The Occupy movement may have been kicked out of nearly every one of their makeshift encampments this fall, but don’t worry. They are counting on unions to keep them nice and warm this winter, and that includes the United Federation of Teachers union, which forces New York City to hemorrhage tax dollars at the expense of children’s education.
The Occupy movement had little concern about the effect they had on other people or the costs that they racked up. If you’re going to have a revolution, after all, you need to break a few eggs — other people’s eggs, apparently. But for gosh sakes, don’t ask the Occupiers to get chilly! In a recent spate of email correspondence, John McGloin (who we featured on Big Government weeks ago) gives the weather report and makes lemonade from lemons.
This is from the email exchange between a few Occupy insiders…
We should not be fighting nature when it is unnecessary. It is cold outside and everything slows down in the cold. We don’t need to hibernate, but we don’t need to pretend its [sic] September. It is important to remember that occupation is a tactic, not the goal. Although there were definite advantages to having a centralized place on the ground, our movement doesn’t depend on centralization, and in many ways Bloomberg did us a favor.
If you’re going to overthrow the entire capitalist system, you can’t fight nature and you obviously need a decent meeting space. One great idea – hold meetings in storage locker! Luckily, the United Federation of Teachers has provided just such spot for Occupy.
USING OUR STORAGE SPACE at 50 Broadway; it’s large (needs to be checked out), open, adaptable, is near Wall St. and has ground floor access to the public. It would be much easier to find alternative storage spaces.
It’s worth going off on a slight tangent here about who the United Federation of Teachers is and what they do, aside from giving storage (and potential meeting) space to their comrades at Occupy Wall Street. The UFT Is also responsible for destroying children’s futures by making bad or useless teachers nearly impossible to fire in New York. In fact, it wasn’t until just last year that the UFT agreed to get rid of “rubber rooms,” according to the New York Times.
Under the agreement, teachers the city is trying to fire will no longer be sent to the rubber rooms, known as reassignment centers, where the teachers show up every school day, sometimes for years, doing no work and drawing full salaries. Instead, these teachers will be assigned to administrative work or nonclassroom duties in their schools while their cases are pending.
The centers have been a source of embarrassment for both the Bloomberg administration and the United Federation of Teachers, as articles in newspapers and magazines detailed teachers running businesses out of the rubber rooms or dozing off for hours on end.
There were over 500 bad teachers in the rubber room program in 2010 who cost New York City $30 million dollars a year. But don’t worry about the bad teachers; the UFT took great care of them. The Times continues…
The union did not appear to sacrifice much in the deal. While the agreement speeds hearings, it does little to change the arduous process of firing teachers, particularly ineffective ones. Administrators still must spend months or even years documenting poor performance before the department can begin hearings, which will still last up to two months.
Although the city has invested about $2 million in hiring more lawyers to help principals get rid of teachers, it has managed to fire only three for incompetence in the last two years. During the last two school years, 45 teachers have been fired for misconduct, like corporal punishment, sexual harassment or crimes.
While the agreement may solve the thorny public relations problems for the city and the union, it does nothing to address the more costly absent teacher reserve pool, which consists of teachers who have lost their jobs because of budget cuts or when a school is shut down for poor performance, but have not been accused of incompetence or wrongdoing. Those teachers, who number about 1,100, do not have permanent classroom jobs but draw full salaries; the city spends roughly $100 million annually on the pool.
So, there’s the United Federation of Teachers — causing New York City to waste $130 million dollars a year on teachers who aren’t doing anything to actually educate children and aiding Occupy Wall Street in their quest to raise taxes. It would also be funny if the educational lives of so many children weren’t at stake.
The email brainstorming includes other references to the unions, such as the idea that union dues of people who work should pay for rental space for people who talk endlessly and plan civil disobedience…
**Finding a RENTAL SPACE TO BE FINANCED BY DONATIONS FROM UNIONS ETC.****
The emails also give some insight on the people who make up Occupy. They aren’t just mad at capitalism; they seem to get testy with each other, as well. In the emails, Jon Good says about General Assembly meetings:
I would love to work on strategies to avoid the tension and animosity that resulted from so many angry, frustrated people being crammed into a small space and surrounded by cops, and had folks saying “fuck you, I live here, the GA consensus can’t make me do X.” (or what seemed like the pervasive attitude of crusty white males that there was a secret cabal who controlled the GA so it didn’t really represent Occupy)
Jon Good is clearly upset that the “crusty white males” are saying “you can’t make me” do something! That’s an interesting attitude for Mr. Good to take, since he appears to have added the following sentence to the General Assembly’s declaration writing process…
We will no longer tolerate living by their rules.
It’s a group of people who don’t want to live by rules, and they are shocked to find that some of them don’t want to live by rules. This is what happens when anarchists organize… and other people foot the bill.