and ask to be added to the chapter leader listserve (not the same as MORE Discussion).

 

Join MORE!

 

And please take a moment to check out our website at morecaucusnyc.org.

 

Spread the word–help build MORE!

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MOREcaucusNYC

Follow us on Twitter: @morecaucusnyc

Check out MORE’s website: MOREcaucusNYC.org

 

Email us at: more@morecaucusnyc.org

 

We want to hear from you! Check out MORE’s online discussion forum to get the latest news and goings on, and to join in the conversation.

Chicago teachers authorize strike! Come build solidarity & learn about the struggle

A discussion featuring a presentation by a Chicago Teachers Union member
 
Thursday, August 23rd
6:30 p.m. 
at The Murphy Institute
25 West 43rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues
18th Floor, Room C/D
 

Public schools, teachers and their unions are under attack throughout the country.  The drive to privatize our public schools and strip away teacher protections is only accelerating.   In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled a promised 4% pay raise to Chicago teachers and proposed lengthening the school day by 20% with only a 2% raise.  In addition, Emanuel proposes implementing a merit pay system for teachers–a similar system in Baltimore has led to 60% of teachers receiving unsatisfactory ratings.  In response, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has refused to back down and has shown the power of solidarity, holding large rallies and forging alliances with community members.  The CTU is demanding smaller class sizes, fair pay and a diverse and fulfilling curriculum for Chicago students.  This spring, 90% of all CTU members voted to authorize a strike.  98% of those voting authorized a strike.

The CTU’s campaign has met with some initial success.  Emanuel recently agreed to hire almost 500 teachers, mostly arts, PE and enrichment teachers.  These teachers will be hired from a pool of laid-off, experienced teachers.  The result is that a longer school day will not force teachers to work longer and harder with no compensation.
While this victory is inspiring, the CTU’s strike preparations continue, as there has been no agreement on teacher pay, class sizes, merit pay and other important issues.  It is urgent that teachers, parents and community members show our solidarity with CTU.  We also have a lot to learn from CTU’s struggle.
Come hear a presentation by a CTU member and help organize solidarity for the Chicago teachers here in NYC!

Stand with CTU! 

Sponsored by (list in formation):  Movement of Rank and File Educators, Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence, Coalition for Public Education, Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Labor Notes, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), New York City Labor Against the War, OWS Labor Outreach Committee

Contact nycctusolidarity@gmail.com to help organize the event or to co-sponsor
 

Email more if you would like information on further solidarity actions. We in MORE will be looking to show our solidarity on the picket lines in the event of a strike (like we did during the ConEd lockout), and will be looking for help in leafletting NYC Verizon stores to alert customers about the conflict.

A year ago, educators and striking Verizon workers made a common cause against the Mayor’s Panel for Educational Policy, which approved a contract for the telecom company despite stealing millions of dollars from the Department of Education. Teachers and other UFT members railed at the board inside, and also joined the picket lines during the two week strike.

See a video of Julie Cavanagh speaking at the Aug. 2011 PEP meeting.

Today, Verizon workers again need our help. After having returned to the work in hopes of negotiating a fair contract, the Communication Workers of America have now asked for Federal mediation. Another walkout is a strong possibility, and we need to stand ready to support our brothers and sisters in CWA and IBEW.  Not only are Verizon workers the fathers and mothers of our students, but they are victims of the same corporate greed that has beggared public coffers by evading taxes and created a digital divide in communities we serve

Now, we have a chance to take a stand again against rampant corporate greed. Verizon and the Big Cable companies have reached a deal that includes marketing agreements to sell each other’s products through a quadruple play, allowing a unregulated monopoly, which destroys jobs and hurts consumers. The FCC and Department of Justice are reviewing the deal right now. Call Governor Cuomo and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to urge them to fight the deal, particularly the marketing agreements.

Leave a message urging them to oppose the Verizon Wireless and Cable Company deal.

Call Governor Cuomo now at 518-473-5442 / Senator Schumer at 212-486-4430 / Senator Gillibrand at 212-688-6262

7.27.12 flyer for calls to Cuomo, Schumer, Gillibrand.pdf