Saturday, April 12, 2014

UFT, Politics And Contract - Op-Out 679


Last Week True News Said UFT Organizing Op-Out Exam Movement Today the Daily News Agrees
Testing, testing:Union-organized 'opt out' campaign against Common Core exams protects teachers,not students (NYDN Ed)  To hear teachers unions and fringe parents tell it, New York’s public school children face rough treatment on the order of, say, waterboarding with the start Tuesday of annual standardized tests. The silliness of portraying children who answer English and math questions as victims of near-child abuse is exceeded only by the cynicism of the unions’ anti-testing propaganda campaign. Because the attacks on testing are orchestrated to protect teachers, not students. New York State United Teachers has launched an all-out drive to persuade moms and dads to boycott standardized exams. Last year, the parents of fewer than 2,000 city children and roughly 60,000 statewide “opted out” of tests. A successful push would most hurt the low-income and minority kids who are trapped in chronically failing public schools.* As English assessments are given today through Thursday to more than 1 million third- through eighth-grade students, tens of thousands of others are expected, with their parents’ permission, to refuse to take them with the hope of eventually changing state policy.For various reasons, even parents who are uncomfortable with the exams are discovering it is hard to push the button on the nuclear option — refusing to have their own children take them. The tests are a federal requirement. Districts that do not have at least 95 percent of their eligible students take the assessments are marked as failing to meet “adequate yearly progress.” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the growing opt-out movement is something the governor and Legislature will have to deal with in the future.* Errol Louis: “I think the idea of keeping one’s kids from taking the test is reckless and unrealistic for lots of reasons.”* While the “opt-out” movement gained strength this year in New York, more children are taking the tests this week than are not. * City’s education leaders late with capital construction plan (NYP) * Heastie Expects Education Issues To Be Considered In Post-Budget Session


Wednesday Though final opt-out numbers aren’t yet available, a growing number of students declined to take the tests on the first day they were offered yesterday. One school in Brooklyn reported 95 percent of eligible kids didn’t sit for the ELA exam. * EXAM BOYCOTT: An estimated 300,000 students from Brooklyn to Buffalo opt out of state mandated English Language Arts test * Policymakers need to listen to the hundreds of thousands of New York families sending a message that they’re skeptical of the value of the state tests, the American Enterprise Institute’s Frederick Hess writes in the Daily News:* “I think the numbers exceeded expectations in many districts,” said Bob Lowry, director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. State education officials would not comment directly on the testing boycott but continued to warn school districts, teachers and parents about possible consequences. *  High Achievement New York, a pro-Common Core coalition that includes business groups,will launch a six-figure radio and digital advertising campaign today encouraging parents to “opt in” their children to state exams.* Senate Bill Would Exempt Top Districts From Evaluations (YNN) * Tisch to Feds: Don’t Penalize NY(YNN) * Tens of thousands of New York students refusing to take required English exams have not dissuaded the state Education Department from using those tests as the basis for school and teacher evaluations. * Federal education officials are hinting that New York public schools with high opt-out rates during this week’s standardized tests could face financial sanctions. But Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch warned Washington not to penalize students for a fight the grownups are having.* Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch urged the federal government not to withhold funding from New York after federal officials suggested the state’s high test opt-out rates may merit financial sanctions, State of Politicsreports:  * Meanwhile, state education officials said they’re confident enough students will take state exams to provide accurate data for teacher evaluations, despite estimates that 155,000 have opted out, GannettAlbany reports: * An advocacy group affiliated with a teachers union-backed organization has released a report on the donors and board members of the Success Academy charter school network, CapitalNew York reports:


The UFT Broke the Law With Advance and None of the Prosecutors Noticed

Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?


The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)

UFT Controlling Government By Breaking the Election Law . . .   DAs Don't Notice?

Cover-Up Of Campaign Consultants Advance Group/Red Horse Involvement in UFT PAC United for the Future, Which Conspired To Break Election Law to Control Council

How Campaign Consultant Lobbyists and The PACs They Controlled Broke the Election Law and Got Away With It and Built A Shadow Government

The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000

Nothing Has Happen - Five Months Ago the Daily News Wrote:

UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates." 


The AG and the DAs By Not Enforcing the Election Law Has Enabled Lobbyists and Special Interests to Legalize Bribery Though PACs
PACs are A Crime on the Book Because Prosecutors Who Look the Other Way
The CFB determined under its rules that the Advance Group’s work on behalf of both Council candidates and the supposedly “independent” anti-carriage PAC really amounted to illegal coordination between the campaigns and NYCLASS. The board properly fined Cumbo and Levine. And its crackdown on the out-of-bounds campaign spending by NYCLASS has done the city a huge favor, by providing a badly needed glimpse into the big money play that successfully swung the 2013 city elections. Using funds from donors that included UNITE HERE — a union chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s cousin John Wilhelm — NYCLASS slimed mayoral rival Christine Quinn into oblivion.Now the FBI is probing the funding of the attacks on Quinn, and de Blasio’s flip-flop that led to his vow to ban the horses. The CFB needs to stay vigilant, making every effort to hold NYCLASS, the Advance Group and sponsored candidates to account for their actions in the 2013 campaign. Among the others benefiting from NYCLASS spending was Melissa Mark-Viverito, who took free services from the Advance Group in her successful bid to become City Council speaker.


UFT Sends A Message to Cuomo Floats DiNapoli as Gov Poll Numbers Drop
 Two Democratic activists said state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli may run for governor in 2018 at the urging of progressives, regardless of whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks a third term, the Post’s Fredric Dickerreports:  * Two Democratic activists told The Post that the well-liked DiNapoli, who last week released a damning audit on Cuomo’s controversial “Start Up NY’’ ad campaign, is being urged by union activists and other “progressives’’ aligned with Mayor de Blasio to consider running for governor and even challenging Cuomo in the Democratic primary.* Paterson: Corruption Scandals Hurt Cuomo’s Approval (NYP) *  Paterson Backs De Blasio On Permanent Mayoral Control (NYO) * New York Democrats meet as Cuomo's approval rating drops 



THE ANTI-TESTING OPT-OUT DELUSION: A speedbump, not a roadblock, on the path to rigorous evaluations for teachers (NYDN) * The opt-out wave& its undertow: Parents boycotting New York's Common Core tests are helpingthe teachers' union advance its own agenda (NYDN) As lawmakers debated whether student test scores should count for 20% or 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, Karen Magee, president of the state union, gave away the game in an interview published in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. “We have 20% right now. We’d be happy with zero, because it’s not a true indicator of what’s going on in the schools,” said Magee. “Happy with zero” means the union would just as soon not have its members’ job security or prospects for promotion affected in any way by whether the students have actually learned reading, writing or math. And in pursuit of that goal, the union’s strategy — backed by groups including the Working Families Party — is to cripple the evaluation system by encouraging so many kids to opt out that the tests won’t represent a reliable sample.


