When United Teachers of Dade “Sold Out” (again) Public Education, Florida’s Teaching Force and Children by Endorsing Race to the Top, Ushering in SB736

short link:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=955

This is somewhat of a place holding entry.  More links and documentation will follow.

There are probably no more damaging policies to public education and therefore to the children (and the adults they become, which means the communities, the families, the businesses…the entire fabric of society) than the consecutive policies of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” and Obama’s “Race to the Top” (RTTT).

The first time Florida attempted to sell teacher tenure and autonomy to the federal government in return for billions in aid, our Florida application was rejected for (properly) a lack of teacher union support.  Indeed, what possible union of professionals would agree to sell out their profession and harm the clients we serve?  Answer?  No kind of true union.

The second application for RTTT was initiated by the governor wisely tapping MDCPS’ superintendent Alberto Carvalho to be the chair of the Florida RTTT committee, knowing that Carvalho “owned” United Teachers of Dade (UTD), the largest teachers union in the Southern United States.  With UTD on board and its influence in the state umbrella union, the Florida Education Association (FEA, of which UTD’s former president is now Vice President and running for FEA’s president position), full state union support was soon delivered and the Federal Grant application approved.

UTD had sold public education out.

The problem was, UTD had a history of  standing firmly (and correctly) against merit pay and the trade-off (sell off) of teacher rights.  In order to get UTD to support RTTT, Carvalho had to get UTD’s president Aronowitz to do a 180 degree flip flop on all of the prior statements of opposition.

He did.

However, after its disastrous federal approval, introduction and implementation between 2010 and the end of the  2012 school year, Miami teachers and their volunteer union representatives who worked among them in the schools (called union stewards) almost unanimously communicated to UTD leadership that they did not want to renew their involvement in RTTT when it was time to renew the grants in the fall of 2012.

The stewards took these wishes to the steward council meeting in the fall of 2012 and officially voted down renewed involvement in RTTT.

The problem was, RTTT involvement was important to Carvalho’s personal professional and political climb…and so Carvalho stopped the ongoing salary negotiations and told stewards in the middle of the school day that they must immediately reconvene the stewards in an emergency vote DURING the day and vote to get it right (in other words, to stay until they agreed to renew their support).

Here’s what I and the herald wrote about this manipulative exploitation of the union by Carvalho then:  ”pulling 400+ stewards out of their classrooms (10,000 plus students left without teachers for an afternoon) to revote an RTTT proposal Stewards had already said NO to: “Union stewards had previously voted against it…UTD President Karen Aronowitz…called an emergency meeting at Miami Jackson Senior High School…Stewards — teachers and education support professionals elected to represent their schools — left work early to discuss and vote.”  - The joke here is that she said changing their vote would turn into powerful bargaining leverage…right, so the $300 raise for 3 years is her idea of powerful?”

The following are communications related to the above information:

—– Original Message —–

From: United Teachers of Dade

Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 11:41 AM

Subject: Emergency Council of Stewards Meeting Today at 1:00 p.m.

Dear Stewards:

During contract negotiations today issues arose that require the attention of Union Building Stewards.  President Karen Aronowitz requested that the District release all Stewards to attend an emergency meeting at Miami Jackson Senior High School at 1:00 p.m. today.  District officials have agreed and are notifying all Principals to release Stewards by noon today to attend the 1:00 p.m. meeting.

Any questions should be directed to M-DCPS Labor Relations at 305-995-1000.



I am the designated union steward at XXXXX School.

Once again our Union sold us down the river today.  I want to contest what they did.

We were called to this meeting today, pulled away from our students to vote on an issue that the council had already voted on and voted no.

We were presented with the following;

That the District would not negotiate with us if we id not approve the RTTT-D.

The [council of stewards] voted on this last month and voted no because we did not feel it was equitable, efficient, or transparent.  The grant would only be for Middle School Math teachers (2 at each school) and was to be used to implement the Cambridge math program for select students in each middle school at a cost, to be covered by the grant, of 30 million dollars.  The districts needs are so many and to spend 30 million on such a small group

1) The stewards were told that if we voted for Karen to sign the grant that we could retract are offer later if we could not reach an agreement in bargaining.  (I don’t believe this to be true.)

2) There were approximately 400 stewards there.  The way the vote was conducted was by oral response.  All in favor, all opposed.  Really fast and over 1/2 the people did not vote.  It was clear that UTD leadership wanted the measure to pass.  Only about 50 responded in favor and then maybe 8 had the courage to vote opposed.  I’ve already notified them that I want to challenge the vote.  I need your insight in how to do this. I believe this needed to be presented to members before we voted.

3) Personnally they sold us out again.  It was my position that if the District was serious about this they would have put an offer on the table.  We give up our bargaining power when we sign the grant.  Too many times we have fallen for this and then the district renigs and does not follow through.  Last month UTD had a large number of people lined up to speak at the school board meeting and pulled everyone out at the last minute because they had reached an agreement, well the next day they went to bargaining and they were offered a 1% pay increase.  Even if it is legal for us to withdraw our signature (which to my knowledge it is not.) we will be portrayed as the villians again because we will be blamed for hurting the children when really we are just hurting their own personal income.  They did not worry about interrupting instruction to have this dirty vote.


This is from another steward at the time:

This afternoon our principals were sent a notice from the district to allow all building stewards to attend and emergency meeting this afternoon at Jackson SHS.
At the meeting our president informed us that we needed to approve the new RTTT grant [even though membership and then the stewards council had rejected it - Beightol's clarification].
There was many people who went up to speak and not surprisingly Karen would not take questions from the floor that were not to her liking.  She also tried to take the mike away from speakers that when she didn’t like what they said.
In the end she got the stewards to vote yes by telling them of the bad things that would happen if they did not approve:  “Tallahassee would cut funding to MDCPS”  “Tallahassee would be out to bust the Union” “we would get nothing from the district by a yes vote meant that she would have something to negotiate as if they didn’t give us the step increase we could chose to not implement it come December.”
I feel this was all manipulated by both Karen and Carvalho.  For one thing if he really wanted this deal why did he not make an offer to go with the approval of the grant- but as of now he has offered nothing.  Karen told the stewards that voting yes would put UTD in a position of power.  She had her AFT lawyer there to back her up as well.
I personally feel that RTTT is very bad legislation and we should never had been on-board with it from the start.
But as usual Karen got her way and it was passed.  She says UTD is powerless because we do not have 80% membership – however membership is low primarily because of her and the way the union has been run.
Most teachers feel that she has sold us out and members are leaving daily for this reason.  I feel that I was being set up with this meeting as I could tell that the administration knew before hand what it was about as id a teacher that they hold in confidence.  I did not approve but the majority of stewards voted yes like good little sheeple.


from another steward:

10/29/12: This am UTD met MDCPS at the negotiation tables again. Apparently MDCPS tried to pressure UTD President Karen Aronowitz to sign off and allow MDCPS to pursue the next round of RTTT monies. However, through recent surveys, UTD members told Karen Aronowitz that they did NOT want to take RTTT $ the next round.


