Life Under The New UFT Contract

"MORE UFT pin"
The Social Justice Caucus of the UFT

Our 2nd event of the 2014 Summer Series on Wednesday 7/30 features a discussion on the new contract. More information below and here.

A preview of the contract and our discussion by John Elfrank-Dana, Chapter Leader of Murray Bergtraum High School:


After alerting the UFT that my principal failed to invite me to this Advance training in July, finally there was traction and I got a belated registration request (they had to reopen it as it was closed already).
I found at least a few quite disturbing changes to Advance.

1. Formal observations count for no more than informals. So in a 1 formal/ 3 informal option each counts for 25% of the Measures of Teacher Practice.
This gives even more weight to those “gotcha” observations where principals can cherry pic their facts.  Yours truly was rated Effective during formals when the video camera was rolling, but less so during informals where they can claim whatever they want happened.
What is the UFT’s plan to counter this? Will they resurrect Principal in Need of Improvement?
2. Domains: Domains 2 and 3 now count for 85% of your overall Measure Of Teacher Performance (MOTP). Used to be domains 1 and 4 had more. That gave the teacher the option to show professionalism outside the classroom. Not any longer.
3. Feedback: We called out the administration early on last year from not providing feedback within 48 hours, as the Advance FAQ defined effective feedback as within 48 hours. This is not the written report. Under the new and improved Advance they have 15 school days to provide feedback. They moved up the report to 45 days from 90.
They also now have the right to observe you a 2nd time before they give you feedback for the last informal. How this is supposed to help teachers is beyond me. It keeps us looking over our shoulders just in case you thought you might have a little respite from the hyper scrutiny.
4. 3rd Observation Protocol: Brahman Caste Teachers – Those rated Highly Effective, get a 3rd observation protocol the rest of us slugs don’t. It’s some combination of peer review and an informal or two. More gnawing at solidarity.
I got the last word in the PD. The discussion was how to motivate members to choose peer observation as a PD method. I said we used to have that carrot in Art. 8J Option A where a colleague’s observation counted for a formal, in lieu of a formal observation from our AP. No such luck any more! See how far the UFT has lead us down the path to our own demise?
For more discussion on the new contract and mobilizing your chapter please join us
Wednesday July 30th 4:00pm-7:00pm
The Dark Horse
17 Murray St. NYC
Near City Hall, Chambers St, WTC
$5 Drafts & Well Drinks
Life Under the New ContractThis fall we will be returning to a radically changed work environment, which educators are approaching with a mix of hope and anxiety. How can school workers use the new contract to advocate for themselves and their students? How can we activate new people, strengthen our union chapters, and empower ourselves at work? Which members are more vulnerable under the new contract, and how can we support them? MORE wants to campaign this year around tenure, paperwork reduction, ATR rights and chapter leader elections, and we need your ideas and energy!


2 thoughts on “Life Under The New UFT Contract

  1. Can someone explain how in an informal observation it is easier for the administrator to claim whatever they want and back it up.

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