December 4, 2008

Does it help to 'Know your Rights?'

informed Pictures, Images and PhotosAfter more than a decade of teaching and attendance at hundreds of Union Meetings, keeping informed of my rights as a teacher has always been a priority. "Know your rights," is what my chapter leader always preached, and I agreed. "Attend Union Meetings"... and I did..."Become familiar with the chancellor's Regs,"(Regulations)...I did that too. You too can become informed. You can find the 'Know Your Rights' portion of the UFT website by clicking here... You too can know your rights and stand by powerlessly as they are being violated and no one is doing a damn thing about it.
I knew my rights. I knew my rights so WELL... IN FACT- that when Robo Principal violated three of them, I knew that without a doubt that I had been disabled from correctly performing my duties. Oh yes, I knew my rights- alright. I knew it when they were being violated. I knew it at that very moment when it was happening. I knew it when it wasn't corrected. I knew it when it wasn't treated or handled as an emergency situation. I knew it when I informed my chapter leader and waited faithfully while she did nothing. I knew it when I informed my principal and asked him why no measures were being taken to correct the potential safety hazard that it posed. I knew it when he was making excuses and failing to provide sufficient support. I knew it the entire day leading up to the very moment when it handicapped me from doing my job to the best of my ability. I knew that at that moment that I was SCREWED.

Informed Pictures, Images and PhotosSure it's good to know your rights... that way you can recognize them when they're going down the drain...
Having rights and having them Enforced are meant to go hand in hand. Laws are created to protect THE INNOCENT, but if they are not enforced, who do they protect and what good are they?

Blogger jonathan said...

It's part of my pitch to new teachers: the contract names your rights; the chapter enforces them.

Getting the chapter to fight can be hard. Sometimes it is barely breathing.

In that light, I ask all teachers to attend chapter meetings. I don't even care if you say anything, the act of meeting itself, even if it is to eat birthday cake, is the beginning of gaining or regaining strength. And if there are not meetings, if you could ask, even one time in a year... that would help.

And new folks, untenured, can't really do much more than that. But helping is helping, in whatever way we are individually capable.

Jonathan
jd2718

December 7, 2008 10:43 AM
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Blogger Fidgety said...

Well then you answered the question as I already knew the answer.. I took all of those suggestions and became well informed. I am now more informed than my own chapter leader who knew nothing about the rubber room until I was reassigned. I am now keeping her informed. She has admitted to me that the union is 'powerless in protecting its' teachers.'

December 7, 2008 11:12 AM
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Blogger jonathan said...

True, though it depends somewhat on the chapter (only somewhat, of course). The rebuilding needs to start from the ground up.

Jonathan
jd2718

December 7, 2008 7:47 PM
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Blogger Fidgety said...

As a chapter leader you are limited to what happens in the school...except for rallies, protests, etc. Matters of reassignment become the district leader's responsibility.

December 8, 2008 9:10 PM

4 comments:

jonathan said...

It's part of my pitch to new teachers: the contract names your rights; the chapter enforces them.

Getting the chapter to fight can be hard. Sometimes it is barely breathing.

In that light, I ask all teachers to attend chapter meetings. I don't even care if you say anything, the act of meeting itself, even if it is to eat birthday cake, is the beginning of gaining or regaining strength. And if there are not meetings, if you could ask, even one time in a year... that would help.

And new folks, untenured, can't really do much more than that. But helping is helping, in whatever way we are individually capable.

Jonathan
jd2718

Fidgety said...

Well then you answered the question as I already knew the answer.. I took all of those suggestions and became well informed. I am now more informed than my own chapter leader who knew nothing about the rubber room until I was reassigned. I am now keeping her informed. She has admitted to me that the union is 'powerless in protecting its' teachers.'

jonathan said...

True, though it depends somewhat on the chapter (only somewhat, of course). The rebuilding needs to start from the ground up.

Jonathan
jd2718

Fidgety said...

As a chapter leader you are limited to what happens in the school...except for rallies, protests, etc. Matters of reassignment become the district leader's responsibility.