Saturday, March 28, 2009

UFT: Union Of Foto-Op Takers

video
Contrary to what Ed Vargas of Unite-Here announced there were no school children present and the only UFT presence was the three ladies below, another retiree, a UFT photographer, a UFT publicist, Robert Astrowsky and me. Why? I was told there is union leadership turmoil at UNITE, but why should that negate kids learning about this event. The truth is that the teaching of history is being greatly ignored in the all test prep, all day world of the BloomKlein administration.
As soon as the announcement was made by Vargas that UFT was in the house the ladies were scooped up for a foto-op.

The Annual Triangle Shirtwaist Memorial


from Unite Here except I made some updates as my Windsor Terrace neighbor Joel Shufro and others were there and Nicholas Scarpata was not. The original press release said there were to be school kids-there weren't
Labor Union Honors Workers’ Lives Lost and Recognizes Continued Dangers Faced on the Job NEW YORK, NY– Unite Here, the New York City Fire Department, workers and school children commemorated the Triangle Fire on March 25, 1911. Ed Vargas of Unite Here led the event and among those who came to mark the anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and advocate for improved workers’ safety were New York City Deputy Fire Commissioner Frank Cruthers, New York City Comptroller William Thompson, New York Metropolitan Area Joint Board Local 23-25 Secretary- Treasurer May Chen, Assistant Secretary of the UFT Robert Astrowsky , New York City Central Labor Council Executive Director Ed Ott, Coalition of Injured Cintas Workers' member Donatila Alvarez and Joel Shufro, Executive Director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, was one of the worst industrial tragedies in our nation’s history, and, until September 11, 2001, it was the city’s deadliest workplace disaster. Fire broke out and within minutes spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue workers trapped inside because the doors were locked and their ladders could not reach the factory floor. During today’s ceremony, a bell tolled for the lives lost as students and workers read the name of, and placed a flower for, each victim of the Triangle Fire.
The tragedy marked a turning point in the city’s fire safety efforts and the struggle by workers to organize for safer, more just working conditions. The Triangle Fire commemoration highlighted the dangerous and inhumane conditions that workers continue to face and emphasized the need for rapid passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act will give workers a greater voice in workplace safety by requiring companies to recognize a union when a majority of workers sign cards stating that they want a union. Once passed, the Employee Free Choice Act will enact meaningful penalties against employers who break the law.
“The Triangle Shirtwaist factory was infamous because the employers refused to recognize the union even though many workers were union members of Local 25, the predecessor of today’s Local 23-25,” said May Chen, New York Metropolitan Area Joint Board Secretary- Treasurer. “It took a disaster, where 146 young immigrant workers lost their lives, for the city and employers to change some of their most abusive practices. Today, despite the union’s efforts, low wage and immigrant workers often face similar horrors as well as major barriers to unionization. With the Employee Free Choice Act, we have the opportunity to give all workers a real voice in workplace safety, benefits and rights that can be won through union organizing.”
“We know that union jobs are safer jobs,” said Ed Vargas of Unite Here. “We know that union workers, regardless of their country of origin, have the power to demand a safe workplace of their employers, we cannot wait for another tragedy - we must pass the Employee Free Choice Act now.”
UNITE HERE represents approximately 450,000 workers in the hospitality, gaming, food service, laundry, textiles and manufacturing distribution industries in the United States and Canada.

DEMYSTIFYING MAYORAL CONTROL: Part 3


An educational evening for the lower Manhattan School Community. IN 2002 STATE LAW ESTABLISHED MAYORAL CONTROL OF THE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THIS LAW EXPIRES IN JUNE 2009. WHAT IS MAYORAL CONTROL? DO WE END MAYORAL CONTROL MODIFY IT OR KEEP IFS CURRENT FORM? A downtown forum on “Demystifying Mayoral control”
sponsored by South of the Bridge Parent & Youth Assoc." Special Invited Guest The Honorable Sheldon Silver
Panelists Include: Diane Ravitch, Education Historian. Diane Ravitch Ph.D., is an eminent historian, author, Research Professor of Education at NYU, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She frequently writes op-eds, has her own blog on the Education Week website with Deborah Meier, and also contributes regularly to the Huffington Post and the NYC Public School Parent blog.She is author of the seminal work on the history of NYC schools, called The Great School Wars. She has written countless other works on the history of education.
Paul Hovitz, Community Advocate. Paul Hovitz: is the former Chair of the Youth Committee for CB1 1995-2D08 and continues to serve on the committee. He is also Chair of the resident advisory committee for Councilmember Alan Gerson for the past 4 years. Paul is a former teacher of special education with 30 years in the NY Public Schools and a long time Lower Manhattan resident and parent. Paul brings keen insight to all matters affecting our community.
Leonie Haimson, Exec Director, Class Size Matters and public school parent.Sponsored/Supported by: CB Councilmember Alan Gerson, MYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. Childcare provided for school age children

