Thursday, July 22, 2021

The UFT Enables DOE to Screw Members Yet Again

 Remember how Navin Johnson was so excited that the new phone books had arrived? I (and many others) wanted to have that same feeling when I awoke this morning. Today, after waiting since October would have had the remaining 50 percent of my retro. This is money owed us not just from October, but from

But alas, when you are really counting on something, something gets mucked up. And as usual the UFT is getting blamed. That could be debated. Hear me out. 

I do put the blame on the UFT for accepting the crappy 100 year schedule for our retro. I do put the blame on the UFT for not sharing with membership ahead of time that our October payment was to be delayed (They knew it several weeks ahead of time there would be an issue). I put the blame on not having the retro squarely on the DOE and the City for not making every single member whole today. 

I put the blame on the UFT for not only believing the bullshit reason why the checks didn't go in, but then  sharing the bullshit the DOE was spewing amongst membership.

The reason we were given was that the retro check was a "supplemental" check and not a payroll check. That this is why it would take banks longer for our direct deposit would be in our accounts. 

Which doesn't make sense.

How does a bank differentiate between a supplemental check and a regular payroll check? Money is money. If I went to the bank to deposit money into my son's account, would the bank know the difference if it was money owed for money for his birthday? Or spending money at college? Of course not. 

And if this DOE bullshit were true, why hasn't anyone seen their checks in the payroll portal? Do the banks have some magical ability to control the DOE's payroll portal? Doubtful. 

And we should trust the UFT when it comes to the upcoming change to Joe Namath's Medicare Advantage (Read more about this on Norm's blog and James Eterno's blog)? 

What would happen if a teacher who has yet to receive their retro today dies tonight? Would the teacher's family still be entitled to the retro check that should arrive tomorrow? Would the monies have to be returned? 

I appreciate that there were UFT higher ups that were proactive today on social media. In the past, it would not have happened. But Mulgrew should have been at the forefront of of speaking out. Imagine if this were the PBA. Pat Lynch would be having a conniption fit. 

But as usual, the UFT is the schlemiel (For those that are not up on their Yiddish, schlimazel is the person that spills the soup, a schlemeil is the putz the soup is spilled on.) of NYC labor unions. The City knows that it can't get over on the other unions. They know when they need to defecate on a union, on a union's membership they can turn to the us. The City know that its bullshit will be accepted. They City knows the leadership will rollover. That when the UFT screams, "Never again!" is just an empty threat and will be coming back with its tail between member's legs. 

I hope by the time I awake tomorrow morning member's will be made whole. I'm not betting on it. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Riding Into the Sunset Of the 2020-2021 School Year

 0.0 days left. It's done. It's over. Finis. Shabbat Shalom. Peace out! I'm outta here! Yippee Kai Yay! Whoo-Ooh!

The school year is over, it is done, it is what it is. Nothing to be se here. Nothing to do. Time to ride out of town. Like Shane and the Man With No Name, my job is done. Time to move on.

Auf Wiedersehen 

Au revoir


Do widzenia 


And happy trails to the 2020-21 school year as I ride off into the sunset...

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Looks Like ATRs to Remain in DOE Purgatory (ONE DAY REMAINING!!)

 One day to go!

Oh, the death of the ATR pool was greatly exaggerated. That according to the Post and everyone's favorite bastion of education reporting, Chalkbeat

The plan was originally if you were placed in a school the entire year and and received either an effective or highly effect MOTP you were to be automatically placed in said school. And something about not facing discipline.

But think about it. With all the craziness of this year, with not enough teachers at the beginning of the year, or through the year, an ATR was a godsend to the principals. They needed bodies.And ATRs provided the bodies. ATRs were seen basically as useful idiots. 

But now with the supposed grand reopening of school in September the ATRs are not needed. In particular, ATRs who have been naughty and don't make wads of cash. Oh, and those ATRs with institutional knowledge. 

Why would a principal want an ATR like that in their building? We gave up our seniority transfer in 2005 because principals want control. Sometime in the last ten years, I forget, ATRs were going to be forced place and the principals and their union were up in arms. Why should things be any different this time? 

And of course nothing changes with the Post and Chalkbeat bashing ATRs. 

From the Post...

And now teachers assigned to this pool, including some who really shouldn’t be teaching at all, will be given positions back in front of classrooms.

And from Chalkbeat (Christina Vega) using six year old data...

About one in five scored one of the bottom three rankings, according to data from the 2015-16 school year, the most recent the education department has shared publicly.  

But let's give her credit where credit is due. She did get one thing correct...

Teachers in the pool also tend to be more senior, and therefore earn higher salaries, creating a disincentive for principals to hire them. 