To me [Shawn Beightol], what makes this especially grievous is UTD’s complete reversal in their position on merit pay and RTTT.  This is something I researched and wrote about in February of 2012…before Stewards voted (initially) to reject further implementation of RTTT in MDCPS…and were called back to revote it until they got it “right” as described above:

Subject: Flip Flops are standard footware in Miami

Some strong words from a strong “leader”

Re: Star Merit Pay

““Some legislators awoke to the punitive nature of STAR and were smart enough to stop it in its track.  Now MAP is taking its place.  The real discussion must still be the salaries offered in this state to teachers and ESPs.  Nothing replaces adequacy of salaries in recruiting and retaining educators – not E-COMP, not STAR, not MAP”…”

STAR “will also judge teachers on how well their students perform on the FCAT test, even though many of the teachers do not teach FCAT subjects.  These teachers would then be judged by other non-scientific, non-validated tests yet to be developed.”

“The STAR plan is a fiasco that undermines effective teaching and learning.  The state mandated features will unravel the fabric of collegiality and actually frustrate the mission of our public schools,””

““The state should be ashamed.  We are talking about the state punishing its own children so their teachers can get a bogus bonus,” said Aronowitz, referring to the program’s $19.6 million dollars being tied directly to FCAT scores.”  – May, 2008


Race to the Top: Aronowitz Says ”NO” to Florida DOE

No Reform, Participation or Collaboration = No Agreement – “We are strongly opposed to DOE’s complete disregard for the needs of our students and teachers. I want you to know that I will never sign an agreement that puts our contract in jeopardy and ignores the voices of educators.”  – Dec 2009

“Aronowitz briefed the Board regarding Race to the Top stating that…after carefully reviewing the MOU from the State, there is no way we can sign the document – it undermines our collective bargaining agreement.” – UTD Executive Board Minutes, January 2010


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


MIAMI- Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho and UTD President Karen Aronowitz signed an agreement today assuring the state that the teachers union is in agreement with Florida’s Race to the Top (RTTT) grant application and agreeing to negotiate the terms and conditions for full implementation. The agreement puts Miami-Dade County Public Schools in line for up to $70 million in RTTT funding.

Yet she has the gall to write a month later Re: Gov Scott’s & Republican Majority wins in Nov 2010 and the threat of changing teacher evaluation and compensation:
“Senate Bill 6 will be back. We will not back down from the fight.  We and our sister unions are the final line between strong public schools and privatization.
In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never….’  That is who we are.  That is why we are union.”  – Karen Aronowitz, November 2010, UTD News
Note: the press release and her quote in the UTD news (presumably 2 different audiences) are completely, diametrically opposed to each other.
Publicly, she begins to tone down her previously staunch anti-merit pay rhetoric, now calling it a “debate” and “discussion”:
“The debate continues on merit pay, teacher tenure and the quality of teaching in Florida. Underlying the discussion is last year’s proposal to create a merit-based teacher pay system in which student test scores form part of the basis for teaching compensation. The proposal was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist.”
- Karen Aronowitz, UTD News, January 2011
By August of 2011, Karen shifts from vocal opponent to vocal advocate of Merit Pay, including this statement from the August 2011 Tentative Agreement “What a Yes Vote Means” letter (promoting the new “IPEGS II” which bases teachers merit pay and potential non-rehirability on school average reading grades):
“we have secured funding from the Race to the Top Grant…$14 million dollars will be paid to teachers based on last year’s work…I cannot stress enough the significance…the UTD Executive Board and Bargaining Team strongly recommend this contract amendment.”
And when the “sellout” plate comes back around in January 2012, Karen speaks out of both sides of her mouth with her hand held out to take RTTT blood money:
“the terms of Race to the Top are demeaning, divisive, and degrading to teachers and that what should be a positive work environment has been altered for the worse.
Even so, [we] want the $14 million dollars” – UTD News, January 2012
What changed?  FEA’s lawsuit says RTTT/SB736 STILL undermines collective bargaining (if you think the RTTT and SB736 are unrelated, see http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2011/03/sb736-irresponsible-incompetent-or.html<https://legacy.dadeschools.net/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2011/03/sb736-irresponsible-incompetent-or.html>  – SB736 provided the legislative requirements needed to secure RTTT funds).
What changed is this:
UTD has long struggled with membership at less than 50% its unit.
In 2010-2011 year, Florida Legislators along with American Legislative Exchange Council (see http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2012/07/26/report-says-alec-has-growing-influence-in-florida-education-policy/ ) and Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education (see  http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/tag/jeb-bush/page/2/ and http://www.excelined.org/Pages/About_Us/Team.aspx for their own assertion of their connection to ALEC) wrote 3 bills that threatened Public Employee Unions, in particular, UTD (SB 830 threatened to stop automatic dues deductions, HB 1023 threatened automatic decertification for membership below 50%, and HB 1025, which allowed any member at any time to call for decertification of the union.
Such a multitude of attacks on the union is no mere coincidence:  Bush’s Chief of Staff, ” Patricia Levesque,…spoke to fellow reformers at a retreat in October 2010. Levesque noted that[2010 legislative] reform efforts had failed because the opposition had time to organize. Next year, Levesque advised, reformers should “spread” the unions thin “by playing offense” with decoy legislation. Levesque said she planned to sponsor a series of statewide reforms, like allowing taxpayer dollars to go to religious schools by overturning the so-called Blaine Amendment, “even if it doesn’t pass…to keep them busy on that front.” She also advised paycheck protection, a union-busting scheme, as well as a state-provided insurance program to encourage teachers to leave the union and a transparency law to force teachers unions to show additional information to the public. Needling the labor unions with all these bills, Levesque said, allows certain charter bills to fly “under the radar.””

To correct the falsehoods (lies) published by UTD then, I wrote in my analysis of the current healthcare “compromise”: “MDCPS [is] required to pay the $14 million RTTT funds as bonuses REGARDLESS of this healthcare vote (in other words, it should not be used as a scare tactic that the money would be repurposed by Tallahassee).

Does attaching the RTTT money to the healthcare vote mean it is “bait?”  Does stating that if we vote “yes” we get it but if we vote “no” it will go to testing emphasize that it is being used as bait?

Does saying it would be used for Testing constitute FRAUD since the District application for the RTTT funds says:” 9.6 c RTTT Funds will be used to reward teachers based on evaluation results” for school years “2010-11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14″ (see http://www.fldoe.org/arra/pdf/Dade.pdf  p.79 )

Doesn’t this mean MDCPS already told Florida and Federal DOE that RTTT money would be used “to reward teachers”?  So isn’t that disingenuous to use it as bait?”

