Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Internal President's Letters Expose NYSUT Rift and Support for Iannuzzi?

The inaction of the legislative office has forced Dick's hand to move the discussion in our favor. He has twice sued the state (APPR and Tax Cap) and pushed the June 8 rally (despite Andy's opposition).... The leader, as I see it, of this insurrection is E. V. P. Andy Pallotta. ... President, Westchester union local
Unity began as a vehicle to represent all members of the State but in Washington last year it became very obvious that it was functioning as an arm of the UFT....  I stood up at Guerneys and tried to politely tell Andy that I believed now is the time for a united NYSUT attack against the death grip that Cuomo has on NYS education... this is not the time to show the politicians that we are not united... Andy has done nothing to stop Cuomo's tax cap agenda that is killing everyone in the State except the UFT... at least Dick filed the lawsuit..... President of a Long Island local
If you've been following the saga of the split in NYSUT, here is a chapter I've had for a few weeks but never got to publish it. It might -- or might not -- explain a few things. What it does do is indicate there is a growing insurrection outside NYC against the undue influence of Unity Caucus in NYC -- there is also a broader Unity Caucus at the state level that functions fairly loosely compared to the UFT version of Unity. (All it takes is 10 buck to join NYSUT Unity instead of the pint of blood and robotic control of your tongue you get in UFT Unity.)

Here are my previous posts if you need to get up to speed.
I blotted out most of the names in these communications because I'm not sure I have everyone's permission though I do have permission to publish these emails from the
LONG ISLAND PRESIDENTS' COUNCIL INTRANET.

The following message has been posted to the LIPC Intranet's Discussion Board:

Subject:
Re: LIPC DID YOU KNOW
Date:
1/3/2014 10:37:24 PM
Message from a Long Island union president

I believe that at this time it's important for LIPC members to know that across the State many local presidents are talking about the situation in NYSUT..... I can not abide these "secret" meetings and agendas... I am assuming that you all are just as interested as I am so I'm posting an email from a local President in Westchester... I will continue to post the correspondences that come to me from other areas of the State to keep you all up to date on what's happening... xxxxxx wrote the email below and told me I could include his name... I will only include author's names when they give me permission to do so...
Email from a local President in Westchester
......... Presidents, I have been mulling this communication over for the last several days trying to formulate a sense of my feeling on the issue because I admire both xxxx and yyyyy and agree with both their positions. If this were any other time, I would fully endorse yyyyy's perspective that using this forum to air grievances with leadership would be inappropriate and undermine our unity. The unity that has served us incredibly well over the years. But, these are times unlike any I have seen in my years as a Union leader. 

To remain silent would be to maintain an illusion that we are not on the precipice of a leadership battle in our organization, one with statewide ramifications. 

The leader, as I see it, of this insurrection is E. V. P. Andy Pallotta. 

Clearly we have been a house divided for some time. The legislative office and President have had their issues and it has become clear to me that this internal battle is a mask that Andy has used to cover for his failure to deliver in the legislative arena. The independence that the legislative office has historically had may have worked for Alan Lubin and Tom Hobart, but Alan could consistently deliver for our members. That independence is not working now. Andy has not been using his resources in an effective way he has not been pushing our agenda, they have been silent on the tax cap and ineffective on issues of testing. 

The inaction of the legislative office has forced Dick's hand to move the discussion in our favor. He has twice sued the state (APPR and Tax Cap) and pushed the June 8 rally (despite Andy's opposition). While I may not agree with everything that Dick has done I recognize and respect his commitment to unity and our core purpose. The fact that Andy would be working to undermine the strength of NYSUT at a time when we have so much opportunity to advance our agenda in the legislature speaks volumes to me. So I applaud xxxxx for initiating a discussion none of us will be able to avoid for long.

zzzzz President, zzzzzz Federation of Teachers

On Saturday, January 4, 2014 12:17 PM, a follow-up from Long Island President:

I too would rather have a discussion about this startling news and am hoping that every president will be at Guerneys later this month... but at this time, this forum seems to be the only vehicle for disseminating this information to all LI presidents...

bbbbb you know as well as I do that midnight tonight is the deadline for submitting ones name to Unity for endorsement consideration and your meeting was last night.... Unfortunately, for far too long the Unity Caucus has enjoyed the distinguished honor of being the only caucus with teeth at the RA... many of us paid our $10 to sit in the room and see what was going on... Unity began as a vehicle to represent all members of the State but in Washington last year it became very obvious that it was functioning as an arm of the UFT... I want to believe that you would never allow an endorsement of Cuomo. But you did not stand up at that NYSUT Board meeting and tell Karen Magee that under no circumstances should NYSUT endorse Cuomo... You could have rose and given the room a Ron Smith rendition of, "NYSUT needs to spend all its time and money finding candidates to run and win against Cuomo and his lackeys", but you chose not to.... When I heard that you all were at the Cuomo fundraiser I called Dick... He told me that he was unaware that Andy had reserved a table and that none of the other officers were invited...Dick and Andy may have needed to be at the Cuomo event, but all of the rest of you should have told Andy not to waste our vote cope money to fill Cuomo's war chest... Karen Magee shouldn't have needed a local president to tell her her "giddy" facebook post about the event was inappropriate before she removed the thread from her facebook page... She shouldn't have posted it to begin with and if she's really interested in running for NYSUT President why did she run for rather than retire from the TRS last year.... I stood up at Guerneys and tried to politely tell Andy that I believed now is the time for a united NYSUT attack against the death grip that Cuomo has on NYS education... this is not the time to show the politicians that we are not united... 

