Education

NYC Teachers Union Has an Office in Boca Raton

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This is what Boca is like

Education Week's Rick Hess explains how snowbird retired teachers are screwing newbie instructors (and us) from the comfort of Florida's lovely sandy beaches:

New York City's teachers may do well to ask why their union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), has an office in Boca Raton, Florida. A recent article in the New York Post figured that rent alone for the Boca Raton branch costs UFT members $183,603 per year. That's not peanuts for a union fretting about its financially strapped members.

One reason for the Boca branch, as I noted a little while back, is that the retirees in the UFT are more active in UFT elections than the current teachers. The UFT website notes, "The UFT maintains an office in Boca Raton to service our retired members in Florida. These members make up a potent voting bloc, last year helping to elect two new members of Congress with favorable positions on our issues." NYC teachers may wonder whether their retired brethren are allies, or a competing constituency.

And what do these retirees get in exchange for their faithful participation? Thanks to something called "retention rights," union members with seniority get first shot at sweet summer gigs in NYC:

Former teachers who desire a few extra bucks for greens fees or lawn care can up and keep returning to New York City to teach summer school–bumping current teachers from these per session jobs. And, so long as they keep doing it, they can keep doing it. One reliable source in the NYCDOE estimates that there are "hundreds of teachers who take advantage of retention rights." At the per session hourly rate of $41.98, with average summer school lengths ranging from 60 to 150 hours, the average per session teacher is earning between $2,500 and $6,300–that's probably a million bucks or more a year that snow birds are claiming from current teachers.

Via Reihan Salam.

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  1. Is there anything dumber than a non-retired NYC public school teacher?

    1. Yes, as amatter of fact. As a dimwitted libertarian, you are much, much dumber.

    2. That’s a good question! I am betting that the answer is yes, and it’s probably a Washington, DC or Detroit, MI public school teacher.

  2. “New York Post figured that rent alone for the Boca Raton branch costs UFT members $183,603 per year.”

    Is that rent controlled?

    1. It’s Boca Raton. We don’t have rent control.

  3. I’ve become convinced that Obama’s entire philosophy of governance is based on the relationship between union bosses and members. (OT, I know.)

    1. No it’s not OT. It’s spot-on.

      1. BTW, Have you met my brother, Thed?

  4. Venturesome members on stool? Whoa.

  5. “Oh thank you, Headmaster! Thank you! May I have another?”

  6. Teaching summer school in the NYC schools requires schvitzing in un-airconditioned classrooms during the hottest months of the year, trying to teach a bunch of kids that have no interest in being there – Not exactly a “sweet gig.” And I’m willing to bet that despite the insinuations of Rick Hess,most retired teachers that do teach summer school don’t fly back from Florida.

    The UFT surely is riddled with problems, but one doesn’t need to make shit up to make this point.

    1. That hot classroom in NYC might be preferable to the awful climate of Florida in July. And don’t discount the “snowbird” factor – retirees who winter in FL and maintain homes up north to be close to family when the snow and cold are not so oppressive.

      Summer school is a joke anyway. You’re right about the kids not wanting to be there; they are just fulfilling a mandatory credit earning requirement. I’ve taught summer school and despite my best efforts, no kid really learns. They do their worksheets and muddle along until they get a “Pass” on their report card, so they can move up to the next grade with their peers and slack from September to June and repeat summer school next year, too.

      1. the comfort of Florida’s lovely sandy beaches

        Here in Boca, it’s 90 outside, 70% humidity and about a 102 heat index. And it’s only June. The beaches are boiling and the sand is too hot to walk on for white people. It’s rather hellish, actually. But the winters sure are nice.

    2. Let me get my violin.

  7. Are summer school parents aware their children are being taught by people whose emails usually contain animated GIFs? Who still don’t know how to use the digital camera you gave them two Christmases ago?

    1. You’re describing my mother. 😐

      Mom’s a retired teacher’s aide, although the union insists on using the jargon word “paraprofessional” (what’s the difference between a “paraprofessional” and a “para-amateur”?) or even worse, the acronym ESP (if memory serves, it stands for “education support personnel”), which I think are designed to obfuscate what these people do.

      She sends me crap emails all the time that have hundreds of lines of attributions in them. That, and I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten the “it takes guts to say Jesus” and other virus hoax posts from her. I don’t have the heart to tell her I’ve got an email filter that doesn’t download mail above a certain size until I manually choose to download it, and most of the large emails she sends go straight to the bit bucket.

      1. Ok, my Jegus shit is boring. From now on, I’ll only send porno 😉

  8. “And I’m willing to bet that despite the insinuations of Rick Hess,most retired teachers that do teach summer school don’t fly back from Florida.”

    I’m willing to take that bet.

    You prove it’s not true and I will donate a C-note to the United Way. If you can’t, then you give them one of yours.

