Friday, January 24, 2014

More NYSUT Internals: Valley Central TA President Supports Iannuzzi

Capital Tonight reports that an NYSUT analysis shows 69% of school districts will be receiving less aid in Cuomo's proposed budget than they got in 2009.... Reality-Based Educator
One hundred and seven (107), approximately 25% of teaching staff positions, have been cut in the past 5 years and it is Governor Cuomo who is primarily responsible for establishing, promoting or continuing the policies that have caused this student neglect..... there is no one I have met in this world that I respect and admire more than Dick Iannuzzi. I often tell my friends and colleagues that I long for a leader that does not have a price-tag on his/her advocacy—one that will do the right thing every time simply because it is the right thing to do. Dick models these criteria wonderfully. He is a leader that I would follow into hell to do battle for what is right because he has proven himself to have a strong moral compass and an effective work ethic in the most difficult political climate that NYS education has ever faced.... Tim Brown, President, Central Valley TA.
I never thought much about NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi, assuming he was a made front man pushed by the local NYC Unity Caucus machine (reminder: there is also a NY state Unity Caucus that does not seem as tightly locked down given the emerging criticisms from the inside.)

But over the last year I began to notice some surprising divergences from the Mulgrew/Randi line on evaluations, common core, NY State Ed, and most importantly, Cuomo. I assumed that given the enormous criticism directed at Iannuzzi from people upset with his agreeing to so much bad stuff, that people were going to either sit out the battle with Andy Pallotta or hold their noses and vote for Dick. But Tim Brown's email certainly has caught my attention. I wonder how many other locals out there are feeling the same and whether they have the ability to cobble together a broad based caucus on the state level. MORE I believe would be ready to assist in any way possible despite out limited resources.

Note this point by RBE at Perdido Street School:
Capital Tonight reports that an NYSUT analysis shows 69% of school districts will be receiving less aid in Cuomo's proposed budget than they got in 2009.
Then  RBE goes on to talk about all the bullshit testing, common core, eval mandates eating up school budgets. Will those districts begin to revolt over a Cuomo endorsement or will Mulgrew be able to keep them in line?

Thus, this fascinating email sent to me by Valley Central TA President Tim Brown with copies of emails he sent to Andy Pallotta months ago - who from what I hear was raised up from District 10 (Bronx) Rep to NYSUT VP and from reports, seems to have gone way beyond the Peter Principle -- now to be renamed the "Andy Principle."

If all this is new to you here are some catch-up pieces in reverse order of publication.
To: Norm Scott
From: Tim Brown, Valley Central TA President

I followed the link to your blog from the “Revive NYSUT Slate Lies” Facebook page and read the letters you posted from some local presidents. Following are two emails I sent to Andy Pallotta, one in October and the other in December, to share my disillusionment with Andy’s support of the IDC (Independent Democratic Caucus) and Governor Cuomo via the “Birthday Bash.” 

It was not my intent to share these emails outside my local union family, but recent events have changed my attitude regarding this. You are welcome to use them in any way you choose and I am certainly not concerned about my name being attached to them. I have the utmost respect for Dick, Maria, Lee and Kathleen. In fact, there is no one I have met in this world that I respect and admire more than Dick Iannuzzi. I often tell my friends and colleagues that I long for a leader that does not have a price-tag on his/her advocacy—one that will do the right thing every time simply because it is the right thing to do. Dick models these criteria wonderfully. He is a leader that I would follow into hell to do battle for what is right because he has proven himself to have a strong moral compass and an effective work ethic in the most difficult political climate that NYS education has ever faced. 

It is sad to note that difficult political times also provide opportunities, on an organizational level, for institutionally ambitious members to attack their own leaders for the purpose of advancing their own career/positions. This type of motivation does not fit the moral or practical parameters of leadership for which I am looking. I am willing to stand up and defend what I know to be correct and desirable and Dick, Maria, Lee and Kathleen are definitely the correct team to be leading NYSUT during this crisis. They have been effective and their motivation is selfless as opposed to ambitiously selfish and opportunistic.

