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The TWU on an Unlevel Playing Field

Nobody should gloat about the recent transit strike. Neither the real arrogance of the MTA nor the fictional greed of the TWU carried the day. It hurt everyone. But like the pain of physical therapy after illness or injury, it may have been essential for the long-term recovery of the patient. That patient is the American Dream of the Middle Class.

For a hundred years, every new generation improved its standard of living and quality of life over those that passed before. Economic, social, and political policies of the whole nation and on every level favored it. It was a “given.”

Manufacturing jobs were not exported , as now, to nations where slave and prison labor are the norm, and the meekest protest is life-threatening. Neither were they driven to countries, as now, where American companies don’t have their “entrepreneurship” corrupted by pesky irritants like the constitutional rights of their employees, health and pension costs, or those godless profit-eroding anti-pollution laws that spark “class warfare.”

Dignity in the workplace wasn’t deemed a radical power-grab, or “due-process” protections an ultimatum from unthankful militants. Patriotism was more than an epithet calling dupes to arms; it was a call to material and spiritual prosperity for ordinary, hard-working, law-abiding people.

But that was then and this is now.

In New York State today, reactionary politicians and media are seeking to divide the labor movement by pitting union against union, worker against worker. They are also trying to drive a wedge in the public’s mind between union leaders and their membership. They want to cultivate petty jealousies and rivalries based on contract one-upsmanship and other diversionary clashes.

Despite the collateral agony of the strike on New Yorkers, an awareness of which is deeply hurtful to the caring TWU employees, their struggle was and remains on behalf of those of your readers who do not wallow in dividends or party with golden parachutes.

It should shock all of those whose belief in the “American Way” is authentic, that the most “generous” contracts settled in recent years with public employee unions, scarcely keep up with the official “cost of living.” Under the Taylor Law, employers are mandated to bargain in “good-faith.” But that level-playing field theory is never practiced. They are under no pressure ever, even if they offered no raises interminably.

Workers who strike have in effect their livelihood confiscated, because of the brutal, one-sided penalties of the Taylor Law. Even workers most frugal in their habits are typically two paychecks ahead of the poorhouse. The mayor and governor want to reduce that to one paycheck.

Mayor Bloomberg, chivalrous knight for the “little guy”, earns more money in an hour than most Americans do in a lifetime. Unions are banned from his own company, and the Chief Executive reportedly orders fumigation teams to clear the air of rooms where his workers talk of collective bargaining.

But Bloomberg is indeed a “man of the people” as he stands erect on the Brooklyn Bridge just across from everyman’s “J and R.” He shrugs off winter’s chill as hovering helicopters emit, with laser-precision, beams of warmth that create an invisible cozy kiosk for the mayor, following and encasing him as he strides. Above, streamers trail a Bloomberg corporate jet, scrambled from the Murdoch Airfield, proclaim across the porcelain, cloudless skies the wondrous handiwork of his sea-to-shining-sea unionless holdings. Bless his ascot!

Ron Isaac aka Redhog is a chapter leader in Queens.



  • 1 NYC Educator
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 1:08 pm

    Fortunately, we’ve got no worries, having the brilliant tacticians of Unity to negotiate for us. They could teach the TWU a thing or two about bending over!

    I’m glad to see, now that the strike’s over, Unity writes about it as though it hadn’t ignored it in its entirety while it was happening.

    I’d like to personally thank Redhog, and his party, Unity for all it’s done for us.

    Please keep up that bold apple-polishing, and good luck landing that second pension from Unity!

  • 2 redhog
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 4:39 pm

    NYC Educator claims, directly above, that our Union ignored the TWU strike “in its entirety.” On Edwize, December 17th, at 12:01 P.M., there appears a post by the site administrator, in strong support of our brothers and sisters in the TWU. There is plenty of verifiable evidence that the UFT supported the striking workers with both words and action. Our leadership is in excellent tune with the majority of the general membership,and does not disparage the few dissidents, but seeks to build bridges with them, but it requires reciprocal good-will to achieve a true span. Time has already vindicated the tough decisions that have been made for the greater good of all us all.

