Archives For teachers voice

"MISSING from the UFT contract- have you seen a class size reduction? Last seen in MORE's Contract NYC Educators Deserve"

UFT President Michael Mulgrew likes to tell union delegates that it’s either money or class size, not both… But neither?

Dan Lupkin
Special Education Teacher/UFT Delegate
PS 58, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn


Lest we forget, the UFT leadership works for the membership- NOT the other way around.

Our dues pay for their salaries, their perks, and the UFT skyscraper at 52 Broadway. Our COPE money buys the “seat at the table” with the politicians, billionaires, and power brokers they say will save our profession. They push a TINA (There Is No Alternative) mentality on the membership, and when it comes to the 2014 contract, operatives (belonging to the UNITY caucus that has monopolized power within the UFT since its founding in 1960) have been sent out among the membership. Their message is that this proposal is the best we can do, so even if you have lots of problems with it, it’s better than no contract at all, so you might as well vote “yes”.

Most working teachers in NYC have been kept in the dark about how their union works, and how that relates to this contract, so perhaps it’s helpful to reframe the question in terms of dining in a restaurant:

Let’s say you sat down at a table, ordered, and were served a dish that looked, smelled, and tasted awful. Would you choke it down because that’s what you had been brought? Since you are paying the restaurant for the sole purpose of preparing you a tasty meal, most people would send it back and expect the restaurant to replace it with something better.

What if everyone’s meal was unacceptable, and the manager sent around the maitre d’ to explain to each table that the restaurant’s suppliers sold substandard meat and produce, so there was no way they could produce a tastier meal, but that surely, eating what they had brought you was better than no meal at all?
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We are ALL ATRs

May 13, 2014 — 1 Comment

"we are ALL ATRs Don't let UNITY throw our brothers and sisters under the bus. vote NO on the UFT contract"

Teachers in St. Paul, MN are preparing for a strike authorization vote on February 24th.

The union is holding informational meetings in the lead up to the vote. If the strike is authorized, the union is required to give 10 days notice before calling a strike.

The strength and unity of the membership was evident on January 30th when “walk-ins” were organized at 55 of 62 sites with over 2500 of the city’s 3200 members participating along with parents, on one of the snowiest mornings of the year.

The St. Paul Federation of Teachers has done extensive outreach to parents and other community members for months, holding open meetings, and even open negotiation sessions, to discuss contract demands and involve teachers, parents and community members in shaping their demands. As in Chicago, the union has put forth its own blueprint for “The Schools St. Paul’s Children Deserve.” As a result, the SPFT has gained immense support. Parents recently helped to start a Facebook page called “I Stand with SPFT” that quickly grew to 900 members. On February 18th, hundreds of teachers and community members rallied at a school board meeting and many parents provided testimony in support of the teachers’ demands. 

The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is fighting for reduced class size, increased staffing (more nurses, librarians, social workers and counselors), access to pre-k for ALL students, and less standardized testing to allow for more genuine teaching.

MORE calls on all UFT members to stand in solidarity with the St.Paul teachers and students by following their struggle and taking action.

For more information, visit the St. Paul Federation of Teacher’s website at: http://www.spft.org/

You can also follow the St. Paul Federation of Teachers on Facebook,  join the “I Stand with SPFT” page and post messages of solidarity to show your support.

In addition,  you can call the  Superintendent and school board members of St. Paul and urge them to come to an agreement with the St. Paul Federation of Teachers to lower class sizes, increase staffing and provide universal access to Pre-K.

Valeria Silva – Superintendent supt.silva@spps.org 651-767-8152

Mary Doran – Chair mary.doran@spps.org 651-387-2361

Keith Hardy - keith.hardy@spps.org 651-200-5032
John Brodrick - john.brodrick@spps.org 651-645-7500

Anne Carroll - anne.carroll@spps.org 651-690-9156

Jean O’Connell - jean.oconnell@spps.org 651-295-1623

Louise Seeba - louise.seeba@spps.org 651-335-4263

Chue Vue - chue.vue@spps.org 651-291-8569

Finally, you can sign a petition in support of the St. Paul teachers here: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/st-paul-public-schools?source=s.fwd&r_by=4379504

alt="teacher solidarity worldwide"

Corporate “education reform” looks suspiciously similar across the globe

alt="organize agitate educate Susan Anthony MORE"

Social Justice Unionism before the term existed

Why We Need MORE

March 2, 2013 — 29 Comments

A MORE member and campaign volunteer shares her experience

As an activate participant in our UFT MORE Caucus I volunteered my time after school to place MORE leaflets in the mailboxes of teachers within the NYC public schools This would permit the teachers, and staff to have a CHOICE to allow them to make an educated decision for the upcoming Spring election and to have representatives that are in favor of having a fair and just contract, enforce a democratic process to our members, to have a voice in their school and community and most of all having our students in the fore front of all of our decisions. My experience, as I placed MORE Leaflets in NYC public schools within my own community in South Brooklyn, I have had quite a different encounter at each school!

The familial, safe, and comfortable atmosphere within the three elementary schools, was conducive to the students learning environment and was evident on the beaming happy faces of the staff, teachers and most of all the children!

