Coming Attractions

Over at celebrity-blog EdWize Leo Casey argues that when Eva Moskowitz pointed out that the current contract there requires less than 4 hours a day of actual instruction it was teacher bashing (more on her horrific atrocities here). Yet here are actual UFT members pointing out the same thing (though in a different context). Are they calling teachers lazy or just pointing out that, well, the contract requires less than four hours? Good teachers do work more than this, obviously, so why not work that into the contract? Answer? This is where the rigid, albeit important, constraints of industrial unionism rub up against the more textured nature of the workplace in a profession like teaching.

Leo also argues that there is no problem with excessing and seniority provisions in the NYC contract. Well, if they are as minor an issue as he says then drawing a line like this on them sure seems like an ill-advised strategy since the union is getting clobbered on this issue (and don’t be fooled, this isn’t some conservative plot, it’s liberal groups starting to analyze this…) The deal here is obvious — reforms for money — but it’s not so easy because in fact reforms are an enormous issue because they cut to the bone in terms of how to deal with low-performing teachers and the power of veteran teachers. Yet every day the UFT waits to make a bold gambit their position weakens and amount of money seemingly shrinks…

The fact finding panel (which the UFT asked for, this was no gotcha) got specifics about the extent of the problems the rules contribute to and the number of teachers affected and were obviously convinced by what they learned and not by the UFT’s take on this which was also presented. That data will be public at some point in the not-too-distant future.

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