  • 3 NYC Educator
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 5:01 pm

    “there appears a post by the site administrator…”

    which did not permit comments.

    During the three day strike, not one word was written about it on Edwize. As usual, Redhog can’t be bothered with the most rudimentary fact checking.

  • 4 redhog
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 5:17 pm

    Nothing that NYC Educator says, above, contradicts what I said. The UFT’s blog is not only exceptional; it is unique as a democratic forum among all similar institutions.

  • 5 mvplab
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 6:07 pm

    NYC Educator, Redhog and I owe a lot to the historical battles fought by this union. Lately we have been taking a few hits in contract negotiations, but we have rolled with the punches and it looks like the union’s core values will remain intact.

    Tenure is just one of the core values.

    As far as management is concerned,tenure will always remain on the chopping block, but the union pushes back so hard on that issue that so far we have maintained that right. I say “so far” because the membership has not wavered on that issue.

    Remember the CSA put a $$ price on tenure and gave it up.

    So what I’m trying to say, maybe clumsily, is that the union leadership is responsive to the will of the membership and brought back a contract for ratification that satisfied 63 percent of the members who voted. (Remember Bloomberg thought 59 percent of the vote was a landslide.)

    However, I think I may be off topic, too. Even though I didn’t attend the TWU rally, I know that most of the UFT executive board stood with the TWU workers at their rally on December 19. What more can one union do for another?

    Oh yeah, all the labor unions should have gone out in support! Easier said than done.

  • 6 NYC Educator
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 7:22 pm

    “Nothing that NYC Educator says, above, contradicts what I said.”

    You are either a very poor liar, or you have a fundamental comprehension problem, Redhog.

    “Our leadership is in excellent tune with the majority of the general membership,and does not disparage the few dissidents, but seeks to build bridges with them…”

    How, Redhog? Kindly share examples of what Unity has done to “build bridges” with the 40% of teachers who voted against it.

  • 7 Chaz
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 7:33 pm


    Take away the non-teachers and it was 60-40% for. Further, the high school teacher vote was overwelmingly against the contract.

    Already, the teachers are complaining about how little their take-home pay is with the raise. Wait until the UFT negotiated goodies come into play in February!

    I challange Randi to issue a “how am I doing” vote in June to see how the teachers really feel about her leadership and negotiating skills.

  • 8 Chaz
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 7:45 pm


    Did you hear Randi on the airwaves complain that DOE is going after the 40+ teacher???? I wonder if that is related to the removal of the senority transfer she negotiated away?

    What a great leader we have. Negotiate the rights of the classroom teacher away and then complain about it when DOE acts on it!!

  • 9 mvplab
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 7:55 pm

    It’s clear you have an agenda, while I don’t. You wonder a lot and you propose what if’s, but you never have anything constructive to add.

    Are there implementation problems at your school? If so, contact your union at implementationquestions@uft.org.

    Are you being harassed? Then contact your union at iamharassed@uft.org.

    If you feel your seniority rights are being violated then contact your chapter leader and district representative.

    But don’t complain about “what if’s!”

  • 10 mvplab
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 8:03 pm

    Oh, by the way, the topic is supposed to be about the UFT’s support of the TWU workers before, during and after the strike.

    The UFT and other CLC and MLC unions helped out the striking workers to the extent they could. Let’s see how this plays out, because they may need more assistance in the next few months.

    Redhog is right–the Taylor Law creates unfair penalties for workers and none on the employer. That has to change.

  • 11 mvplab
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 8:17 pm

    By the way who lobbied for Taylor Law reform? The UFT leadership did.

    Remember that state and local employees in only nine states have the right to strike, but all federal employees are prohibited from striking.

    So there’s little if any incentive for public employers to settle contracts in a timely manner.