Don’t forget to wear your flip-flops…it’s dangerous out there.


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VOTE NO and PROTEST WITH US TO VOTE NO (report count here http://tinyurl.com/2017utd )

VOTE NO and PROTEST WITH US TO VOTE NO (report count here http://tinyurl.com/2017utd )

Each year Miami Dade County Public Schools must send out a letter to teachers regarding the proper process for applying for welfare since their economic policies have driven record numbers to poverty levels

Teachers Call for No Vote on Proposed Contract

Who: Teachers and Support Staff of MDCPS

What: Rally at School Board and March on UTD to Vote NO on Contract

Where: School Board Building 1450 NE 2nd Ave Miami FL – then march along Biscayne Blvd to UTD 2200 Biscayne Blvd.

When: Assemble School Board Building 330 PM – 500 PM Monday November 6 then march to UTD 515- 530 PM (0.8 miles), back to School Board Building 530 PM

  • Our “Union” and Employer, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) have negotiated such a small increase in our salaries that once again we are left far behind where we should be before they skipped the 3 raises in 2008, 2010, and 2011.
  • Furthermore, they have unlawfully removed the step schedule, costing EVERY PSC teacher an average of $80,000 over the rest of their career. – Come hear the status of our FEDERAL Class Action Lawsuit.
  • Finally, they repeatedly insult new “Annual Contract” teachers by either unlawfully denying merit pay (recent contracts) or, in this contract, making the difference between Annual Performance Pay teachers and Grandfathered PSC teachers a mere 0.07%.

Miami Teachers and Support cannot afford to live in Miami https://www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/teacher-salaries-rental-affordability/

National and Local studies repeatedly show how Miami has increasingly become unaffordable for teachers as the local cost of living continues to climb faster than salary increases.  One unintended consequence is that “Brain Drain” is constantly occurring – falling salaries due to inadequate salary raises and inadequate supplement COLA increases are driving our “best and brightest” teachers to other fields, either other careers, private school teaching, or simply to other school districts where buying a house and living expenses are still manageable in that districts pay schedule.

Essentially, the financial policies of MDCPS and UTD have waged a war on middle and lower class  students by effectively denying students of the best and brightest minds in the classrooms, either by driving the “best and brightest” to other locations or by forcing those who remain to become overworked, exhausted, stressed, and increasingly sick…or worse.

Question:  What will it take for you to finally say “Enough is enough?”

Please join us Monday, November 6 between 330 PM and 430 PM at the School Board Building, 1450 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132 to send a message to the school board and union that we deserve more.

Send a message also to your colleagues to VOTE NO on Tuesday, November 7 2017 on the contract ratification.

Help us hold clear and open ratification – stay and watch the vote count, record then report your vote totals here:

http://tinyurl.com/2017utd <- report your contract vote count here!

See also  https://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/collaborative-planning-for-a-data-driven-election/

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Two Irresponsible End Of World Predictions: Richard Branson’s “Global Warming ‘Hurricanes Are The Start Of Things To Come’”…Right Up There With Meade’s “Earth Will Be Destroyed Saturday By Planet Nibiru”

HMS Hector and HMS Bristol in the hurricane of 1780

short link: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=930

(Cover Photo: “ HMS Hector and HMS Bristol in the hurricane of 1780 – October 10, 1780, the most violent Atlantic storm on record cut a path of destruction across the Caribbean islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique and Saint Eustatius. Scientists estimate that it was a Category 5 hurricane accompanied by drenching rains, a massive storm surge and winds in excess of 200 miles per hour—strong enough to strip the bark off trees. By the time the “Great Hurricane” finally dissipated, whole cities and naval fleets had been destroyed, and at least 22,000 people had been killed. ” http://www.history.com/news/the-deadliest-atlantic-hurricane-235-years-ago )

This is not about apocalyptic prophesies…I just thought Richard Branson’s unqualified, unscientific, and unsupported utterance about global warming causing more catastrophic hurricanes (http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/19/us/branson-new-day-cnntv/index.html ) deserved to be placed alongside David Meade’s numerological/pseudo-theological predictions of the end of the world this Saturday, September 23rd, caused by the Meade’s predicted approach of mythical Planet X/Nibiru (https://www.amazon.com/Planet-X-Arrival-David-Meade-ebook/dp/B01BLXPE3M ).

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Group, (foolishly?) rode out Hurricane Irma in his wine cellar on his billionaire “Necker Island” in the British Virgin Islands.

This, and his billions of dollars, apparently give him a pulpit from which he is allowed to contradict the “agree to disagree” divided meteorological community on the relationship between hurricane numbers and intensity and global warming.

By this I mean that, though climate and meteorological scientists are in agreement the world is warming, they are not able to reach consensus on the effect of these rising global temperatures on the number and intensity of hurricanes. Dr. Jeff Masters of Wunderground.com summarized the general state of affairs regarding the link between climate and hurricanes with: “Hurricane experts are divided on to what degree global warming has affected the number and intensity of hurricanes, and a recent consensus statement by 125 hurricane scientists (see below) concluded: Though there is evidence both for and against the existence of a detectable anthropogenic signal in the tropical cyclone climate record to date, no firm conclusion can be made on this point.” https://www.wunderground.com/education/webster.asp

Perhaps one of the most outspoken and leading proponents for more intense and more numerous (controversially at odds with many climatologists over the latter) hurricanes as a response to global warming is MIT’s Dr. Kerry Emanuel.

Emanuel published a letter “Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones over the past 30 years” just days before Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. With Katrina’s destruction, this paper found a ripe audience, suggesting an increase in hurricane power and longevity as a result of global temperature increases that would consequently wreak more and more havoc with the increasing population in coastal communities.

Masters responds to Emanuel’s suggestions with “however, more recent scientific research has raised serious questions about the validity of these results. A new policy statement regarding the unproven link between stronger hurricanes and climate change was adopted by the World Meteorological Organization in December 2006, in response to the recommendations of a meeting of 125 hurricane researchers that attended a meeting in Costa Rica.” See http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/G3.html

Dr. Masters provides a summary of the disagreements to Emanuel’s position:
1) “Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University, who is famous for his successful long-range hurricane predictions and nearly 50 years of hurricane research and forecasting, wrote: ‘I do not agree that global Category 4-5 tropical cyclone activity has been rising, except in the Atlantic over the last 11 years. The recent Atlantic upsurge has explanations other than global temperature rise’.”

2) “Dr. Chris Landsea, Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center, chaired a standing-room only session exploring the hurricanes/global warming connection at the 2006 meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He presented a talk with additional evidence supporting Dr. Gray’s position.”