“I don’t know if the system can be looked upon fairly if some kids are taking (tests) and some are not,” he said.  The state education department has added six struggling New York City schools to its “out of time” list. The city now has eight schools with the designation, meaning they have failed to substantively improve after three or more years of intensive support * While New York has become a center of the anti-testing movement and many parents oppose standardized testing, they are unwilling to let their kids opt out for fear of risking their academic future, the Times writes: The Buffalo News writes that parents should send children to state testing and support the work of producing an educational system that gives their children the best training possible to compete in an ever-shrinking world: *.@errollouis: "I wouldn’t .. go to a doctor who couldn’t pass a battery of high-stakes tests, & neither would you."   * State records show the United Federation of Teachers spent more than $150,000 lobbying state government during the first two months of 2015, State of Politics writes:* Thousands of students refused to take state standardized tests in the Buffalo Niagara region on the first day of English Language Arts tests were given to third through eighth graders across the state, The Buffalo Newsreports * FiveThirtyEight reports that New York State’steacher evaluation system stands out compared with other states in how much weight it may soon be putting on students’ scores: 


UFT Skip the Test Politics . . . Fake Parent Group Attacks Charters as 19,700 Kids Shut Out
The New York State United Teachers is robocalling members to say they can have children skip state tests, which comes after the union protested how scores will figure into evaluations, The Wall Street Journalreports *  N.Y. Teachers Union Robocalls Members About State Tests (WSJ) NYSUT reminds members that their children can opt-out of next week’s standardized exams in latest protest. * 19,700 kids’ dashed hopes (NYP Ed)  The Success Academy charter network has released the results of its entrance lottery last week: 2,317 lucky kids won a seat; 19,700 children did not 

For 40 years nobody has fixed the schools will not taking a test change anything?
Affluent parents are against Common Core: study (NYP) * The best for thebrightest: The city schools' gifted-and-talented admissions process needs anoverhaul (NYDN)  Those are the elite classes and schools reserved for the very young students who score highest on an aptitude test — and they skew dramatically toward the most privileged families. In results just out for 2015, more than 36,000 students in grades K-3 took the exam — and a quarter, 9,009, scored high enough to apply for admission. In Manhattan’s District 2, which includes the Upper East Side, 3,300 took the test, and well over a third passed. In Queens’ District 26, which includes the prosperous northeast Queens communities of Bayside and Douglaston, 2,200 took it, and about a fifth passed. Meantime, a total of 357 students in the city’s eight poorest districts hit the score, and the pass rate in those districts was less than half the city average. In four low-income districts, too few students passed to establish a class.  * With more and more students opting out of state standardized tests, it remains unclear whether teacher evaluation reforms will be affected, The Buffalo News writes:  

Defining Deviancy Down: The Same Nation That Used Its Brains to Get to Moon Can't Take A Test?
Newsday writes that teachers union leadership’s calls areurging parents to opt out of state tests are self interested and will ultimately hurt students:  * Former gubernatorial candidate and Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout urged parents in a robocall to refuse to have their kids take the controversial statewide assessment exams slated for this week.* Teachout Robocalls In Support Of Opting Out (YNN) * Opting out makes no sense from every perspective - Opinion - The Buffalo News * Parents, teachers push #OptOut, with different goals, @jessicabakeman reports (Capital) * SUNY Chancellor Urges Students To Not Opt Out  (YNN) * The State Board of Regents is working with a national search firm to narrow a list of applicants for education commissioner to six or seven candidates.* Some Parents Oppose Standardized Testing on Principle, but Not in Practice (NYT) Even parents who are uncomfortable with the exams are discovering that it is hard to push the button on the nuclear option — refusing to have their own children take them.* Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the growing push by parents to keep their children from taking Common Core tests is an issue that officials in Albany will have to deal with in the future, The Buffalo News writes:

Anyone Who Thinks This is A Real Parent Group Buy My Bridge and Education Expert Sharpton


UFT Fails At Education
UFT-founded charter school closing for poor performance (NYP) A long-struggling K-8 charter school founded by the teachers union to prove that its work contract doesn’t impede student success will close in June, after failing to meet academic benchmarks....*  Controversial UFT Charter Schoolin Brooklyn to Close Elementary and MiddleGrades (NY1) New York City Teachers’ Union Is Closing Portion of Its Brooklyn Charter School (NYT) Low student tests scores are forcing the United Federation of Teachers to shut down the kindergarten-to-eighth-grade portion of a charter school it started in 2005.* A new wave of standardized exams, designed to assess whether students are learning in step with the Common Core standards, is sweeping the country, arriving this week in classrooms in several states and entering the cross hairs of various political movements. Almost every state – including New York – has an “opt out” movement.

The Sharpton de Blasio Mulgrew Axis Protection

Among the honored guests at Sharpton’s Staten Island march and rally were American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten and United Federation of Teachers honcho Michael Mulgrew. The AFT and UFT are long-time sponsors of the Sharpton-led National Action Network.  Yet when Sharpton rails against the “school-to-prison pipeline,” I’m certain he’s well aware that that many schools in minority areas are saddled with U-rated (for “unsatisfactory”) and misbehaving teachers.



Daily News Only Reports on the Alliance of the Mayor and the UFT, But Does Not Explain Where the Union Got the Power to Control A Mayor


A lifelong progressive's case against the teacher's union 
Errol Louis ‏@errollouis 
A Must Read: Wayne Barrett slams "unholy alliance" between .@BilldeBlasio and .@uft as far from progressiveDe Blasio’s embrace of the teachers union isn’t progressive; it’s political

Barrett Blasts City Progressives Movement and UFT
 With de Blasio and the UFT-financed Working Families Party as allies, the union is hijacking the very language of movement politics, annexing left journalism to defend its narrowest interests and even recruiting progressives to join its war against charter schools that work for kids.Seen through a progressive lens, all that should matter in these school skirmishes is whether a charter, a contract or an employment rule benefits students. Whenever progressive Democrats instead choose teacher power over the futures of minority kids, they are putting a big bucks lobby ahead of a core but comparatively powerless constituency.


