To the Editor: I certainly hope that the United Federation of Teachers understands that supporting the grand deal coming will lead to the strong possibility that the contract is opened and UFT remembers forced into huge givebacks!

I hear there is a deal in the making, if not done, that allows New York City to borrow, a retirement incentive and some form of "savings" or "support" from the unions. While this might seem like a great deal and a positive for NYC and municipal workers, it is a very short-sighted one.

Do not sacrifice union members or our rights! The budget is bloated and needs some cutting. Yes, the city is in trouble , but it will be in danger next year, too, and the year after and the year after that! Then what? The only thing that changed is you allowed a state Financial Control Board to come in and decimate our contracts!

The city's economy is not coming back very soon, and if you agree to a deal that sacrifices tomorrow for today, you will face consequences for it. The UFT needs the respect and, dare I say, admiration of its members. If members see the UFT sell them out, then they will be just as short-sighted as the union and simply fill out a form online in 15 seconds which ends their dues obligation.

Allow the layoffs to come and NYC to sacrifice in that form. While it is terrible for members to get laid off, the fact is many other people have been sacrificing and fighting for decades to secure the rights and benefits we have today; simply giving up everything we have worked for and invested in to save people who have worked in the system for a year is criminal. Do not sacrifice any rights or privileges, or you will lose far more in dues than you already have! There is no point in paying UFT dues if you are simply going to make unilateral decisions and give up members who have paid for decades to save people who have paid for months!

There are horrible months and years ahead for New York City and the state. The best position we can take as a union is to stand firm and fight to keep everything we have negotiated!

DAVID IRONS


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