"The most important, if not the only, reason for a union's existence is to provide protection to its members that individually any single member could not provide. Seniority rules and tenure were developed to protect teachers from administrative discrimination by giving administrators enough time to evaluate new employees and recognize that employees become more valuable (and should be paid more) as they become more experienced.
"Nothing could be more anti-union than the erosion of these basic rights. Yet, time and time again our Union, in order to protect its own interests, has sacrificed ours as experience becomes a liability and in this recent legislation the protections from arbitrary dismissal are significantly weakened."
Also: "When a small percentage of employees are dismissed for impotence you either have a competent group of teachers, an effective and protective union or both. The fact that there are not large numbers of teachers being fired means that someone is doing their job. Why do we want to fix this system? It doesn't appear broken."
Read the whole of Jeff Kaufman's take on the evaluation system negotiated by Mulgrew. It's subtitled: What was our union thinking?
South Bronx thinks Mulgrew stinks at cards, that there was no pressure on him to sign off on the evaluation system. "Sheldon Silver would have done his bidding for him. Why fold when you have the best hand?"
- Holding at least six regularly scheduled chapter meetings each year.
- Forming a chapter consultation committee that meets monthly with the principal and then reports the results to the chapter.
- Representing all chapter members in informal resolutions of problems with the administration and in grievances.
- Attending the Delegate Assembly, district and citywide chapter leader meetings and divisional meetings.
- Explaining the union’s positions to staff and telling them about union meetings, programs and activities.
- Serving as a resource for members about pensions, health coverage and other matters.
- Producing a chapter newsletter, maintaining the UFT bulletin board and disseminating UFT materials via members’ mailboxes.
- Working with parent groups.
- Ensuring that the contract is enforced and implemented at the school level and members’ rights and benefits are protected.
- Leading the chapter in discussion, development and implementation of educational policies in the school in accordance with union policy.
- Explaining the union’s political action activities to the members and collecting VOTE/COPE check-off cards.
- Attending training sessions.
Justice for The Bronx Science Twenty