3) “Dr. John Knaff, a hurricane researcher at the NOAA/Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere Colorado State University, has performed an extensive re-analysis of Northwest Pacific typhoons, and questions the intensity estimates used by Webster et al. for typhoons during the period 1966-1987. His paper, “Reexamination of Tropical Cyclone Wind-Pressure Relationships” has been accepted for publication to Weather and Forecasting, and” can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF965.1

Masters continues: “Global warming in the past century has increased ocean temperatures about 1°F (0.5°C) which should correspond at most to about a 2.5% increase in hurricane wind speeds. If this theory is correct, an upper-end Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds of 130 mph–like Hurricane Katrina at landfall–owes 2-3 mph of its sustained winds to global warming. Hurricane wind speeds are estimated to the nearest 5 knots (5.8 mph), and one can get a general idea of what percent increase we’ve seen in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes due to global warming by looking at the number of high end Category 3 hurricanes (winds of 130 mph) and low end Category 4 hurricanes (135 mph winds). If we assume a 2-3 mph increase in winds of these storms is due to global warming over the past 35 years, one would expect to see a 5% increase at most in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. An increase this small is not detectable given the current accuracy of estimating hurricane winds, and the relatively few number of of these storms that occur each year. This expected maximum 5% increase is quite a disagreement with the 80% increase found by Webster et al!  So, either the measurements are wrong, or the theory is wrong–or a combination of the two. I believe it may well be a combination of the two. The fact that the originator of the intensity theory (Kerry Emanuel) is one of the scientists who is advocating that the theory may be in error, is reason enough to doubt the theory. ”

Perhaps one reason the slight increase is far below the predicted increase is offered by a paper submitted by Vecchi and Soden that determined that climate models predicted higher wind shear with increased global temperatures, having the opposite effect on hurricane intensity (wind shear tears hurricanes apart). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL028905/full

In 2008, Smith, Montgomery and Vogl criticized Emanuel’s methodology pointing out a major deficiency of his theory being the “tacit assumption of gradient wind balance in the boundary layer, a layer that owes its existence to gradient wind imbalance in the radial momentum equation. If a more complete boundary-layer formulation is included using the gradient wind profiles obtained from Emanuel’s theory, the tangential wind speed in the boundary layer becomes supergradient, invalidating the assumption of gradient wind balance. We show that the degree to which the tangential wind is supergradient depends on the assumed boundary-layer depth. The full boundary-layer solutions require a knowledge of the tangential wind profile above the boundary layer in the outer region where there is subsidence into the layer and they depend on the breadth of this profile. This effect is not considered in Emanuel’s theory.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.241/pdf

As recently as July 2013, Mother Jones Magazine summarized climatologists view of Emmanuel’s work predicting higher frequency high intensity hurricanes with global warming (at odds with many climatologists) with “The debate over Emanuel’s new results has just begun—but already, the work has been challenged. The divergent findings, says hurricane expert Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, ‘indicate that care needs to be taken in being too explicit with climate predictions of changes in tropical cyclone frequency at this stage.’ ” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/hurricanes-global-warming-kerry-emanuel/

Consider the NHC/NOAA storm and NASA temperature data I have compiled and compared below. Figure 1 compares 500 years of specifically observed and indirectly reported hurricane data versus Loehle’s non-tree ring derived temperature data.

Figure 1: I’ve circled 3 regions that seem clear that the number of hurricanes does not correspond with global average temperatures.

Figure 2: Shows clearly that between 1940 and 1995 that increasing temperatures did not increase the number of major hurricanes (category 3-5).

Figure 2 compares NASA global average temperature anomalies (from the frequently referenced 1951-1980 average) with the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes (category 3-5).

Finally, figure 3 looks at the accumulated cyclonic energy (ACE) each year (the total amount of energy from all storms for a year) with respect to the global average temperatures (here the ACE data is treated the same as the temperature data: the standard average was taken over the period from 1951 to 1980 and annual values were subtracted from this average to find the delta value. Once the delta value was determined, both the delta ACE and delta Temp were normalized by the largest value in each data set).

Figure 3 : Suggests the ACE appears to vary cyclically rather than as a function of global average temperature.

Seems like whenever there’s a natural disaster, the prophets of doom come out and find an audience. This includes bad hurricanes (“bad” because it produces major damage like Katrina, Harvey, Irma, Maria), giving billionaire hurricane survivor Richard Branson a pulpit to predict what many scientists are unprepared to predict.

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MDCPS Owes Each Teacher, On Average, $3000 Per Year Since 2014…And This Will Continue Until Corrected

Dear Colleague: 4/24/17
(This is a short letter of the longer version here: https://goo.gl/gwwT4u )                  shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=901

It is likely MDCPS owes you and all of our teaching colleagues an average of $3000 since Fall of 2014 in underpaid salaries. Left unaddressed, this amount will be lost annually for the rest of all of our lives.

Consider that the Herald has just published a story on the impossibility of teachers in Miami-Dade to buy their own homes – because salaries have been depressed below cost of living:

Consider that MDCPS HR department sends out a letter each year explaining to teachers how to properly apply for foodstamps: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1TEO563R6ywekFGc3hSZ1ozakU

MDCPS Impoverishes Teachers.  Sends Annual Welfare Letter

MDCPS Impoverishes Teachers. Sends Annual Welfare Letter

Consider that between 2009-15, MDCPS diverted $127 Million from salary to construction and failed to raise sufficient taxes to cover negotiated teacher steps/raises from an available $500 Million tax base.

MDCPS Tax Documents between 2009-2015 Reveal $127 Million Diverted from Teachers while $500 Million in Untaxed Sources Leaves Teachers Struggling to Survive.

MDCPS Tax Documents between 2009-2015 Reveal $127 Million Diverted from Teachers while $500 Million in Untaxed Sources Leaves Teachers Struggling to Survive.

Consider that SB736 required the salary schedule in effect July 2014 to become the permanent schedule for veteran teachers and that it would dictate the annual salary increases of Annual Contract teachers between $3000 and $6000 per year – enough to give incentive to PSCs to switch over to Annual.

Is it any wonder that teachers are applying for welfare and trapped without economic power to buy a house to live in in the communities where their students live comfortably in their own homes?

You are a are a potential leader in a system that has been broken for decades – broken between selfish superintendents and board members and ineffective bargaining (after all, how did they miss the diverted $127 million and the $500 million in untaxed resources for salary?).

You have the opportunity to be a leader – to look at the available information and make a decision to share a solution with your colleagues – there is a group of teachers who hired a team of lawyers to challenge MDCPS’ unlawful actions described above.

Prerequisite charges were filed in Florida’s court for Public Employee issues – PERC. After hearing our case, PERC ruled that they would only hear such charges from the bargaining agent against the district- that we as individual teachers had no standing to file in their court.

Contrary to rumors, teachers did not lose the case, but were told to take the case to civil court as individuals so they could file as a class action lawsuit to protect all teachers’ pay.

If you would like to join and help certify for the class action lawsuit, Click here for the retainer agreement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1TEO563R6ywY3pSdS03aF9SX1k

To donate to the fight for your steps and back pay, to help defray costs of the new round of legal battles in the civil court, click the blue donate button here on our Facebook page: https://goo.gl/ZfY1Is

Please forward this to your teacher friends.

