Unity Agrees To Work With MORE on Resolution to Oppose Receivership

November 16, 2015 — 2 Comments
#MORE2016

#MORE2016

At the November Delegate Assembly, Unity and MORE both had separate resolutions supporting Buffalo public school teachers who could be terminated without any due process, because of the new state receivership law.  MORE’s Mindy Rosier, delegate from PS 811M, suggested that we withdraw our motion so we can work together with Unity Caucus to come up with a bipartisan resolution. Unity agreed to this.

Resolution in Opposition to Receivership

November 12, 2015

 

WHEREAS, New York law establishes Receivership for schools that have been or will be categorized as persistently failing and struggling and that these schools are identified as the schools in the lowest 5% state-wide on NY Common Core assessments will mean there will always be failing schools and schools in Receivership; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership uses developmentally inappropriate and unreliable Common Core aligned test and punish and evaluation regimes to categorize failing schools; and

WHEREAS, certain New York State United Teachers Locals have taken strong positions against the Common Core Standards, and are encouraging parents and members to refuse the Common Core Tests used to place schools in Receivership; and

WHEREAS, 144 public schools serving mostly low income students from Buffalo to Albany, Utica to New York City, Yonkers to Rochester have fallen into Receivership; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership law states that the Receiver “may abolish the positions of all teachers and pedagogical support staff, administrators and pupil personnel service providers” of any or all Receivership schools and can do so without cause, and require them to reapply if they choose; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership requires a “Staffing Committee” to determine whether senior former staff at Receivership schools are qualified to return to the school and those who are not rehired from their school are denied “bumping/seniority rights” and must be placed on a preferred eligibility list regardless of their teaching experience; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership further undermines collective bargaining by granting a Receiver broad power over budget, curriculum and programs, discipline, testing, class size, teaching conditions, length of the school day and year for each individual Receivership school; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership denies due process and other forms of fair employment practices for educators and administrators by allowing the law and commissioner’s regulations to set up a timeframe and process for different agreements with each Receivership school that ensures these “agreements” give expression to the will of the commissioner without ever having to prove how imposed agreements will improve the quality of education; and

WHEREAS, Receivership law requires “failing/struggling” schools to improve in two years but provides ZERO/NO additional resources or funding to those schools; and

 

WHEREAS, Receivership does not address the great inequality in funding for urban schools, but rather Receivership doubles down on impacted districts by de-funding them year after year, labeling them failures and giving them one or two years to “improve” without additional resources in most cases; and

 

WHEREAS, UFT Vice President Janella Hinds testified strongly against receivership in Albany on October 14, 2015 stating in part, “What our schools need to make them better is the investment of proper resources—not receivers;” be it therefore

 

RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers strongly opposes Receivership and encourages NYSUT affiliates to pass similar resolutions demonstrating solidarity against New York’s Receivership law; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, that the UFT will exhaust all legal means to change and to challenge in court any attacks on due process, collective bargaining and other fair labor practices that are a consequence of Receivership and urge NYSUT to do the same; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, that the UFT will develop a plan/outline to advise members on how they should respond to the demands of Receivership and educate and activate members about said plan while encouraging other impacted NYSUT affiliates to do the same throughout the state; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to all NYSUT Members and the entire New York delegation in the State Legislature.

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2 responses to Unity Agrees To Work With MORE on Resolution to Oppose Receivership

  1. 

    Fine, but what ideas do we have ? any reason to think they will work ?

  2. 
    Michael Fiorillo November 17, 2015 at 5:59 am

    While it would be a mistake to refuse Unity Caucus’ offer to collaborate on this, MORE should be very careful. In my experience, Unity makes these offers with the sole intention of watering down/neutralizing resolutions they find threatening in some way.

    Unity/Mulgarten know they have to make a statement about receivership, but they also don’t want to upset their reform masters by opposing Common Core in any way.

    If they insist on deleting the Common Core language from this resolution, MORE should walk away from the table.

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