  • 12 NYC Educator
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 8:34 pm


    I haven’t heard about that story you mention. Could you fill me in, please?

  • 13 Chaz
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 9:24 pm

    NYC Educator;

    On WABC Radio this morning, they played a sound clip, in the news section, in which Randi complained that the DOE was trying to remove teachers from the schools who were over 40 and replace them with younger teachers.

    I did find it somehat disturbing since that is one of the possibilities that Randi ignored when she gave up seniority transfer rights.

  • 14 jd2718
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 9:55 pm

    Redhog wrote: >

    (and ignoring the squabbling)

    When the dust settles the TWU may not have broken this pattern. But while they might not have won, they stood up to the Taylor Law, and they certainly did not lose, and we should all take note of that.


  • 15 phyllis c. murray
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 10:03 pm

    The TWU won the battle with Goliath. The MTA created a multitude of problems because it did not take the TWU seriously. The working poor, seemingly do not count in NYC. At least that is what the philosophy has been when candidates do not court their vote…nor come to the little Harlems around the city. Power brokers often do not feel that anything can affect them. After all, they must feel that they are omnipotent. Money talks appears to be the mantra of these political potentates. And it seems a lot of money does help a politician to win an election or even a reelection.

    The bastions of power in NYC like to ignore unions when it comes to negotiating. Case in point: The TWU; UFT, PBA, et al. had to wait years before negotiating a new contract with city officials. The Council of Supervisors and Administrators is still waiting.

    What the TWU did was shut down the city. From this time forward … perhaps the city will not be caught without a viable plan. City officials will come up with a solid contingency plan just in case there is another transit strike. Actually, a solid contingency plan should have been in place after the horrific 9-11 tragedy. After 9-11 there were rumors of the possible sabotage of the NYC rail/transit system by terrorists. The fact that nothing was in place underscores the fact that power brokers are not omniscient; omnipotent; or omnipresent to move into action, swiftly and effectively.

    One Tuesday, the day of the shutdown of New York City, the Mayor began his name calling tactics; Tactics more typical for losers in a fishbowl. The major newspapers in NYC seemed to be skewed to support the Mayoral-Rhetoric. Hence, the remarks which were base and rather common for an official in high office were published for all to see…around the globe. During that time, there was a lot of last minute scrambling by members of the MTA as they ran back to the bargaining table…a little too late. Three days without mass transportation in New York City had created chaos around New York City.

    Today, RESPECT for trade unionists is an issue. The workers do count. The workers must have a voice in decisions which affect their future and the future generations that will follow them. Case in point: My Dad joined the TWU in 1938. Dad went out on every TWU strike. Like so many of the members of his union, he did what we had to do to get a fair and equitable contract. Although my Dad passed away in 1992, my mother (age 92) still reaps the benefits gained from my Dad’s tenacity as well as the earlier strike actions he participated in as a proud member of the TWU.

    Lest we forget, our labor unions personify democratization in a free society. Therefore, we must preserve labor unions in America; An America, where Liberty and Justice and Equity are for all. E Pluribus Unum.

    Phyllis C. Murray
    United Federation of Teachers
    Chapter Leader

  • 16 Chaz
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 10:13 pm

    How come Bloomberg didn’t call Pataki “thuggish” when he refused to release the education money to the city after the highest court in New York State approved it?

    Did Bloomberg call for penalties on the State’s refusal to accept the court’s decision?

    Bloomberg the hypocrite!!!!

  • 17 no_slappz
    · Dec 27, 2005 at 10:33 pm

    phyllis and jd2718:

    The transit workers got the shock of their lives when they were informed that termination letters were prepared and they would face dismissal if they failed to return to work.

    The firing of the PATCO air-traffic controllers in 1982 has not been forgotten. The PATCO unionists were certainly more skilled than most transit workers, who perform mainly simple low-skill or unskilled work.