Barrett Says the WFP is Exploited exploited by the interests that bankroll it
You may, for example, have gotten the impression, when the WFP appeared poised last month to nominate charter foe Diane Ravitch to oppose Gov. Cuomo, a charter champion, in his reelection bid, that these nonprofit-run public schools are a Republican hedge-fund conspiracy. That's what the WFP, a sometimes-blunt instrument exploited by the interests that bankroll it, and 75-year-old Ravitch, the adopted guru of the UFT and de Blasio administration, would have us believe.

  
As quiet as it's kept, de Blasio is the only mayor of one of America's 10 largest cities, almost all Democrats, who isn't a charter booster
Democrats like Dean and others have seen through the "privatization" trashing of charters by Ravitch and the union, recognizing that there's no structural difference between the non-profits that run public school charters and the ones that operate Head Start, day care and pre-K programs. For his part, de Blasio has never explained what distinguishes maligned charter non-profits from the ones that will run 60% of his celebrated new pre-K classrooms.The only difference, in fact, is that most charters, unlike other nonprofit education providers, opt out of contracts like the UFT's 200-page straitjacket that micromanages the school day and imposes an assembly-line mentality on schools - one that charters have exposed as dysfunctional. Charter opposition is now reflexively used in New York City as a progressive barometer, regardless of the overwhelming evidence of their benefits to mostly black children, with 63% of the schools here outperforming traditional schools in math, for example.


As their political clout fades, teachers unions have been wielding another kind of power: the financial strength of the billions of dollars in their members’ pension funds.

UFT Campaign Power to Weaken Teacher Evalutions Again 

This Election Year All Those in Albany Running for Re-Election Will Do Flyers Stating Putting Children First
Leave all kids behind(NYP Ed) Maybe one day New York will have a meaningful way to fire lousy public-school teachers. But plainly not in time for the kids now stuck in their classrooms.
Because the message out of Albany is no one there is ready to do any such thing.  On Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said he was “cautiously optimistic” about a deal with lawmakers to delay or relax at least some parts of the teacher-evaluation law.  UFT Over $300 Million in Fed Funding A federal education official who oversees Race to the Top implementation said if New York delays using student test scores as part of teacher evaluations it risks losing up to $292 million in funding, The Wall Street Journal writes:  The DOE plans to remove the 321 trailer classrooms across the city, but doesn't know where to put the students.* Cuomo is reportedly pushing a new, two-tiered “safety net” solution to the thorny problem of how to fix teacher evaluations in light of widespread anxiety about Common Core test scores.* Numbers of after-school programs in public middle schools to shoot up next fall (NYDN)* * Cuomo said tweaking teacher evaluations to address concerns with the new Common Core standards remains a top priority in the final days of the legislative session, State of Politics reports: * State Education Commissioner John King said dropping Common Core-aligned test scores from teacher evaluations would endanger federal funding, and suggested easing or delaying consequences of the ratings for teachers, Capital New York reports* New York state risks losing up to $292 million if it delays using student test scores to evaluate teachers this year, a federal education official said. [The Wall Street Journal] * The Post writes that the state high school graduation rate alone doesn’t show much, but the college/job-readiness figures, which show that only 37 percent of high school graduates are ready for either, are a better indicator:* A lawsuit to upend New York tenure laws(NYP)* A student-led approach to reading and writing known as balanced literacy, is poised to make a comeback in New York City classrooms – a move seen by some as a departure from recent trends in the city and nationwide. * New York school districts are preparing to change their snack and beverage offerings to comply with new federal nutrition guidelines and are bracing for a drop in sales revenue if students reject the relatively healthy options.



Why the UFT Pay A Forge A Fake Group to Do Business With Advance?
Why Did the UFT's PAC United for the Future Hire the Advance Group? Was It Part of A Conspiracy to Coordinate their PAC and the Campaign Consultant?
The UFT PAC Paid Advance Through the Fake Group Strategic Consultants Inc. $370,000
Her campaign also got support by two PACs controlled by the Advance Group, NYCLASS and the UFT PAC United for the Future that the UFT tried to hid Advance Groups involvement in with a fake made up company called Strategic Consultants Inc., that CrainsNY found was located in the offices of Advance. Your can bet the farm that with Mayor Bloomberg last minute appointment to the CFB Rose Gill Hearn, his former DOI Commissioner, the finances of Advance client Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and others are in the middle of a hot hot hot investigation that the media is completely missing. * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)


NYP is Demanding the Mayor's PAC One NY Give Back the UFT $$$  

Give the money back, Mayor de Blasio(NYP) Maybe Mayor de Blasio’s spokesman is right: There’s “zero” connection between the sweetheart deal the teachers union won from the city and $350,000 its parent union donated to Mayor Bill’s Super PAC.  Maybe it’s also just a coincidence, as Crain’s reported, that the donation from the American Federation of Teachers to the Campaign for One New York came less than a month before the mayor agreed to a nine-year-contract with its New York local whose health “savings” are vague but whose retroactive pay is all too real.  StudentsFirstNY has called for an investigation. In a letter to the chairman of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, the organization says “New Yorkers deserve to know whether it is a conflict of interest for Mayor de Blasio to take large Super PAC contributions from a union with whom he is negotiating a new contract.”

Saturday Daily News Picks Up on the Friday's NYP's UFT Taping Story Sabotaging Education Reformers

School critics say teachers union deal doesn't help kids — it's 'petty politics'(NYDN) After teachers union president Michael Mulgrew gloated about the labor deal in a leaked recording, critics of the $5.3 billion deal are fighting back, saying the contract isn’t good policy. Michael Mulgrew said he’s at war with education reformers — and now they’re fighting back over his dismissive comments and the teachers contract they say condemns students to subpar schooling. Jenny Sedlis of Students FirstNY, a pro-charter, anti-union group, called Mulgrew’s victory lap “shameless.”“For anyone that thought this was about kids, we know this is the truth,” said Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor and outspoken critic of the union. Critics said a close reading of the memorandum of agreement between the city and union reveals the new process of terminating teachers in the 1,200-strong costly Absent Teacher Reserve doesn’t actually increase the likelihood they’ll be canned.*IT'S 'PETTY POLITICS': School critics slamming teachers union $5.3 billion deal and UFT boss Michael Mulgrew(NYDN) * Mulgrew’s wicked game(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio just struck a major deal with a union boss who boasts about using negotiations to gut reforms he claimed to support.* Teachers lose retroactive pay in if they quit before 2020(NYP0


Finally: The Post is no longer alone in claiming the teachers union acted in bad faith. The union’s boss says so himself

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
 Parents, staff & pols won’t support union head’s reform ‘war’(NYP) * A union boss confesses(NYP Ed) United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew has admitted he and his union are “at war with the reformers.” He said they sought “to one more time wink at Bloomberg” — the union had clashed bitterly with the former mayor — “and say ‘gotcha.’ ” Mulgrew confessed his real aim was to “gum up the works” to thwart any teacher ratings: “We had a goal that this year would be the first and only year” teachers were subjected to the new system. In the end, Mulgrew’s secret war paid off. He waited for a sympathetic mayor, Bill de Blasio, to give him what he wanted. And as StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis noted on these pages Friday, the city’s kids got little in return.

