Posts tagged "twist"
December 19, 2012
Weeks before a state deadline for the city and teachers union to agree on new teacher evaluations, UFT President Michael Mulgrew has thrown a major wrench into negotiations.
Mulgrew said today that he is halting talks about the evaluations until the Department of Education presents an implementation plan that he approves. The plan, he said, would have to include “a concrete plan” for how and when educators are trained on whatever system is adopted.
The announcement came in an angry letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott this afternoon that Mulgrew said was prompted by a spate of complaints from teachers about surprising and intimidating observations. A top union offiical, Michael Mendel, registered alarm about the complaints in his own scathing letter to Walcott earlier this week.
The city and union had agreed to have some schools practice conducting observations of the type likely to be required in new evaluations. But Mendel said the reports came from schools beyond the pilot program and described practices that were not supposed to happen but could potentially be part of a new evaluation system, such as unannounced observations.
“How is it possible to start implementing a system that we haven’t agreed on?” Mulgrew said in an interview today. Doing so, he said, “breaks every piece of good-faith etiquette in negotiations.” (more…)
March 20, 2012
The state’s labor relations board has heeded a teachers union request to appoint a mediator to broker a compromise on teacher evaluations at 33 struggling schools.
City officials say will contest the decision, which could undermine the Department of Education’s chief justification for pursuing a reform strategy at the schools that would require many teachers to be displaced.
The ruling by the Public Employees Relations Board is a response to a request for mediation filed by the United Federation of Teachers in January. That request came a day after Mayor Bloomberg said that he would circumvent a collective bargaining requirement at the schools, which had been receiving federal funds to help them improve.
Because the city and union had not been able to agree on new teacher evaluations at the schools by a Dec. 31 deadline, Bloomberg announced that the city would switch the schools from the “transformation” and “restart” reform processes, which require new evaluations, to “turnaround,” which does not. Chancellor Dennis Walcott argued at the time that the switch made PERB’s intervention moot because the board has authority only in collective bargaining matters, and turnaround does not require collective bargaining.
But the city has not formally asked the state for permission to assign the schools to turnaround or withdrawn its application, submitted last summer, for funding for transformation and restart. PERB’s director of conciliation, Richard Curreri, said those facts led him to conclude that the city is still bound by its 2011 agreement to negotiate new teacher evaluations at the 33 schools. (more…)