UFT Elections 2019 – Issues – Tenure, Pensions and Probationary Teachers

Looking at the statistics, it’s clear that the corporate agenda is to have a revolving door of new, lower salaried teachers, who will only remain a few years and not accrue a pension. From pushing out veteran educators to greatly increasing the pressure and stress on new teachers, this is fast becoming a reality. The average age of ATRs is about 51. That is no accident. Approximately 40% of new teachers leave within their first few years. Many of these teachers reach out to use and explain that they are being discontinued or are resigning because of the toxic work environments in their schools. If a young teacher is able to make it to tenure by “escaping” to a different school, often their probation is extended an extra year or too. We are especially troubled that Marisol Rosales has been promoted to role as an Executive Superintendent. Ms. Rosales has supported bully principals like Manuel Urena and has been known to say: “Nobody deserves to get tenure the first time they apply!” We fear that rates of teachers being granted tenure in Ms. Rosales’s districts will tank.

Unity allowed the DOE to extend tenure to four years with extensions, if desired by principals. UFT Solidarity will fight for a return to a three year probationary period. Unity doesn’t provide the needed support regarding staff harassment by administration. Solidarity will advocate for a stronger harassment policy to protect against administrative biases. If a principal violates a state or city law, UFT Solidarity will take the DOE to court. Unity has allowed pensions to be weakened through a 62 retirement age and continual staff contributions (Tier 6). Solidarity will support better pensions by restoring 30yr and age 55 retirements, with ten year vesting and an end to staff contributions at that time. UFT Solidarity will fight for veteran and young teachers alike against harassment, discrimination, and career destroying tactics used by unscrupulous administrators and school officials. That revolving door will be stopped and educators will go back to having healthy and enjoyable careers, not temporary jobs.

 

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