I was just told by my Unity chapter leader I cannot put "political propaganda" in teachers mailboxes because it violates chancellors regs. Said the District rep told her. Can you please clarify when and where we can distribute flyers? ---MORE memberThis is at least the 3rd case so far where a MORE member was told they cannot put materials in the mail boxes by a Unity person and the elections haven't even begun. Now, many of our MORE people are not experienced in these matters and we are either dealing with ignorance or an underhanded behind the scenes campaign by Unity. UFT leaders will publicly say that we have the right but maybe they are winking at their hacks to do their thing.
One thing we know absolutely: UFT District Reps will put Unity election materials in every box of schools where there are MORE chapter leaders, a misuse of union employees and union dues.
An experienced MORE person replied
Your DR is wrong or lying. All members have equal access to the mailboxes during non-election times. A Principal cannot have one policy toward one caucus and another policy toward another. That was the essence of the Baizerman arbitration ruling. During election periods -- the 2013 period begins next Wednesday -- ChancellorsRegs explicitly permit all UFT members to give out election lit in ANY school. Neither your CL nor your DR have any say over what can go into the mailboxes. They do not set or enforce DoE policies. You don't need to ask their permission.We've been getting questions about the right to hand out MORE literature in teacher mail boxes both during election periods (Feb. 6- April 24) and non-election times. So let's try and clarify.
During election periods, the Baizerman decision allows any UFT member to go into ANY school -- even not their own -- and place materials in the mail boxes. Now this is not always a slam dunk as most principals, secretaries, etc. are not made aware. So if there is a problem a phone call has to be made to someone at the UFT (I hear Amy Arundel is in charge of getting these calls) who then calls the DOE and the school gets a message. Since that can take time it is best to do leave and go on to another place and come back another time. Sometimes I call the school first to let them know I am coming.
During election and non-election periods a teacher has the right to put union-related materials in the boxes at all times. Not to say that if you have a Unity slug of a chapter leader they won't try to interfere by claiming only chapter leaders have the right. Sometimes even non-Unity CLs are resentful of someone infringing on their "turf" so that is something to watch out for.
You also may meet resistance from certain types of principals. Sometimes they demand the right to approve materials. They don't have that right. I don't recommend getting into a big fight with a principal on this issue without thinking it through and going back channels or even just saying you are willing to show it to them in advance as a "courtesy." A lot depends on relationships here, especially with secretaries.
Here was an email with some specific questions which I tried to answer.
Been following you as well as other bloggers for a long time. I teach at ---- High School where I would say the overwhelming majority of teachers have very little knowledge to what is happening with the new evaluation or any other aspect of ed deform. I would be interested in distributing any literature about MORE personally to as many teachers as possible in my school.1. How can I obtain the literature to hand out? Will it be sent to my school and placed in my mailbox or can it be sent to my home address?
We will send by mail or drop off a package for you. Or send to home address. Whatever you prefer.
2. Will this cause a conflict with my CL or do I even need to inform him that I am doing this?
3. Can MORE literature be placed in teacher mailboxes?
4. I have not signed on to MORE - can I still distribute literature on their behalf?
What we would also love you to do is advocated for MORE to people --and you can even invite some of us into speak -- Brian Jones and I are available during the day.
And when the ballots are sent out at the beginning of April and are send to their homes to remind them to look for them and to make sure people in your school mail them in -- preferably by checking the MORE box on the top sheet of the ballot.