    No planes crashed after the PATCO union members were fired and replaced. You can be sure no subway trains would crash if the existing workers were fired and replaced by another group willing to work for existing wages.

    Based on the number of applicants for every transit job opening, you can be sure the bench of replacement workers is many times the size needed to replace then entire transit workforce.

  • 18 redhog
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 7:02 am

    On analysis of the final figures, it appears ( correct me if I’m wrong ), that the TWU’s increase ( after the giveback for health care contribution ) is less than 6 1/2 per cent over 3 years. Even when a Union, because of the nature of their work, can cost the City one billion dollars, the outcome was certainly not better than what we achieved. Randi Weingarten never claimed that our Agreement was ideal, but she is a brilliant strategist who knows that courage is different from bravado, and reality may, temporarily, elude full justice. We all, surely, respect Randi’s fast-rising militancy, and discern it as serious and compelling. She realizes that this City administration is unfair,and disrespectful, and she will need us all to challenge it under her leadership. Those who scorn this necessity are just burnishing their own egos and have no other ideology than the wrecking ball.

  • 19 NYC Educator
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 8:57 am

    “We all, surely, respect Randi’s fast-rising militancy, and discern it as serious and compelling.”

    Many of us clearly do not. Your ridiculous disregard for the obvious is remarkable.

    “Our leadership is in excellent tune with the majority of the general membership,and does not disparage the few dissidents, but seeks to build bridges with them…”

    How, Redhog? Kindly share examples of what Unity has done to “build bridges” with the 40% of teachers who voted against it.

    Do you even think about this nonsense before spitting it out?

  • 20 Persam1197
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 9:10 am

    Redhog’s opening post was a work of art. I could not have stated it better.

    Although I also believe our new contract is an abomination, I also believe that chastising Randi will certainly not increase her effectiveness. Until the next round of UFT elections offers us a better alternative than UNITY, we need to show some solidarity behind what we do have right now. If I were Kleinberg, I would be pleased by the dissention so as to neutralize the UFT.

    Our fight did not end with the new contract. Principals are already having a field day with letters in the file, disciplinary charges, and creative additions to Circular 6R and our new stealth 6th period. We’re against the ropes with this right now and Kleinberg’s frothy fangs are already poised on our own watered-down pension and health care benefits. If the TWU ratifies a new contract with workers contributing to their health benefits, you all know that we’re next.

    I don’t know if the pre-contract school-based rallies were genuinely organic or just a show, however, we had better create and maintain some energy at the rank and file level if we’re going to retain any of our respect, benefits, and working conditions.

  • 21 no_slappz
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 9:49 am


    YOu wrote:

    “If I were Kleinberg… …and Kleinberg’s frothy fangs are already poised on our own watered-down pension and health care benefits.”

    Who is Kleinberg?

  • 22 Chaz
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 10:06 am


    It’s not just about the money, it’s the givebacks!!!!

    TWU gained a holiday, the UFT lost 3 days. Two before Labor Day!!!!!!

    The TWU gained an agreement to reduce disciplinary actions. The UFT contract now allows ungrievable LIF and a 90 day suspension without pay based upon a simple student accusation.

    The TWU gained an improved health benefit plan for their 1.5% giveback. The UFT gained nothing for the stealth sixth period. In fact, many elementary and middle schools are discountinuing their per session after school activities and using the 37.5 minutes for the tutoring/stealth sixth period program.

    The TWU treated all it’s workers equally. The UFT put the most severe givebacks on the classroom teachers.

    The TWU supported it’s older workers while the elimination of the seniority transfer provision puts older teachers at risk (see Randi’s comments in today’s Daily News).


    I disagree with you that we should close ranks around Randi. Unity’s sellout of the classroom teacher is the reason I cannot support the leadership anymore. While I have not joined or supported any other faction, I do believe our first priority is to remove Randi and her stooges from those leadership positions.

    I am looking for a leader that worked a minimum of 5 years as a classroom teacher and does not have an agenda or idology.

