Sunday, February 25, 2018

SBSB EXCLUSIVE!!!!! MORE Caucus Presents 2018 Contract Demands

With it being 2018, the contract is up this coming November. The MORE Caucus being in control of the Unity/UFT's executive board has not only a front row seat to the upcoming negotiations, but is not on the outside looking in and has established contacts within the UFT to be heard. Yes, it is nice to show how technological adept one thinks they are in posting nice little online polls on Facebook with "cool" graphics. But that gets one nowhere.

MORE is fighting an uphill battle every day. Unity/UFT continues to try to swat away MORE but MORE is here to stay.

With that being said, The Crack Team reached obtained the contract demands MORE is presenting to Unity/UFT tomorrow night at the exec board meeting. Today, right now, will be the first public airing of the demands and it should put Unity/UFT on notice.

Notice: Some names have been redacted.

1. Real raises: Set a pattern or follow a city pattern with raises that are equal - to uniformed/sanitation workers-
We expressed that HS members were especially upset during the last contract with delayed retro and raises that did not follow the pattern of other union workers in. UFT acknowledged this and said the first thing the city negotiators will argue for is "increased productivity"

2. Do away with C-6/professional assignments so HS teachers can have two full preps to prepare, especially those that are in ICT/ESL co-teaching situations
IF C-6 cant be totally done away with then pedagogical related assignments only (no lunchroom duty)-  (this  also addresses the proliferation of teacher teams)
UFT claims reps go to high schools through-out the cities the prevalent complaint from faculty is the lack of time teachers in co-teaching situations (Sped/esl) have to work with each other, if c-6 cant be done away with they would like to see something to address this using c-6 and PD time

3.Class size violations - with the proliferation of oversized classes we need some type of accountability for DOE/principals every day that a class is oversized the contract.
UFT will meet with xxxx to come up with a joint reso and action on this. XXXX has worked closely with class-size matters on this and has argued several grievances on class-size violations in his school. UFT agreed that class-size is a priority.

4. Unit pricing (stop the so called fair student funding formula-which "charges principals more for veteran teachers)- XXXX says they were at least able to get this to the negotiating table last time
This would solve many problems from class-size, ATRs, to inequities in schools 
UFT said we did bring this up in the last round and the city answered it is not an item that can be bargained, but its worth bringing up again

5. Regents grading in schools- same as unit pricing, UFT can bring up, but not something we will necessarily bargain

6. Transfer system -seniority/sbo- at least a partial return to seniority transfers"
seems highly unlikely this will happen

7. 2 observations for tenured teacher- this is the state minimum
 We brought it up, UFT hears us, but they (uft unity( have a different take which they expressed at ex bd and DAs (the current system protects teachers)

8. teacher diversity and school integration - can we collectively bargain actions to address this?
UFT said it takes two willing partners, UFT has been aggressive on both fronts but hasn't found the same commitment from DOE. They would like to expand the para-professional to teacher program, they can bring it up in negotiations and do something like they did in the last round. paras have a higher percentage of people of color than teachers. 

9. DOE PD'S that occur in schools will be accredited towards CTLE hours
UFT spoke about how long it has taken DOE to receive proper certification to even be a provider, we pressed that UFT members with families, childcare, elder care, grad school can not be expected to fulfill these requirements-the PD time in school ought to count for CTLE

10. Due Process for UFT members under investigation or Exonerated (UFT will look more into this- but this is what we offered:

A small adjustment for the type of outside complaints described would be for a parent to have to come up and sign a complaint in writing that was made by a student. Those things don't currently happen and would filter out a fair amount of capricious complaints. 

Another small adjustment would be to require the investigation process to consider the intent as part of its process. This would compel all parties to consider context of any action in their decision. Investigators' final report should have to state the apparent intent behind the act in writing in their final report.  This would absolutely lighten the burden for those who go through the process. It's a small shift but it has powerful consequences on all levels. The DOE is the only district in the state with a bureaucracy to support investigations like what we have. The local CBA (our contract) needs reflect that uniqueness with fairness protections (many of which that haven't yet been though of yet) That do absolutely account for that. 

A larger shift would be to advocate for a written schedule of fines or punishments for infractions reflective of progressive discipline and for that schedule of fines/punishments to be made public.

In general, significant efforts should be made to make the discipline process more fair and more predictable. This would take that process out of the hands of a vindictive administrator and protect teachers and students. 
11. immigrant liaison- UFT passed a reso on this- can we collectively bargain training for UFT members, add this to comp-time menu and c-6- UFT asked how do we envision this- we said offer training for members and like the respect for all and sustainability coordinator- have it be someone that is trained and listed throughout the building. Also possible offer it on the SBO comp-time position and/or C-6. UFT said they will follow-up 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Teachers With Guns? There is a Better Way

So this dipshit President Assclown, and his lackeys at the NRA, are suggesting that teachers should be armed as well as locked and loaded in case of some crazed demented male with a tiny tallywhacker decides to shoot up a school.