Sincerely, Your teaching colleagues fighting for all of our steps, back pay, and future pay.

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While MDCPS Says “No Money” For Salaries, It Diverts $127 Million in Salary Money to Construction (While UTD Parrots the Lies to Gullible Members)

Shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=852

Between 2009 and 2016, Miami-Dade County Public Schools diverted $127 Million in Salary Money to Construction/Capital…yet told teachers that there was no money to advance employees along the annual salary step progression.

Transcript from Grandfathered Trial Shows Hundreds of Millions in Salary Money Diverted To Construction, While Hundreds of Millions in Tax Money Left Untaxed While Teachers Turn to Welfare

Teachers’ “union” (more of a 6 figure country club for its officers who are washed up teachers – consider its Vice President, Anthony “Snow” White, – 2 time arrested narcotics criminal), United Teachers of Dade, complicitly parroted back to teachers the lies that the School District was “maxed out in its funding.”

That the district would not pay employees is bad enough (consider the district annually advises teachers how to apply for welfare in the correct manner – as the districts compensation philosophy impoverishes more and more of its “in the trenches” employees while enriching the fat cat stuffed suits who either failed out of the classroom…or never even set foot in a classroom).

That the so called “union” collecting money from teachers would join in the lies and tell their membership that the school district just didn’t have enough money to honor the contract is a crying shame, if not fraud and all kind of other criminal designations.

Teachers have suspected for years this to be the case as we heard District administrators say out of one side of their mouth “we have no money to fund quality teacher salaries” (yet found money to make all kinds of technology toy purchases…wonder how many perqs, dinners, trips to exotic cities for “conferences,” and kickbacks that generated? Purchases made with the money diverted from our salaries) and out of the other side of their mouth “hey, community, we cut your taxes – vote for me when I run for mayor (or congress…or whatever office they used the school board as a stepping stone to reach).

Annual millage document filed by MDCPS shows 1) they don't have a shortfall in taxes caused by Miami VAB - the PPFAM pays any loss the next year 2) MDCPS refuses to levy hundreds of millions of dollars to cover negotiated salary increases and 3) MDCPS has diverted $127 Million in salary money to construction with UTDs support (tens of millions each year) - all while a billion dollar construction bond was passed!

In 2014, the school board decided to ignore a 2011 statute that was passed to change the way teachers were hired and paid. In order to be lawful to the aging veterans hired under the old system, the statute (FS 1012.34) “grandfathered” the existing salary schedule as of July 2014, allowing the veterans to retire over the years under the pay system they were hired under.

Problem is, MDCPS chose to ignore, or worse, to unlawfully redefine the term “Grandfathered” and has changed the salary schedule 3 times since it was legislatively protected.

A group of teachers, including this blogger, joined together, hired an attorney, and filed a lawsuit to regain the $60 million (to date) taken from teachers.

We call ourselves the “Grandfathered Inc” and the following video highlights one of the startling revelations of our court hearings – that not only has MDCPS denied its teachers $60 million in compensation between 2014 and 2017, but that it also diverted $127 million from teacher salaries to construction during 2009 to 2016…this later diversion is especially heinous in light of the fact that the district passed a $1.2 Billion Construction Bond during this period…but the district kept taking the salary money for construction.

Or, Click here to view this video on youtube (the testimony from the  court hearing):  The Grandfathered Inc Uncovers Diversion of Hundreds of Millions from Salary to Construction

Help us fight this – join our class action lawsuit by signing and sending this to the address on the signature page:  http://shawnbeightol.com/GrandfatheredRetainerFinal.pdf

Help us defray the court costs by donating here https://goo.gl/2JcCGC

A word about financial liability:
First, our attorneys will be paid out of the settlement, you will not be billed for their service.

Second, all court/legal fees have been paid by donations  - not one bill has been sent in the year we have been working with the attorneys because donations have covered it all

Finally, the civil lawsuit will be filed in a manner that will shield plaintiffs/class members who sign the retainer from liability for the opposing party’s legal fees in the unlikely event that the court sides with the employer – in other words, you do not have to be afraid of being stuck with the legal fees of the school district.

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Educational Marshmallow/Sarah Palin Double and Twice Narcotics Arrested Thug Named President and Vice President of United Teachers of Dade

Press Release                                              shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=831

United Teachers of Dade (UTD) Declares the Sarah Palin of the Education World Leader of One of the Largest Bargaining Units in the South

UTD has Karla Mats – An Intellectual Marshmallow – and Her President of Vice, Antonio “Snow” White, “Win” 2:1 in the Latest Election of UTD Officers – NOT 1 OPPOSITION ELECTED?!

Miami, FL, February 17, 2016: In what is sure to be a bellwether election of officers for the bargaining agent of the largest employee in Florida, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (55 thousand employees, see https://www.linkedin.com/company/miami-dade-county-public-schools ), United Teachers of Dade, thousands of employees stand to be negatively impacted by the apparent declaration of the victory of the Frontline Caucus (see http://www.utd.org/news/new-utd-officers-elected ), including the twice narcotics arrested Vice President, Antonio White.

Was Antonio White's Arrest Like This?

Bellwether, because the 2010 Election Fraud Case of Geno Perez vs. UTD is still dragging on with every indication that UTD has something to hide from the number of delays and motions it has filed to prevent computer data from being released (21 motions!). Perez’ seemingly well founded allegation is that a small number of Union controlled computers generated the majority of internet votes tallied:                   Geno’s Case

Bellwether, because the 2013 election data suggests that more votes than ballots were cast according to a study done by former UTD member Isaac Castineira.  In Isaac’s words, “there were 7602 votes cast for president but only 7238 ballots collected.”  See https://youtu.be/q2mE7X69CVY or  http://shawnbeightol.com/2013utdelection.pdf

UTD Officer Tweets Haircut While Teachers Labor at Educating Children

Karla Mats, the president “elect” for the Frontline Caucus, is the educational equivalent of Sarah Palin.  She rose from nowhere and seems to think a tweet of herself getting a hairstyle is of educational significance: Karla’s Educational Hair

Antonio White, the vice-president elect, is more appropriately the president of vice elect, with 2 arrests for narcotics involving marijuana and cocaine, losing his teaching license for the latter.  See http://shawnbeightol.com/antoniowhite.jpg and http://www.myfloridateacher.com/discipline/icmsorders/990-1591-FO-012616120855.pdf and http://takebackourutd.blogspot.com/

Was Antonio White's Arrest Like This?

