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NYC Pays 1500 Teachers For Union Work

From the New York Post:

Tom Dromgoole

1,500 teachers paid to do union business and miss class

February 27, 2011

The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom.

It’s a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay — to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.

With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it’s time to halt the extravagant benefit.

"In these tight fiscal times, it defies common sense to pay two different people to do one job," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a government watchdog. "It’s a waste of money."

That $9 million would cover the salaries of 198 new teachers at the current annual $45,530 starting pay.

The DOE lets 40 experienced teachers collect top pay and fringe benefits, but work just one class period a day.

Under a longstanding contract agreement, the DOE excuses these veterans to work for the UFT — currently 38 as district representatives and two as union vice presidents. The UFT pays them another salary, plus expenses.

English teacher Tom Dromgoole, for instance, collects top teacher pay, $100,049 a year, from the DOE for his slot at Leadership and Public Service HS [sic] in downtown Manhattan. But he is relieved for most of the day to serve as a UFT high school rep. The UFT supplements his salary by $50,461, records show.

Oh, how teachers suffer. And, lest we forget, teachers only work nine months of the year – not counting their endless holidays during those nine months.

Dromgoole is outspoken on state budget cuts, which he blasted at a boisterous protest last March with UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

No wonder.

Reached Friday outside his Brooklyn townhouse, Dromgoole brushed past a reporter who asked about his UFT work, saying, "No comment."

Another veteran teacher said of the lucrative gigs, "It’s a plum because you’re not teaching. Some principals give them little or nothing to do" because the UFT reps are powerful.

The rest of the 1,500 teachers paid for time away from students are UFT "chapter leaders," who represent faculty at each school. They get at least one class period a day "for investigation of grievances" and other union-related duties, the contract says.

The UFT reimburses the DOE only about $900,000 of nearly $10 million it spends to replace the teachers, officials said.

One principal said his school’s chapter leader is helpful as a staff liaison, but he questioned why the UFT — which collects $126 million in member dues — doesn’t cover the cost: "They have a lot of money to run TV ads. Should DOE be paying for this?"

UFT spokesman Dick Riley said such arrangements are common among city unions "and were instituted with the agreement of NYC government."

Well, that is the problem.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bloomberg declined to comment.

We have been wondering why there has been no uproar from the unions about Mr. Bloomberg’s plans to lay off thousands of New York City teachers.

Now we know why. The important work will still be done, at least as far as the union honchos are concerned.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 28th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “NYC Pays 1500 Teachers For Union Work”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I read this somewhere else over the weekend and with each little expose’ the message becomes very clear: The public sector unions have a great scam going and they are going to fight everyone to keep it going. But like an adolescent who demands a very expensive item from his parents, he is to be told, “We just don’t have the money.”. And no amount of whining, crying, foot-stomping, tantrum-throwing, etc. should sway what must be the right decision.

    When they say “You’re harming the children”,

    You say, “Why can only a quarter of them read?”

    When they say, “These are our rights”,

    You say, “Where is that specified? Show me. Read it to me”

    When they say, “You are trying to destroy the American worker”

    You say, “I am trying to destroy a boondoggle of freebies that have been given to people who neither appreciate nor support a strong education system. Your defiance and abandonment of the children in February of 2011 proves that. If it was “all about the children” you would have found another way to try to get your desires met; Not by walking off your duties as a teacher.”

    Of course, they won’t listen to such an argument. They will, however call you names, refer to you in a perverted manner and give you the finger. http://michellemalkin.com/2011/02/27/union-civility/

    • TerryAnne says:

      Oh how true you speak! This weekend I finally got to call out the liberal teacher “friend” of mine on FB. I bit my tongue when he wrote about how much he loved teaching because the kids were hanging on his everyword, but when he cited a non-stated poll about how the six states without collective barganing were six of the lowest performing school systems based on SAT/ACT scores, I had to snap back. Needless to say, when a liberal teacher starts TYPING in CAPS for every RANDOM word, you know you’ve hit a button. LOL!

      The conversation was something like this:
      Me: This isn’t 1910.
      Liberal dude: You bring up valid points. But…RANT, WHINE, compare teacher’s healthcare to (not kidding) prison inmates and how they get better medical, HOW he HAD to GET a MASTER’S, blah, blah.
      Me: Not sure how the comparison to inmates is supposed to work here, but you doing something illegal? Also, if your healthcare is so bad, why did you just willingly bring a child into it?