Campaign 2013: UFT Gumming Up the  City Council's Checks and Balances Role With Campaign Contributions
The UFT PAC Contributed to 31 of the 51 Council Members

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
When we think "outside spending," it's usually corporations who come to mind, but with the education system becoming further and further embroiled in controversy over efficiency and charter schools, it makes sense that this would be a key race for educators' unions such as UFT. The United Federation of Teachers, through its political spending body, "United for the Future," has spent the most money of any group in the race, $3.3 million on 37 elections. United for the Future contributed to the following 31 of the 51 council members.



Thomas Jefferson Fought Centralized Power, UFT's Mulgrew Worked With the Advance Group to Centralized With Money NYC's News Progressive Tammany Hall



Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Inez Dickens (Advance Client), Corey Johnson (Berlin Rosen Client) (running against Advance client Yetta Krukland), Mark Levine (Advance Client), Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, Paul Vallone (Mercury Client), Rosie Mendez, Councilman Andrew King, Councilman James Vacca (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Annabel Palma (Red Horse Client), Councilman Costa Constantinides, Mark Weprin (Hudson TG), Councilman Daneek Miller (Red Horse Client), Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Richard Donovan (Berlin Rosen Client), Councilman Eric Ulrich, Councilman Antonio Reynoso (Red Horse Client), Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Mathieu Eugene (Advance Client), Councilwoman Inez Barron, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Councilman Alan Maisel (Brandford), Councilman Mark Treyger (Hudson TG), Councilwoman Debra Rose (Brandford), Councilman Steven Matteo, Councilman Robert Jackson (Boro President Candidate), Councilman Vincent Ignizio.


* Brooklyn state Senate candidate Rubain Dorancy’s retweet of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s statement on a California court decision could cost him the United Federation of Teachers’ backing, City & State writes: http://goo.gl/GSdibd

POTLIGHT: LABOR
* Non-unionized state workers with management-confidential status will receive a long-sought 2 percent pay bump, according to a memorandum made public by the Division of Budget, State of Politics reports: http://goo.gl/zsM4lo
* Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office will move to convene a minimum-wage board to study what raise should be given to tipped food-service workers, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/0dRI8v
* The Port Authority is set to announce that 12,000 contract workers making $9 an hour or less at LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports will see long-awaited $1 raises next month, the Daily News reports: http://goo.gl/uMhN40

* A tree-trimming firm paid more than $90 million from Long Island governments for its Sandy cleanup work admitted in court Friday that it underpaid workers in violation of state prevailing wage laws, Newsday reports: http://goo.gl/yYbrZK

Where the Check On de Blasio Budget? Council? Comptroller?  . . .   

Mulgrew "Gum up the works"
‘Great place’: De Blasio’s budget leaves a (mostly) contented Council(Capital)* As he presented his $73.9 billion budget at City Hall Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was giving up on his campaign promise to get rid of the City Council's discretionary funding, saying he and the Council have "agreed to disagree" on the topic.* Friction by press release only.
* A closer look at the UFT contract with New York City reveals that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg may hold some blame for promising teachers a 4 percent raise for 2008-2010 that will now be paid out retroactively under the new deal, E.J. McMahon writes in amNewYork: http://goo.gl/y3gxmk

SPOTLIGHT: LABOR
* State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found that the state Department of Labor fails to complete many of its wage theft investigations in a timely manner, allowing thousands of cases to remain unresolved for a year or more: http://goo.gl/dB2fqI
* Gothamist asked five employees of the Resorts World Casino what their lives are like after the union for the casino’s employees struck a deal that effectively doubled the salaries for 1,400 of the roughly 1,700 employees: http://goo.gl/SDH7mv


* As the session winds down, City & State looks at the status of faltering legislation pertaining to the reform of the Scaffold Law and Industrial Development Agencies, as well as farmworkers rights: http://goo.gl/S47sIJ
* Cuomo announced an Unemployment Strikeforce to target counties with large jobless numbers including the Bronx and Brooklyn and Jefferson and Lewis counties upstate, the Central New York Business Journal reports: http://goo.gl/i9mPTa

 
After New Contract, Will Bad Teachers Be Fired?  . . .  
De Blasio said he trusts principals to decide whether to keep teachers from a pool of rotating substitutes or send them back, after criticism that a new teachers’ contract would bring back poor teachersMayor de Blasio Backs Principals on Substitutes(WSJ)
* NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he trusts principals to judge whether to keep teachers assigned from a pool of rotating substitutes or send them back. His comments followed critics’ claims that the tentative city teachers’ contract wouldn’t ensure that the pool’s poor performers would be kept out of classrooms.

Anti Reform Tricks Hidden in the Teachers Contract   . . .     
The Opportunity School Reform Tease
Some education reformers say the provision in the deal between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers to create 200 “opportunity” schools is not realistic because of the 65 percent vote required, the New York Post writes:




 Now We Have Secret UFT Tapes That Take Credit for Sabotaging Education Reformers
Teachers union boss declares ‘war’ on school reform(NYP) Believing he was among friends, UFT boss Mike Mulgrew showed what he’s really made of during a closed-door meeting with union activists — spewing hatred toward education “reformers,” charter schools and even admitting he sabotaged teacher evaluations. “We are at war with the reformers,” Mulgrew said.  “Their ideas will absolutely destroy — forget about public education — they will destroy education in our country.” The Wednesday-night meeting of union delegates was closed to the press — but a union member taped Mulgrew’s comments and forwarded them to the Web site chalkbeat.org. In another provocative admission, Mulgrew said he deliberately “gummed up” the implementation of teacher evaluations last year during negotiations with the prior Bloomberg administration. 


More Money for DOI to Fight Corruption . . .   
De Blasio boosts manpower to crack down on city corruption(NYP) de Blasio boosted the Department of Investigation’s budget by 20 percent — to $27.6 million from $21.9 million — DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said Friday, adding he’d hire 63 new staffers to work under the NYPD inspector general and analyze databases of contracts to find government waste and abuse. Peters said that his office has been involved in an investigation that led to Councilman Ruben Wills’ indictment this week on charges of stealing $30,500 in government funds.


