Is the Baltimore Teachers Union Underestimating Its Own Members?

After having its much-lauded contract voted down by the rank-and-file, the Baltimore Teachers Union has responded by… presenting virtually the same contract again. This isn’t sitting too well with some of the people who opposed it the first time:

“The major reason we wanted a delay in the vote was for the democratic process and to have these details,” said Robin Bingham, a teacher who started an electronic petition against the contract until the evaluation system is complete. “I feel it’s really disrespectful to dress up the same contract and present it again.”

The BTU campaign to get the thing approved this time seems to consist of “regional information sessions for its members with the American Federation of Teachers” and schmoozing sessions with building reps (who already have a plum in the new contract). This, from Teacher Beat:

Now, the word on the street from sources is that the district and union have essentially finalized a second (tentative) pact—and that the BTU was essentially shopping it to its unions’ building representatives today during a four-hour meeting.

“They had us all over, had us released from school, they fed us an entire meal, chicken, all this stuff, and gave us a gift at the end and sent us off with the ‘newly revised’ contract,” a source told me this afternoon.

I’ve sworn off predicting the outcome of contract ratification votes, but I’ll be waiting to see if these tactics work.

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