Hello, good evening,
The snowstorm forced our Dist Rep to cancel another meeting this past week, but she told me she wanted members to know about the first 3 items below.
After that, some bits from various places as usual, and a section on the upcoming UFT elections. Apologies for any typos, I'm wiped.
1. Avoid mixing business with pleasure, especially on Facebook. If you have compromised yourself (with pictures and such) on the net, it is hard for the union to defend you.
2. For probationers. A reminder never tp sign papers extending your probation or without contacting the union first. Once you sign these documents, it's hard to reverse the decision — even if you have a good case.
3. It seems principals and administrators are tape recording people (maybe not tape, per se) at private meetings without our knowledge. To avoid a sticky situation, you might consider starting every meeting by stating that you're being recorded without your consent. The rep said they couldn't "use" the recording if you say this, but she didn't say that the principal must actually stop recording. If the recording continues, I see no way they can't "use" whatever you say — all they have to do is replay the tape for themselves (not in any formal proceedings, of course) and pretend they've "remembered" the conversation. So, I think you all should clarify this with the union before you meet with your administrator for disciplinary reasons, and if I find out anything more on this, I'll write again.
Alternatively, if you see a tape recorder in place, you could say something like you'd like to postpone the meeting to allow you to take UFT advice. Another alternative is to make your own recording of the same meeting. In any case, once you know you're being taped, try not to be your normal effusive self.
THE UFT's LATEST "TEACHABLE MOMENT"
In the Chapter Leader Weekly we learn the union is now promoting a "Respect for All Week" (March 8-12). I can't believe how they're doing this with a straight face.
As teachers rot in the rubber room, particularly those who've not been charged with anything, and hundreds of tenured ATR teachers go year after year without a real job offer, I don't think UFT managers really understand the meaning of the word "respect." They tell us to make sure and "use the resources, including sample lesson plans, on the Respect for All Web page to develop activities focused on preventing harassment, intimidation and bullying based on race, color, creed, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation or disability."
I'll be sure to do that — after I finish blogging on Tweed's overt teacher abuse and the collaborative behavior of the UFT.
As TJC says . . .
TIME TO CHANGE THE UFT!
Every three years, we get a one month chance, during the UFT citywide election, to spread the word that there is an opposition in the UFT. That month begins NOW. For one month, any UFT member has the right to enter any school and put opposition leaflets into all the members mailboxes. If you want to change the UFT, this is a rare opportunity.
ICE and TJC are running a joint slate. There is at present no true opposition on the Executive Board. The leadership of the union is entirely run by Unity caucus and a compromised opposition, which neutered itself by making deals with Weingarten. This is explained in Norm Scott's important breakdown: “The UFT "UFT Election Back Stories" .
"But in 2003/4 New Action started making deals with Randi - they wouldn't run against her if she wouldn't run Unity candidates for these 6 seats, thus ceding them to New Action. Many New Action members also got part-time jobs at the UFT." — Ednotes
Importantly, he says:
"New Action got 3 HS EB seats while getting only 521 votes while ICE-TJC received over 1500 votes and got no seats. UFT democracy inaction."
Please read the rest of this post if you can.....
This is also me again talking:
It is important to get ICE and TJC voices back on the Exec. Board because these union activists have a strong record of understanding the issues and fighting for our profession. They have led campaigns against the givebacks in the last contracts and mayoral control. They have fought tirelessly for the working conditions of members and the dignity of the profession, against the ATR and RR atrocities, the collapsed grievance system and loss of seniority rights, the false data spewing from Tweed, and high-stakes testing. They raged against Klein's indefensible school report cards when Weingarten bought into them, fought for months against school closings and the charter school invasions before the UFT even acknowledged the calamity.
The ICE blog continues to expose the deals Unity makes with Klein, and ICE-TJC activist chapter leaders and delegates give much of their time to help colleagues in trouble and generally keep people informed. The ICE Elections 2010 site is where you can find the platform, slate, bios, and important articles written by ICE candidates. You will not be disappointed.