      Apparently he got very hormonal (common occurrence) after that last one, accused me of attacking his daughter, deleted all of the posts, and dropped me. LOLOLOLOL! We’re early 30s and he’s no more of an adult than what he was in HS 16+ years ago. He couldn’t take jokes or criticism and is beyond ridiculous with it now. Quite fun to keep poking at it with a stick. I lament being dropped only because I now have one less piece of food to play with. ^._.^

  2. mr_bill says:

    I was listening to Laura Ingraham on the radio yesterday and she had a caller who claims that this legislation is strictly a union-buster and that conservatives should just acknowledge it. He pointed to the unions “agreeing” to the compensation co-pays for pensions and health insurance and wondered why the governor wouldn’t back down on the collective bargaining rights issue. I don’t think Laura fielded the call all that well and this story is a prime-example of what she should have pointed out.

    The public employee unions have extorted these kinds of abuses from all-too-willing democrat cronies in legislative and executive offices. If their collective bargaining rights are restricted to only wages (and COLA-indexed wage increases), they will lose the power to negotiate deals like being paid for doing two mutually exclusive jobs at the same time. Unions have a long history of making their employer-industries pay workers for doing nothing, like the jobs-pool for the UAW workers that ended as soon as the public found out about it. How does that type of arrangement help anybody other than the lazy and greedy?

    The unions know the taxpayer-funded gravy train will end if Walker succeeds, they just don’t want the public to know the truth. They would much rather be able to extort this type of “free money” from the unknowing taxpayers. They want to be able to continue collecting mandatory dues (which are never lowered even if unionized employees wages are reduced). If unions are so damn good, why can’t they survive if you make membership and dues voluntary?

    • TerryAnne says:

      Do you ever notice how anyone in any field related to what is going on – teacher’s in unions – are quick to say, “I worked hard to get here and work hard!” Every single liberal teacher I’ve been debating with the last two weeks automatically says that.

      Like the rest of us haven’t worked hard to get to where we’re at?

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    I would love to see a serious study of teachers combined compensation per month side by side with “median income” jobs.
    When you take out the three month “vacation/opportunity” period, they don’t look so “poor”.
    Maybe some states don;t pay them as well, but the couple of times I looked up their salaries in California, they were making more than I was.

  4. Peggy says:

    What a scandal. And it won’t get any media attention, you can bet.

  5. Helena says:

    Hah! And here it is, the school where Mr. Dromgoole teaches, when he has time:

    Welcome – Leadership and Public Service High School – M425 – New York City Department of Education

    The school quote, if you can believe irony can be spread this thick: “Leadership means setting an example worth following”

    Well done, Mr. Dromgoole!

  6. proreason says:

    I don’t recall any check box on my tax forms that funds Union Political Action Committees.

    Am I missing something?

  7. Right of the People says:

    If this goes well in Wisconsin and Ohio, let’s hope it spreads across the country. There may still be hope! NYC as far as I can see may be beyond hope. I think they had a capital idea in the movie “Escape from New York”, Manhattan as a federal prison is a good concept.

    I have a couple of friends who are college professors because their degrees (English Lit and Pre-Colombian history) and the amount of drugs they’ve taken have limited their job opportunities.

    The one used to teach high school English but left, not to advance to an institution of higher learning but because it was getting too hard grading all those tests and papers and stuff. As a tenured college prof he has a grad student every semester who does all that mundane stuff for him. Now all he has to do is show up for about ten classes a week and babble on about Dickens and Wadworth.

    And he was always one of the smartest kids in our class.

    • proreason says:


      college profs only have to indoctinate 3 or 6 hours a week. That’s much less of a drain on a good leftist’s time than having to teach 3 or 4 classes a day for up to 180 days a year.

  8. Mae says:

    What a scam. It’s a wonder Bernie Madoff isn’t their rip-off poster boy.

  9. canary says:

    I heard the teachers in Wisconsin are making at least 79,000 dollars a year. Stunned. I have a friend older than me that has told me horror stories of the liberal education she got in Milwakee, and her grandchildren were taken out to homeschool a bit back by her son & daughter-in-law. She asked me if the schools try to make the parents look like they are crazy. I said, Oh yes. And the enormous cash in of sick leave reported up to 800.000 does not add up. Mind blowing.

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