Friday, April 26, 2013

UFT Election Results, Late edition: Total Votes and Retiree Breakdown

MORE increased the vote over the ICE/TJC totals of 2010 in every single division and outpolled New Action in every division except retirees.

I had to miss an hour and a half of victory partying while waiting for the retiree vote to come in. Oh, what fun. Here are some interesting figures. I am putting it all in a spreadsheet with info from other years - -once I figure out the percentages.

Let's start with ballots sent out and returned (slate plus non-slate)

Total: 173,407  / 43,138

HS: 19,040       / 3808
MS: 10,807      / 1879
Elem: 34, 163   / 7331
Funct: 51,040    / 7704
Retirees: 58,357  / 22,462

Lots of info packed into these numbers. Look at the low rate of return in every area - except retirees who I believe will always vote for the safe party in power because they want to protect what they have and feel no pressure from deteriorating conditions. But even this total return dropped by almost 2500 votes. So here is the breakdown in retiree votes.

Read previous  reports from earlier in the day:


MORE: 1490 (good jump from the 746 ICE/TJC  had in 2010) -- actually, a doubling and the highest total by far amongst retirees. Why? I think the latest retirees under Bloomklein were pissed and some at the union. While MORE will never out poll Unity with retirees watch the gap close as time goes by. Ellen pointed out today MORE should have raised the issue over the reduction of the interest rate for us from 8.25 to 7% while others still get the higher rate, all in exchange for 2 August days.

New Action:  1880 -- the only division where NA outpolled MORE but a significant closing of the gap -- many anti-Unity retirees who always voted New Action may not be aware of their sellout. This was a drop from over 2200 that NA got in 2010.

Unity: 18,155 - believe it or not but his is s drop for Unity of almost 3000 votes from 2010. 

25 comments:

  1. So did only 25% of all members vote?? Isn't that less than 3 years ago??

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    1. So the rough math. 34 + 10 + 19 thou in el, ms, hs = 63 thous. Less than 21 thou voted. I discount funct for now due to a number of reasons. UFT maintains very tight control over the citywide chapters that make up this group so vote always is higher for Unity and will continue to be.
      I'm going to put up the spreadsheet. Last time I was never able to get the total ballots sent out. So this time right up front I asked for them and was told I couldn't get them until a few days later and then from the UFT. But at 5PM or so I started to raise this again with some UFT people and at the end the AAA had the numbers despite telling me earlier they wouldn't be available. Immediate conspiracy theory starts operating. Does the UFT want to bury these numbers? So given I don't have the numbers from last time we really can't compare using my charts.

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  2. Norm, I don't think it had anything to do with the drop to 7%. You cannot get that rate with any other financial commodity. I think people who recently retired because they felt forced out went with MORE.

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    1. I agree with you. This was Ellen's point though -- that if we included that in our lit we might have picked up a few retiree votes. My response is no one reads the lit.

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  3. I agree with Anonymous, Norm, that many many of us more recent retirees are angry and well aware of what is at stake here and voted the MORE ticket. I have said it before, we retirees have no access to much-need information. I don't think that retirees stick to the status quo because they are happy, but because they don't get materials in their mailboxes, don't get the chance to talk to colleagues in the teachers' lounges, have only the UFT rag to rely on.

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    1. I agree that recent retirees are angry and potential anti-Unity and if they are angry one would think they would vote against Unity and maybe this election is a trend given the total NA and MORE vote (assume that many retirees do not know that New Action sold out). Fact is that MORE picked up what NA lost from last time -- about 500 while Unity dropped as there were almost 3000 less retiree votes this time than 2010 -- maybe a significant point in that they could not even meet their quota of 23,000.
      Ideally, MORE should form shadow govt of the UFT with chapters like a retiree chapter. There is the Retiree Advocate which includes New Action but I won't work with a group that supported Mulgrew and opposed Julie. Problem is that I am on overload as is Ellen and we need some people to take this on. WE had some excellent retirees working with us but other than a few most don't want to get in to deep. Feel free to jump in if you have the energy and interest.

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  4. I am taking classes at UFT Si Beagle Center. It is scary knowing these retirees get to vote when probably 99% have no idea what is going on. No one had a clue about MORE when I pushed it for a vote, some had no idea an election was taking place and others did not even have an inkling of who Mulgrew is. Retirees should not be voting.

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  5. Does anyone know if other municipal unions allow retirees a full, or partial, vote in their elections? I keep asking friends but no one seems to know. I have to say that the low numbers among active members is mind blowing- especially on the ms/hs level, where I thought there was more awareness, and involvement. I don't think MORE did anything wrong; I think these people (the non-voters) are intentionally tuned out. They really have no excuse for not voting one way or another. And it astounds me that they continue to accept their often disastrous working conditions without trying to change those conditions through the election process. The apathy is as thick as a brick.

