THE PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERSVolume XXXVI, No. 2 October 6, 1998
SCHUMER FOR U. S. SENATE It will come as no surprise that the PCT Executive Board has recommended Charles Schumer in the November contest with incumbent Alfonse D'Amato for a seat in the U. S. Senate. By any progressive measure, Chuck Schumer is the superior candidate.
Master of the art of political deception, D'Amato has projected an image of himself as the pothole senator, a man of the people working diligently for the welfare of the common citizen. His record, however, reveals a politician tied to the big money interests who finance his campaigns, a man who consistently votes against the welfare of the average citizen. His outrageous scapegoating of teachers in his current bid for re-election has earned him the everlasting enmity of those who are seriously interested in the education of America's children.
Chuck Schumer offers voters a sharp contrast. His support for public education, women's rights, the rights of labor, the disadvantaged, the need to reform our healthcare system and the obligation to use budget surpluses to preserve Social Security for future generations make him the obvious choice for those who dream of a more humane society.
YOUR RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION
PCT members are reminded that if you are called to a supervisor to discuss an issue that may potentially result in disciplinary action against you, you are entitled to PCT representation. To not insist on the right to representation is quite simply to court disaster.
We raise this issue because of an alarming incident at the POB Middle School where the principal called a meeting with a teacher to discussAparental complaints. The teacher informed the principal of his desire for union representation and was told by the administrator that the issue was not a disciplinary matter. Yet, by the end of the meeting the teacher learned that there was going to be a summary placed in his file.
This meeting never should have happened. An honest administrator would have informed the teacher of his right to representation and not have held the meeting until this could be arranged. At the point at which it became clear that this meeting was turning towards finding fault with the teacher, he should have politely excused himself, informing the principal that he was going to get his representative.
The need to insist on representation when it is clearly called for is especially important in these days when supervisors appear to be under orders from the Superintendent to write everything down. If records are to be made of our conversations with our supervisors, it is imperative that they be accurate and that they be witnessed.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MEMO
CLOSE TO RESOLUTIONLast year the District and the PCT entered into an agreement for the implementation of interdisciplinary team teaching at the middle schools. Because the program was new, both labor and management only wanted to have a one year agreement.
Last March representatives of the PCT and administration met to discuss a successor agreement. Both sides quickly agreed that the program was working well for its first year, and we easily came to an agreement. We were told by administration that they had to take the agreement back for consultation with the Board and their attorney, a customary part of the agreement process.
That was the last the PCT heard from the District until late August, despite a letter from the PCT to the Superintendent in July inquiring as to the status of the agreement.
In August, suddenly the District had problems with the agreement. We are pleased to report, however, that the difficulties appear to have been worked out. We should have a signed agreement shortly which will be presented to the PCT Executive Board and middle school teachers for ratification. It is regrettable, however, that the process has taken this long and that we were unable to begin the second year of the program on time. Should parents ask questions about this delay at middle school back-to-school night, please inform them that the PCT was not responsible.
SRC CHAIRS TO MEET
While the PCT is at least as well organized as any other local union we know, that doesn=t mean there isn=t room for improvement. Seeking to improve the flow of information to SRC Reps, while at the same time providing advocacy training, the officers have recommended to the PCT Executive Board that building SRC Chairs meet with the officers once a month in addition to Executive Board meetings. These meetings will begin in mid-October. This being a negotiating year, we should have an almost immediate test of the efficacy of this plan.
Members who have not as yet submitted their contract surveys are asked to do so as soon as possible. The surveys are a vital part of the process of monitoring the enforcement of our contract and are an important way for the officers and SRCs to get you the things that you need. Please take a few minutes and fill one out if you have not done so. They can either be returned to your SRC Rep or directly to Grievance Chair Judi Alexanderson at the PCT Office.
QUOTE OF THE CENTURY
Public media should not contain explicit or implied descriptions of sex acts. Our society should be purged of the perverts who provide the media with pornographic material while pretending it has some redeeming social value under the public's right to know.
Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr in 1987 on 60 Minutes
PCT DISCOUNT CARD
Last year the PCT issued to the membership a discount card good for reduced prices at a number of local merchants. Although the card has a date on it which suggests that it has expired, we have arranged with the merchants and service providers to accept it. In the meanwhile, we are at work on adding discounts to our program and will issue a new card shortly. If you are new to the district and do not have a card, please call the PCT Office.
DON'T FORGET OCTOBER 23rd
IT'S PCT PARTY TIME
The PCT will hold its annual party to welcome new employees and honor retirees on Friday, October 23, 1998, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Maine Maid Inn in Jericho.
For $25 members will receive continuous hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and all the wine, beer and soda you can drink. Retirees and new members will be the guests of the PCT.
Last year's party was hailed as probably the best we have ever had. Speeches were short, the food and drink excellent and comradery not to be beaten. Let's make this year's party an even greater success. Reserve your place by giving a check for $25 to your building rep today.
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