DEMYSTIFYING MAYORAL CONTROL: Part 2


An educational evening for the lower Manhattan School Community. IN 2002 STATE LAW ESTABLISHED MAYORAL CONTROL OF THE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THIS LAW EXPIRES IN JUNE 2009. WHAT IS MAYORAL CONTROL? DO WE END MAYORAL CONTROL MODIFY IT OR KEEP IFS CURRENT FORM? A downtown forum on “Demystifying Mayoral control”
sponsored by South of the Bridge Parent & Youth Assoc." Special Invited Guest The Honorable Sheldon Silver
Panelists Include: Diane Ravitch, Education Historian. Diane Ravitch Ph.D., is an eminent historian, author, Research Professor of Education at NYU, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She frequently writes op-eds, has her own blog on the Education Week website with Deborah Meier, and also contributes regularly to the Huffington Post and the NYC Public School Parent blog.She is author of the seminal work on the history of NYC schools, called The Great School Wars. She has written countless other works on the history of education.
Paul Hovitz, Community Advocate. Paul Hovitz: is the former Chair of the Youth Committee for CB1 1995-2D08 and continues to serve on the committee. He is also Chair of the resident advisory committee for Councilmember Alan Gerson for the past 4 years. Paul is a former teacher of special education with 30 years in the NY Public Schools and a long time Lower Manhattan resident and parent. Paul brings keen insight to all matters affecting our community.
Leonie Haimson, Exec Director, Class Size Matters and public school parent.Sponsored/Supported by: CB Councilmember Alan Gerson, MYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. Childcare provided for school age children

DEMYSTIFYING MAYORAL CONTROL: Part 1


An educational evening for the lower Manhattan School Community. IN 2002 STATE LAW ESTABLISHED MAYORAL CONTROL OF THE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THIS LAW EXPIRES IN JUNE 2009. WHAT IS MAYORAL CONTROL? DO WE END MAYORAL CONTROL MODIFY IT OR KEEP IFS CURRENT FORM? A downtown forum on “Demystifying Mayoral control”
sponsored by South of the Bridge Parent & Youth Assoc.". Special Invited Guest The Honorable Sheldon Silver
Panelists Include: Diane Ravitch, Education Historian. Diane Ravitch Ph.D., is an eminent historian, author, Research Professor of Education at NYU, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She frequently writes op-eds, has her own blog on the Education Week website with Deborah Meier, and also contributes regularly to the Huffington Post and the NYC Public School Parent blog.She is author of the seminal work on the history of NYC schools, called The Great School Wars. She has written countless other works on the history of education.
Paul Hovitz, Community Advocate. Paul Hovitz: is the former Chair of the Youth Committee for CB1 1995-2D08 and continues to serve on the committee. He is also Chair of the resident advisory committee for Councilmember Alan Gerson for the past 4 years. Paul is a former teacher of special education with 30 years in the NY Public Schools and a long time Lower Manhattan resident and parent. Paul brings keen insight to all matters affecting our community.
Leonie Haimson, Exec Director, Class Size Matters and public school parent.Sponsored/Supported by: CB Councilmember Alan Gerson, MYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick NYS Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. Childcare provided for school age children

Monday, March 09, 2009

Hi-Bid And A-Fraud



from the Gotham Gazette
Earlier this week the Post’s Yoav Gonen reported the department awarded a $1.6 million contract to Accenture to help the department lower costs for books and equipment. Accenture got the job even though, according to Gonen, its bid was four times higher than that of the lowest bidder — and called for paying up to $315 an hour for services of an entry-level project manager. “That’s the highest rate I’ve ever heard in my life,” a losing bidder told the Post. “There appears to be no integrity there and obviously there’s no oversight.” (There is, though, apparently money paid to Tiger Woods.)
At least that contract went out for bid. Last summer, the Post found a sharp uptick in no-bid contracts for education under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Citing statistics from the city comptroller’s office, the Post said that in fiscal year 2000, when Rudolph Giuliani was mayor, the school system, signed seven no-bid contracts worth a total of $693,000. In fiscal year 2007, it signed 76 no-bid contracts totaling of $72 million. The number did, however, drop to $12 million in fiscal year 2008. Overall the department has reportedly awarded $340 million in no–bid contracts in the Bloomberg-Klein era.