  9. Mazel tov!

  10. Listen, Katherine, you stupid cunt, unions are the only reason there is an American middle class. It`s disapperaing fast.

    1. Settle on a handle or and STFU you ignorant twat.

    2. Max, I’m one of KM-W’s most consistent critics here, but your sexist put-down is really out of line. Sure you’d be all over that kind of shit if someone else did it.

      Besides, KM-W’s writing provides enough material for justified criticism on the merits.

      1. What’s sexist about the word “cunt,” you dickless twit?

        1. No true liberal would ever use that word, Max. Unless it’s in an attack on, say, Sarah Palin, then it’s okay.

          1. I don’t think Max is a liberal. He just hates simple-minded doctrinaire libertarians who swallowed Ayn Rand and never coughed her up. In this echo chamber of pious party-liners, Max is a breath of fresh air. So, as Max would say, go suck Ron Paul’s cock.

            1. This may be the furthest Edward has gone in pretending his various identities are not all the same person.

    3. There he goes with those leftist apostrophes again.

    4. Do you guys talk to your shit before you flush it? No? Please try to follow the same principle with the shit a few posts above.

      (Yes, I know it’s like a mosquito bite. But you have to resist the temptation).

    5. Yeah, it’s not like working hard or being productive are any way to get ahead.

    6. I wonder how a Boca Raton office makes anyone middle class. Well, maybe the receptionists, I suppose.

      1. You’d be surprised.

    7. Well, that is true. After all, unions did not become a major factor in American life until the early 1900s and before then America had no middle-class. Yep, and standards of living had been falling, more and more children had been working, fewer and fewer children were getting education and work safety had been declining and the work day had risen from 2 hours a day in 1792 to 26 hours a day!

      Most tellingly we had to invade Europe and other parts of the world and kidnap the poor people there and drag them here to fill our horrific and hopeless slums of workers.

      It was a real horror show.

      Meanwhile, back in reality: Prior to the 1840s, immigration to America was almost entirely a middle-class phenomena. We were a nation of middle-class yeoman farmers (even in the South most of the population owned their own land and worked their own fields.) One of the reasons we relied so heavily on immigration starting in the 1880s was that we simply didn’t have enough poor and low skilled people willing to work in factories. Most people were simply to well off.

      Prior to unions three generations of skilless immigrants hit the shores with nothing but the shirts on their back and rose to the middle-class in two generations.

      Without exception, every good thing that Unions claim credit for was actually a long term trend in America that the unions did little or nothing to advance. Instead, they just found a historical parade, hopped out in front of it and pretended the parade was for them all along.

      There is no convincing evidence that unions fostered the middle-class at all. States without a history of unionization have the same middle-class as those without correcting for industrialization. In fact, income disparities are widest in places with the highest levels of unionization. (Compare New York to say Dallas.)

      Unions are just a mythology to justify why a privileged minority of workers get to extort money from consumers. Back in the day when labor was 70% of the cost of coal and the union struck and got a 10% pay raise, who do you think paid for raising the cost of coal 7%? That’s right, everyone, from the rich to the poor, who bought coal.

      1. “There is no convincing evidence that unions fostered the middle-class at all. States without a history of unionization have the same middle-class as those without correcting for industrialization. In fact, income disparities are widest in places with the highest levels of unionization. (Compare New York to say Dallas.)”

        Damn you facts! Damn you to hell!

    8. America was a middle class country before unions. How can cause come after the effect?

  11. I took a Max in NYC once.

    1. Ha. I wrote my post before reading Sandi’s.

  12. Jane, you ignorant slut, the only reason the American middle class is about to collapse under the weight of its government’s debt is because we haven’t promised unions more public money.

  13. Doncha love the way the union says, just right out front, that the benefit to the union for an office in Florida is that the retirees vote the right way.

    Lets face it. Unions are only incidentally about the workers. They are mostly about political power.

    1. They are entirely about political power. They do stuff for the workers, because if they didn’t, they’d lose support and therefore power.

      Unions are essentially miniature political parties. There is virtually no difference between the DNC or the RNC and the AFL-CIO; it’s like a parliamentary system where the little “parties” can’t ever hope to hold office, but they align with the bigger ones to get what they want.

    2. It is possible that they could be for political power to benefit their members. Try to imagine it.

      1. Sure, Jersey. That would explain why unions chime in on all kinds of issues that don’t have anything to do with pay and working conditions.

      2. It is possible that they could be for political power to benefit their members. Try to imagine it.

        Certainly a lot more plausible than imagining that they want to benefit the children that they teach.

    3. RC, repeat after me:

      PoliticalPower…

      Where, oh where, has our LoneWacko gone? Long days passing…

  14. The UFT maintains an office in Boca Raton to service our retired members in Florida. These members make up a potent voting bloc, last year helping to elect two new members of Congress with favorable positions on our issues.

    Service? No doubt.

