SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: It's Time the UFT Helps Displaced and Indigent Former and Retired Teachers

Monday, March 18, 2019

It's Time the UFT Helps Displaced and Indigent Former and Retired Teachers

It never ever stops. That innate ability to teach. That special talent to reach young mind and souls through your own kind of magic. You never ever stop being a teacher. You never ever stop wanting to share your gifts. There are only two things that can stop you.

Dropping dead and the NYCDOE.

Back in 2017 we here at SBSB reported on a teacher that went through hell at his school PS XX with trumped charges that we see time and time again are systemic and the pain and suffering he went through facing the demons of the 3020-a. In March 2019 he is still hurting.

I was at the Meadowlands Fan Duel sports book this past Saturday evening (I bet $10 on the Phoenix Suns -2.5 over New Orleans. Suns won buy 2.) from Aaron Goldstein. He told me that yet again his old lady booted him out of the house as they were arguing over money and his lack of steady work. He was heading into the city to find a subway car to sleep in.

If I had been home or not out with friends I would have picked him up and he could've crashed at my place. But it also got me thinking. He should have some support. Support from his union.

Aaron is nearly destitute. He shouldn't be. If the UFT were smart, it would set up some type of job retraining, job something for teachers that have been discontinued or terminated. Something in which they can learn to transfer their teaching skills into the "real world." You could also add resume and interview skills and even a job bank in which other teaching positions in the charter, parochial, and private schools of NY/NJ/CT are listed. Heck, even give that newly out of work teacher a "career coach." I would donate to such a thing. Better spent for this instead of for COPE.

And what about teachers that are truly destitute? At least Aaron has a roof over his head and he's not eating cat food for dinner. I am sure there are former teachers that have it a lot worse than Aaron.

What a great story I read in yesterday's Daily News how EMS workers are helping keep alive the memory and the spirit of Yadira Arroyo...
...the Daily News launched a fund to help Arroyo’s five sons. EMS members were so inspired by the gesture that they decided to keep the good will going with their own campaign, according to Vincent Variale, president of the Uniformed EMS Officers Union, Local 3621. So two years ago, Arroyo’s colleagues launched the EMS FDNY Help Fund to assist needy families of EMS workers.
Better my money goes to something like this than to COPE.

Even Major League Baseball has the Baseball Assistance Team in which indigent former ballplayers are helped with a slew of arrangements that benefit them.

This can be funded very easily. Automatic donations from paychecks in lieu of donations to COPE. Instead of paying for 1,000 people or whatever at the Rye Hilton twice a year how about those monies go to help retired teachers? Maybe a couple of gold tournaments at Winged Foot (or Westchester Country Club?)or some silent auctions? Mulgrew could auction off his US Open seats.

But it's time. We here at SBSB call on the UFT to initiate this plan post haste. It's needed. Hurting teachers need it.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I personally know of 3 teachers in this situation. (One was terminated and two were discontinued) However, all three were able to get teaching jobs OUTSIDE of NYC. Once you are discontinued or terminated from the DOE your file gets a "problem code" and it is just about impossible to teach in a NYC public school again. Until the DOE gets changes this policy, teachers in these situations need to be super vigilant in pursing a teaching career outside of NYC if they want to stay employed.

Anonymous said...

Getting terminated from the UFT is not easy, and with few exceptions, most terminated teachers have done something bad enough to warrant an unbiased judge to validate their termination. Once terminated, they are no longer UFT members, do not pay dues and have little likelihood of ever teaching in NYC again. The UFT having helped them through the 3020a process has no obligation to them, and I for one, would NOT want my dues used to re-train or support people who can never ever be members of our union again and have been found guilty of some impropriety.

Being discontinued is far easier and only requires that a principal take a dislike to an untentured teacher. The UFT recognizes the difference and works with discontinued teachers to find jobs in other districts where they can be hired. Dues money supports this effort and is worthwhile as many discontinued teachers do fine in their next school.

The examples you gave have nothing to do with either being terminated or discontinued. The EMS worker you mentioned was killed on the job. The UFT has helped families of teachers in the similar situations. The Baseball Assistance Team is part of the baseball players' contract and it's funded by both the owners and with additional money added to the dues.

While I feel sorry for Aaron, I feel no obligation to him, nor do I want my dues to be used to 'support' him. There are plenty of jobs out there, teaching and otherwise. If he needs money, I suggest he go to work.

Pete Zucker said...

Aaron retired, he is still a dues paying member of the UFT.The union should do more to help destitute teachers and also help teachers transition. As long as they are still dues paying members.