  • 23 mvplab
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 10:34 am


    What’s your agenda? Only five years experience in the classroom? Some would argue for more.

    What does this have to do with being a good union leader? How come for every other job people want experience in the field?

    Here’s what I want in a public employee union leader: intelligence; political connections; media savvy; negotiation skills; knowledge of the work of its members and an inherent belief in that work; and finally, loyalty.

  • 24 NYC Educator
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 11:06 am

    “Here’s what I want in a public employee union leader: intelligence; political connections; media savvy; negotiation skills; knowledge of the work of its members and an inherent belief in that work; and finally, loyalty.”

    Very well-said. I couldn’t agree more.

  • 25 Persam1197
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 12:51 pm


    I’m not talking about blind faith and closing ranks around UNITY. I’m saying that we certainly will not be able to fight against the war against unions especially ours if we are all over the place. Our energies need to be focused on the crap we’re going to be swallowing from Bloomberg-Klein (Kleinberg). When the next election comes, that’s when we decide who will take us to the front lines. Until then, we’ve to to put the pressure on our leaders to the job we’re paying them to.

    The TWU was clearly not supported beyond lip service. Their own union had dissidents, like Mooney, publically chastising Toussaint. Mooney’s points may or may not be valid, but it did show the MTA that the TWU was not as unified they appeared to claim. The media ate up the dissident factions angle and hammered away at how divided they were. The other municipal unions did not provide the kind of monetary or political support to make the strike last long enough to pressure the MTA to negotiate away from concessionary bargaining.

    This is the UFT in 2008 if we don’t get our act together. Again, I’m not talking about falling in line; I mean all aspects of the UFT working together to protect what we have left.

  • 26 firebrand
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 1:37 pm

    Right on NYC Educator. Spot on! Amen and all that good stuff. You are soooo right!

  • 27 redhog
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 2:30 pm

    During the transit strike, Randi achieved a perfect balance in the perceptions of most UFT members and the general public. She was at the forefront, yet not in the limelight.In playing her role deftly she showed both smarts and moral authority.

    Her developing militancy is persuasive, charismatic, and exquisitely timed. A few members who would like to put her “between a rock and a hard place” are finding themselves squeezed between two uncuddly granite boulders. It is far easier to drive a truck through their disingenuousness, than through the contractual “loopholes” they myopically see.

    It is disgraceful that some who profess solidarity would accuse the Union of collusion with the DOE to subjugate our members.

    A pinch of militancy, a drop of moderation…way to go, Randi! Purebred militants and purebred moderates are like purebred dogs: not hardy. We will whip up the “storms;” they will not whip us.”Radicals” and “Regulars” are like colors united in the prism of our Union leadership.

    In the matter of the transit strike, Randi was the fist of reason and the voice of passion. Her actions and speech were bold gambits and judicious gambles.

    I used to think that there was a necessary and permanent role for gadflies, muckrakers, and useful pranksters to tweak the noses of people in high places in any organization. I don’t entirely renounce that view, except when the players are loaded with conceit, swindle, and malicious mischief-making. I hereby submit an “olive branch,” but never a “white flag” to all UFT members.

    Let’s not doubt the authenticity of anybody else’s unionism.

  • 28 Schoolgal
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Gee, I am gone for a few days of holiday fun with my family and I come back to a blog by Redhog.
    Under his “real” name he loses the sense of humor he had when he swam the murky waters of Unity.

    Sorry, but I am not ready to put up a poster of Randi over my bed as you probably do.

    This is not an “agenda” issue as some of you claim. It’s just total disgust that my admin could start potty duty before February. She can call Lunch meetings and have us type of student compositions because my CC who is a recipient of a UNITY award allows it. I think my $900 in dues should make sure that all CCs follow the contract.

  • 29 NYC Educator
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 6:37 pm

    “Sorry, but I am not ready to put up a poster of Randi over my bed as you probably do.”