    Potent? Better living through chemistry…

  15. LOL sounds like money well spent to me LOL

    http://www.anon-posting.at.tc

    1. Anon bot, you used to be cool. Now you just laugh at everything for no reason.

      You’ve changed, man.

  16. Teachers unions are some of the wealthiest pension funds out there, investing in real estate and other high-end investments..crying poverty is just a way for them to draw attention to their agenda..if they really cared about the future of education they would dig into their own pockets and pay for some of the programs that they concoct rather than vilifying government and the taxpayers for not giving in to their demands..

  17. “to service our retired members”

    He didn’t really say that, did he?

    1. Damn ? those teachers really do have great benefits!

  18. and tell me which union did not destroy its business?

    1. which union did not destroy its business?

      The only ones that spring to mind are the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association.

      -jcr

  19. Sweating in a non airconditioned classroom? I’ve recently visited 4 different schools, from the grade school to the high school level here in NYC. The Grade school had ONLY about 1/2 the classrooms with AC – The Jr High and 2 high schools had window units in EVERY classroom. Yes, the halls, the cafeteria (student) and the big spaces like the gym and auditorium had no AC, but the classrooms all had AC, at least any that would be used in the summer

    The teachers should try swinging a sledgehammer or using a jackhammer outside all summer, all for a lot less than $40/hr before the complain about sweating in a classroom

  20. The Public Sector Unions can only hope thier PAC’s can keep on looting the Productive Citizen Taxpayers to finance their goals. However, it does end at some point.

    The situation preview is in Greece; now Spain. Coming to a State of the United States you live in soon.

    1. well said. agreed.

  21. “But of course”
    Not surprised at all. Rules always favor those in control of corrupt enterprises.

  22. Hmm, but are they paying NY income tax on earnings in NY?

    1. Yes, yes they are. New York is very aggressive in its collection of taxes from the individual, even winning a court case a few years ago to force a Tennessee resident that worked online for a NY firm to pay NY income tax. Additionally, since these teachers are working in the city, they pay federal income tax, NY State income tax, & NY City income tax.
      As for air-conditioned classrooms, here in Brooklyn the only high-school classrooms with AC are the computer labs.

  23. Nitpicking,

    The traditional definition of ‘middle class’ were people who owned their own businesses. Controlled the means of production, etc.

    By the traditional definition, unions have done nothing but *exploit* the middle class since its emergence.

  24. The traditional definition of ‘middle class’ were people who owned their own businesses.

    The “re-purposing” of the term middle class to mean Union Wage Ape annoys the shit out of me.

  25. Screw public employee retired parasites and their currently employed leeches at the public trough.

    The time has come to unilaterally cut wages and benefits of public employees.

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  27. How can a teacher retire to Boca Raton? Very expensive place to live.

  28. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  29. They’re not flying, they’re not driving, all of the way, at least, they are taking the Amtrak Autotrain, You assholes who whine about summer school being unairconditioned and the kids not wanting to learn: don’t you think with all this seniority they these blue haired punks get the sweet airconditioned gigs teaching drivers ed or even elective AP or honors summer courses for high acheivers wanting to pad their transcript. And Boca isn’t so expensive to live in after tax. In fact that would be the sweet gig after getting their grey hole rammed all those years with NY state, city and property tax.

    Finally, at 180 large a yaer

  30. As much as I wanted to beleive the 180 large, I looked up the building. There’s no way. It’s in a nice area, but not that nice. It’s most likley B space, too.

    1. Also, summer school slots are filled first by the working teachers, usually teachers that already work at the school where the summer classes are held. This summer (tomorrow is the last day of school in NYC), the budget crisis has resulted in a massive downsizing of summer school programs city-wide. Some schools offer no program at all this summer, some have opted to reduce the days of the week that summer classes are held. Our household has basically lost 1/2 our summer income and it hurts. I would be shocked, shocked I tell ya, if there were ANY out-of-state retirees teaching summer school in NYC this year.

  31. Are you for real? Unions have/continue to destroy America. You need to pull your head out of your arse. Yes, I spent 16 years in a union. Unions breed mediocrity and destroy innovation and creative talent. Union mantra: more money, less work.

  32. unions are the only reason there is an American middle class.

    Almost snorted out my tamarind Jarritos over that one. Still, it is an interesting interpretation of history. Cubist in its general design but with sloppy impressionistic overtones. Very derivative to be sure.

  33. unions are the only reason there is an American middle class.

    What’s your next guess? Freedom is why we have prosperity, which is why we have a middle class, and unions are doing all they can to destroy it.

    -jcr

  34. How appropriate, to find an important Teachers’ Union branch office in Rat’s Mouth, Florida. (No offense to everyone else who lives and works there…)

  35. Wow, you have made some great arguments.
    Your writing makes it very clear that any attempt at debating with you would be futile.

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  40. That’s not peanuts for a union fretting about its financially strapped members.

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