Once the staff of the new Green Dot Charter School in the Bronx indicated that they wanted to be represented by the UFT and the union was formally recognized as their collective bargaining agent, a development we reported at Edwize here and here, the union began the process of negotiating the first contract. Given the UFT-Green Dot partnership which created this school, we fully expect that the contract process will be constructive and expeditious. Following the UFT’s core principles, we believe that it is essential that the staff of the school be fully involved in this contract process from the start, so that the UFT’s bargaining proposals reflect the needs and priorities of the members. As a consequence, much of the union’s work with the Green Dot Charter School over the last few months has focused on chapter organizing with an emphasis on the first contract.
Contract negotiations work best when the parties do not engage in public posturing, but seriously engage each other over the bargaining table. That is the best practice the UFT will follow in our negotiations with Green Dot. Knowing this practice, critics of the UFT’s partnership with Green Dot have taken this moment to publish in the edublogosphere groundless speculation and factual misinformation about the school and the contract process.
UFT leaders, including myself, have always been clear that until a contract was negotiated and ratified, the school has been operating under the terms of a Personnel Policy that was developed as part of the charter application to follow the general principles of Green Dot schools in California. Those principles and that personnel policy bear little resemblance to the caricature of them presented by these critics. To cite just one particularly egregious example, it is Green Dot policy to pay their teachers 110% of what they would receive on the salary schedule of the school district in which they worked; consequently, teachers at the Bronx Green Dot Charter School are paid 110% of what they would earn as a NYC DoE teacher. Yet the critics are incredibly claiming that they are being paid less than a NYC DoE teacher.
Once the contract for the Green Dot Charter School is ratified by the members, the UFT will publish it, as we publish all contracts. At that time, we will fully discuss its main features here.