This is not a good idea. Please read Arthur Goldstein's take on why it is stupid. Think about it. We as teachers keep on hearing how we are no good. But, we are to be trusted with handguns and other weapons in case an active shooter comes into our school to destroy the lives of the children we keep on being told we are destroying anyway.

Law enforcement are the only ones with the training and capabilities to protect the children and take down an active shooter. Yeah, dumbass Trump says to train teachers. But law enforcement does not get trained just once, they keep on getting trained and re-trained.

My son's school district has a Harrison police officer at each school. That is who I trust. I also, God forbid, believe that if there is an active shooter in his school that his teachers will shield the students to the best of their abilities. But not all school districts and police departments can afford or have the manpower to have an office in each school.

This is not perfect, but this is what we have until more is done to limit the sales of guns and military style weapons. But in the meantime something needs to be done. The Crack Team got together and came up with some ideas that are better than arming teachers and hopefully will appeal to the Cheeto Face president and his sycophants.


Yes, lightsabers. Arm all teachers with lightsabers. As Obi Wan told Luke in Star Wars Episode IV...
Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
Yes, each teacher will be assigned a light saber (color of their choice). As Rey has shown in Episodes VII and VIII one does not need to be trained in the ways of the Force to use one. And let's not forget that Finn was proficient with a lightsaber.

Vulcan Nerve Pinch

Each district will send several teachers from each school to the Vulcan Science Academy for intensive instruction on the practice of using the VNP. What's that you say? Only Vulcans have the ability to perform the VNP? I don't think so.

In Star Trek: TOS episode "Omega Glory" after Spock uses the VNP...
Kirk tells Spock "Pity you can't teach me that" (i.e. the Vulcan Nerve Pinch), and Spock replies "I have tried, Captain."
And lest we forget, Mr Data, Odo, Jean-Luc Picard (because he is way more cool than Kirk), Jonathan Archer, and the useless holographic Doctor have all used the VNP. It can be done.

General Order 24

Yes, we more Star Trek: TOS! In "A Taste of Armageddon" Captain Kirk while he and the landing party were being held hostage ordered Mr Scott to implement General Order 24, An order to destroy all life on an entire planet. But Scott was trained well. He did not want to follow in the footsteps as Captain Garth did on Antos IV. Scott had the Enterprise wipe out all power and weapons systems on EminiarVII.

Trump can commission, or use his billions, to build a star ship orbiting the earth. When an active shooter situation happens in a school the local principal can give General Order 24.

Batman Style

No, come on. Let's be real. There is no such thing as Batman. But, we can train teachers, one teacher per school, in the style of Batman.

Each summer every school district selects one teacher (of course by seniority) to travel to Bhutan and be trained by The League of Shadows and Ra's al Ghul. After an intensive 8 week session the teachers travels back to their schools and are in essence each school's Dark Knight. When an active shooter (hopefully never) situation arises that teacher can take care of the shooter Batman style.

The Crack Team worked hard at coming up with these inane ideas. Much harder than Trump and the NRA did coming up with their dumbassity. It's time to be realistic. Want to end the Active Shooter curse. Don't give them something to shoot with.

Oh, and get rid of Trump and all the blooducking NRA Republicans.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yet Another ATR Assassination Attempt

More from the files of "You Can't Make This Shit Up!"

An ATR that I know is meeting in a discipline conference with his field supervisor when we
get back on February 26.

This ATR is a damn fine teacher. He is very smart, comes prepared, keeps to himself, the kids love him, the teachers dig him. Doesn't rock the boat, keeps to himself, crosses at the green and not in between, posts no bills.

The previous two school years he has received a Satisfactory rating.

Until this year.

This ATR's field supervisor this past November gave him a U rating on an informal observation. Along with this came the usual improvement garbage.

Dear field supervisor sauntered into the school this past Thursday, February 15 to meet with him.

The usual blabbering spewed forth from the field supervisor until the ATR was blindsided.

He received notice to meet with field supervisor and UFT rep on the Monday we come back.

Why? Because the ATR never submitted his lesson plans to the school principal.

The ATR claims that the principal NEVER ASKED once to see his lesson plans. I believe him.

I also know of this principal, this principal is a damn fine principal and treats all staff with respect and does not have "gotcha" bone in their body. Same with the school's AP's.

Something smells here.

First, giving this ATR such short notice for a meeting is not cool. Especially, when he decided to partake of the district rep in attending the meeting with him (time was of the essence Thursday to contact the DR!)

Second, is the field supervisor assuming that the principal asked for the lesson plans? Has the field supervisor communicated with principal?