Again from Ednotes:
"If you're not in a high school you won't see [the names of the 6 ICE-TJC HS candidates] on the ballot (except as an AFT/NYSUT delegate) because these positions are the most likely to be in contention and [ICE] focused on getting well-known and articulate spokes people on the board to challenge the Unity/New Action nexus. It will still be a tough challenge as they have to get more high school votes than Unity and New Action combined. So if you are in a high school, make note and get your colleagues to vote the ICE-TJC slate — which is a vote for all 6 HS candidates.
" . . . If you pick out candidates individually, you risk having your ballot invalidated if you also accidentally put a mark near a slate, something so many people did in 2007, two thousand ballots were invalidated."
TWISTING THE DATA
This article from the Parents blog is worth reading to show just how far Tweed will go to manipulate statistics — and how the press is falling down on the job. Steve Koss is talking about an article by NY Times columnist Bob Herbert, who he says "decided to dabble for a few hours in NYC public school education, and ... the marvels of Harlem Village Academy(HVA) charter school on West 144th Street. Herbert makes much of one his one selected statistic: 'In 2008, when the math and science test scores come in, Ms. Kenny's eighth graders had achieved 100 percent proficiency.'
Koss counters with some neat analysis, based on a few figures he says Herbert "overlooked or failed to mention." For starters this first paragraph, but you can read the rest of it over at the above link.
-- In 2006-07, the first year on which DOE reports data for HVA, the school had a Grade 5 class of 66 students. HVA has no students in Grades K-4, so Grade 5 appears to be the school's primary intake class. The next year, that same cohort as Grade 6 students numbered 45. A 32% loss of students in a single year for such a stellar school, even in the middle school crossover year, is worth explaining.
MORE CHICANERY AT TWEED
BY MEREDITH KOLODNER --- Monday, February 22nd 2010, 4:00 AM
The city has pulled the plug on a deal to house a controversial charter school in a Bronx school building.
. . .
Critics had questioned how the charter school - which lost nearly a third of its students its first year and whose founder, Richard Izquierdo Arroyo, is under indictment - managed to secure the highly sought-after space.
. . .
The charter has been embroiled in controversy since last June, when Arroyo - the grandson of state Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo (D-N.Y.) and the nephew of City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo (D-Bronx) - was charged with embezzling money from the nonprofit he runs. He has resigned from the board and denies any wrongdoing.
Zardoya could not be reached for comment. Taveras, through an Ed Department spokeswoman, would not comment on how the school first got the space in Smith.
[full story at the link...]
PAPER PAYROLL STUBS
Did some investigation with the help of the payroll sec. at my school and contributions by others, and developed these instructions for opting to stay in paper mode (deadline was 2/19, but I made the change 3 days later). I will not know if the change I did actually "took" in the system til the mid-March payroll. The other thing is that I haven't been able to find a place to return BACK to no-paper, so the change to paper might be a one-time event and then you have to stick with that. Perhaps someone can let me know if they find out something different.
Log on with DoE email user name, password and one of the options (I used my soc. sec. no.)
In left margin, go to Employee Self Service for drop-down menu.
I selected EFT/Direct Deposit from that menu.
Where it said Select a Payroll Bank, I as a teacher chose 742 (S), which was the only option given to me. Other people may have other codes, so they must choose which (like per session....)
At the bottom of the next screen, there was Select an Action. I was able to go to Update Direct Deposit (the middle one) because I wanted to make the paystub come to me in print form. It sent me somewhere I can't remember, I made the change, and updated.
I returned to the Select an Action screen, then pressed View EFT, it showed my info, and in the last line said "Print Check Stub YES".
Go back to Employee Self Service tab at top and in the menu do: Payroll Register.
It takes you to a screen and you choose the Payroll Band you want.
Up comes a series of nice choices to view what's going on .
The last one is " $ Pay Stub" . Up comes a list of pay period choices. You can check on of them off and ask to print it/them out — they are downloaded to you as a PDF.
NEED A LAWYER?
A lawyer who specializes in 3020a cases, etc., has sent me some details of her address, fees, the way she works. Contact me if you need this kind of information.