SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Pay Dues. Don't Freeload.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pay Dues. Don't Freeload.

The Westchester Journal News has reported that New York State has stopped collecting
agency fees from 31,000 state workers. As far as I am concerned that is 31k freeloaders and rats.

I am getting tired of this whining from UFT "members" who are threatening to withhold dues in light of Janus. Yes, as I ahve said in the past, I empathize with them. But a dysfunctional union is better than no union or not being in a union.

I have been reading a lot of the comments on James Eterno's blog. Yes, the grievances and feelings are real. But the one question I brought up and could not be answered to the complainers is, "What have you ever done for 'the cause'"? The question has been met with silence. Instead of cursing the darkness light a god damn candle.

I ask those that are thinking of freeloading that are reading this, what have you done? Where have you been? And please, anonymous comments on blogs don't count.

Even under the best of circumstances if the UFT was strong and proactive there would be people complaining and kvetching. Nothing is perfect. Too many are looking for a perfect fit on an off the rack world.

Yeah, our working conditions and the way we have been treated pretty much sucks. But we make more than most teachers in the country, let alone New York State. We have solid pensions awaiting us. We have rights that are bargained for. And, we have great health benefits.

Yeah, Mulgrew got stupid again about saying health benefits can be bargained. Would you rather have no health benefits? Crappier health benefits? A friend of mine that teaches in Armonk NY told me that he has a family deductible of about $6k on his health plan and pays into it 10% (or a little less) or so of his pay. If you have GHI you pay $0 and with the out of network rider (which I have) $16 a month.

I have been without insurance and on insurance. Guess which I prefer? Thirty years ago I dislocated my right shoulder (I am a lefty). It was popped back in never saw a doctor because I had no way to pay for it. I have developed horrible arthritis, I have bone grinding against bone, I'm in pain, can't golf, and I will need a shoulder replacement eventually.

In January my wife had almost her entire back fused. We saw the hospital bill. It cames to about $550k, with about $200k for the hardware in her back. Maybe another $95k for the bed. We owe $200.

This is what you can give up if you fail to join the union and other things as well. Under law freeloaders are covered by the CBA. Well, what happens if the next CBA there are provisions for freeloaders to be own their own? Too bad.

Remember, how the UFT got the family leave (Yes, it's not parental, stop bitching.). And something that was just shared with me. Family leave was negotiated outside of the contract so we would not have to do a quid pro quo. Yeah, sometimes the UFT gets it right.

But the worst thing, aside from being a freeloader, for not paying dues is that you will hurt each and every member staying in the union (I've been to a union meeting already. The anger at the freeloaders is just beginning), in negotiations, in solidarity, in advancing our needs, and more importantly, the needs and wants of the communities we teach in.

Being angry and frustrated is fine. Acting out on being angry and frustrated impulsively and for spite will hurt others and worse, yourself.


Anonymous said...

With all do respects you’re going to have to come up with a more convincing argument than displeasing those I work with. Being an ATR that’s a HUGE incentive. Not as good a pissing in the morning coffee pot, but still pretty good. Pete you’re a leader, start something with James, Norm or Bronx ATR. I signed his petition. Let’s get a Chapter. That alone would keep me in. I got 5 friends to sign. I’m not going to keep paying dues to be treated like a piece of shit by both the UFT and DOE. I’ll donate the money to Bronx ATR’s Save the Quail group first.

Anonymous said...

ATRs are the most vulnerable members. There is constant pressure to place a time limit on the amount of time ATRs should be able to stay in the ATR pool before being laid off. If large numbers of ATRs are to stop paying dues the Union would have even less motivation to protect their jobs in contract negotiations. Think carefully before you act. Being an ATR may not be ideal, but it's better than being unenemployed. Getting rid of teachers is the ONLY purpose of this JANUS case.

Anonymous said...

Thats like saying I should lay down and let everyone piss on me because they may kill me if I don’t. And better yet pay them to do it. I’m not into golden showers or worrying about the UFT. I’m opting out until the UFT, which created the ATR mess fixes it. The option for ATRs should not be unemployment it should be placement.

Unknown said...

Hear! Hear! Being an ATR sucks, I live with anxiety and fear every year starting mid-August, I don’t have a steady position and no matter how long people see my face I’m still not “part of” the school staff. I have 2 degrees and nothing to do with them. Yet, as much as I hate the UFT mantra, “At Least You Have a Job” - at least I have a job! I have health coverage, I’m getting the money they owe me (slowly, but surely), I can pay my rent and my daughter’s tuition. I’m not working in Key Food or trying to find a job at the age of 53. I just bought glasses and I’m going to the dentist on Friday for a crown. I continue to show up every day and do the best I can and for that I earn my salary and my benefits. I don’t work more than 3 periods in a row and if I cover a class, I get paid for it. Do I REALLY need to go on?

Anonymous said...

Are you for real?! I have covered 5 periods a day every day for the past 3 years. Always in the very worst schools.