On The Question of “Is UTD Cowering under the Shadow of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Management? Or Is It a Charade?”

shortlink:  http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=778

UTD’s performance is and has been brilliant. They project to be a labor union, when in fact it is an orchestration by MDCPS management to give the state, voting public and teachers the appearance of collective bargaining. Proof has accrued now over the years to show that this is the case:

1) from UTD’s prez Aronowitz submitting as her 2006 contract Rudy Crew’s bonus requirements ($40k starting salary at END of 3 year contract http://shawnbeightol.com/supestargets.doc );

2) The 2007 revelation that MDCPS was subsidizing Aronowitz’ staff and officers to the tune of $1.2 million. see http://goo.gl/e72P9

3) The 2008 healthcare increase – published by United Healthcare as 13.1% by Sept. 2007. UTD portrayed this increase as being anywhere from 50% – 254% increases. A dramatic back and forth series of “negotiations” is published and suddenly UTD announces they have negotiated a 13.1% increase. The audacity of such a fraudulent claim of negotiations is hard to overstate. See http://pdfs.dadeschools.net/Bdarch/2007/Bd121907/agenda/E66rev.PDF vs. http://web.archive.org/web/20071121063510/http://utofd.com/UTD_News/Property_Tax/healthcare_increase_unacceptable.htm

4) The UNANNOUNCED surrender of the 2010 raise while voting on healthcare costs: See bottom of pages 3 & 4 of the agreement found at http://www.utd.org/news/impasse-agreement-protects-jobs-and-insurance-ratification-vote-june-3-7-2011

5) The 2010-2011 orchestrated and FAKE drama shown in the alleged negotiations and legal fights between UTD and MDCPS (see http://www.utd.org/news/letter-to-superintendent) yet when MDCPS committed an unfair labor practice by emailing members directly (bypassing the bargaining team which is the legal route of communication) UTD did NOT respond legally or file a complaint (see http://shawnbeightol.com/UTDReWeismanStatements.pdf and http://shawnbeightol.com/Enids1726_001.pdf )

6) The 2011 CONCERTED rejection by UTD AND MDCPS of a judge ordered raise and no increase to healthcare! after the special magistrate appointed by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission recommended a 1% one time bonus to UTD bargaining unit members, UTD did NOT pursue this. Rather, UTD filed an objection to this along with MDCPS, effectively terminating the process until someone requests the MDCPS school board resolve this. Why hasn’t this been done? Instead, UTD quietly pushes on behalf of MDCPS the suspension of the automatic step increase without raising alarm among members. Who does this represent? Management or membership? see http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/10Minutes-aComplicity.pdf

7) My 2011 court victory PROVED concerted actions between MDCPS and UTD to deprive employees of statutory rights (yet you continue to pay dues to these crooks?): The question I raised is, what did the district get in return for taking such an illegal risk? See http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/opinions/3D11-0163.pdf, p.2 where the courts uphold my allegation that the contract was complicitly negotiated to provide both parties with illegal benefits: “Shawn Beightol… argues the District did not act alone, but rather UTD “caused” the District’s action, and UTD’s actions were unlawful within the meaning of sections 447.501(2)(a) and (b), Florida Statutes (2010). After taking testimony, a Commission-designated hearing officer agreed with Beightol. The Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) found competent substantial evidence to support the recommendation of the hearing officer and entered a final order adopting the recommendation. We affirm this order.” In short, UTD & MDCPS worked together to create a system that fed members into UTD and gave MDCPS WHAT in return?

8) The deceptive and nearly hidden ratification vote of contract changes in the 2011-2012 contract affecting the MDCPS evaluation model IPEGS needed to bring MDCPS into compliance with their Race to the Top (RTTT) application. MDCPS tells employees the contract has been changed manditorily by Senate Bill 736 (though the changes exceed SB 736 requirements and are actually changes to make MDCPS practice compliant with RTTT application). NO ONE, MDCPS nor UTD explain that the contract changes are pending ratification. In fact, the terms of the 2010 performance pay are announced POST-FACTO at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year and are attached disjointedly and illogically to the end of the contract language change for the 2011-2012 contract describing teacher evaluations (IPEGS). Most of the language is crossed out with no explanation of what the replacement language is. Teachers are told that voting Yes to this gets them a bonus while voting No would jeopardize the bonus. See http://www.utd.org/file_download/447/RTTT-Yes-No8-19-11.pdf . Such a disjointed, illogical application of “performance pay” for a year gone by attached to a contract change for the upcoming year can only be a reward for ratifing the contract change – a bribe. A bought vote.

