If you aren't happy with the new contract I think it's safe to say most of us get your point.
If you whipped out your calculator at Kleinhans and did some nifty figuring then planted yourself in front of a mic to castigate Phil Rumore I think it's safe to say most of us get your point.
If you don't like the language of the extra 25 minutes and you happen to work for one of our more famous control freak narcissist Principals who will monopolize the 25 minutes and force you into grieving it -- if your faculty isn't too scared of him to do so -- safe to say most us get your point.
And if you are angry that you didn't get your steps back it's safe to say most of us get your point.
To a point.
It occurs to me that an alarming number of teachers didn't seem to realize the step recovery case went to court and the court ruled against us. Phil Rumore is not known for losing in court. This one didn't go his way or our way. We lost. It happens. It happens so rarely I have to wonder if that's why we seem to have so many colleagues living in a state of denial believing if they pound their podium hard enough the steps will materialize out of the ether. To show up at Kleinhans on a night when it's been all but guaranteed we are there to vote on a contract and throw a tantrum about steps we've known for a long time we weren't going to get is ridiculous. Sorry, I didn't get mine either but I kind of knew that.
I learned how our national union affiliates operate during the 2016 presidential campaign. It was decided a long time ago that NEA and AFT were both going to endorse Hillary Clinton. The only question was how to manipulate the votes and skew the assembled souls to get the numbers they needed to create the illusion that union people supported Clinton. I see a small handful of default Johnny Come Lately Hillary shills among the teacher ranks mostly because the alternative amounts to electing a human tire fire. There never was any fire for Hillary and truth be told there still isn't. The union power brokers felt no Bern. The candidate most of my teacher friends and acquaintances supported was never given a thought. They went out of their way to outmaneuver a contingent of Bernie supporters in their crusade to anoint HRC. You can read about it in Podesta's emails and those of that bald faced rank and file betrayer Randi Weingarten. I must have been naive at the time but I was infuriated that the rank and file were excluded from the process. And now that some of these same rank and filers are feeling screwed, disenfranchised and kept at arm's length from the workings of their union I have to ask in all honesty Why did you expect anything else? Weren't you paying attention to the way Hillary got those endorsements?
Before I get too carried away on this theme though I think anyone who has an axe to grind with BTF, NYSUT and their various players needs give some thought to last May's Board of Education election that essentially gift wrapped a contract for Buffalo teachers. If you think the current Board majority simply fell down out of the sky because the 9% of Buffalo who vote in Board elections suddenly realized they'd had enough of Jay McCarthy and Jim Sampson, you need to look a little closer. For all of my grumbling and bitching about NYSUT and their inscrutable ways I am here to give the devil his Deely. They said they were going to use an organizational strategy to bring out the voters we'd need to vote in our people and vote out the Friends of Carl and Lars. It involved banging on doors and talking to people. Certain people. You can't argue with the results. It worked. Scoreboard.
While there was more to the strategy I can only say for sure that I know that their guys got the boot and our guys (gals?) took their seats on the Board. Sampson and McCarthy almost failed to make it onto the ballot if you recall. They limped into the election bruised and battered -- a day late and a dollar short. And all of the drinks Carl bought at Docs were barely enough for him to squeak out a win over a teen ager still in high school. Think that happened in a vacuum? Like it or not, agree with NYSUT or not, if we didn't have a board to vote yes on that deal we'd be talking about 13 years. And if not for the efforts of this non representative, top down, undemocratic union affiliate there'd be no talk of what bonus we were getting or how we're going to use those 25 minutes. We'd be reading about the cosmetic rider in the Buffalo News and listening to Larry Quinn complain that teachers injured by students are taking too long to return to work.
Like the contract I'm sure this post isn't perfect. It's an attempt to take a fair long view through my Step 27 eyes that should have picked up a few things by now. We got something. Be nice if we got more but we got a step in the right direction. The fact that the Board's two union hating millionaires pouted and went home in protest tells me we made out even if it could've been and should've been better. If you're still pissed off run for delegate. If you're really pissed run for Executive Committee. I did.