I displayed my ID, signed in and presented my letter from the UFT to security, stated my intent and my letter of approval to submit campaign literature into the members mailboxes. I was directed to the main office where the mailboxes are located. As I navigated my way through the building, I observed teachers speaking with parents, assisting students with homework or assignments, discussing lessons and changing their print rich hallway boards and classrooms. All of these activities were after school hours, and I was personally assisted by a staff member and brought to the main office. I spoke to a UFT rep who was there about the importance of an alternative to our UFT, and was encouragd to place the leaflets in our members mail boxes. I met some teachers and had a lovely,civilized conversation about the importance of MORE. 

My experience was similar with the other two local elementary schools, and I was able to place information about MORE into our union members mailboxes. It is essential in a democratic process for our teachers, staff, parents, students and community to be informed about an alternative in our union that has their best interest to motivate and activate positive change

Expecting the same warm, comforting and familial culture I had at the elementary schools I was in for a rude awakening! As I approached the building of a local intermediate school there were three young ladies waiting in the frigid winter weather to be picked up from school, and it was evident that once school is over there is no turning back, the building became an empty abyss, void of students, teachers or any evidence of life within this social institution. I showed my ID informed security of my intentions to place UFT leaflets in the members mailbox, signed in and was directed to go to the main office which was 100 feet from security. As soon as I walked into the main office, the mailboxes were immediately to my left and I began placing our MORE leaflets in our members mailboxes. Within minutes the principal came up to me infuriated, agitated and in a condescending tone with pointed finger demanded what I am doing. I calmly stated why I was there, showed her the letter stating as a UFT member I am authorized to place information in our members mailboxes. She then stated ” This is MY HOUSE and no items go into the mail boxes without my authorization” I showed her the MORE flyer in which she read, I requested she make a copy of my authorization letter and I will contact my UFT representative so I may place the leaflets in the mailbox. She stated again this is ” Her House!” and removed the leaflets I had already placed in our members mailboxes I then assisted her in the removal of our MORE leaflets, and I stated I will come another time with her being notified prior to my arrival. She was clearly agitated, and request I leave flyers and she will have her UFT Chapter Leader place them in the mailboxes, I left a few and when she saw the small pile stated I have “60 teachers you certainly do not expect ME to make copies” I stated ” I would not expect her to do anything of the sort!”. She then used an analogy(with a condescending, pompous tone and finger pointed) stated I would not be allowed to go into her home and place items there what makes you think you can do it here1. I left a few flyers, thanked her for her time, and contacted my UFT immediately after this hostile confrontation. I intend to go back to that school, with MORE flyers, it seems to me that the public schools with hostile, agitated, unfriendly and even barbaric administrators are the schools that are in MOST need for MORE. The schools that have this type of environment are not conducive to teachers, staff, community and most of all our students!!! Our young people require MORE…expect MORE and demand MORE for a dignified, safe, decent, friendly and academic environment that is best for them.

Our schools are there for our children! As an educator, parent and a member of this community I look forward to a future with MORE that is best for our parents, community and most of all OUR CHILDREN!!!

We must have change for a better future!!!

Colleen M. Adrion

Educator Leon M. Goldstein High School

We have an update; the writer went to the same school again this past Friday to distribute literature. Security called the principal and refused entry. The principal came to the door and said, “I can’t be bothered with this”. She walked away and came back with a person who identified himself as the chapter leader. The chapter leader said he would distribute the material. Our volunteer politely declined asking that she do it herself, he once again said “no” and our volunteer promised to be back. There have been reports that this chapter leader is affiliated with another caucus, if this were the case it would be an unfortunate obstruction of union democracy that all our UFT brothers and sisters frown upon. We have notified UFT election personnel, they have been very receptive and said that she would be allowed entry soon because they were alerting the Office of Labor Relations.

No matter what caucus the chapter leader is part of, if any, there should never be a reason to obstruct democracy. Chapter Leaders knows full well that any UFT election representative has a right to access our member’s boxes during the election. Hopefully this issue is solved soon. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case; school administrators throughout the city have denied access to our election volunteers. MORE is calling on our UFT leaders to instruct the DOE/Chancellor Walcott to send out a notice to all principals that any UFT member should be granted full access to members’ boxes during our election season. In the spirit of fairness and democracy we hope the UFT leaders will comply and request this immediately.

If you enjoyed this please read other testimonials on why members joined MORE

The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) is pleased that Governor Cuomo’s Education Commission recommended increasing wrap-around services and expanding pre-kindergarten programming.  Educators and parents know that supporting children and families, making sure they have access to health care and other services, as well as providing robust early interventions will increase educational opportunity and outcomes for all of New York’s children, especially here in New York City.

It is unfortunate to note, however, that the report released yesterday says nothing about lowering class size. It says nothing about ensuring that a fair amount of funding reaches New York City’s classrooms. The report is silent on the need to provide fair funding for urban districts in general, where the overwhelming majority of impoverished students live.

Further, its recommendations regarding technology and teacher recruitment and retention are untested and unsupported. These are, essentially, corporate-minded reforms that we believe are not in the best interest of our children, our schools and our profession.

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