Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Friday: Hot Yoga, Set Construction at Rockaway Theatre Co, MORE Happy Hour

This past Friday I had a busier day than I had when I was working. I need a break. If I unretire and go back to the DOE can I get that thousand buck bonus if I vote YES on the contract?

So hot yoga - Bikram yoga - is one of the harder things to do and after losing 3-5 pounds in an hour and a half (and gaining it all back) you feel parts of your body are no longer connected. I would be the Tin Man without lube if not for these classes. A little nosh and and hydrating and it was off to ....

....the Rockaway Theatre Company to work with Tony and the crew putting up the sets for the July opening of Gypsy (in which I have a small walk-on). (We took down the old sets on Monday). I learn a lot from Tony - who often says - Don't do this at home - this is a temp set made to come down. They had a lot done by the time I got there and there was only minor stuff to do. Tony called it a day around 2PM and I went home to change before heading to...

...the MORE happy hour on the lower east side where I did not expect a big turnout and was chewing myself out for leaving Rockaway on a nice day, especially since it was my wife's mah jong day and she wasn't around to give me honey do's. But when an ATR who is an ed notes reader showed up and bought me a beer as thanks for doing the blog, my perspective changed.... (to be continued)

Saturday was a full day at the Rockaway Theatre Company cleanup where a gaggle of RTCers of all ages showed up to clean up, while the set construction crew worked all day. Though I spent a lot of time eating from the fab buffet they set out. So many people worked so hard - all as volunteers. Frankie, my former acting teacher (he's now all of 25) was there as the set designer. He is finishing his first year teaching at a Brooklyn middle school -- he said people were against the contract but guessed that most would vote for it --- he never heard of MORE. As I've often pointed out -- many people involved in the RTC are current and former teachers and their interest lies in the theater - union politics don't count for much to them (except for the crew who teach at Leon Goldstein). Any opposition must recognize this reality -- most people don't give much of a crap -- but their consciousness is raised at contract time. That is what we have been seeing recently and will for a time. But after the contract vote is over will the collective consciousness raised in the UFT over the past few weeks sink?

Ipswitch Kids Want to be Paid for Taking Field Tests

No testing without compensation! Ipswich is not far from Boston harbor. This has tremendous potential! Imagine if dozens or hundreds of schools caught on to the idea that students field testing products of for-profit companies should be paid; kids all over the country start sending bills to state officials. ... Jeff N.

What I found so great about this story is that the teacher made an off-hand comment that the kids should be paid for their time, and it was a student who took the initiative to run with it -- these are 11 year olds! I am so impressed with various student efforts to fight what's being done to their education!... Nancy K.

A year or two ago Change the Stakes calculated the bill Pearson would have to pay kids and teachers for their labor. The bill came to $34 million. We knocked on the door of Pearson and presented them with a giant version of the bill. We haven't gotten the check yet.

Ipswich 6th graders calculate a rebellion

·  ·  Alan Laroche’s sixth grade A and B period math classes sent a petition to the state Department of Education to be paid for their time spent taking a trial  math test. Courtesy Photo / Alan LarocheAlan Laroche’s sixth grade A and B period math classes sent a petition to the state Department of Education to be paid for their time spent taking a trial math test. Courtesy Photo / Alan Laroche
·  ·  ·  Posted May. 29, 2014 @ 4:16 pm

By Kate Evans

Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

The state randomly selected Ipswich Middle School teacher Alan Laroche’s A and B period math classes to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test drive.

The multi-state group is working to create English and math K-12 assessments that will help prepare students for college and their careers.

Starting this fall, Massachusetts school districts have the option to choose the new test over the MCAS for grades 3, 8 and 9 in math and English.

But for now the test is still in its trial period and Laroche’s 37 students are among the 81,000 that spent two 75-minute periods in March and two 90-minute periods this past week completing the test.

This time would have otherwise been spent writin and solving and graphing inequalities from real-life situations.

During class last Monday, May 19, a teacher jokingly mentioned that the students should get paid for taking the test since their participation helps the PARCC and at the end of class the students pressed Laroche further on the idea.

"The kids proceeded to tell me that PARCC is going to be making money from the test, so they should get paid as guinea pigs for helping them out in creating this test," said Laroche. "So I said, ‘OK, if that’s the case and you guys feel strongly then there are venues and things you can do to voice your opinion, and one would be to write a letter and have some support behind that letter with petition."
At 8 p.m. that night Laroche received a shared Google document with an attached letter from A-period student Brett Beaulieu, who asked that he and his peers be compensated for their assistance.

"I thought it was unfair that we weren’t paid for anything and we didn’t volunteer for anything," said Beaulieu. "It was as if we said, ‘Oh we can do it for free.’"

Beaulieu used his math skills in the letter, determining that the two classes would collectively earn $1,628 at minimum wage for their 330 minutes of work. He then went on to figure out how many school supplies that amount could buy: 22 new Big Ideas MATH Common Core Student Edition Green textbooks or 8,689 Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils.

"Even better, this could buy our school 175,000 sheets of 8 ½" by 11" paper, and 270 TI-108 calculators," Beaulieu wrote.