Has the Teachers’ Union, UTD, been compromised and with it, true collective bargaining in the name of educational “reform?” – Every election since 2003 and most contract ratifications have been legally challenged, with several court affirmations of cheating.  The 3rd DCA found MDCPS and UTD to be complicit, generating membership for the union and WHAT for the district?  http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/opinions/3D11-0163.pdf

Contact:  Shawn Beightol (not affiliated with ANY of the candidates or UTD) beights@yahoo.com

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Why You Should #DropUTD: Once Again, They Waste YOUR DUES ON FRIVOLOUS ACTIONS FOR SHOW, Rather Than Obtain Results

Subtitle: UTD and MDCPS knew within a month of filing by expert testimony their lawsuit was pure hollywood show.

shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=820

If you didn’t know, teachers’ “union,” United Teachers of Dade (better, “Untied Teachers of Dade”) filed a lawsuit in December 2014 against Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez for “underfunding the Value Adjustment Board (VAB),” the board established to review property values so that accurate taxes – upon which the school board receives its “required local effort” portion of its budget – might be collected.
MDCPS hired 2 expert lawyers – former Federal Judge Honorable Thomas Scott and Mr. Edward G. Guedes, a highly respected and experienced constitutional attorney with the Weiss Serota law firm – to analyze the merits of UTD’s case.
What they found was that UTD was a joke and wasting its members’ money.
Read on:
I wrote about this fiasco here:
http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=754 where I wrote:
“December 5th, 2014, United Teachers of Dade filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County against Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez…on the grounds that he isn’t funding his office of Property Appraiser sufficiently to raise sufficient property tax to properly fund education…”
My analysis of this was: “This Lawsuit introduces and paves the way for [Fed’s] successor at UTD, his current Secretary, KARLA HERNANDEZ-MATS”
“ Either way, it is not the teachers’ union job (UTD) to sue the city. It is the statutory responsibility of the School Board to raise the millage on property tax sufficiently to pay their employees and operational costs.
UTD should have sued MDCPS multiple times for failure to do this.
The fact that UTD is suing the city shows me that it is once again an operational extension of the MDCPS system to do the “dirty” work, protecting those in power from a public “black eye” of raising taxes.”
These conclusions that I wrote about almost EXACTLY 1 year ago, before MDCPS retained the high cost retired Federal Judge and his colleague for their legal analysis below. See http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=754
Before I highlight the most damning excerpts from the legal analysis of UTD’s BUMBLING, RIDICULOUS LAWSUIT that just begs the question: “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU MEMBERS OF THIS COUNTRY CLUB FOR IDIOTS THROWING YOUR MONEY DOWN THE SEWER?”
I include a quote from defendant & mayor Gimenez regarding his own legal analysis of the joke of a lawsuit:

“This unfortunate and frivolous lawsuit is political in nature and fails to recognize state and local laws.
Unfortunately, UTD leaders did not participate or ask to be invited to the various meetings we have had throughout the last year at both County Hall and in the Superintendent’s office. Had they participated, UTD leaders would understand that the Property Appraiser is a constitutional officer elected countywide whose budget is approved by the Florida Department of Revenue – a state agency. Furthermore, the Value Adjustment Board is a creation of the State of Florida and not under the jurisdiction of Miami-Dade County.” – Mayor Gimenez, http://www.miamidade.gov/mayor/releases/2014-01-12-statement-on-united-teachers-of-dade-complaint.asp
More Damning is MDCPS own legal analysis of the merits of the case:
” Preliminary observations as to the Lawsuit:

What becomes immediately apparent from even the most cursory review of the complaint is that UTD has failed to name an indispensable party to the Lawsuit, namely, the County Commission. The Lawsuit, at its base, urges the court to compel Mayor Gimenez to “appropriate sufficient funds in the budget to adequately fund and staff the VAB Process.” However, such relief, absent the participation of the County Commission, is illusory; since any amounts allocated through the budgeting process are subject to final approval or rejection by the County Commission. Courts do not render advisory opinions based on hypothetical circumstances. ”
“At present, though, with only Mayor Gimenez named as the defendant, we do not believe it likely that Chapter 164 would be deemed applicable…Additionally, section 164.1051, which addresses the scope of Chapter 164, provides exemplars of disputes that are subject to the dispute resolution mechanisms of the chapter. All of them are decisions ultimately the responsibility of the governing bodies of governmental entities, rather than of any single governmental official.”
“More fundamental problems with the Lawsuit:

Unfortunately, there are other more fundamental problems with the Lawsuit that seriously undermine its viability. As the complaint implicitly recognizes, the legal remedy available to compel an official to take specific action is an action for mandamus relief. An action for writ of mandamus seeks to compel a government official to perform an act that he or she has a clear legal duty to perform…if performance of the act requires the exercise of discretion or judgment, mandamus is not available as a remedy…
…The Florida Supreme Court has recognized that…even when a county commission’s funding determination is wholly arbitrary and capricious, mandamus will not lie to compel that specific funding be provided; at most, a budget may be remanded for further consideration in light of concerns that the funding decision was arbitrary and capricious.””
“In the Lawsuit, UTD has failed to identify a specific statutory or constitutional provision that mandates that Mayor Gimenez fund the VAB at a specific level of funding.”
“[UTD's] reliance on Article IX, Sec. 1 of the Florida Constitution is misplaced… Article IX, section 1, imposes no clear and unequivocal legal duty, whether general or specific, on Mayor Gimenez (or, for that matter, even the County Commission) to ensure adequate funding for school districts, or to fund any County office or department the operation of which might conceivably and indirectly have an impact on the Legislature’s ability to fulfill its constitutional obligations.”
“the Lawsuit [does not] state a viable cause of action.”
“UTD conspicuously fails to identify at what level the VAB process should be funded in order to avoid the VAB Problem. Would an increase of five hearing officers suffice? Would ten? The absence of any meaningful criteria to answer that question merely highlights why mandamus would not be an effective or available remedy. If UTD is not prepared to indicate what the appropriate funding level is supposed to be, then how could the preparation of a corresponding budget be purely ministerial in nature?”
Damning Footnotes:
“l Even in this most generic sense, the Lawsuit may not align with the reality of the VAB budgeting process.
3 While the complaint indicates that the Mayor has the duty to “supervise collection of revenues,” Complaint at 4, it fails to explain how such a duty requires that he fund the VAB at a particular level.
4 Morever, the complaint provides no guidance as to what level of adequate funding would be necessary to ensure that the VAB Problem ceases to occur. This lack of specificity becomes relevant to the viability of any mandamus relief. See Section B(3), infra.
5 The Lawsuit is analogous to suing the President of the United States because he has failed to adequately budget for the proper functioning of a particular department under his direction and control when the power to actually fund that department rests exclusively with the United States Congress.
6 There may also be questions raised as to UTD’s standing, collectively, to bring the Lawsuit. At times, it appears that the complaint seeks relief on behalf of the School Board, even going so far as to refer to the “Plaintiff School Board.” Complaint at To 5, 21, 22, 30, 45. The individual plaintiff named indicates she is a teacher and taxpayer, but not a parent of a child enrolled in public schools. Usually, these lawsuits name individuals who are parents of school-age children.”

