When a bad evaluation system is offered…
Rochester said no. The Rochester Teachers Association is in negotiations. Their Superintendent, Jean Claude-Brizard (if the name seems familiar, he used to work for the NYC DoE, and he sat on the panel that said yes/yes/no/no/no/no/ask me again/ask me again on Cathie Black’s Waiver) has made only a garbage offer. Adam Urbanski is the RTA President, and an AFT Vice President:
After months of frustrating negotiations we still do not have a successor contract. It appears that the District’s negotiations team lacks authority to agree on anything. Yet, Superintendent Brizard has thus far rejected our repeated requests to join negotiations on a regular basis. Instead, through the media and through school principals, the District continues to disseminate false and misleading information. These tactics further complicate an already difficult bargaining environment.
Last week you may have heard about changes in teacher evaluation and compensation planned by the District. Please know that any such changes would first have to be negotiated with your union. And the new state law (Annual Professional Performance Review), dealing with changes in teacher evaluation, does not apply to us unless and until the provisions are negotiated with us. We have neither negotiated nor agreed to any such changes.
The District is indeed pressing for merit pay, a longer school day/year, elimination of seniority in layoffs, abridging teacher rights, reducing teacher benefits, and muzzling the teachers on professional and instructional issues. We, instead, are advocating for lower class sizes, less paperwork and record keeping, improved school safety and student discipline, more social and health services for our students, and other changes that would improve the teaching and learning conditions.
We will contact you soon about ways that you could help to bring an end to the festering negotiations. And I remain confident that, with your unswerving support, we will achieve a successor contract that is good for students and fair to teachers.
Adam Urbanski, President