Baltimore Redo is New York Contract circa 1995, Take Three

    We know that the Baltimore teachers rejected the contract a few weeks ago. A contract in which Randi Weingarten played a major role as part of her national strategy of selling teachers onto elements of the ed deform movement.

    Stephen Sawchuk at Ed Beat terms it Baltimore Tentative Contract, Take Two.
    ....teachers were to receive raises by collecting "achievement units" for getting good performance evaluations and participating in professional development. Hailed in some quarters as a landmark proposal, the contract also earned some snarky reaction—teachers could earn some achievement units for serving as a building rep [chapter leader in NYC]. 
    But it didn't go over well with the teaching corps, who voted down the contract by a 3-to-2 margin. The vote sent the district and union scrambling back to the bargaining table and resulted in a bunch of news stories about a perceived lack of communication between senior union folks and the rank-and-file teachers.
    Sawchuk could have very well titled his story New York Contract circa 1995, Take Three.

    In 1995 Sandy Feldman still ran the union and Randi was the clear heir apparent. She was given the job of negotiating a contract. I won't go into the details, but they so miscalculated and the contract was rejected for the first time in history. They were so confident that people would accept a 5 year deal with double zero raises in the first 2 years, a penalty for new teachers, along with extending the time it took to reach top salary from 20 to 25 years (female teachers who gave up years for child care made pointed remarks about how Feldman and Weingarten had no children) that they neglected to send out the Unity hordes to sell it.

    So they made a few modifications - 22 years for top salary instead of 25- and removed the new teacher penalty - and this time took no chances as they sent out the entire union Unity Caucus machinery to invade the schools. I was the chapter leader and wouldn't just let the District Rep filibuster the union line and forced him into debating me.

     Now Randi full well knows from here in NYC that the building reps have enormous power - which is the core of Unity strategy in controlling the union - all new reps are pulled away for weekend training sessions in which they are bound, gagged and locked into rooms and not allowed to communicate with outside forces. Actually, they are just plied with food and liquor and access to top union officials who then recruit them into Unity.

    So in Baltimore they decided to encode perks for building reps right into the contract as way of selling it. Sawchuk continues:
    Now, the word on the street from sources is that the district and union have essentially finalized a second (tentative) pact—and that the BTU was essentially shopping it to its unions' building representatives today during a four-hour meeting. "They had us all over, had us released from school, they fed us an entire meal, chicken, all this stuff, and gave us a gift at the end and sent us off with the 'newly revised' contract," a source told me this afternoon...... There appear not to be many substantial changes to the contract, merely the addition of some clarifying language, the source told me.
    Randi's henchwoman Marietta English had all sorts of excuses for the defeat. What is Randi to do with her current and former loser allies? See Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC - where Nathan and Candi got the most votes and are now in a runoff with George Parker, one of the biggest jokes of a union leader.

    Mike Antonucci at Intercepts asks Is the Baltimore Teachers Union Underestimating Its Own Members?
    After having its much-lauded contract voted down by the rank-and-file, the Baltimore Teachers Union has responded by… presenting virtually the same contract again. This isn’t sitting too well with some of the people who opposed it the first time:
    “The major reason we wanted a delay in the vote was for the democratic process and to have these details,” said Robin Bingham, a teacher who started an electronic petition against the contract until the evaluation system is complete. “I feel it’s really disrespectful to dress up the same contract and present it again.”
    The BTU campaign to get the thing approved this time seems to consist of “regional information sessions for its members with the American Federation of Teachers” and schmoozing sessions with building reps (who already have a plum in the new contract).
     Even Mike throws up his hands at this one:
    I’ve sworn off predicting the outcome of contract ratification votes, but I’ll be waiting to see if these tactics work.
    Not me. I know for a fact those tactics do work. I'm betting they sell this baby- a short term victory for Randi and crew. Give the contract a year or two in operation and then watch what happens in Baltimore.

    Can someone photoshop "Baltimore" and "2010 - and beyond" on the Randi sell-out photo?

    Ed Notes recent articles on Baltimore contract:
    Oct 16, 2010
    It seems, in a modest way, that teachers in Baltimore have essentially just handed a defeat to the education direction of the national government, our national union leadership, our local union leadership, the public schools CEO here in ...

    Oct 16, 2010
    Chicago, Baltimore, perhaps detroit, LA, who knows maybe there can be some movment if AFT locals fire back. What happened in D.C. did the opposition to AFT win that local? The movement must come from the trenches up the leaders at UFT ...
    Oct 07, 2010
    American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten called me last week full of excitement over her Baltimore local's new teachers contract. Education leaders often exaggerate when talking to journalists, but Weingarten has taken ...
    Oct 02, 2007
    BALTIMORE -- Baltimore city school teachers concerned about their contracts are planning to set up what they call informational pickets. They said the goal of the picketing is to put pressure on the administration to sign on the dotted ...

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