And from the looks of the turnout, the MTA and BTU better hope the Friedrich’s case is not resurrected any time soon — because even though it was held in conjunction with a statewide MTA conference that drew thousands from across the state to talk union business, they still couldn’t get more than a couple hundred folks to "rally" down the street at the Common.
They even sent buses across the state to pick up folks and get them in. Most of them looked pretty empty.
(This is not a lot of people.)
For instance, the contingent from New Bedford?
About a dozen and a half people, mostly students but including a City Councilor and a labor leader, took a chartered school bus to Boston Saturday to link up with people from across the state in a rally to push for improved public education in Massachusetts.
There was also a chunk of folks from my old union, 1199SEIU — which represents healthcare workers in the Commonwealth.
So why were they coming? Apparently some are still fighting last year’s Question 2:
He also warned that despite the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected Question 2 last year, stopping the progress of a bid to privatize more schools and divert funds to charters, Question 2 “isn’t dead yet.”
It’s dead, people. Not happening.
But here we are — more than six months after the defeat of the question — with thousands of children across the state still in failing schools — and we have yet to hear a plan articulated from labor about how THEY plan to fix the achievement gaps that are crippling kids across the Commonwealth.
Their solution? Just stop testing kids. Then we won’t know we’re failing them. Problem solved.
Could it be that people want more substance around education than the usual union, "Give us more money and don’t ask us any questions!" rhetoric of late?
The agenda of the rally organizers goes beyond maintaining the status quo. They have a list of changes they call on to be implemented. City Councilor Dana Ribero said that her first priority is to see that teachers are adequately paid.
Of course. Because in the end, that’s what this was all REALLY about.
But seriously, guys? Ouch. The organizers used pictures from the Women’s March and the March for Science that drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Common and united us all behind real mobilization for change. This? This was lame. And no amount of EduShyster tweets is going to change that.
But speaking of teachers getting paid — for months we’ve been covering the absurdity of the Boston Teachers Union contract negotiations.
(And apparently covering them so well that one of the top union leaders over at the BTU has become a fan of EduMom. Sup, dude.)
Contract negotiations are reportedly at a halt until at least July. EduMom hears we’re at a stand still over compensation and Boston’s rubber room — I mean, our "excess teacher pool …" AKA: The Hundreds of Teachers We Pay to Do Absolutely Nothing All Day — and How Dare You Ask Them to Do Para Work Because As Teachers They Are Complete Crap.
Every time I write about BTU contract negotiations and the utter injustice of it all, I have to pop a couple of Advil before putting pen to paper. The amount of eye rolling needed to get through a piece where Boston teacher’s try to paint themselves as tragic figures who are suffering at the hands of a cruel and unfeeling administration who literally hate children and would prefer that we just ban them from the city once and for all really takes a toll on the old noggin.
The Boston Herald recaps the heart of the issue and the fact that we are wasting $34 MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR on teachers who DO NOT EVEN TEACH. They literally get paid to do nothing and are placed in the excess pool because of:
1) Poor performance
2) No principal wants to hire them
3) They have failed to obtain the proper licenses
Pretty cut and dry, no? Not according to King Richard of the BTU:
“We think they should be working,” said BTU president Richard Stutman. “These are people who have been recruited to teaching for BPS. They all have had professional development through BPS. Two-thirds are rated proficient or exemplary. Our point is the school department is irresponsible for not employing them.”
I’m sorry, WHAT?
This is the insanity we are dealing with. We have a school system that is structured to educate 90k kids per year when we have 54k. And the teachers union refuses to let us close any of the half-empty, underperforming schools or fire any of the crappy teachers. It is absolute insanity. Are you kidding me?
So, if I am recruited to a position and they train me to do it — and I’m total crap at getting the job done — my employer is IRRESPONSIBLE for not keeping me on?
In what other circumstance in the entire world would this make sense, other than our education system?
And of course, this little tidbit that ends up as a throw away paragraph at the end of the piece:
More than 1,400 city teachers are raking in $100,000 or more a year in pay, a Herald review of the city payroll shows. The raise from the last contract has pushed the average salary for a city teacher to $90,467 — among the highest in the country.
Looks like it’s time to update the EduMom BPU Fast Fact List:
BPS teachers are paid an average of $90,000 per year.
34% of BPS teachers make over $100,000 per year.
BPS teachers also work 180 days per year and get 20 days of paid time off.
BPS has the shortest school day of any major urban district in the United States.
BPS pays teachers who DO NOT TEACH ANYTHING AT ALL — $34 million dollars per year.
And while all this is happening, we wonder why cuts are happening or why we can’t afford the materials, programs and facilities that we actually need to help overcome the horrific achievement gap in Boston Public Schools?
What do you think?