Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Rise and Fall of the UFT by Former UFT VP John O' Neill

Note how O'Neill talks about the very early days of the UFT as being as social justice and democratic a union as one could get -- some do not agree --- and that it was Shanker who took what was already a very successful operation under Charlie Cogan and Dave Seldon and undermined it. Especially see page 178 for more on this. Shanker later -- 1974 undermined his mentor Shelden by running against him for AFT president and moving the AFT rightward.
I was going through some old materials on my computer desktop and almost tossed this chapter of Annette Rubinstein's book "Schools Against Community Control." I'm sure there are historians with some knowledge of the split between O' Neill and Shanker over the 68 strike. O' Neill's interpretation here is one commonly accepted by the left. As one who did not cross the picket lines in 68, though I really had no clue as to the political forces I am always ambivalent about a bunch of issues. Some friends on the left do believe the Ford Foundation (under former Vietnam hawk McGeorge Bundy I believe) was out to divide the union from the community. Certainly an issue worth exploring again and again as those times were so important. Maybe when things settle down -- like in the summer -- MORE can do a series of discussions on this issue.

Note the analysis of the 1969 contract which I always used to say was the last good contract we got.


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