    You’re not desperately kissing up for a Unity job, though.

  • 30 Chaz
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 6:41 pm


    I do not have an agenda (except to find a replacement for Randi). However, how can I support a union leader that rolled over and played dead while the classroom teacher is under attack. Further, where was Randi’s loyalty to the classroom teacher??? Forget about her negotiation skill.


    How about anger? The anger I feel about her betrayal to the classroom teacher!!!!! There is nothing more when it comes to me.

    There is a saying “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me” Randi fooled me in 2002 when she promised no more time for money. She certainly did not live up to that promise. Who swindled who?

  • 31 redhog
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 7:03 pm

    Schoolgal: Are you saying that Randi would support the abuses that allegedly are occurring at your school? She did not cause any wounds, but she embraces responsibility for knitting them. She’s more than an astute politician; she’s a statesman who is pierced by the same arrows that hurt her members. The “Unity” waters are not, by the way, “murky” as you claim. And there are no Unity hacks, though the chronic kibbitzers are constantly hacking at Unity, with both a capital and lower-case “u.”

    Chronic malcontents would grace our Union not by their absence from the halls of debate, but from their withdrawal from the fields of acrimony. Do they fear that Unity militancy is stealing their thunder and de-volting their lightning? They seem to think that Unity has at UFT headquarters some sanctum or vault from which it launches missile attacks against the Righteous Icicles. Climb out of your tired valley of consternation and tedious abyss of insecurity and let’s laugh and be friends again. Solidarity with our brothers and sisters, even those who are bitter!

  • 32 Schoolgal
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 7:34 pm


    Thanks for responding, but I really would appreciate some Cliffsnotes or English subtitles next time. I think you may now be comparing your beloved Randi to some Greek tragic heroine.

    Honey, I am not bitter or insecure. I am able to state my feelings in plain old English. You should try it. This union (Union) does nothing to make sure CCs do their job. Yes, Randi does know about the abuses in my school. She visited my school. If she’s knitting anything, it’s something for her (a new career path). She goes for the headlines–Brooklyn Tech-not some tucked away elementary school.

    BTW, where do you keep your shrine to Randi?

  • 33 NYC Educator
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 7:43 pm

    “Our leadership is in excellent tune with the majority of the general membership,”

    While it’s true that you browbeat and threatened the membership into accepting this awful contract, that is by no means a logical conclusion.

    “and does not disparage the few dissidents, but seeks to build bridges with them,”

    I’ve asked you several times to provide evidence of this, and you are clearly incapable of doing so.

    “…but it requires reciprocal good-will to achieve a true span.”

    Since you’re unable to show any evidence of said good-will on your part, that’s meaningless.

    “Time has already vindicated the tough decisions that have been made for the greater good of all us all.”

    That is patently idiotic, and this contract has not even taken effect yet.

    “Chronic malcontents would grace our Union not by their absence from the halls of debate, but from their withdrawal from the fields of acrimony.”

    This is convoluted nonsense. “Shut up” is “shut up.”

    We’ve got plenty of reason to be angry at self-serving, hypocritical, unprincipled disinterested folks who lie to us, deny us democracy, and then have the temerity to chuckle about it.

    In your transparent quest to grovel and snivel your way to a post-retirement UFT job, you’ve shown yourself capable of saying anything whatosever, with no regard for the truth.

    You’re no brother of mine, and never will be.

  • 34 Schoolgal
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 8:44 pm


    Is that what the last line meant–“Shut up”.

    I’m glad you and Chaz can translate. Me, I’m lost in translation when it comes to the Hog.

    I’m sure he is looking through his thesaurus right now to explain away Randi’s inability to correct the disregard for the contract at my school.
    She’s too busy knitting, weaving or something like that.

    Thanks for the site on your blog explaining the difference between the TWU gains and Unity givebacks. That should be a handout for all teachers.