Andy has done nothing to stop Cuomo's tax cap agenda that is killing everyone in the State except the UFT... at least Dick filed the lawsuit.... 

Everyone knows that I don't agree with Dick's position on a three year moratorium because I have continuously stated that I believe in a full withdrawal from RTTT and that the common core is crap... with that said, let me be very clear, I will vote for and work to get Dick elected because he did not endorse Cuomo last time and he has stated that he will not support or recommend NYSUT endorse Cuomo in November... as I see it Cuomo, Flanagan, LaValle, King, Obama, et al are our enemies not Dick or Lee or Kathleen!!
below is another letter from an upstate president that is traveling around for everyone to see... the president's name has been removed...
..... fellow presidents,
I chose to send this to everyone for a couple reasons; first, because I raised the MAC question at our Presidents’ meeting and feel we should all have the answer. Given that the Diane Ravich Forum falls on our next meeting and several of us will attend that (forum) rather than our meeting, I chose to copy all. 

Secondly, I’ve listened, for at least the last two years, to very public criticism of NYSUT officers at our meetings and conferences, so with equal deference, I do not understand why you would question me the first time I express my opinion. Lastly, I actually had this note sitting in my draft folder waiting until after the holiday. Given that my teachers and students will return to their classrooms on Thursday still faced with the threat of high stakes testing and the CC roll out nightmare which has been foisted upon us all, I couldn't stand to let any more time tick by. I’ve said nothing in this note that I wouldn’t say at our presidents’ meeting or that I will not say to EVP Pallotta himself, but again I fear that we will not all meet again for quite some time. I believe the time is now and the momentum is on our side for our legislative department to follow through, work with our lawmakers, and deliver the 3 year moratorium. 

Dick has laid out a clear plan and message as to why the moratorium makes sense. The rally and the statewide forums have set the stage, we finally have parents engaged and lawmakers from one end of NY to the other listening; let’s close the deal for our kids and our teachers! On January 3 rd I go to the bargaining table as many of you have done, are doing, or will do shortly and bargaining with this Cap is just one of the issues we all face. The Tax Cap also leaves our members facing layoffs each year and in some schools there is talk of insolvency. Yes, I do want more fire from the legislative department because I do see the fire from Dick and Maria and I want it to be matched by Andy. I agree with you, yyyyy, why go to a rally or participate in a Day of Action if there is to be no follow through? That is exactly why I hit send. That is exactly why I will call Andy’s office by days end. 

Lastly, what rings hollow for me yyyyy, is why so much of our VOTE-COPE dollars would be spent on this Governor, period! Leaving the door open is sending an officer or two and no one else. Making a small contribution also sends the message that we are not happy with him or his policies while still leaving the door open. I do not feel that there is anything wrong with my questioning why so many were sent or questioning who was sent. My fear is that it is about politics. There is an election around the corner and I certainly hope we will not endorse this Governor. 
 If anyone out there has something to add, leave a comment and give me time to get to a computer to moderate as I have to keep all the spam away.

2 comments:

  1. Norm,
    This is an important issue. Local union officials/members should be encouraged to give you permission to use their names. It's easier to keep track of things with names included and it gives us the opportunity to contact them and offer words of support. I sent such an email to Beth Dimino after you posted about Port Jefferson and Cuomo. As you know, many UFT members do not support the decisions made by Mulgrew and his lackeys. The best way to put pressure on them is for all of NY's local unions to try to band together against the UFT influence in Albany. This can't be done anonymously. Thanks for keeping us informed. Roseanne McCosh, Bronx teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. Norm,
    A pdf explaining the political maelstrom that's currently occurring in Albany between the UFT's chosen boy (Andy Pallota, former District Rep of Distric 10) and NYSUT's president (Iannuzzi). There many members from the rank and file that don't understand the power of the UFT and the people they choose to represent the UFT at the state level. Many do not question how the COPE is 'TRULY" being used except when they read it from the UFT flyers because it's time for increasing the member's COPE contribution or getting new members to join.

    Members are oblivious the machination machinery of the UFT but you can't blame them. Our colleagues are overwhelmingly focused on staying alive in their teaching position that they don't have enough emotions to show against the Unity caucus that's outright selling out the members' rights through smoke and mirrors and union campaign obfuscation.

    If you created the PDF (you got a gift in creating and pointing out the Unity's underhandedness), I will email it to my colleagues who are on the listserv. I love being a union member. I cherish my unionism. I will not tolerate any year where the UFT did not endorse Thompson in 2009 and I will not tolerate a CUOMO (the corrupt Sheriff Andy protecting the 1%ers) endorsement.

    ReplyDelete

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).