The last post highlighted the exchange between me and UFT Vice President, Leo Casey. Leo Casey explained that Cuomo’s proposed evaluation system would be a form of binding arbitration. To buttress his point, he cited a recent decision where the UFT won payment for hours some of our members worked from binding arbitration.

He also explained, or at least intimated, that MORE and myself either do not know what collective bargaining is or are purposefully misrepresenting the facts. There is a lively discussion on the MORE blog where many Mulgrew supporters are saying the same thing as Leo Casey.

Maybe he is right that I don’t know what collective bargaining is. The case Leo Casey sites was an example of an independent arbitrator’s decision. I have read in detail about other examples of binding and non-binding arbitration before. All of those examples were from independent arbitrators.

Cuomo and the State Education Department and the state legislature are not independent. In fact, they are our bosses. They are bosses under a great deal of political pressure from groups like Students First to hollow out all of our rights as teachers and the education of our children.

My question is: how common is it to have management play the role of “independent arbitrator”? Is the UFT under Unity leadership really upholding our collective bargaining rights by allowing management to act as independent arbitrators?

Someone with a fair view of the matter please enlighten me. This is not a loaded question, I really would like to know.

UFT members: do you feel comfortable with trusting Cuomo with the fate of your school system? Unity’s stance is “trust Cuomo”. Is that appropriate?


  1. Leo Casey is full of shit. As chief propagandist for the UFT, his job is to get you and I to think his shit is roses. He can try to jazz up his shit with jargon and legalese and, my personal favorite, that condescending tone of “Son, you don’t know what collective bargaining is…” crap, but the truth is Casey is still full of shit and the crap he’s selling us hasn’t turned to flowers despite his efforts.

    They’ve given management the right to impose any system they want on us. That’s the reality, no matter what shit Casey is slinging.

    Perhaps it’s the lapsed Catholic in me, but I really hold contempt for people who spend their lives lying to other people to fool them into thinking up is down, war is peace and surrender is victory. And that’s Casey’s JOB – to pull the wool over people’s eyes and fool them into thinking the various UFT sell-outs and concessions are in their best interests.

    Just ask the ATR’s how Casey’s assurances over the odious ’05 contract worked out. Or ask the 4th-8th grade math and ELA teachers who had their names and ratings printed in the paper (complete with 52% margin of error) how Casey’s assurances over the Teacher Data Reports worked out.

    Leo Casey’s the perfect emblem for a corrupt union leadership that serves its own interests and only its own interests. You should believe NOTHING he says, ever – not even the words “is” and “was”.

  2. “If it looks like shit, and it sounds like shit, then it’s gotta be shit”. -Jack Horner, BOOGIE NIGHTS

  3. Binding Arbitration as defined by the Weingarten/Mulgrew/Casey led uft means that your intestines become binded by all the crap these folks force down your throat.

  4. I disagree that Mulgrew agreed to or welcomed the imposition of an evaluation plan by our bosses. That is what Bloomberg demanded from Albany and they said no. Mulgrew’s comment about the governor’s statement was a jab at the mayor’s real motive for “improving education”.
    I disagree that binding arbitration abdicates collective bargaining rights. Arbitration only considers the contended issues and hears arguments from both sides. The outcome of arbitration, even binding arbitration, is a set of recommendations to settle those issues based on merit and precedent. In binding arbitration both parties must adhere to those recommendations. The actual agreement must still be negotiated. Both parties often fear the impartiality of the arbitrators, but unlike Bloomberg, Mulgrew hasn’t spent the last two months insulting the people who will oversee the process.
    I disagree that arbitration favors the mayor instead of us.Political rhetoric aside, the governor can request the Legislature to give SED the power to impose binding arbitration; the same political body Bloomberg says is in our pocket. The SED has approved “sunset” clauses without argument. PERB has maintained that financial credit aka giveback for the plan is already inherent in our overall contract negotiation. The arbitrators will hear that DOE negotiators had agreed to reduced paperwork, teacher support and independent review of negative ratings. The law that allows us to include these provisions was not overturned which was what Bloomberg wanted. Bloomberg will not be able to make an eleventh hour phone call as he did to us and CSA.
    Let’s join forces and push our state senate and assembly to stipulate the SED select arbitrators by the same independent process used in all other collective bargaining disputes. I contribute to COPE do you?

    • What I’d really like to know, and I am truly asking, is when has the SED ever acted as a binding arbitrator over contractual matters? I know they took direct control of the Ocean Hill district as a way of settling the ’69 strike but I cannot find precedent where the SED actually acts as a binding arbitrator for contractual matters. Why would they? No matter how Bloomberg characterizes them, they are still management.

      I think I have read every news source that has mentioned the possibility of binding arbitration. At no point did I see Mulgrew’s comments as a “jab” at Bloomberg. From what I read, he said he would prefer to work things out with the Mayor but would be fine with the SED stepping in no matter what they decide. If you have a source or something similar to illustrate your point, I’ll take a look at it.

      The bulk of your argument boils down to “trust the SED. They’re not as bad as Bloomberg.” I’d rather trust in collective bargaining, even if it is handled by Unity. The way I see it, we tried collective bargaining. It failed. There was no mandate that said we HAD to come to a new agreement. The RTTT is very clear about not using coercion in these matters. That’s why they’re using the carrots of increased funding.

      However, the SED stepping in sounds exactly like coercion, which sounds exactly like the antithesis to collective bargaining.

      I used to pay into COPE. After years of the UFT endorsing people like Bloomberg and Obama, I stopped buying into COPE. Obama is as bad as any Neocon in my eyes and the thought of my money going to put him in office was too much for me to bear.

      There are more people to endorse besides Democrats and Republicans. I would be inclined to pay into COPE again once I see people like Obama actually showing that they are somehow being influenced to help teachers and schools. In other words, when I start seeing that the money being thrown at people like him from the union is actually doing any good.

  5. Pingback: How New York City Can Rid Themselves of the Race to the Top Evaluations | Assailed Teacher

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