More On The UFT Sabotage Plan
He lobbied to have teachers rated in 22 different categories, presumably to make it easier for teachers to contest bad ratings. The new labor contract reduces the number of rating categories to eight. “That’s things I don’t get to say in public when I’m doing them, because we knew they had a plan to use the new evaluation system to go after people.”School-reform leaders were outraged by Mulgrew’s remarks. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores rather than as a tool to improve schools for kids,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY.* Cynthia Nixon honored for aiding NYC pre-k program(NYP)  * The new contract for New York City’s teachers is a sweetheart deal for the United Federation of Teachers and it’s disappointing that a mayor who talked so much about fighting inequality would agree to a contract that delivers so little for children, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis writes in the Post* The satanic details(NYP Ed) The mayor got his press conference, the union chief got his revenge — and the city’s schoolchildren got nothing.  Bonuses for serving at failing, “hard-to-staff” schools will go to teachers who are not effective. The contract language clearly states that teachers who are rated as “developing” — that is, who are getting help in hopes they become effective — will qualify for the bonuses.* The Mulgrew story landed on the front page of the New York Post, which reported on the subsequent outrage among school-reform advocates. “Mulgrew saw the teachers contract as an opportunity to settle scores,” said Jenny Sedlis of StudentsFirstNY. “It is so cynical and proves that this is someone who does not care about kids,” said activist Campbell Brown.* Well, we'd sure see how much NYers like a strike by 6-figure teachers who pay nothing for healthcare * The mayor will borrow a good $2½ billion to pay for operating expenses..." warns:* *After* health savings, annual cost of these labor agreements (still unfunded) = $865m in 2015, $2.1b by 2018. Why 2018 gap up eightfold. * Big picture here (p45 of budget doc) is that unpaid-for labor deal(s) massively increasing outyear deficits - doubled 2016 budget to $2.2bn. Takeway from book: unfunded labor agreements massively increase outyear gaps - double gap to $2.2b for 2016, up 8x to $3.2b by 2018.

 



Daily News Only Reports on the Alliance of the Mayor and the UFT, But Does Not Explain Where the Union Got the Power to Control A Mayor

  A lifelong progressive's case against the teacher's union 

Errol Louis ‏@errollouis 
A Must Read: Wayne Barrett slams "unholy alliance" between .@BilldeBlasio and .@uft as far from progressiveDe Blasio’s embrace of the teachers union isn’t progressive; it’s political

 
Barrett Blasts City Progressives Movement and UFT
 With de Blasio and the UFT-financed Working Families Party as allies, the union is hijacking the very language of movement politics, annexing left journalism to defend its narrowest interests and even recruiting progressives to join its war against charter schools that work for kids.Seen through a progressive lens, all that should matter in these school skirmishes is whether a charter, a contract or an employment rule benefits students. Whenever progressive Democrats instead choose teacher power over the futures of minority kids, they are putting a big bucks lobby ahead of a core but comparatively powerless constituency.


Barrett Says the WFP is Exploited exploited by the interests that bankroll it
You may, for example, have gotten the impression, when the WFP appeared poised last month to nominate charter foe Diane Ravitch to oppose Gov. Cuomo, a charter champion, in his reelection bid, that these nonprofit-run public schools are a Republican hedge-fund conspiracy. That's what the WFP, a sometimes-blunt instrument exploited by the interests that bankroll it, and 75-year-old Ravitch, the adopted guru of the UFT and de Blasio administration, would have us believe.

  
As quiet as it's kept, de Blasio is the only mayor of one of America's 10 largest cities, almost all Democrats, who isn't a charter booster
Democrats like Dean and others have seen through the "privatization" trashing of charters by Ravitch and the union, recognizing that there's no structural difference between the non-profits that run public school charters and the ones that operate Head Start, day care and pre-K programs. For his part, de Blasio has never explained what distinguishes maligned charter non-profits from the ones that will run 60% of his celebrated new pre-K classrooms.The only difference, in fact, is that most charters, unlike other nonprofit education providers, opt out of contracts like the UFT's 200-page straitjacket that micromanages the school day and imposes an assembly-line mentality on schools - one that charters have exposed as dysfunctional. Charter opposition is now reflexively used in New York City as a progressive barometer, regardless of the overwhelming evidence of their benefits to mostly black children, with 63% of the schools here outperforming traditional schools in math, for example.

The UFT is Not the Democratic Bastion It Claims to Be In fact, until the union jumped on de Blasio's bandwagon in the sure-win race last November, it had not endorsed a Democratic mayoral candidate since 1989 - with the exception of 2001, when it picked three losers, one in the primary (Alan Hevesi), one in the runoff (Ferrer) and one in the general (Mark Green).How can any of this be progressive? It's special interest protectionism and patronage at its worst. The question is not whether these insurmountable layers of teacher insulation are "valuable" to the system. The question is whether they help kids. Isn't that the only truly progressive measure? * The Naked Self-Interest of the Government-Worker Class 

 

TWU members overwhelmingly voted in favor a tentative contract deal that would provide retroactive pay and boosts in benefits.

 

Unions standing tall for NYC’s cops(NYP)

Ballots in the mail for the UFT contract to be voted on by members; some still feel they are being kept in dark:
Not only is the back-raise plan in Mayor de Blasio’s new teachers contract unpopular with financial watchdogs — city educators hate it, too. The $8.9 billion deal de Blasio made with union President Michael Mulgrew will put off giving teachers their full raises until 2020. That includes a 4% bump for both 2009 and 2010 — years teachers went without a contract and other city unions got raises. About $725 million in raises for 2009 and 2010 will be paid in five annual installments starting next year.

* Most of the 6,100 nonunionized workers at New York City’s three major airports signed cards to join or are already members of 32BJ SEIU, which is taking steps toward a formal vote to organize, the Journal writes: http://goo.gl/ElZE07
Teachers entitled to back pay must stay in the system until 2020 to collect the full amount owed.