9) furthermore, UTD disastrously included the IPEGS changes into CONTRACT rather than merely amending the IPEGS manual, guaranteeing MDCPS’ ability to maintain the draconian RTTT/IPEGS policies knowing that they were being challenged in court and likely defeated (and they were): “UTD in Miami, FL has already undermined the value of the judges decision by unwisely signing on to RTTT applications that paralleled and even EXCEEDED the legislation like SB736 in Florida.” So while the courts have declared the invalidity of the legislation, they will still require teachers to be evaluated by instruments in many instances MORE stringent than the legislation as a consequence of their lack of leadership, aggressiveness, and/or strength in opposing such travesties: “This decision does not mean that teachers’ 2011-12 performance evaluations are invalid under the bargained evaluation systems already approved by the DOE for Race to the Top purposes” – Judge Van Laningham (http://feaweb.org/fl-judge-invalidates-state-education-teacher-evaluations-rule ).

10) The January 2012 Healthcare announcement REPEATS the SECRET/NON-DISCLOSED surrender of raises for the 2nd year in a row (from my blog on that): “UTD once again wants you to surrender your raise that you should have gotten in the Fall of 2010 and again in Fall 2011 (surrendered by UTD’s May 2011 E-vote on 2011 Healthcare June 2011, overturned by Beightol’s challenge of E-vote at PERC). See D.1, p.29: “The 2010-2011 salary schedule will be maintained and employees will remain on their current step.” – This surrenders your right to a raise based on your growing, annual experience. It surrenders your raise for 2010-2011 (which UTD tried to do in June 2011, but my court challenge overturned UTD’s trick) and it surrenders your 2011-2012 raise – 2 YEARS’ RAISES, gone without a conversation, without UTD even pointing this sacrifice out to you. http://www.utd.org/file_download/651/TentativeAgreement-January27-2012.pdf

11) Prior to the May 2012 COURT-ORDERED re-ratification vote, opposition UTD stewards pooled their money and resources and paid a telemarketing company to send emails and robocall the UTD membership to vote NO to the hidden rejections of raises buried in healthcare votes. UTD fails to file requested unfair labor practice complaints against MDCPS for the coercive meetings, scripts, robocalls, and emails in the last days before the vote. UTD in action SUPPORTS MDCPS denial of contractually provided, court approved raises.

12) UTDs and MDCPS’ joint November 2013 deceptive introduction of the Cigna Local Plus (gutted and worthless ) healthcare option with NO information about its terms and conditions (from my blog on it): The Local Plus option was ABSOLUTELY OMITTED FROM THE DESCRIPTION OF THE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT TO BE RATIFIED. It was absent from the district webpage until AFTER I announced it and challenged staff or UTD to publicly say where this information was made available to the voters. It has since been added to the district webpage (see today’s page: http://shawnbeightol.com/MDCPSMainpageEditPostSpeechtoShowLocalPlusInsExpl.jpg ), but I took pictures (with dates) of the district pages PRIOR to my speech and this information is missing (see http://shawnbeightol.com/MDCPSMainpageLackingLocalPlusInsExplNov4.jpg ). I am going to state this again to be clear: Aside from the premium/cost column at the end of the agreement, Local Plus information was NOT provided as part of the final Tentative Agreement materials made available to the bargaining unit. It represents a major change from last year’s plan. The description was added to MDCPS website AFTER the vote, as far as I can tell, AFTER MY SPEECH and letter to [the board]…I am embarrassed that when I stood to speak at SP-2 and challenged ANYONE on staff or UTD to tell the public WHERE the link to the information for Local Plus could be found, there was nothing but silence. To argue that SP-2 wasn’t the place to respond to an already passed SP-1 item is hollow – UTD’s Fed Ingram followed my 2 simple questions with his own round and round general SP-1 speech that never came close to answering my question “Where is the link to Local Plus” information so that the voters could have cast informed votes.

13) The December 5th, 2014, United Teachers of Dade lawsuit filed 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. Sounds good at the surface, right? The problem is, 2 related reviews of property taxes in Miami-Dade County THIS July (2014), just prior to the inking of UTDs/MDCPS’ labor contract for teachers, show that Miami-Dade is sitting on an OVERAGE of property taxes collected THIS year (2014) of $28 MILLION and projected OVERAGE of $112 MILLION for 2015. The Lawsuit sets up MDCPS with grounds to reneg on its bonus/prorated stipend this year and/or next year, either to reduce it or cancel it (I guess we’ll know today, Thursday, 12/11/14 if this will happen this year…I doubt it since it would raise the ire of so many already pissed off teachers). 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.

14) and finally, the latest in this 9 year string of complicity and collusion: UTD continues to deceptively inform its members that MDCPS’ funding increase that would pay for teacher raises and steps (steps cost nothing, but adjusting them for Cost of Living would, and both are needed!) has been wiped out by a fictitious “shortfall” in Miami-Dade Tax Collection: http://www.utd.org/news/august-6-2015-bargaining-update and see my commentary here: http://shawnbeightol.com/blog/?p=763

It is time for people to see the reality of the THOUSANDS of DOLLARS WE HAVE WASTED ON DUES TO AN ORGANIZATION THAT IS FUNCTIONING TO PROMULGATE MANAGEMENT’s POSITION. The evidence has mounted sufficiently to file a class action law suit against UTD to recover ~$800 per member per year of membership for the last 9 years ($7200 if you have been a member this whole time)

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