On Tuesday, May 20 he gathered over 50 signatures from students, as well as from assistant principal Kathy McMahon, principal David Fabrizio and Laroche.

"I think Brett took the right steps and drafted a letter in the right way, and we’ll see what comes from it," said Laroche. "I’m proud of him for doing that and for the kids supporting him and what he’s trying to do."

·  ·  ·  Page 2 of 2 - Laroche mailed the letter off to the PARCC, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. Laroche used return requests for a better chance at getting an answer.

"We’re hoping we’ll get some type of response," Laroche said. "I would think with us having them sign for the document might add a little bit of pressure on getting a response from them."

Beaulieu thinks they will receive some type of reply. He would be satisfied receiving school supplies, but he’s rooting for the money. "I hope that we can get the money," Beaulieu said. "I mean it’s really not all about that, but I think it would be cool if we could actually kind of make a difference."

Friday, May 30, 2014

MORE Weekly Update: 3 Happy Hours Today, Info on Observing Contract Vote Count

The busy bees at MORE - important info on observing the contract vote count on Monday and Tuesday -- Ellen Fox and I will be there both days -- Monday they open the school packages and envelopes and Tuesday they count.

At first Leroy Barr told us only each caucus could have one observer. MORE objected - we felt all teachers should have the right to observe- though with the caveat - DO NOT TAKE A SICK DAY FOR THIS - AS YOU CAN BE BROUGHT UP ON CHARGES.

Leroy came back with: AAA has room for 15 observers and if there are more they will rotate people in for 10 minute periods.   See the MORE website for details

I'm told that the major way there could be chicanery would be at the school level by Unity CLs who might play around. I heard from one experienced CL:

"We need to see the ballots pulled out of each school's big envelope and make sure each envelope has the same amount of ballot envelopes as signatures on the staff sheet.  These numbers can easily be off but the instructions were clear." The implication is that a few sure-bet NO Votes could be disappeared. I imagine that not enough people would do this to make a major difference. But if it should be 60-40 or more, then questions would be raised.

Come to a MORE Happy Hour to discuss the upcoming contract vote and next steps for building a rank-and-file opposition in your local area... 



Thursday, May 29, 2014

UFT Contract: The Growing Divide - the Salary Gap Between UFT/Unity Caucus Leaders and Members Grows With New Contract

Love your blog!

A pamphlet called "Before You Vote" hit my school Friday and people went nuts. It lists the $32.5 million in salaries of 606 UFT employees starting from Mulgrew ($276K)  on down- some of these people are making $100K and above and are trying to sell us a 1% contract--people are miffed.

My school has a Unity stooge for CL and he was desperate to collect all copies to destroy them!

I think this may be worth a story. I got curious and pulled the same data from 2012 with the US Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards and it does NOT include pensions, payments or other compensation that these people are getting from the DOE or other sources!
The desperation we see from the Unity crowd to push this contract is intense. We know all the political reasons. How about the financial ones? They get the raise with none of the risks.

If MORE ever got close to chasing these guys out they would blow up the UFT before giving up their positions.

We received the above anonymously. This data is from 2012 so just add to the totals what the new contract gives them. Working for the UFT full time at the top levels is very lucrative. And you don't even have to teach. [I know, I know, you all make tremendous sacrifices for the rest of us.] A

I extracted the first roughly 100 names with 6 figure salaries. Note that your district rep and any other union officials who must teach a period a day are paid full salary by the DOE and then reimbursed the difference so all they show is additional compensation from the UFT for their work after school, weekends, etc. In the past the total reimbursement was over $4 million.

Oh, not in this chart is that little perk this July - the all expense trip to Los Angelos for at least 800 - and maybe a thousand Unity people - to the AFT convention. Figure about $2000 at least for each -- use the common core standards pushed by Randi to do the math.