Wednesday
Top teachers union officials approved New York City’s new teachers’ union contract, which will be voted on again today by the United Federation of Teachers’ Delegate Assembly and is expected to be ratified by the full membership of the union, the Daily News writes: * Charter School Leaders Skip Out on Council Hearing(NY1)

* With the state ordering teachers and principals not to disclose any contents of last month’s standardized English tests, 37 New York City principals have spoken bluntly about the design and quality of the tests, the Times’ Jim Dwyer writes: * amNewYork writes that what’s currently on the table about New York City’s deal with the United Federation of Teachers are hard numbers for pay raises but also troublingly murky statements about how they’ll be covered: * Dig into the deal (NYDN ED) We're learning more about the teachers' contract* Moody’s: Jury’s Out On UFT Contract Deal(YNN)




Media Spin Doctors Often Control What the Public Reads in the News and Understands
Gadfly George Spitz created the Five Borough NYC Marathon, now the most successful sports event in the city and gets no credit for his invention. The credit is often given to the Rudin family which funds the even Yesterday the media led by the mayor's spin doctors gave the man who was not in the battle, but marched into town to declare victory for creating the Innovated Schools Plan. In Las Vegas there is not even a single plaque naming the man who invented the town mobster Bugsy Siegel. The Mayor of the City of New York should be big enough to name the Tweed Court House the Bloomberg Building. The building naming ceremony could be a good chance for them to catch up and compare notes.  De Blasio Counters Charters With His Own ‘Innovation’ Schools(NYO) New York City’s new teacher’s union contract includes a plan to create up to 200 “innovation” schools that can bypass usual Department of Education rules, similar to charter schools. Teachers Question Pay-for-Performance Element in Proposed Contract (NYT) Some say a new agreement that would pay extra to New York teachers who take on more work is too good to be true, while others welcome the raises.* I think we got a fair deal, but the devil is in the details:' Teachers cautiously optimistic on new city contract(NYDN) * Mulgrew: Education contract is a good deal, especially for kids(NYDN) * Teachers' unions are planning an onslaught of online advertising to protest the pro-charter conference (Capital)
Fieldston and University Heights are in the same borough but worlds apart. How much understanding between their students can a well-told story bring? (NYT) Rich City, Poor City: How it feels to have and have not in NYC 
Easy to Open New Charters  New state law changes makes opening charter schools in New York City easier than any other in nation (NYDN) * Schools Chancellor, City's First Lady Participate in Citywide Parent Conference(NY1) * Unions plan pop-up ads for pro-charter conference(Capital)
 


de Blasio Wins Single Buyer Health Care Saving From the Unions
Still Work Ahead for Other Contract Agreements
* New York City municipal union members could receive a bonus equivalent to 1 percent of their salaries if the city saves more than $3.4 billion in healthcare costs over the next four years, the Journal reports:
Labor leaders back de Blasio health-care overhaul(NYP)The Municipal Labor Council’s steering committee approved the measure, 20 to 2, with only the heads of the detectives and firefighters unions dissenting. The health-care changes — which include centralizing purchases of prescription drugs and medical tests — is expected to save the city $1.3 billion in the new city contract with the teachers union. But opponents say they were rushed into the deal. *Labor Union Council Approves de Blasio's Health Care Savings Deal (DNAINFO) * Labor Leaders Say Mayor Still Has Work Ahead With Settling Contracts(NY1) *NYPD Union Blasts de Blasio Offer of No Retroactive Raises Despite UFT Deal(DNAINFO)Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch blasted the city's offer of no raises.* Two no votes for de Blasio’s health care deal(Capital) * Gonzalez: City union leaders to fund raises with $1 billion transfer from health account(NYDN)


Mulgrew boasts of victories in new teachers union contract(NYP)
* De Blasio gives away the store in teachers contract(Goodwin, NYP) You don’t have to be a cynic to worry that the bonhomie between the union and the union-backed mayor was sealed with hugs, as de Blasio and Fariña each shared an embrace with Michael Mulgrew, boss of the United Federation of Teachers. But while raises are certain, concessions are elusive. More than $1 billion in savings to the city are claimed through vague changes to health-care programs, but teachers won’t pay anything more toward their premiums, a foolish giveaway on de Blasio’s part that will hobble the budget forever. hat gets to the big problem. Nothing in the contract, and nothing the mayor and Fariña say about it, gives any reason to hope that student performance will improve. That’s no incidental omission. At the same time, they say schools are in a state of “crisis” because so few of the 65 percent of students who get a diploma are prepared for college or a career. To take them at their rhetoric, they are committed to solving that crisis.This contract does not keep faith with that commitment. It doesn’t even try.* Michelle Rhee says the reforms in the deal struck by de Blasio with the UFT aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. 

Back to the 70's Budget? Where’s Scott?(NYP Ed) Budget watchdogs raise their eyebrows over such things. Remember, borrowing from the future to pay current-day (let alone past) expenses was a chief reason the city nearly went belly-up in the ’70s. You don’t take out a loan to pay the grocery bill.The contract deal with the teachers isn’t exactly the same, of course. In the ’70s, the city routinely assumed debt to cover budget shortfalls; de Blasio hasn’t signaled any intention of doing that. This deal also includes $1 billion in health-care savings, though we don’t yet have the details about how the city will realize those gainsThat’s where Stringer comes in. As city comptroller, Stringer’s job is to look at New York’s financial obligations and sound the alarm if he spots risky moves.* MAYOR’S KUMBAYA UFT DEAL: While New York City’s deal with UFT is sure to guarantee labor peace and loyalty and support for Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of impact on the city’s coffers, new City & State columnist Gerson Borrero writes: * The Post writes that only an honest and thorough-going analysis of New York City’s labor agreement with the UFT, which Comptroller Scott Stringer said he’ll review in his budget analysis, will re-assure New Yorkers that the city isn’t about to repeat the mistakes of the 1970s: *  * Success Academy Leader Eva Moskowitz was noticeably absent from a City Council hearing on charter schools where the issues of purported harsh disciplinary tactics and selective admittance were raised by councilmembers, the Daily News reports:

Speaking of Mr. de Blasio’s numbers, his deal with the teachers’ union may be more than meets the eye, Capital New York reports: “Despite assurances from leaders of the city teachers’ union that members ‘should not’ have to pay more toward their health insurance as a result of their agreement with the de Blasio administration, that remains a possibility.”

The Municipal Labor Committee, an umbrella group of New York City unions, voted in support of a proposal championed by de Blasio that the mayor says will generate $3.4 billion in health-care savings.

