The MORE FOUR: Our Democratically Determined Contract Demands

March 12, 2014 — 9 Comments

moreunion-This list of the main improvements we would like to see in the 2014 NYC teachers’ contract was developed based on democratic discussion and a vote at the 1/18/2014 meeting of the Movement of Rank and File Educators. Join us to continue the discussion!

1. Improved Learning and Working Conditions: Our schools should have lower class sizes, and they should be fully funded and staffed with sufficient support services. Therapists, Guidance Counselors, and Special Educators should have reduced caseloads so our high-needs students get what they need to grow, and educators have enough time during the school day to complete necessary recordkeeping and planning.

2. A Better Evaluation System: Teachers should be part of the team that builds our new evaluation system. It should not be tied to high-stakes standardized test scores. Instead, each school’s staff should play an active role in choosing meaningful, student-friendly assessments that can be used to inform instruction and measure growth. Extra paperwork and quantitative data creation should be eliminated.

3. Competitive Salaries: We deserve full retroactivity and fair raises based on the rising cost-of-living, and to retain teachers. To demonstrate respect for all of our work, there should be a move toward salary equity for all UFT members.

4. Restoration of Due Process and Fairness: All teachers deserve to be treated fairly, thus our contract should restore the right to transfer and to grieve material in our files. Teachers should be considered innocent until proven guilty at 3020a hearings, and the “fair student funding” budget system (that penalizes hiring of experienced teachers) should be reversed. If enacted, these changes will effectively end the ATR crisis.

Please download a flyer-version of these ideas to spark discussion within your UFT chapter or community here! MORE Top 4 Contract Flyer. And, if you’re interested in thinking about an ideal contract in more detail, check out “The Contract NYC’s Educators Deserve” that we shared in an earlier blog post. You can also find more resources under the “Contract” tab above.

About these ads

9 responses to The MORE FOUR: Our Democratically Determined Contract Demands

  1. 

    I don’t see much difference in your “demands”
    from what’s been said via UFT assemblies and press releases. However, I do see some inaccuracies that should be clarified/addressed:

    1) Teachers *do* have the right to transfer. It’s called “Open Market”, which runs from April
    to August. I know plenty of teachers who have taken advantage of this opportunity. Outside of Open Market, teachers can *still* transfer from school to school, provided they receive written release from their principal and superintendent. Again, I know teachers who’ve benefitted from this policy as well.

    2) 3020a mandates that tenured teachers receive a hearing before being terminated, hence “Due Process”. To my understansing, that was never taken away from us.

    3) While we may agree that there are visible flaws with our current eval system, one useful measure that exists is our right to choose which evaluation we want. We also have MOSL committees, which consists of teachers, not just administrators.

    • 

      1-Seniority transfers and SBO transfers in the past were based on much fairer criteria than the open market system which leaves transfers purely up to the principal. This has basically turned transfers into patronage hiring. Senior teachers, who cost more, are having a much more difficult time transferring since the 2005 giveback on transfers from the UFT.

      2-In the past, the Board of Education had the burden of proof on their side in a termination (3020A) hearing. Under the new system, anyone accused of incompetence who has two ineffective ratings in a row will be presumed to be incompetent at the hearing and will have to prove they are not. Good luck. We are pretty much guilty until proven innocent whereas under the old system we were innocent until proven guilty. That is a substantial weakening of due process.

      3-Principals can veto what a MOSL Committee comes up with. To say that these committees empower teachers is a big stretch.

  2. 

    Much of what you written I agree with, but you never asked me to take part in your discussions. I do not think that was very democratic of you. As you know, many of the items that you reference are currently part of the UFT contract agenda, so there is no necessity here.The ATR situation will subside under the progressives and so will other teacher complaints; however, any contract is a give and take and no one walks from the table 100% satisfied. If you percieve otherwise, that is pipe dream. Clearly, we deserve all the compensation we can get, but , James, I would like to be part of the democratic conversation, yet I was not. In solidarity, Dr. John Marvul

  3. 
    adjlevin@aol.com March 12, 2014 at 9:46 am

    All good, if we get 2 years of retro at 3 or 4 % prob as good as we can get

    • 

      True-but don’t forget that new Pre-K programs will give us a fresh supply of students and increase UFT membership=enhanced dues flow.

  4. 

    People tend to always say, “could”, “would”, and “should”. Here is how it IS: we have open market transfer in April, people do not just get terminated if they are tenured. 3020a includes “due process”. This means that everything gets investigated first. I was not part of your democratic discussion, so I do not know what other misinterpretations were mentioned. I do hope that everyone who attended knew the contract. How democratic was this meeting?

  5. 

    Dear Lamar, John, ADJ, and Marie,

    Thanks for joining the discussion! We discussed and voted on these demands at our general body meeting in January. General body meetings are open meetings, which we try to publicize as widely as we can. The date of the next meeting is always on this website, and always e-mailed to our list-serve, which we also welcome you to join. (We’re looking forward now to April 26, and again, you’re welcome to join in.)

    I personally believe that the UFT leadership has not made its contract agenda clear enough, and more importantly, I believe, along with MORE, that conversations around the contract should be openly and widely held with rank-and-file teachers, like all of us, then those conversations should be used to shape negotiations more transparently.

    -Megan, a proud MORE member

  6. 

    Tilden64, consider yourself officially invited to any and all upcoming MORE membership meetings. If you join our listserv you will receive updates and invitations every month. There are also multiple ways you can contact us through this website to add your voice to our discussions. The discussions that led to these four priority areas MORE would like to see fully addressed in the contract were held in schools where many MORE members spoke to their co-workers and also during our committee meetings and membership meetings. All UFTers are welcome to MORE meetings. In contrast, the current UFT leadership has not organized, facilitated or encouraged any organized face-to-face discussions among the members about what should be in the contract.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. UFT Contract Talk » THE CURRENT CONTRACT & NEWS - April 28, 2014

    […] MORE FOUR Demands […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s