Thursday, June 27, 2013

Analysis from the Right: EIA's Antonucci on Newark Union Election/ What Impact on Randi Nationally as Arbiter of Contract?

Schmuck, why aren't retirees voting in Newark like they do in NYC? .... Mulgrew/Weingarton to Newark Union President Del Grosso
...it isn’t a good idea for education reformers to invest too much emotional capital in collaborative union presidents. Most members are apathetic/agnostic about this stuff – about two-thirds of Newark teachers didn’t vote – but the active ones are generally very clear about what they want from their union: protection. When the officers start wandering far afield, they are herded in one way or another.... Educational Intelligence Agency
First of all, happy first day of vacation. Warning: not only are the days getting shorter every day, so does your vacation. (I'm a glass half full kind of guy.)

We reported on the New Caucus, running under the New Visions slate (NEW Caucus Shakes the Union Election Tree in Newark), winning a majority of the Ex Bd seats and only losing the presidency by 9 votes. The Newark contract brokered by Randi was another in a long line of interventions on her part (Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore) where money was put on the table to lure teachers into giving up their basic rights and then showing buyer's remorse in the next contract.

(Sorry I have to use an old photoshopped version done for me by David Bellel -- though I managed to add Newark to it. I think a new version could put Randi on the cycle with Arne Duncan.)

See our April 22 post: Randi Sellout Tour Coming to Fruition in Newark.

Only Chicago had the chops to keep Randi out.

I will deal with national implications within the AFT for Randi at next July's convention in LA in another post.

Can New York be next in terms of a contract that so enrages the members that they revolt against Unity? Or has the UFT basically given us a new contract through the King dictum but has obfuscated the issue by not holding a contract vote and also distracting the members with the lure of the upcoming mayoral election and how when they get rid of Bloomberg things will improve.

[Another post for the future though given the Unity plus retiree control NYC will be the last bastion and in fact the deformers may recognize that and will give the UFT enough crumbs to keep the rank and file under control -- ie, Thompson will come through with some bucks.]

Though coming at the issue from an anti-union bias, Mike Antonucci zooms in on some important points. His key point is that "the active ones are generally very clear about what they want from their union: protection."

But Antonucci ignores an important point about NEW Caucus being more than just protection, but social justice along the lines of Chicago and other cities that have seen the growth of caucuses challenging a collaborationist union leadership on ed deform.

Interesting in that we have been having that debate in MORE where some people think MORE has gotten lost in social justice issues and has not emphasized the protection aspect enough. This is a more nuanced discussion than one would think on the surface as most MOREistas think the long-term protection comes from the building of alliances based on social justice. My feeling is that the rhetoric, given the newness of MORE, has not quite been balanced.

But I should point out that NEW Caucus is as social justicey as MORE if not more so. Thus those internal critics who say that if only MORE abandoned social justice they would have done much better in the union elections have a lot of splaining to do.

Let's also point out that one third of the teachers in Newark voted while only 18% of classroom teachers voted here -- I don't have figures for Newark classroom teachers vs overall but it must be higher. And interesting there was a 3rd candidate for President who got 40 votes which if it had gone to New Visions would have given them the entire enchilada.


Below is Mike's complete analysis where he issues a warning of sorts to ed defomers: don't wast your time trying to woo union leaders to collaborate. He may be right. That's how you end up dealing with Karen Lewis instead of Michael Mulgrew.
Posted: 26 Jun 2013 11:03 AM PDT
Joseph Del Grosso, the president of the Newark Teachers Union for 18 years, has received national attention because his views on education reform have evolved from his early days. He negotiated a contract that included performance and differential pay, though he continued to battle district administrators over the budget.

Well, Del Grosso was up for re-election, and he won his 10th term… by 9 votes out of 1209 cast. His slate no longer holds a majority on the union’s executive board, and the 40 votes that went to a third candidate could have swung the election the other way.

Del Grosso’s opposition was the New Vision slate, which won a majority on the board, and whose manifesto you can read here. A sliver should suffice for summary:
For true social and economic justice to be realized in our time it is imperative for education workers to see that their efforts cannot stop when the school day ends. As powerful corporate forces and the politicians who benefit from their donations attack the working class, we must take affirmative steps to link our teachers’ union to other unions being attacked and to working class people in the city and beyond whose very livelihoods are at stake in this so-called era of austerity.
This is the wayof things in teachers’ unions, and has been for a long time (see “TURN Leader Turned Out” from 2006). That’s why it isn’t a good idea for education reformers to invest too much emotional capital in collaborative union presidents. Most members are apathetic/agnostic about this stuff – about two-thirds of Newark teachers didn’t vote – but the active ones are generally very clear about what they want from their union: protection. When the officers start wandering far afield, they are herded in one way or another.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).