Question Remain About How the UFT Contract Will Be Paid For
Skeptics question health-care savings at teachers union(NYP) Carol Kellermann of the Citizens Budget Commission said de Blasio let the United Federation of Teachers off the hook.  “The health-cost-savings part leaves a lot to be ­desired,” she said. “The city should have gotten 25 percent of the cost of the premiums from the workers. That would have been $1 billion a year,” she said. City Hall officials insist the savings can be achieved without asking teachers to contribute more dollars ­toward their health care — by centralizing aspects like prescription drugs and conducting audits.  The city would save $3.4 billion over four years if all the unions agree to the modest changes for the ­entire municipal work force, the mayor said. * Teachers relieved but not thrilled with new contract details(NYP)

Is the Apple for Trying? Daily News Unsure About the Contract Historic Reforms
 The Daily News editorial board was skeptical about many of the deal’s details: “Take a hard look at the new teacher contract deal’s supposedly historic reforms, and you’ll find measures that may improve the system as advertised — or may chip away at the crucial autonomy and authority of managers to run their schools.”
 WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE UFT CONTRACT: The contract agreement between the de Blasio administration and the United Federation of Teachers was hailed as a historic marker of reform, but key questions remain, City & State’s Nick Powell writes: * The Daily News writes that the agreement between New York City and the United Federation of Teachers achieves a big win in protecting the city’s finances from what could have been a ruinous hit from billions in overhang from retroactive raises: * The Daily News writes that the agreement includes measures that may improve the education system or may chip away at crucial autonomy and authority of managers to run their schools: Schools can opt to work around Department of Education and union rules, if they choose -- making them similar to charter schools, minus the co-locations and private funding. There’s extra pay for skilled teachers who help newer ones. And somewhere, maybe, there are details about how the city will pay for the raises teachers are getting. New York magazine’s Chris Smith called this part of the contract “alarmingly vague.”But the teachers union president told Capital the contract does not include teachers paying more for their health care, because “we feel very strongly there will be no need for that at all.” The head of the Municipal Labor Council echoed that sentiment in a conversation with Capital’s Gloria Pazmino. If de Blasio can deliver enough savings to pay for retroactive and prospective raises for teachers, without raising taxes or forcing them to pay more for their health care, then this deal could be, as de Blasio said repeatedly, historic. -- Sally Goldenberg has the details, and notes the ones that are missing, here: http://capi.tl/1n8ulXW * Doulis: Teachers’ agreement resolves uncertainty around city’s financial plan(NYDN) * An NYC teacher's contract take: "The money is not nearly as good as it sounds (or the UFT is spinning it)" & more* New York magazine writes that Mr. de Blasio’s teachers’ union contract deal yesterday had an “abundance of irony” and was  “alarmingly vague” on key details: “If he pulls it off the gains—to use one of de Blasio’s favorite words—could be ‘historic.’ Yet the particulars of just how the city will be paying for the raises—or even the total cost of the raises—are alarmingly vague.” While the New York Post editorial board had some praise for the deal: “Perhaps most important is the $1 billion in savings the mayor says he and the UFT will seek in health care. We have few specifics, though the mayor mentioned sensible possibilities such as auditing benefits to remove those not entitled. If the mayor makes good on the promised savings, it would be a huge step forward.” And here is Mr. de Blasio’s full question-and-answer session at yesterday’s press conference, via NYTrue.com: * De Blasio, teachers union strike deal offering charter reforms(NYP) * Bill’s big deal(NYP Ed) * Gonzalez: A little respect brought de Blasio, teachers’ union to agreement(NYDN) * De Blasio's historic U.F.T. deal, with gaps: Where is the money coming from?(Capital)
de Blasio on Radio: BdB says the purpose of providing a menu of options is that folks will work cooperatively to achieve goal. * BdB says skyrocketing healthcare costs endangered NYC's fiscal health. UFT deal vaguely contains more than a billion in health savings. * De Blasio says reforms in teachers contract will deepen relations between families and schools * . says UFT deal sets a patter for other unions (some of whom are not big fans of 0-1 raises)* UFT employee health plans: a chart  * New York magazine’s Chris Smith writes that Michael Mulgrew, head of the United Federation of Teachers, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both scored points with the new teacher’s contract (NY MAG)


Failing Black Students Face A 9 Year Contract With Wake Promises in this 9 Year Contract That Teaching Will Improve

. . . we’ll see about the kids (NYDN Ed) Ballyhooed rules reforms may not translate to the classroom. Take a hard look at the new teacher contract deal’s supposedly historic reforms, and you’ll find measures that may improve the system as advertised — or may chip away at the crucial autonomy and authority of managers to run their schools. The Absent Teacher Reserve,
Laboratory schools, Firing perv teachers,
Teacher evaluation, A career ladder,
Quality teachers in low-income schools,
Parental involvement ***NYC failing black students(NYP ED) According to the Regents exams, only 11 percent of black males who leave a New York City high school with a diploma are ready for college. In the lower grades — third through eighth — only 15 percent of African-American students are proficient in math and reading. They learn at elite private schools, which have expanded their outreach. They learn at Catholic schools, from the all-scholarship Regis High to the neighborhood parochial school. The Archdiocese of New York — which puts its black high school population at 14 percent — reports that 99 percent of its students graduate and 98 percent go on to a two- or four-year college.Black children also learn in charters. Though city charters range in quality, African-American students at the most successful compete with the best in the state. Even overall, when African-American students in charters are measured against their peers in district schools, the charter kids do better — which explains a wait list 50,000 long.

Transit Union to UFT We Did Better
Transport union official pans teachers' deal with de Blasio(Capital)"Details of the agreement between the UFT (the Teachers' union) and NYC are still coming out, but a few things are already clear. The raises TWU negotiated with the MTA are superior to those UFT members will be getting. Not only that, we did better in other important aspects of the contract, as well," Steve Downs of the TWU wrote in an email to his members.



* Analysts are expecting organized labor to make out particularly well this legislative session, what with a budget surplus and it being an election year for the governor and all Senate and Assembly members, City & State’s Nick Powell reports: http://goo.gl/E4iiRv
* State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that Fortune 500 retailers Dollar Tree and Dillards have agreed to new reporting standards meant to better uphold labor safety standards in their suppliers’ factories: http://goo.gl/6sQ1rx

Labor Deal Benchmark 
The Daily News writes that the labor deal brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the MTA and the Transport Workers Union sets a benchmark that de Blasio must meet in his negotiations with city workers:

NYCLASS PAC Helped Both de Blasio/Thompson Campaigns UFT Backing Thompson/Advance Secret Relationship
4. The Advance Group also faces a CFB probe into an outside-spending campaign the firm ran on behalf of the United Federation of Teachers under the name "Strategic Consultants, Inc.," and separately, NYCLASS gave donations to the anti-Quinn efforts far above state-imposed limits.United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY)* The advance group got paid $28,000 by gay city council candidate Yetta Kurland at the same time the firm work for the City Action Coalition PAC, which on its website touts itself as supporting candidates who oppose gay marriage and abortion rights.Advance was on both side of the Kurland race.  The firm also secretly worked to have been promot Johnson’s candidacy through an IE paid for by the UFT via a company called Strategic Consultants—apparently a dummy shell corporation set up to obscure the Advance Group’s double-dealing. "Questions Raised Over U.F.T. Campaign Filing" [Beth Fertig]* * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)