It would have been swell if Ms Vega bothered to spend some time speaking to ATRs. But I would guess that would be to difficult. 

Fixing the ATR problem is easy. Read it right here. It can be fixed. 

Being an ATR is like being in purgatory, actually Jewish purgatory. We are not wicked. Nor or we righteous. We are good people as well as teachers who have made mistakes. And learned from mistakes. 

...whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried'


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The DOE Screws Teachers Yet Again and Mulgrew Is Silent (TWO MORE DAYS!!!!!!)

 Two days left! 

This blog post was to be about how it is still up in the air whether or not we are getting end of the year ratings. Before press time The Crack Team received the following in an email from an SBSB groupie. 

 The DOE has decided to issue final teacher ratings for this school year. In mid-June, the state Legislature approved a waiver for school districts regarding the Annual Performance Review for the 2020-21 school year, but it recently amended the legislation to give individual school districts the choice whether to rate teachers. The DOE decided to proceed with teacher evaluations because most of the principals had already completed their work. All observations should have been completed by June 11.

We here at SBSB are confused. We could have sworn Mulgrew implied he would fight like hell if we were to get rated. At June 14 exec board meeting Mulgrew sayeth...

Working on DOE APPR. Called City Hall. We have a pretty good agreement, but this can't just sit. On the table with DOE and need them to decide which way to go. Most principals have submitted evaluations already. Assuming since work is done, they want to move forward. We are in pretty good shape with no one being harmed.
And a week before at the June 7 exec board meeting Mulgrew regaled with...

We are expecting teacher evaluation to be waived again. Not passed yet. Thanks to everyone for staying on top of issues. 

But it's over. Even though the bill Governor Cuomo did not give districts a choice!!!!!

But not to worry folks! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. At the June 21 exec board meeting Mulgrew rolled up his sleeves and shared with the world...

DOE decided to do APPR. Above 95% HE or E before MOSL even kicks in. We will go after anyone who doesn't do this correctly. 

Them's fighting words! We know now that Mulgrew has our backs. Again. 

Just wondering why the Oneonta School District isn't giving end of year ratings. Nor is North Rockland. Or Mount Vernon. Horseheads isn't.  

But we as UFT members shouldn't be upset or disappointed Remember. We have a seat at the table. That is what matters. Our seat is at the kiddie table. Where the only attention we get is from the old auntie with the Bozo eyebrows and the Double H bosom who has a cigarette dangling from her mouth. She just stops by to squeeze our cheeks. 

That's how the DOE sees the UFT and the rank and file.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What's the Plan for September? (3 Days Remaining!! Whoo-hoo!)

 Three days left!! Whoopee! On Friday, I am going back to the videos. But rest assured two great songs by two great all time bands (Not Rush!) for the last day of school.

On to bigger and better things. 

We're not at herd immunity in neither New York State nor New York City. September is right around the corner. De Blasio has sworn that there will be in person schooling only. 

Still, what if?

What if there is a good percentage of the parents that still refuse to send their children to buildings? Approximately 750k students have been remote this year. If only half of those students return (350k) that is still a sizable number of students not in buildings. Do you force these parents to send their children to school? Will the UFT back up these parents?

Hey, I understand the fear parents would have. But there are no answers to ,"What if?" for these parents now. Heck, my son wanted to take me to the Nets game Saturday night and I was having some qualms about being in an arena of 20k people. 

What happens if there is a spike come October? What is the plan then? Just remember on 9/11 how fast parents came to schools to take their children out. What does the DOE plan to do?

And with the lack of a plan what is the plan if there ever is a big remote cohort to teach the students? I know Mulgrew mentioned wanting some type of agreement with the DOE regarding remote teaching. This remains to be seen. 

Are schools still going to have the three foot rule? Must students be vaccinated to come to school? What about parents? To enter school must they be vaccinated as well? I know at my son's college and all SUNY campuses students must be vaccinated.

What about in school testing? Will that still be done?

It's time the UFT in conjunction with the DOE share worst case scenario, or rather, any and all plans for the safe return to school buildings come September 2021.

Monday, June 21, 2021

EXCLUSIVE! UFT Members to be Made Whole For Spring Break (And....4 Days Left!!!)

 Four more days left.

But, I digress 

The Crack Team has been on top of the whereabouts of monies owed teachers due to spring break 2020 being ripped away from us. However, The Crack Team are very impatient group and they decided not to wait till July 1 but rather they took matters into their own hands. They traveled 6 weeks ahead in time Yes, you read that right. Using a proprietary time travel method that was create in SBSB labs, The Crack Team has returned with the MOA. Exclusive to this blog only, it will be known what our union agreed to. 

