Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gotham Schools on UFT, Possible MORE/E4E Confrontation Will Help Mulgrew

Is Unity promoting an E4E election run?

A high UFT official admitted privately that an attempt was made to convince E4E to run, a policy that could put E4E against MORE and deflect from the failure of Unity policy. E4E would be stacked with money from DFER and other anti-union groups but since the main object of Unity is to maintain power, the confusion, with New Action as a stalking horse for Unity would totally confuse the issues. This will be interesting to watch.

In the meantime, MORE expects to announce its top level candidates within the next week. Being cash poor since MORE is funded out of the pockets of NYC teachers, there is hope the campaign will resonate in the schools and the rank and file will see through the sham.

Here is the Gotham article and some comments below the fold.

UFT chief hits Florida to sway 2012 election, and maybe 2013′s


United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew spoke at a rally against teacher layoffs in 2011.

When UFT chief Michael Mulgrew touched down in Florida this week, his goal was to support President Barack Obama’s reelection bid. But his visit could be useful in a different presidential election — his own.
The trip is bringing Mulgrew to West Palm Beach and Orlando, where more than 3,500 of Florida’s 7,000 retired New York City teachers live. He is meeting with some of the UFT members who have been working the phones since last week to lobby fellow retirees in the state, according to a union press release. Obama is considered likely but not assured to win Florida.
The Florida phone bank is part of the union’s multi-pronged get-out-the-vote effort. Union members are also reaching out from New York City to as many as 100,000 union members in swing states, through phone banks set up at the UFT’s Lower Manhattan headquarters.
But while all eyes are on November right now, Mulgrew’s Florida visit could also be seen as a first campaign stop in his own reelection bid. In April, Mulgrew’s first full three-year term as UFT president is coming to an end, and retirees are likely to play a crucial role in his effort to preserve and potentially consolidate power.
The UFT has always been dominated by a single internal party, Unity, and there have been no nail-biters in its electoral history. In 2010, after filling out the last year of former UFT chief Randi Weingarten’s term, Mulgrew coasted to an easy victory with 91 percent of the vote.

But forces within the union are hoping to toughen the road to reelection. An internal caucus, the Movement of Rank-and-File Educators, aims to unite opposition to Unity and its positions on charter schools, school closures, and mayoral control. And another group, Educators 4 Excellence, has signaled that it might put forth a slate of candidates. The group has conscripted teachers to study and push for changes to policies about teacher hiring, firing, and evaluation rules.

Retirees could be key to preserving Unity’s dominance at a time when the union is poised to influence the mayoral election and the future of the city’s schools. They contribute significantly to the union’s political fund and also turn out in large numbers for advocacy campaigns, officials have said.
They also vote. In the last two union elections, less than a quarter of active teachers voted in union elections, but nearly half of retired UFT members cast ballots.
And their votes will count even more next year than they did in 2010. A change to the union’s bylaws early this year increased the cap on retirees’ votes, so more of them will count in election results. Under the old cap, retirees’ ballots accounted for 39 percent of all votes, but under the higher cap, they would have made up 46 percent of the vote.
Mulgrew’s stops on Tuesday in West Palm Beach and today in Orlando are not the only ways that the UFT reaches out to retirees from New York. The union also conducts voting by snail mail to ensure that retired members, who might lack internet connections or computers, can weigh in.

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Showing 8 comments

  • East Sider
    1. Either Obama or Romney will win ... while I have problems with Obama on education the Republican agenda: anti choice, anti marriage equality, and on and on ... is deplorable .. and, Obama opposes vouchers while Romney supoorts ...
    2. Union elections are governed by US Dept of Labor rules - I don't any unions that use voting online ...
    3. BTW, if teachers chose not to vote, not to endorse ... don't complain when seniority rules disappear as well as erosion of pensions and health plan ...

  • BK
    Lets hope that both Obama AND Mulgrew both lose!!!

  • Informed Voter
    I voted for James Eterno/ICE Caucus in the last UFT election. When the newbie teachers at my school asked me who to vote for I informed them of the ICE ticket platform and many of them voted for him as well. Is he or somebody from ICE running again this year? If not, I'll be voting the MORE ticket.

  • Former Turnaround Teacher
    I am sure the teachers in the 25 schools that had to reapply for their own jobs last spring, under Obama's Race to the Top legislation, are really excited about this endorsement.  Especially since Mulgrew didn't even have the time to come to those schools and show that he supports the teachers.

  • I noticed that...
    Obama has admitted to the public that he's in favor of more charter schools, the closing of public schools, and he supports Arne Duncan's Race to the Top, that penalizes schools with high concentration of ELLs and special needs students.  Both Obama and Duncan want to tie high stake exams to teachers' evaluation and the use of VAM, which is so controversial because of its high margin of error.  So why is Michael Mulgrew telling the members to support the terminators of public education?  I thought he should support the members' needs and the public school system.

  • Former Teacher
    There is time to visit with retirees but there is no time ot visit schools with issues or meet with ATRS.  Interesting?

  • Fabian
    The UFT is democratic?

  • Fabian
    Mulgrew should be voted out

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