This is the first meeting in nearly three months with the ATR. At their last meeting she asked him to keep a set of lesson plans for each grade. At what point since November has the field supervisor followed up on her request? 

The ATR feels confidant. The ATR has the DR going in with him. The DR is a good person. That the ATR is not using the chapter leader is not an indictment against the CL. In my opinion, every ATR should use the District Rep when called to a discipline meeting. It's logical.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Calling on E4E and Michael Loeb to Renounce and Retract ATR Death Warrant

So Unity/UFT has a new pal in E4E's Michael Loeb. That's nice. It's always nice to have a pal. But a pal is not one who had knives out to destroy your profession and the teachers one claims to represent.

I will give Unity/UFT a kudo. They have yet to throw ATRUnitys completely under the bus. That day may come. They have come close. Unity/UFT have enabled the crap, either by design or neglect, ATR's are suffering through. But however small, ATR's, still have some voice. Maybe I am being kind?

But why pal around with E4E's Michael Loeb and allow him to play a prominent role in a DA or any type of UFT activities? Why would Unity/UFT be pals with someone that wants to destroy the careers up to 2,000 members who have done the pal no harm?

Unity/UFT has a short memory. Let's go over something. Michael Loeb no matter how you slice it is a card carrying member of Educators 4 Excellence. E4E's existence is predicated on destroying the teaching profession from within, whilst funded and supported by, Bill Gates, The Walton Family, Whitney Tilson and all the corporatist edtards and ediots out there.

Sure, let let the E4E wolf into the UFT hen house. Of course, nothing can go wrong.

The Crack Team came across what we here at SBSB consider nothing more than a death warrant for ATRs written as a policy paper back in May 2014. In essence E4E supports (Read it here on page 7)....

"Two hiring cycles strikes a balance between providing a fair opportunity for teachers to find a new teaching position and at the same time provides schools and the system the autonomy they need," said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director.

Yes, I know, that was written four years ago. Doesn't matter if it was four years or four hundred. This was, and still is, E4E's official policy. Yet, not only is E4E invited to the dance it gets to dance with, and probably go home with, Unity/UFT.

Yet, the "Loyal Opposition," MORE/New Action, continues to get shot down and shat upon at every Exec Board meeting and DA. MORE/New Action have have time and time again put their money where their mouth is. Whether or not you agree with their tactics they have been there time and time again for the teachers and communities of New York City.

If MORE/New Action are the "Loyal Opposition," what then is Michael Loeb and E4E? The "Disloyal Pal"?

E4E has shifted gears and basically put on some lipstick and tried to make itself look pretty. But lipstick on the E4E pig still makes it an E4E pig.

It is time that E4E lay down it's cards and show it's colors. It is time to renounce and retract it's statement of May 2014 concerning ATRs. It is time for Michael Loeb at the next DA to publicly announce his support for ATRs and denounce Unity/UFT for the way ATRs are being mishandled across the city.

No one will be holding their breath. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

E4E's Michael Loeb: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

 On February 6, Norm Scott over at his blog Ednotes posited some possible type of cooperation Educators 4 Excellence and Unity/UFT due to, well let's read Norm's words...
The resolution described below never came up at the meeting as there was a 6PM adjournment. No one from E4E handed out the reso but a stack was left on the UFT lit table, which we are always told is a no-no - they say they only want official UFT lit and if we try to leave Ed Notes or MORE lit there we get a hassle or even an attempt to throw the lit away.
This goes back to a DA in which an E4E hack, Michael Loeb, science teacher and chapter leader at the The Urban Institute Of Mathematics, put forth a resolution about restorative justice before the assembly and was received in a favorable light by the Priests presiding over the DA.

I have written about Michael Loeb in the past (here and here). But it appears that Michael is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. What or who is Michael Loeb?

Michael is a big macha (He's the treasurer!) in the E4E hierarchy as we can see here in the financials for 2016 of E4E. Does Unity/UFT know about this? Do his colleagues at UIM know about this?

Michael also seems to have passed muster with Unity/UFT in that New York Teacher felt Michael was a go to guy for a quote. Maybe the UFT knows of Michael's loyalties? Maybe it doesn't.

I am sure Campbell Brown and her crew at The 74 are well aware of Michael's loyalties. Michael was featured prominently in an article on Campbell Brown's teacher hating website.

One can question Michael's loyalties when a colleague of his at UIM that served our country admirably in the Marine Corps was besmirched. Funny how Michael wasn't quoted in this fray. (At press time The Crack Team is not sure if Michael was the CL at UIM at the time).

Heck, Michael make one wonder about the truth behind E4E's financials when he posted this plea for monies needed for E4E (Yes that is Michael doing his best Les Nessman imitation).

Michael claims (boldface mine)....