Advance Groups Gamed Public Fiance
Advance Groups Logo on Phony Group Makes Millions in Matching Funds, Main Stream Media Ignores
Several payments that a UFT super PAC sent to a fictitious political consulting firm “Strategic Consultants” have the Advance Group logo on their invoices
Advance Group puts logo on phony firm's invoice( CrainsNY) Last week, The Insider broke the news that the United Federation of Teachers' super PAC had paid more than $370,000 to a fictitious political consulting firm "Strategic Consultants Inc.," which was actually the well-known Manhattan consulting firm the Advance Group. An open records request that came back on Tuesday from the City Campaign Finance Board (and is embedded below) offers fresh and somewhat amusing evidence of the connection between the two: Many of the invoices the agency received from Strategic Consultants have the Advance Group logo on them.





 UFT Fights Back Hires New Progressive Machine for $2.5 Million
The United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers unions gave a collective $2.5 million to education groups that have attacked Cuomo’s support for charter schools and opposition to tax hikes, the Post writes: The rebranded ACORN — New York Communities for Change — received a total of $1.3 million from the United Federation of Teachers and New York State United Teachers from 2010 to 2013. The unions also pumped $1.2 million into a group called Alliance for Quality Education. Both issued statements accusing the governor of “pay-to-play politics” for backing charter schools because of campaign contributions he received from charter-supporting “Wall Street billionaires.” They also supported tax hikes on the rich opposed by Cuomo. Cuomo blamed the attacks on “a big bureaucracy with a system that is entrenched.”* DN Education Tax Credits * The Daily News writes that the education tax credit being proposed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan—among others—is a promising way to boost charitable giving to public and private schools: * Leaders rush on Common Core adjustments, not teacher evaluations(Capital)

The UFT Advance Connection * UFT under fire for apparently trying to hide identity of consulting firm(NYDN)The city’s powerful teachers union is under fire from good-government groups for apparently trying to hide the identity of a consulting firm it was using to boost union-backed candidates.  "The listing of the phony firm, 'Strategic Consultants, Inc.,' in campaign filings, obscured that Advance Group was being paid both to promote candidates for the United Federation of Teachers' independent political action committee, and working as the main campaign consultant for several of those same candidates."Teachers union paid $370K to fake consultant
More on the WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine 
More on the Advance Group 



No Public Trust: Clue 2

Unions Have Their Own NY Citizens United To Control City and State Elections

The Politically Impotent Average 
New Yorker


Look for the union label(NYP) Even as New York legislators decry the corrupting influence of money in politics, they’re busy protecting their union pals from the annoying glare of having to disclose how much they spend to promote their candidates during political campaigns. Exhibit A is the recently passed state budget. This budget requires more disclosure of spending on issues and advocacy. Except for one thing: It exempts spending by labor unions on campaign messages that target their members and retirees. The exemption also applies to spending corporations direct at their members and ­retirees. But because union spending on such messages dwarfs that of corporations in New York politics, this special carve-out has a disproportionately favorable impact for unions. If this all sounds familiar, it should. Last spring, the City Council voted to give unions the same exemption in city races. Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed it, but the council overrode his veto. Now Albany has basically adopted the same provision at the state level. New Yorkers are going to know less about the real moneybags behind our campaigns. The example Crain’s noted was the massive campaign on behalf of Bill de Blasio by 1199 SEIU. It was exempt from reporting on the grounds that officially the health-care workers union was only targeting its members. * Cap NY: "A vote by a state teachers' [union] to overhaul its leadership may be a sign of trouble for [Cuomo]."




How Do You Give the UFT A 9 Year Contract?

When the Mayor Says Parents Want to Shake Unacceptable Status Quo of Our Public Schools?   

: "People in traditional schools, charter schools want to shake foundation of unacceptable status quo"
"The notion that children are "lucky enough to escape" district schools "speaks volumes," BdB says"
De Blasio Pushing for Unusual, 9-Year Contract With Teachers’ Union(NYT) The de Blasio administration, seeking to be generous to its allies in labor without jeopardizing New York City’s finances, is pushing for what would be the longest-ever contract with the teachers’ union: a nine-year deal that would let the city stretch out potentially huge retroactive pay increases.* De Blasio's Labor Team(City and State) * De Blasio eyes record 9-year deal with (NYP) teachers union * De Blasio Pushes a 9-Year Contract for Teachers(NYT) * De Blasio Proposes Nine-Year Contract for City Teachers(NY1) * Teacher back-pay math is tough, even on a nine-year timeline(Capital) Goodwin NYP On Proposed Contract "News flash: With City Hall and the teachers union negotiating a new contract, union boss Michael Mulgrew asked for the sun and the moon, then promised, “We’re not trying to bankrupt the city.” Whew — glad he cleared that up." More On Education and the new Chancellor, Charter Schools




Hotel Union Test How Much Power They Have Under de Blasio and New Council

Hotel Development Union Check Proposed
The Hotel Trades Council is pushing for stricter public review of new hotel development—which could help it gain members—setting up a test pitting de Blasio’s promises to developers against his relationship with labor, the Journal writes: * Bill would force hotel developers to submit plans to community(NYP)


Is the Council Giving Departing UPK Manager and Union ManagerA Gift?

UPKNYC Campaign Manager Returning to Union Gig(NYO) Josh Gold, who’d taken a leave of absence from the powerful Hotel Trades Council to manage the campaign, is in the process of transitioning back to his former job. Josh Gold, a de Blasio campaign aide who ran the mayor’s efforts to get universal prekindergarten, is returning to his old role at the Hotel Trades Council, a sign the lobbying push is over

* The Coalition for a Real Minimum Wage Increase accused Cuomo of stalling on setting up a board to mandate a wage increase for food servers, the Daily News reports: http://goo.gl/hSM9R1
* De Blasio on Thursday reiterated his promise to hire local workers for the city’s troubled Build it Back program, at the release a report detailing his new plan to rebuild homes destroyed by Sandy, Gotham Gazette reports: http://goo.gl/IoWOv3
* Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino in a video blasted Cuomo over a state Department of Labor report showing a 0.1 percent increase in unemployment, State of Politics reports: http://goo.gl/pgsEZG

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