1. Full restitution will be made to each and every UFT member. 

2. Full restoration will be made only to  UFT members who have been in service since January 1, 2010.

3. Full restitution will be made in 10 payments stretching over 14 years. Each payment will also have a deduction of 10% to allay the costs incurred by the DOE and the City.

4. An across the board $20 payment will be immediately paid to each and every eligible teacher. Then full payments in 2024, 2027, 2029, 2031-2036. 

5. To make up those who quit, were terminated or died and lost out on their retro checks such members will enjoy full restitution this time. It is only if you retire you won't be made whole.

6. Each teacher will receive two coupons, each $15 percent off, for Denny's.

Now, in the report from The Crack Team states that the city originally just offered the coupons for Denny's. Mulgrew was thisclose to agreeing, but he had to be talked out of it. However, when everything else was agreed upon, he still held out for the Denny's coupons. For those of you who are fans of Denny's remember this; Mulgrew had your back. 

The Crack Team found that those who retire not being eligible for restitution was just a judgement call.   However, off the record, The Crack Team was told by someone deep inside the UFT for retirees to just fake their own deaths and they will still collect. 

The Crack Team though did overhear the UFT discussing this deal and overheard...

"We made a great deal. It could have been worse. At least we had a seat at the table."

Maybe Spock is wrong? Can the space- time continuum can be changed?

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Next for the ATRs?...Oh, 5 DAYS LEFT!!!

Five days left! We are in the home stretch. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Praise be. 

So ATRs are going to be teachers again. That's nice. But there are some issues. 

As for me I have been an ATR since December 2015. That 6 1/2 years. What training have I had on the latest reading, writing, and math curricula? It's more or less been some perfunctory gesture of administration, mostly on Monday afternoons. The big training, being sent somewhere on PD days or huddling with someone from Teacher's College, well never happened for me. And I am sure there are other ATRs in the same boat. 

Even if we have had sufficient training, when have we had the time to utilize such training? We aren't in a position long enough nor even a school long enough. We are not up on the latest year to year. We aren't even in the same school year to year. 

I used to pay for my son every winter for catching lessons. It helped because he was able to utilize what he was taught. But if he played right field would those catching lessons help him? Or if he played right field and had to catch a game, would he not be rusty or not acclimated to what he had been taught? 

It's the old, use it or lose it approach. 

But we will hear, "You have the same rights as every teacher in the school for PD." I have in the past asked to be included in specific PD's.  However, I was told, "We can only afford X amount of teachers to attend the PD," or something to that effect. And, if we cause a ruckus about not being able to participate then we get targeted. ATRs do there job and they do it they best that they can under really complex conditions. But, ATRs want to stay below the radar. It's a fact. 

Now, about this "forced placement." I understand, it's in the contract, the DOE can do it. But just because something can be happen, doesn't mean it should be happen. 

It's funny, since when does the DOE believe in the sanctity of the contract? Time after time the DOE picks and chooses what it will and will not honor in the contract, so why can't the UFT use this to ATRs advantage?

This announcement a few weeks ago didn't happen in a vacuum. And it didn't happen without the UFT knowing about it beforehand. Can't  the DOE in conjunction with the UFT work with each teacher (Say those who have been ATRs for five plus years) and together to find a good fit for the school and the ATR. It would be a win win situation. Everyone is happy, every gets something. 

Instead, ATRs are thrown blindly back into society without any say or possibly eroded skills. This is like after doing 45 years in prison. You leave with a suit and $25 and told, "Good luck, you're own your own, deal with it." ATRs don't even get to fill out a preference sheet! We can have a life long first grade teacher thrown into teaching 6th grade math. Does that make sense?

Oh let's not forget the old, "Well, you are a common branch teacher. You have a license which means you can teach 6th grade math even though you have taught 1st grade for 20 years." Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that's true. But when I decided to have my shoulder replaced, I went to a shoulder specialist, not a proctologist. Yes, both are licensed medical doctors under the State of New York, but only one has the experience and ability to replace my shoulder. Same with attorneys. 

And how will principals feel upon being forced an ATR they had no say about invading their building? Particularly mature teachers with many years in the system making a lot of money with institutional knowledge? How fast will ATRs be written up for failing to put the toilet seat down in the co-ed staff restroom?

What is the mechanism that will prevent undue harassment upon ATRs in schools they are not wanted? One, of course, is taking advantage of what the open market offers, but we know how well open market works (Sarcasm).

It sure would be swell if the UFT can have some type of meeting for ATRs before this big change takes place. There are many, many questions to be answered.