Name Title Gross Salary Other Compensation Total 
MICHAEL MULGREW PRESIDENT $250,400 $25,468 $275,868
MICHAEL MENDEL SPECIAL ASST. $212,237 $14,696 $226,933
ELOISE ENGLER SPECIAL REP. $190,258 $35,331 $225,589
JOSE VARGAS BORO REP. $170,400 $29,065 $199,465
CAROL GERSTL GENERAL COUNSEL $183,750 $7,649 $191,399
LEROY BARR SPECIAL REP. $176,150 $14,506 $190,656
EVELYN DEJESUS BORO REP. $170,400 $15,183 $185,583
ADAM ROSS GENERAL COUNSEL $183,059 $2,080 $185,139
HOWARD SCHOOR BORO REP. $170,400 $14,580 $184,980
EMIL PIETROMONACO BORO REP. $170,400 $14,023 $184,423
RONA FREISER BORO REP. $170,400 $9,611 $180,011
CHARLES BAKER CONTROLLER $179,928 $0 $179,928
PAUL EGAN SPECIAL REP. $150,400 $21,638 $172,038
ROBERT ASTROWSKY SPECIAL REP. $170,000 $1,569 $171,569
LUCILLE SWAIM SPECIAL ASST. $169,996 $250 $170,246
PIERROT RAYMOND SPECIAL ASST. $160,754 $8,318 $169,072
JEFFREY GOLDSTEIN SPECIAL REP. $168,527 $14 $168,541
KAREN ALFORD SPECIAL REP. $156,814 $7,658 $164,472
MAUREEN SALTER COMMUNICATIONS $156,748 $3,731 $160,479
BRIAN GIBBONS ASST. TO PRESIDENT $152,250 $6,143 $158,393
MICHAEL KINK SRASTPRES $150,000 $6,011 $156,011
DAVID KAZANSKY SPECIAL REP. $142,867 $11,646 $154,513
ANTHONY HARMON SPECIAL REP. $142,400 $12,057 $154,457
ELLEN GALLIN PROCIDA SPECIAL REP. $142,867 $7,157 $150,024
MILES TRAGER SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $14,737 $147,604
DEIDRE MC FADYEN EDITOR $145,721 $1,356 $147,077
BARBARA SHILLER SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $10,748 $143,615
ANTHONY SCLAFANI SPECIAL REP. $137,047 $6,112 $143,159
WASHINGTON SANCHEZ SPECIAL REP. $137,047 $5,566 $142,613
FRANCINE STREICH SPECIAL REP. $139,090 $3,073 $142,163
ANNE GOLDMAN SPECIAL REP. $132,467 $9,558 $142,025
DERMOT SMYTH SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $9,066 $141,933
JACQUELINE BENNETT SPECIAL REP. $137,047 $4,869 $141,916
ZINA BURTON-MYRICK SPECIAL REP. $135,027 $6,299 $141,326
JOSEPH LOVERDE,JR WRITER $137,813 $3,460 $141,273
JOHN PAPAS ASST.CONTROLLER $140,569 $288 $140,857
SANDRA DUNN-YULES SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $7,657 $140,524
DEBRA POULOS SPECIAL REP. $137,799 $2,056 $139,855
JANELLA HINDS SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $6,596 $139,463
BRIGET ANNE REIN SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $6,558 $139,425
BRUCE ZIHAL SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $6,480 $139,347
MARGARET BORRELLI SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $6,253 $139,120
JOSEPH COLLETTI SPECIAL REP. $136,184 $2,874 $139,058
LILLIAN KOHLER SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $6,023 $138,890
MICHELLE DANIELS SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $5,462 $138,329
ALBANIA SEPULVEDA SPECIAL REP. $132,467 $5,800 $138,267
MARY ATKINSON SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $4,998 $137,865
JEFFREY POVALITIS SPECIAL REP. $132,467 $5,216 $137,683
MARTHA LANE SPECIAL REP. $132,467 $4,280 $136,747
LAURA TAMBURO SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $3,587 $136,454
AMY ARUNDELL SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $3,544 $136,411
ELIZABETH PEREZ SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $3,128 $135,995
CARL CAMBRIA SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $3,085 $135,952
THERESA SAMUELS SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $2,982 $135,849
WILMA VELAZQUEZ SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $2,966 $135,833
SHARON RIPLEY SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $2,835 $135,702
DIANE MAZZOLA SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $2,310 $135,177
MARK COLLINS SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $2,069 $134,936
JEFFREY HUART SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $1,517 $134,384
STEPHEN GAPPELBERG SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $1,431 $134,298
EUGENE RUBIN SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $1,253 $134,120
THOMAS BROWN SPECIAL REP. $132,867 $1,146 $134,013
DEBRA PENNY SPECIAL REP. $121,170 $8,031 $129,201
PATRICIA CRISPINO SPECIAL REP. $124,130 $4,257 $128,387
ANGELA KAHN SPECIAL REP. $116,323 $8,087 $124,410
FLLOYD BRYAN ASST.MGR.-TELECOM. $91,526 $18,638 $110,164
TAMMIE MILLER COORDINATOR $98,869 $11,262 $110,131
ALBERT FRAZIA ASST.DIR.-SHIP $107,553 $0 $107,553
JOYCE LEVENSON SPECIAL REP. $104,111 $3,192 $107,303
IRENE LOSPENUSO DIRECTOR - SHIP $107,040 $161 $107,201
ANN MARTIN MNGR.-ACCOUNTING $106,518 $0 $106,518
ILENE WEINERMAN SPECIAL REP. $103,130 $3,371 $106,501
JOHN TUOHY MNGR.-ACCOUNTING $105,680 $0 $105,680
CLAUDETTE EDWARDS ADMIN.ASST. $105,304 $0 $105,304
MICHAEL HIRSCH WRITER $105,028 $10 $105,038
ELINOR SPIELBERG WRITER $104,202 $27 $104,229
OSCAR RIVERA MNGR. - PRINT/MAIL $102,072 $194 $102,266
SHELVY YOUNG-ABRAMS SPECIAL REP. $99,522 $2,704 $102,226
MARY MCADOO COMMUNICATIONS $100,006 $1,250 $101,256
DEBORAH RUBIN DIRECTOR - HCC $100,998 $0 $100,998
JASON GOLDMAN LEGISLATION $76,005 $21,441 $97,446
DANIEL ACOSTA FIELD REP. $93,859 $0 $93,859