Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Happy Happy Hour - We Want MORE

MORE Happy Hour: They just kept comin' and comin' with even more stories of Unity Caucus chapter leaders being driven out of office when challenged.
I got home last night from a great evening out with people who turned out for the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE - morecaucusnyc.org) first ever Happy Hour at Druids Bar. A great mix of people, from a small group of retirees like me to experienced teachers to lots of under 5-year people. And a good balance -- high, middle and elementary. I didn't know a whole bunch of people - a good sign that some people are coming out of the woodwork. I'm still cautious as always as I've been through some of this before.

They just kept comin' and comin' with even more stories of Unity Caucus chapter leaders being driven out of office when challenged. Unfortunately, the number of schools still make up a relative blip and Unity still controls the bulk of the schools. But there may be places out there where Unity was overturned that we do not know about yet.

Then there is this email from an old pal, an independent retiree who was a chapter leader:
found the unity chapter leaders losing in this election interesting.  Of course, some schools did not even post the notice or inform their staff of elections.  Oh well.... business as usual.
Next year's Delegate Assemblies should be interesting, with a big turnover. MORE is ordering tee-shirts for affiliated CLs and Del to wear. What Unity will do is hold new chapter leader training and use the district reps to try to recruit as many people into the black hole of Unity as they can, thus gagging them and shutting them off from MORE.

With general UFT elections coming with the campaign season beginning in January 2013 and the election at the end of March, that adds to the interest. Of course, the way the union is structured and with New Action running to split the opposition vote, there is little chance to win anything.

BUT
 As we've been saying for many years, the chapter elections are more important. You can't even hope to win anything without a ground game --- schools and districts. That is a long haul, but as Unity and Mulgrew demonstrate an inability to defend the public schools, more and more teachers will be turned off. Think Chicago 5 years ago.

I heard one story yesterday about a large high school election where a transferee in the first year in the school ran a militant campaign and won. Of course the Unity person challenged the election --- really unbelievable --- and the borough office upheld the challenge - of course, not the first time -- count on the borough office to uphold any challenge by a Unity CL who lost. In the next round 1/3 didn't vote, 1/3 went to the challenger and the Unity and another candidate split the other 1/3. So the Unity person got 1/6 of the total school vote and the person we know doubled it. Frankly, I was called by this person weeks ago and given the situation described I didn't think there was a chance to win, given it was the first year in a large school.

Interesting. I wonder how any people in large high schools can vote for the person representing the party that has let their schools die slow deaths with barely a peep. Do you think Leo Casey is bailing out at the right time? Any idea who will replace him?

 If you're interested in MORE touch down with the web site for details and events.
 I'm doing an event on July 12 on some UFT history and the roots of the opposition caucuses over the time I've been involved. The roots of MORE go deep.


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The opinions expressed on EdNotesOnline are solely those of Norm Scott and are not to be taken as official positions (though Unity Caucus/New Action slugs will try to paint them that way) of any of the groups or organizations Norm works with: ICE, GEM, MORE, Change the Stakes, NYCORE, FIRST Lego League NYC, Rockaway Theatre Co., Active Aging, The Wave, Aliens on Earth, etc.

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