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Does the Management Manipulated Organization Posing as a Labor Union Dismantling Union Contracts Dating Back 50 years, Undermining Union Collective Bargaining, and Unraveling the Essence of Public Education Signify that the School Board/Administration Itself Has Been Compromised by Anti-Public Education Proponents Posing as Educational Reformers?

(this is not fully developed)
Sub-Title: Double-Talk UTD’s Fed Ingram  Stated in 2013 “The Contract will be compliant with Senate Bill 736″ but in 2015 Says of the Same Contract “If we maintain [this] step schedule, we would be out of compliance with the law” (see http://www.utd.org/information/what-a-yes-or-no-vote-means vs. http://www.utd.org/news/tentative-contract-agreement-reached  – Actually UTD took down these links.  Here’s the images I saved of the docs:  ).

Shortlink: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=808

Question:  If you wanted to erode public education and educational unionism that defended public education, would you do it with a frontal assault?  A direct attack?

Or would you try something more covert?  Would you infiltrate the very organizations upon which public education rested locally and work covertly from within?

Which method would be resisted more vigorously?  Which method would spread and wreak havoc more completely before being discovered?

Is it possible that right wing opponents to public education have infiltrated the school board of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the administration of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and the teachers’ union staffed and paid by Miami-Dade County Public Schools?

I have already shown that the president of UTD declared that Race to the Top (RTTT) participation would jeopardize our contract and undermine collective bargaining:
We are strongly opposed to DOE’s complete disregard for the needs of our students and teachers. I want you to know that I will never sign an agreement that puts our contract in jeopardy and ignores the voices of educators.” – Karen Aronowitz, Dec 2009

“Aronowitz briefed the Board regarding Race to the Top stating that…after carefully reviewing the MOU from the State, ‘there is no way we can sign the document – it undermines our collective bargaining agreement.‘ – UTD Executive Board Minutes, January 2010″

In RTTT 1, Florida was rejected, in part for lack of union support.

In October 2010, UTD through its president Karen Aronowitz, signs full participation in the very RTTT she had rightfully declared a threat to our contract and collective bargaining, the core of unionism.

Who, or what, turned UTD’s Karen Aronowitz?

Now it has been revealed that our “union,” UTD and its president, Fed Ingram, have endorsed the abolishment of the age-old “step schedule” that veteran teachers were hired under and protected from favoritism, cronyism, “the old boy network,” the very schedule declared “grandfathered” by Florida Statute 1012.22.  UTD states:  ” If we maintain the step schedule, we would be out of compliance with the law“…when in fact, the law provides for the PROTECTION of the step schedule in place July 1 2014 and in abolishing it UTD and MDCPS now stand in VIOLATION OF THE LAW (see F.S 1012.22).

This step schedule which UTD through president Fed Ingram has abolished, the one he says on August 24 2015 is “out of compliance with the law” he said in October 2013 (when it was finalized) “The Contract will be compliant with Senate Bill 736 and other state and federal statutory provisions while maintaining protections for employees.”

So, which statement is true?  Which statement is false?  How do you know when Fed is being true or being false?

Who, or What, turned UTD’s Fed Ingram?

Regarding Fed and other anti-public education “deformers,” former Georgia Senator Kenneth Fuller says:

In recent years, local anti-tax groups, conservative politicians, and proponents of performance-based pay systems have attacked the [step] salary schedule for teacher pay, such as we have in Georgia — portraying it as an anachronism and an impediment to advancing student academic performance. Such claims have no basis in fact.
The [step] salary schedule is an objective method for determining teacher compensation and has been our law for more than 50 years. It removes biases associated with grade level, race and gender. It recognizes the contributions of all teachers irrespective of the subject matter taught. And it guards against subjective and inconsistent evaluations of performance…
…What lies behind this unprecedented assault on teachers? And, even more important, what can we do about it? We believe that these attacks are part of an effort to dismantle public education and that we need an effective, collaborative strategy to combat it…
…If [improving education] were the goal, we would see demands for adequate, equitable resources and funding for every student in every school — demands, for example, for quality early childhood education programs, full-time librarians, robust arts and physical education programs, mandated caps on class size, and enough time for teachers to prepare and collaborate

So, yet another voice declares the actions of UTD to be ANTI-PUBLIC EDUCATION.

I propose to you that at the very least, UTD, if not MDCPS controlling UTD, have been infiltrated by Administrators and Board Members secretly funded and backed by organizations bent on destroying collective bargaining and the very foundation of our free and democratic nation, public education.

It is the only logical conclusion to the series of actions that have led to the impoverishment of teachers driving out the most experienced, most ambitious and creative, the undermined contracts, the erosion of collective bargaining and the abolishing of the tried and true step schedule that for decades has protected against favoritism, cronyism, the “old boy network.”

Perhaps you can trace the line of UTD & MDCPS administrators, lawyers and board members, connecting the money and their political trajectories…

…”Follow the money…”

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Annual Contracts Teachers: Vote this down and MDCPS MUST Comply & Give $7512 Bonuses. PSC’s: Vote This Contract Down and Save Your Lifetime Earnings and Keep Your Pension at the Level You Hired on For!

Shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=790

We need observers present, record the tally, then send it to the website.
Please recruit pairs of observers at other schools.
I will provide 6 people with the link to the results (view only) so they can provide accountability.

The proposed contract for MDCPS teachers is illegal and harmful…not just to PSCs…but to ALL.
Here’s why:

1) No matter what Fed says in his long emails, he negotiated the salary schedule 2 years ago, October 2013. HE. DID. not Karen, not Tornillo. FED INGRAM.  see  https://web.archive.org/web/20150902030702/https://www.miamitimesonline.com/news/2013/oct/17/utd-gets-new-deal-worth-70-million/

2013 contract, 1 year before deadline, is called a seamless transition to 2 salary schedules (grandfathered and performance)

To turn around and say it is bad means we can’t trust what he does one day to the next. How do we know what he proposes now is good? We don’t from his own deceitful actions.

2) This schedule is the grandfathered schedule under fs 1012.22. It is immutable. That is what “grandfather” means legally. It doesn’t change until all affected are dead. The school board and union are attempting to break the law and thought you were too stupid to catch them. Why?

3) The grandfathered, immutable schedule guarantees “sunset” raises at the end of our careers to provide a reasonable retirement pension – Fed says so himself in his letter of today. The need for this hasn’t changed and highlights the anemia of the schedule he has perpetuated. Standing up against the district’s and UTD’s latest violation of the law will give you a better lifetime earning and better pension plan.

