Discover more from Almonte’s Newsletter
We Demand Open Bargaining in this Year’s UFT Contract Negotiations
Open bargaining is the path to securing the working conditions we deserve, and the schools our students need
/ As newly elected Executive Board members, we have been invited to join the union’s contract negotiating committee. In a time of pandemic and budget cuts, it’s critical that we bargain for better salaries, benefits, and working conditions.
As workplace leaders, we also believe that our union’s strength depends on making decisions collectively with openness and transparency. Unfortunately, the UFT has a long practice of requiring members (who are hand-picked) to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) as a condition for serving on the negotiating committee. We oppose this policy because it prevents the membership from holding the committee accountable, puts pressure on the UFT to broker backroom deals with politicians rather than rely on the strength of the union membership, and thus undermines the union’s ability to win a strong contract. For this reason we oppose the NDA, and refuse to sign it as much as we would like to join the committee. We simply cannot surrender our right to share with our coworkers information that affects their livelihood. We were elected to the Executive Board to amplify the needs of our members, not to make decisions unilaterally behind their backs.
The upcoming negotiations with the city must be open and transparent. In this way the membership can be made aware of what’s at stake, can follow the progress of negotiations, and can be mobilized in moments where the city refuses to compromise. Our members are the union, and their activity is the source of its power. Open bargaining is the path to securing the working conditions we deserve, and the schools our students need.
Alex Jallot and Ronnie Almonte