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  6. That's right- apathy is as thick as a brick. If I hear one more time the phrase: "It is what it is" from one more of my teacher colleagues, I will scream!

    Privately, all of these people at my school gripe and complain about everything ( the work load, policies, Bloomberg, the union, etc.), but when it comes time to take action, NOTHING. It's my opinion that they do not want to jeopardize their jobs, and have all been cowed into inaction, taking the path of least resistance.

    Most of these people at my job have NEVER heard of MORE, ICE or other alternative caucuses within the UFT. Nor do they truly appear to have any interest or the will to effect changes. MORE did nothing wrong, it's that people have accepted that old saying: "The devil you know....."

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  7. I've said it before; retirees have to be brought into the information loop! That the UNITY rag, NYTeacher, carries NO information about MORE's activities, must be challenged. That the retiree contact/mailing list is not available to MORE, or any faction, must be challenged. If they don't know what is at stake, fill them in, don't disenfranchise them! And I disagree with the notion that no one reads campaign materials -- how can one know if retirees don't even GET those materials. Only those of us who were pretty active/aware before retirement are aware of MORE and its good works. Blaming retirees (especially in light of the number of retirees who did vote for MORE) when you look at the apathy in the working ranks is ridiculous.

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  8. I think some very good points from both of you. The landscape will be changing and everyone will come under attack. That is what happened in Chicago where people were losing their jobs like crazy. MORE did so much right. Of course we could have been more organized in getting out the vote in our own schools. Since most of the MOREs have not been involved in elections they assumed that by reminding people to vote that was enough. But it isn't. Old hands like James knows full well what it's like to get out the vote. But I was also impressed by at least some of the newcomers who ran get out the vote pizza parties, etc. I hope everyone learns for the future if they are still involved. I think this was "victory" enough for a start that will keep people interested and building. All kinds of excitement inside MORE for doing the upcoming work. When the shit hits the fan here and all that apathy begins to go away, we need a functioning organization to handle it. MORE needs to grow 5 fold in terms of not just membership but active membership. And then contend in many schools for the chapter leader elections in spring 2015 a year before the elections. Just think -- with the entire Unity machine with maybe a thousand members and who knows how many CL, this is the best they can do to get people to vote for them? I think they are as big a loser here as is New Action.

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  9. Read Chaz analysis. A little critical of MORE.

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    1. I read it and I will address Chaz' outrageous red-baiting in a separate post. he might as well send out a Unity type attack on Kit Wainer. His splitting the vote was actually a vote for Unity. And he said the New Action platform appealed to him without making one specific charge about what was wrong with the MORE platform in addition to ignoring the fact that New Action put out an attack on MORE for not really being social justice and pointing to all the ways they are. I would like to see the things on the MORE blog or lit that is radical. Oh, maybe pointing out how we care about kids. The Chaz right wing - me, me, me stuff is what got us into this pickle and the ed deformers have used that to help make him an ATR. One day he might get it.

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    2. Thanks for your comments, Norm and others, but what about my question concerning retirees, and their tight to vote- I am near the Big Decision myself, but do not think I have the right after I am no longer active, and esp if I move out of NYC/NY Stae- to decide the fate of active members!!! Any research or ideas people have? Does the TWU, or the Teamsters, for ex, get to continue voting after retiring???

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    3. Any other unions who give retirees the power the UFT gives our retirees?

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    4. From what I hear few unions have retirees vote to such an extent. CORE would never have won if that were so in Chicago. I don't let the retiree issue bother me until an opposition can start getting 35-40% of the working teacher vote if not an outright majority. If there were no retiree vote in the UFT MORE would still have not won by a considerable amount. My advice to MORE is to ignore any battle to change this but use it to organize. Should retirees have a voice? Yes but I would restrict that voice. Unity itself argues for restriction. If not why limit it at 23,000 which used to be 18,000/ In fact Randi tried to push this through after the 2007 election and Pappas opposed her as the head of the retired chapter which led to a split and his being pushed out. Pappas at the Ex Bd meeting actually pointed out the pitfalls of raising the limit, pitfalls which came to fruition in this election -- an absolute embarrassment for Unity over the 52% which makes them a laughing stock.

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  10. I am a former employee who was discontinued 3 years ago and I RECEIVED THE election ballot on April 4th. Since the UFT unity leadership did nothing to help me out with my ordeal, I was CERTAINLY NOT voting for the unity slate in this election. I DEFINITELY VOTED FOR MORE, and I am former elementary school teacher.

    Norm, you already know who this anonymous person is..I told you about the election ballot right away when it came in the mail. :)

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  11. At what point do we just say that teachers reap what they sow. Apathy is rampant. Unfortunately some good people are overshadowed by the majority who are content to remain doormats. The administration in my school never interferes with union activity. They are not anti-union people yet apathy exists among my colleagues. We have no one to blame but ourselves when we can't even bother to vote.

