Friday, December 30, 2005

2005: Best Year Ever For UFT Members

It has been a remarkably successful year for Unity caucus members and the United Federation of Teachers as a whole. In fact, I would modestly say that 2005 has been the best year ever for UFT members, even given the years when Albert Shankar and Sandy Feldman were running this union and winning great victories for New York City public school teachers.

When we started this year, UFT members only taught five classes, enjoyed a summer vacation until after Labor Day, had the ability to grieve letters placed in their files by administrators, worked only 6 hours and 40 minutes a day, and had a vast choice of menu options for their professional periods.

Now that the year is ending, UFT members teach six classes, come back from summer vacation before Labor Day and begin teaching classes right after Labor Day, no longer have the ability to grieve letters placed in their files by administrators, work an extra ten minutes, and no longer have a vast choice of menu options for their professional periods. Instead, many UFT members will be given cafeteria duty, potty patrol, or crowd control for their professional assignments, depending upon their building seniority.

And UFT members received all of these wonderful additions to their contract with the extra added bonus of a "raise" that doesn't even amount to cost of living adjustment!!!

What an extraordinary array of successes Le Gran Fromage and the rest of the Unity caucus have brought to UFT members considering the harsh anti-union climate that pervades American society today and the mean mayor at City Hall who spends every waking hour finding ways to squeeze money from the working and middle class.

Just think what this contract would have been like without the striking leadership and superior strategy skills of Le Gran Fromage? You might have gotten a raise that doesn't even amount to a cost of living adjustment without having to concede twenty years of contract provisions in one shot.

And what fun would that have been?

I got many emails from UFT members before the contract vote who complained that they didn't have enough to do during their work day. Many of these members told me that they were bored by their jobs trying to educate New York City's children and wanted to add some menial labor to their day, like sweeping floors, working as a security guard, or cleaning toilets.

Guess what? Under the new contract provisions, these UFT members will get their wishes. In fact, even members who didn't want to add menial labor to their job responsibilities will now have to guard a potty, duck stale pizza in the cafeteria, and/or parade up and down school hallways searching for students who are cutting class.

And what more wonderful way can you think of for UFT members to become better teachers and more useful human beings than by guarding a potty, doing cafeteria duty or patrolling hallways for 43 minutes a day?

In many of the emails I received, teachers also complained that they didn't have enough paperwork to grade or attendance records to keep under the old contract. Luckily Le Gran Fromage was able to get Uncle Joel to add a 37.5 minute sixth class four times a week to give these bored teachers something to do with their unused hours. Unfortunately there is no sixth class on Fridays (sadly known as "Five Class Fridays"), so many teachers find themselves having an extra 37.5 minutes of time with no students around to tell them to go fuck themselves, no illegible, barely literate papers to read (excpet for the DOE memoranda, of course), and no bubble sheets to bubble.

But in the next contract, Le Gran Fromage hopes to make the work week consistent by adding a sixth class for Fridays. We here at EdzUp are keeping our fingers crossed, of course, because we love teaching, we love the kids, and we would be doing this job even if we had to pay Uncle Joel money to get us through the metal detectors at our school sites. Of course, many of us here at EdzUp haven't been inside a classroom since the Lindsay administration, but nonetheless we love teaching, love the kids and would pay to do this great job!!!

Now if I had some more time to dish out the truthiness, I could tell you about the wonders of working in an un-air conditioned building in August, the delight of not being able to grieve a letter placed in your file by an administrator, or the gratitude we all should feel for receiving a raise that doesn't even amount to a cost of living adjustment. Unfortunately I do not have time to dish out any more truthiness because I have to attend a Day Before New Years Eve Party at Le Gran Fromage's apartment tonight and my ice sculpture isn't completed yet. But be assured that I will continue to set Unity opponents straight in my future posts here at EdzUp and make sure that you, the EdzUp reader, have learned something valuable, truthful, and genuine about Le Gran Fromage and the rest of the heroes toiling under the patronage perks of the Unity caucus.

Now I must find my cummerbund.


At 6:42 AM, Blogger Unity Hack said...

An excellent article, Pete. I couldn't have written it better myself. Well, perhaps I could have.

As all of us know, I was the said to be among the first choices for Minister of Truthiness, but was unable to accept the position having unfortunately ruptured my clavicle in a freak sailing accident. However, if it can't be me, I'm happy you got the postion.

I am second to no one in my absolute loyalty to Le Gran Fromage, and I have faith that under her leadership we will achieve even greater things.

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truthiness will set you free, my brothers!

At 6:53 AM, Blogger Propaganda Pete, UFT Minister of Truthiness said...

I remember that freak sailing accident, U.H. It's a shame you had to pull out of the "Southampton 500" when you were so close to winning the sailboat race.

Ah, well. Here's hoping your clavicle heals in time for the 2006 racing season.

BTW, will you be at Le Gran Fromage's tonight? We'll be singing a hymn to her greater glory at the stroke of midnight and I hear she's hired the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to help out with the singing. Should be a doozy!

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Unity Hack said...

Wouldn't miss it. Are you bringing the marshmallows? Remember to bring the small ones. Our great leader, Le Gran Fromage HATES big marshmallows. You remember what happened the last time, when those three new recruits brought them by by mistake.

We don't want that to happen again.

At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can I get an invite?

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Randi's the Best said...

I can't wait for CountrySue,
Mylabta, Redpig, CleoKC, MaceZ and Komedybiz to post.

2005 was a great year! But nuttin' will beat the extra teaching period, vacation days lost and potty duty in 2006!

God Bless Unity!

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Propaganda Pete, UFT Minister of Truthiness said...


Thank you for reminding me to bring only small marshmallows, U.H.!!!

I almost forgot about the last time.

No, we definitely don't want THAT to ever happen again.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger brownnose said...

Marshmallows, the most delectable of all delectable delicacies, I daresay, a touch of the sublime right here on earth. Who, oh who, could appreciate this finest of earth's bounties more than the ever-discriminating palate of Le Gran Fromage?

Yay, though I walk through the valley of truthiness, breathing the fragrances and intoxicating scents therein, I can come to but only one conclusive conclusion:

That one who'd know, truly know the difference between small and big marshmallows, is, as the immortal bard conjectured, truly, deeply, "would smell as sweet," but who, what force on earth could smell as sweet as Le Gran fromage.

I yearn for her tragically and yon.

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you're saying is that we need to end the schoool monoply! We need vouchers now! Why is no one talking about vouchers? Why doesn't anyone want to talk to me?

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Mylabta said...

Ah, my grand minister of toothiness but little if any truthiness! There is unity beyond the eye teeth!

Marshmallows melt in your mouth so you can be fangless. Perfect for Chazterno and Chaffrey!

But soft, what luna light in yonder window breaks. It is the beast who howls at the moon!

Be warned! Toss the marshmallows on the tongues of fire. But, wear a stinkin' garlic garland after dark my love! The beastie is afoot!

Enjoy the celebrations and may the new year brings us greater unity so old acquaintances won't be forgotten!


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