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Chalkboard: You have nothing to lose but your chains!

Hey, Joe, no need to get all bent out of shape.

If you don’t want to be spending your days defending the New York Charter School Association’s jihad against labor rights for charter school teachers, now that the US House of Representatives and the New York Times have weighed in on the other side, there are plenty of blogs looking for enterprising tabloid writers. Just think of what it would be like to go a whole day without having to attack the Working Families Party and the UFT.

You have nothing to lose but your chains, and a whole blogosphere to win!



  • 1 curious3
    · Mar 10, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Hey Leo,

    On the issue of labor rights for charter school teachers, could you give us an update on labor problems within NYC charter schools this school year? What are some of the problems you are seeing?


  • 2 Ellie
    · Mar 12, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    KleinBloom have done nothing but destabilize the entire school system and call it reform when their decisions belie very anti labor anti senior teacher policies. Of course there’s no recourse whatsoever for charter school teachers, so they can be fired at will even if the reason is ridiculous. I hear principals are writing up teachers again about their windows or windowshades and actually making a big deal out of them; this is actually laughable but the joke is on the kids in the end, the victims of all this instability. Non union charter schools exist to attempt to splinter the power of the UFT. The teachers who were recently dismissed from charter school teaching jobs are learning that at least we have the union, but it is becoming very compromised at best with the current leadership. The last contract deprofessionalized teaching and made tutoring and basically non teaching C6 assignments, at least in my school, a reason to harass already hardworking staff members. It used to be a good thing to be a senior and seasoned teacher and informal mentor to younger teachers; now they close high schools and only 50% will be hired back, and certainly not the senior teachers since this is now within the principal’s budget. The excessed senior teachers then become high paid substitutes and join the ATR (Absent Teacher Reserve) pool. Then the Daily News last Sunday runs an article “exposing” all these highly paid senior teachers who are now “subs” enjoying the pay they worked over 20 years for. I’m sure there are many good teachers among them, but seniority is no longer protected. We took lower pay all those years, through all those UFt-hating mayors, as the payment for job security. Now you have to be in a “good” school to escape the possibility of having to jump into the ATR pool. I haven’t heard a word from the UFT about much of this, by the way. The point is, with a union and these labor problems, it’s that much worse without a union!

  • 3 Leo Casey
    · Mar 13, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Funny you should ask Ken: Sunday’s New York Post.

  • 4 jd2718
    · Mar 13, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Ellie raises important points. We, as a union, should be looking to undo the damage of 2005. But as we have a union, we will have opportunities to organize and win back rights we gave up. Without a union? On this count I disagree with Ellie. Without a union would be much worse, much much worse.


  • 5 Ellie
    · Mar 13, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Jonathan, you didn’t read my last sentence about things being a lot worse without the union!! The union, however, would be a lot better off with leadership who are true unionists, not part of a patronage mill.

  • 6 jd2718
    · Mar 14, 2007 at 12:01 am

    I misread! Sorry Ellie!