....E4E, with our over 10,000 New York and 16,000 national teachers, we take action to improve public education by meeting with elected officials, running for union leadership positions, and advocating for our education policy proposals to improve local schools. 

But what is worse, is Michael has no problem posting photos of his students at UIM and personal information such as names on his personal Twitter account (Find it yourself. I will not give Twitter handle nor link to it). For shame Michael. Putting identifying information of a student on your personal Twitter account as well as students faces.

Maybe Michael, because of who he is and who he knows will skirt by on this. I know of a dear friend who accidentally put a students name on his blog and was grounded. But I am sure Michael will be able to look in the mirror if God forbid something should happen to one of this students. 

But inquiring minds want to know about this meeting of the minds of Unity/UFT and E4E. What gives? Why is this happening now? Can we expect E4E to run with Unity in 2018? Why would Unity/UFT sleep with the enemy? I guess it's official. Of the three caucuses running in 2016 (I am counting New Action w/ MORE) only MORE has yet to reach out to E4E.

What is one tho think? Michael Loeb, it is your serve.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

ATR's Beware The Clown!

The False Prophet, The Purveyor of Bullshit, The Cult Leader, The Narcissistic Fabulist,
Fuckface von Clownstick, The Clown, Francesco Portelos, is at it again.

What false hope is he selling to the disaffected mass of ATR's who are so (understandably)  desperate for a something, anything? That one person and one alone, yes, Fuckface von Clownstick will lead you to the promised land of ATR redemption and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is age discrimination to be found. It's that easy. But sadly, it's not.

Personally, I believe that the DOE does not want teachers above the age of 40. Kinda like Logan's Run where one outlives their usefulness. Do I think there is some kind of smoking gun out there that shows the plotting of the DOE specifically conspiring against older teachers? Somewhere, buried and never seen again. Will it be found if it exists? Nope.

Why am I so vehemently against this? Let me explain.

First off, this is not an indictment against Bryan Glass. I believe Bryan is above reproach both ethically and morally as an attorney and as a person. I, and my family, are indebted to Bryan's representation of me and how tirelessly he worked for me. I believe Bryan is an excellent lawyer and if Mr von Clownstick were not involved Bryan would prevail.

But that's the problem. Mr von Clownstick is involved. Everything Mr von Clownstick gets involved with dies. Mr von Clownstick has lost at every turn with every and any court or court like case he has been involved in since his 3020-a. He might win one, but fortunately the person who is suing him has a worse track record than he.

Mr von Clownstick is a schlomozel. You remember, from Laverne and Shirley? A schlemeil is the guy who spills the soup. The schlomozel is the putz that the soup is spilled on.

There is no smoking gun ti be found. Smoking guns come around once in a lifetime. I came across my own smoking gun and it helped, but not as much as one would think.

What really bothers me the most is that Mr von Clownstick is up to his old tricks of turning teacher against teacher.That's just the way Mr von Clownstick. Just ask Mr Candida.

According to Mr von Clownstick this guide gives you the 1-2-3 of how to jack up another teacher while making it so easy to win your "age discrimination" case. How?

1. FOIL who received your position that you applied for. 2. Once you get the information in from the DOE's FOIL unit in 6 months, go to 3) NYS Ed Dept. Teacher Certification Search, 4) Type in the teacher's name from your super secret stash of FOILed teacher's names and 5) See if that teacher has less years than you do and therefore....6) With that information you get the Magic Ticket and win your case ipso facto or 7) Do as Mr von Clownstick and just harass and stalk that teacher forever or go after their families. Or both.

But. But what it you do the above? You find the teacher that "stole" your job? You see on the NYS Ed. site that that teacher has only 4 years total in the NYCDOE whilst you have 21. Guess what? It does not give the teacher's age. That 4 year teacher can very well be over 40. Can very well be over 45. Can very well be over 50. Then what? Mr von Clownstick got bupkus and he is left holding is schmeckel in his hand.

I am tired of seeing teachers suffer. Worse, I am tired of seeing other teacher (singular on purpose) cause and enable teachers to suffer, especially for their own aggrandizement. Ultimately in my opinion, this is nothing but a ploy to fill the blanks in a email list.

We must not take advantage of teachers who are swallowing bleach, who are are depressed, who are on the precipice of life. We must do everything we can to support and nurture what is best for that teacher. Sometimes just a shoulder to cry on is needed or sometimes fighting back full throttle. But the wisdom to choose between the two is based on maturity and the empathy. Not narcissism or hatred.

The easiest thing to do for any ATR or even a teacher in or has been in trouble is to carry a chip on their shoulder. That is not helpful. Always consider the source. Always consider whether or not someone is projecting their foibles, their shortcomings on you.

Be careful. Remember, you when you are on the phone discussing this, there is a very good chance you are being recorded.