4) The problem the district has is that it binds them to providing $7512 bonuses to AC teachers who are deemed highly effective. it dawned on me today that if we get AC teachers to stand with us in blowing the whistle on this attempt to violate 1012.22, vote it down and the 10/13 contract remains in place – they earn $7512 bonuses each time they are highly effective! not the target $2k (or whatever) bonus these guys are trying to slip in by turning our contract to a 2 year cycle with annual salary revisions.

BAM! WIN-WIN for all of us. Vote it down or join our lawsuit. Everybody wins but poor Alberto and his do-boy FED.

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Recent Salary Proposal from UTD and MDCPS is Illegal and is Set to Defraud You of Your Statutorily Established Step System.

shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=782

Subtitle:  This Proposed Salary Schedule is Illegal and Will Result in a Class Action Suit against UTD and MDCPS by Employees Involuntarily Removed from the Grandfathered Salary Schedule of October 18, 2013.

Senate Bill 736 implemented in part (regarding pay schedules) to Florida Statute 1012.22(1)(c)1.b. “‘Grandfathered salary schedule’ means the salary schedule or schedules adopted by a district school board before July 1, 2014” (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=1000-1099/1012/1012.html ).  It is described thusly by UTD’s documents:  “Grandfathered salary schedule- The current schedule(s) adopted before July 1, 2014 – Established as the basis for paying all school employees hired before July 1, 2014” (see www.utd.org/file_download/390/SB736-RTTT.pdf ).

On October 14th, 2013, a day MDCPS and UTD declared “momentous” in their jointly issued press releases proclaiming a “salary model [that] will facilitate a seamless transition from the existing salary schedule to grandfathered and performance-based schedules for the 2014-2015 school year” (http://news.dadeschools.net/releases/rls13/216_utd.html ).

The effect of the press release is seen in this Miami Times article based on the release:  “According to school officials, the tentative salary model will facilitate a seamless transition from the existing salary schedule to grandfathered and performance-based schedules for the 2014-2015 school year” (http://miamitimesonline.com/news/2013/oct/17/utd-gets-new-deal-worth-70-million/ )

This was the last salary schedule agreed upon before the July 1, 2014 deadline.

It is our “grandfathered” step system and is guaranteed by law until you or I INDIVIDUALLY OPT OUT.

The current proposal is a deceptive and illegal (if implemented) effort to reduce MDCPS’ financial obligation to issue $7500 bonuses to performance system employees…as well as grandfathered step system employees.

Rather than seize this opportunity to negotiate aggressively knowing that the district is so opposed to this obligation that they are risking an illegal and involuntary removal of grandfathered step system employees, our “union” traipses along behind MDCPS sheepishly proclaiming that this is their only option.

Aside from the continued loss of academic respect and professionalism, this contract represents an illegal and involuntary effort to relieve MDCPS management of its financial obligations.  A financial obligation expressed through a step system pay scale proclaimed 2 years ago as the means to satisfy SB 736 measures… yet now they state “The problem centers on the lack of funding and a salary schedule we have had for over 40 years… It was not possible…to fund a salary schedule that keeps our current steps…If we maintain the step schedule, we would be out of compliance with the law” – even though our “union” and management negotiated this schedule…not 40 years ago…but 2 years ago bragging that it would bring us into compliance with the law (see http://www.utd.org/news/tentative-contract-agreement-reached for the reference).

It is important to note that in a year that MDCPS receives $84 MILLION EXTRA, the only pertinent reduction in funding to MDCPS is the self-proclaimed (though craftily hidden in technical language) tax break the MDCPS School Board voted this past summer.  In a county where rising property values have produced 3 years in a row of surplus tax revenue allowing other entities (E.g., City of Miami) drawing from the same funding sources as MDCPS to fund extravagant wish list items, MDCPS has reduced the millage rate and tells the public “our funding has been cut”:   “a $38M revenue decrease that resulted from a drop in the funds the District levies…http://financialaffairs.dadeschools.net/ES15-16/ES15_16.pdf See my blog entry at http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=763 to read more about the deception of the public by United Teachers of Dade and Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Allowing MDCPS and UTD to rob employees of promised and planned for large steps toward the end of their career only serves to increase the severity of the pay disparity identified by the recent study on teacher pay in the US by The National Council on Teacher Quality.  Here they found Miami to place 90th out of 125 large districts across the US, stating that Miami and “Florida’s other large school systems, rank poorly on a new teacher pay study” (see http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Smart_Money and http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/school-zone/os-teacher-pay-florida-study-post.html ).  In the study, and in direct contradiction to the repeated emphasis by UTD and MDCPS on starting teachers’ salaries, “A key factor in higher earnings for teachers, the study found, was not starting salary but how quickly pay increased.”

Current proposed step system changes are not only illegal because they damage the existing “grandfathered” step system, they are bad policy for producing a teaching environment that attracts and retains high quality educators.

It is a shame that teachers in Miami are so unaware of their rights and the “goings on” around the state with their colleagues in other counties to not realize that the “wool is being pulled over their eyes.”  Note that Duval County is fully funding its current step system along with the performance pay system – it must, under Florida Statutes (see http://mbcurl.me/13NG9)

My suggestion is to VOTE NO to this illegal piece of fraud and deception.

In fact, I would recommend stapling a resignation letter to UTD to your ballot when you put your NO vote in the ballot box (see last page for sample). Make sure you fax an additional copy to the provided fax number.

What kind of “union” would do this to its employees?

The same kind of union that bragged to employees and the public 2 years ago that this step system was what we needed to bring us into compliance with the new statutes in exchange for a surrender of academic rights (see http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=591 ).  The same kind of union that told us in 2006 that the biggest raises in history were going to be ours…but failed to tell employees that this was dependent only upon receiving $350 MILLION in extra funds…and as we sadly discovered, UTD was WRONG.  The same kind of union that was wrong in 2011 for incorporating RTTT/736 language into a CONTRACT when the courts overturned the requirements of the law but told us we would have to honor out contract because it was voluntarily agreed upon…  see here (http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=778 ) for additional evidence of incompetency and complicity with management by the union half of our ranks still pays hard earned dollars to to be screwed and betrayed by this Judas organization whose officers all make more money than you and have better benefits than you.

The question is, then, “why should we believe UTD now?”

Should we believe them now?

Even if they sincerely believe they are right, they now have a track record of making DEVASTATING errors and assumptions that history is showing to be unwarranted and foolish.

Why should we trust them this time when they have gotten the last 3 contract negotiations and amendments WRONG?

Do yourself a favor – VOTE NO on this deceptive salary proposal.  Attach the following letter to your NO vote in the ballot box:

Fax Cover Sheet

To: United Teachers of Dade

FAX: 305-576–7761


Date: __________________________________________

Total Pages: 1 of 1

RE: Termination of Membership


To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to terminate my membership, effectively immediately. Below you will find the information needed to process my request.

My name is: __________________________________________

My employee number is: __________________________________________

I thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

Signature:  _____________________

read another excellent article on the proposed schedule:  https://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/kafkateach-does-math/

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