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    1. Sorry but I refuse to blame the victims just as I refuse to accept attacks on our students or parents. There is fear out there. Are you a doormat because you choose to post anonymously? Do you or did you stand up in your school for yourself and others? I don't blame you if you didn't. That is why I am so focused on how MORE gets built -- it must become a shadow union. If it plays inside the beltway instead of organizing at the school and district level it will never be able to offer people the kind of support the UFT doesn't. MORE has to function to help give people courage. The Unity attacks on Julie were so funny for all of us who know the career-threatening guts she has shown. She was an inspiration as have been others too James Eterno for ex-- but don't think that when we pick pres cand we don't consider people who refuse to be doormats. Can anyone remember Mulgrew taking a stand on anything? When Randi tapped him people all said Where did he come from? Julie is so much better known than he ever was.

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    2. I don't understand how you equate being a victim with not bothering to vote. I voted, and I voted for the MORE slate. And whether or not I have ever stood up for someone has nothing to do with apathetic teachers who can't be bothered to fill out a ballot that is mailed to their homes. Not voting is reaping what you sow. Administrators aren't stalking our homes and watching any teacher mail in her ballot. There was no excuse for not voting. Fear had nothing to do with it. And by the way....I do appreciate that you stand up for teachers----I wasn't bashing MORE. I was bashing my apathetic colleagues who couldn't bother to mark an X and put an envelop in their mailboxes. Wishing you well...and more votes next time.

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    3. Teachers are victims not culprits. I don't blame them for not voting. What for? A rigged system where retirees decide the outcome? The union is irrelevant to them. We had higher numbers in the 70s and 80s when the union seemed to matter even if under the control of Unity.
      Unity packed every mailbox with leaflet after leaflet and had no impact. Same with New Action. MORE tried though I kept pointing out that the stuffing of boxes seemed to have little impact in the past. I think it had minimal impact this time. Say we hit every middle school mailbox we might have gotten more middle school votes but certainly wouldn't have been close to Unity. And if we did win every division -elem, ms and HS where a total of 63,000 votes were sent out we would only win 23 out of 101 ex bd seats while New Action gets handed 10 seats for being good boys.
      so really why vote? The battle is in the schools one at a time not in elections. Other than branding and using it to organize there is no reason to even run.

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  12. Hey Norm-I guess that I am not the only one who say, "teachers reap what they sow"-Joel the cat lover aka Anonymous

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    1. And cat haters reap what they sow. I let your cat pee all over your pillow.

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  13. tme is now to start campaigning for the next election. some suggestions: go on the offensive - stop with the 'making the best of a bad situation' mind set and defeatest speak. with so many member living outside of the 5 boroughs and therefore not nyc voters a strategy is needed. we get what we get because those who put up with this disrespect are more concerned about per session, after school jobs like YABC, their commute and their parking space.
    we are treated like pawns because we are so scared of confrontation.
    we live as if we are 2nd class citizens living in a totalitarian country not adults with masters degrees who have taken multiple new york state exams to qualify for our positions!!!!
    every teacher should have her/his own dedicated classroom
    every teacher should have the resources, materials and technology needed to create their lessons and conduct their classes
    if the student fails the student, the parent/guardian and the school leadership must be looked. enough with this 'if the student fails it is the teacher that fails' nonsense.
    in a city with so many students who will be first in their families to attend college the administration needs to pull parents/families in to the education process - actively and seriously
    schools are filthy and full of rodents because students are allowed to eat school provided meals and food they buy all over the building and then litter the school. as a result we work in pig pens!
    we are virtually forced to give our assigned school a positive rating because we are so afraid that if our school gets a failing grade we and not the incompetent school administration will suffer.
    enough is enough
    WE NEED TO SQUEAL TO THE MEDIA

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    1. I humbly disagree. I'm doing this 43 years. The rules of the game are so locked there is no way for an opposition to win an election. We must stop fooling ourselves into thinking differently. It is not a defeatist attitude but reality. Did the Egyptian revolution beat Mubarak in an election? Did the Soviet union fall in an election? If the voices of opposition had relied on that strategy the Berlin Wall would still be up.
      Retirees control this election with almost as many members as active teachers (58,000 to 63,000). Every member of the UFT EX Bd is endorsed by Unity.
      The only positions we could have won this year were 7 HS ex bd -- we needed aroun 400 votes to switch. But we would have 7 out of 101 -- and a waste of time going to these meetings to talk to a roomful of Unity slugs.
      The only way is to start winning school chapter leader elections and those elections are 2 years away. Win 500 schools and you start to control the DA.
      Unity knows this and spends a lot of time trying to control those elections and recruits people into Unity once elected.
      That is where the battle has to take place. If MORE does is due diligence you would beging to see those 63,000 voters in schools begin to shift. And once that happens you can claim that without retiree votes Unity would lose and then you have a potential court case and a case to go to the school. Think Mulgrew= Mubarak, not Obama.

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