  • 35 Maestro
    · Dec 28, 2005 at 8:53 pm

    While we’re comparing the TWU to Unity, let’s not forget that Randi and Co. let two and a half years pass with essentially no action to force the city’s hand. And THEN we gave back years of hard fought gains.

    The TWU let about one minute pass before they took action, and they did far better than we did.

    I still can’t retire at 55. TWU members can. I wonder if I’m too old to learn to conduct a train.

  • 36 NYC Educator
    · Dec 29, 2005 at 8:53 am

    Hmmm…a “Maestro” conducting a train.

    Aren’t you worried the MTA might deem you overqualified?

  • 37 Maestro
    · Dec 29, 2005 at 11:42 am

    Not sure, NYC. All I know is that after two decades of teaching, the DOE thinks I’m overqualified to be a teacher. Being over 40 and experienced now makes me a target. I wonder how Randi will protect me now?

    Hope you saw the Daily News today. It’s clear that the TWU not only won, but won BIG. They’re getting pension payment rebates that will more than cover any Taylor law penalties.

    Now remind me again…why was it Unity said we didn’t want to strike?

  • 38 Schoolgal
    · Dec 29, 2005 at 3:59 pm

    Not just today’s Daily News.

    From today’s NYTimes:

    But if there is a real winner in the walkout that hobbled the city at the height of the holiday season, it is the union members who went out on strike, and the man who led them.

    “It’s a good contract for the union in that it does keep in place, for the most part, benefits that are extremely favorable to them,” said Steven Malanga, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, a conservative research organization, who called last week for firing the strikers. “For them, you can say this is a great deal.”

    See Redhog, this was an achievement! Some TWU workers starting salary is higher than starting teachers–and they don’t need a BA. Even your beloved Randi said they set a new pattern of bargaining.
    Now didn’t she receive a law degree in labor relations? Wouldn’t it have been marvelous if she was the one who set the new pattern of bargaining? Instead it was a hard-working, blue collar guy that led the charge. There was no so-called “productivity”, and they even got an extra vacation day! They also won some major respect issues which they call “worker friendly” provisions. Potty duty and an increase of LIF are degrading to professionals when you consider a teacher spends 4 years earning a college degree and another 2-3 earning a Masters.
    Many of my friends have to work until age 62 while all TWU workers can retire at age 55. Gee, do they also have to take hours of work home with them? I was wondering what that caboose was doing in my neighbor’s driveway.
    And if they have to pay $300-$800 a year towards health, those of us who have doctors that are not part of GHI pay out-of-pocket expenses of more than 1% of our salary because we have such a lousy plan to begin with. Postal workers who also use GHI get a larger percentage of their payment back when they visit a doctor who is not on the plan. Why is that?

    Well, I hope your New Year’s wish comes true and you get that big Unity job after you retire. I’m sure Mylab already has one. In the meantime, I have to compile all my reading and writing student conference notes because they get collected once a month. We also have to hand in samples from writer’s notebooks, yellow drafts and published work all to prove we are doing our jobs when a quick visit to any classroom would prove the same thing. Soon I will have to start typing their finished products because that is also a requirement of my school. Now would Unity call that excessive paperwork?

  • 39 NYC Educator
    · Dec 29, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    “…why was it Unity said we didn’t want to strike?”

    Actually, Unity threatened its members, rather than management, with a strike, and you can find articles right here in Edwize equating those urging rejection of the contract with “big bad wolves,” or some other such nonsense, and suggesting a strike would be the only alternative.

    Clearly the TWU, with smart, caring leadership, did far better than us, Redhog’s nauseatingly insincere platitudes notwithstanding.

  • 40 Schoolgal
    · Dec 30, 2005 at 3:28 pm


    Come out, come out wherever you are!

    Seems like the higher ups have put the whammy on answering our questions.

  • 41 no_slappz
    · Dec 30, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    The TWU members will get a hefty tax bill on their windfall. They can expect to send at least a third of their checks back to federal and state tax collectors.