Tim

PS: Feel free to call me. My local's website is vcta.net.


October Email to Pallotta Regarding IDC
>>> "T Brown"  10/29/2013 2:59 PM >>>

To: Andy Pallotta, NYSUT Executive Vice-President
From: Timothy Brown, Valley Central Teachers’ Association President

It is with great frustration that I write regarding the recent article published by Jessica Bakeman titled “NYSUT head says I.D.C. alliance ‘didn’t work,’ gets corrected.” I fail to understand how our head of legislation can fail to see how the I.D.C has been a major obstacle to productive teacher political action? In sharing this article with some of my executive council I received nothing but gasps of shock and dismay that you would publicly defend elected officials that have consistently voted against NYSUT supported legislative issues while publicly siding against your own president who was/is willing to take a stand against these democrats who are in the pockets of senate republicans.

Even if you disagree with your president, although I fail to see how any logical person could in this case, your public statements are damaging and show a lack of concern for NYSUT membership as a whole. I note that the article indicates that I.D.C. members Jeff Klein and Eric Soufer asked you to “clarify” NYSUT’s position. Perhaps it would have been better to have the individual involved, President Richard Iannuzzi, clarify his own words.

The truth and reality for those of us who have had to live with the devastating impact of the I.D.C.’s resistance to our political concerns is a lack of funding that has caused my district to lose approximately 25% of its teaching staff. Valley Central has lost $24 million due to gap elimination. This resulted in the loss of music, art and library at the elementary level and a regression from full to half-day kindergarten. What have these I.D.C. vultures such as David Carlucci gained from their anti-NYSUT voting record? They have gained the loyalty of republicans who have promised no serious republican challenge to I.D.C. members. Now there’s ethics we can all trust… Those of us who are suffering from the I.D.C.’s voting record know the score.

Andy, I hope you will seriously reconsider your support of I.D.C members.

Tim Brown



December Email to Pallotta Regarding Cuomo Birthday
>>> "T Brown" 12/15/2013 9:01 PM >>>

To: Andrew Pallota, NYSUT Executive Vice-President
From: Tim Brown, Valley Central TA President
CC: NYSUT Officers
Re: Governor Cuomo Birthday Celebration

I write to you with serious concerns regarding the monetary support being offered to Governor Andrew Cuomo, perceived by many public school teachers as the number one enemy of public schools and teacher unions. Governor Cuomo’s two percent tax cap combined with his continued use of the Gap Elimination Adjustment has devastated many New York State schools. My school, Valley Central, has lost $24 million due to GEA resulting in the loss of elementary library, music and art, as well as a reduction from full to half day kindergarten. One hundred and seven (107), approximately 25% of teaching staff positions, have been cut in the past 5 years and it is Governor Cuomo who is primarily responsible for establishing, promoting or continuing the policies that have caused this student neglect.

Yet, despite all of this, NYSUT chose to attend a birthday party celebration for a governor that misleads the public by “decrying the influence of money in politics” while simultaneously organizing a birthday bash that, according to bothLittleSis Blog and The Post Standard at Syracuse.com, cost $50,000 per table for the privilege of seeing Billy Joel while adding “to Cuomo’s $28 million campaign chest.” Did NYSUT purchase a table? How much money did we add to Andrew Cuomo’s political war chest?

Several years ago I was part of a Committee of 100 delegation that helped to change an entrenched NYSUT practice that unfairly favored incumbents. It was also decided that candidates must clearly earn our endorsement and, as a result, many elected officials lost our support following the short-sighted and politically motivated Tax-Cap and Tiers V and VI votes in Albany.

I refuse to believe that NYSUT would even entertain discussions regarding an endorsement of Governor Cuomo. Nevertheless, NYSUT is essentially providing a de facto endorsement of Governor Andrew Cuomo by providing him with what I assume is a sinful amount of our VOTE-COPE contributions. I have been successful in my local VOTE-COPE campaign, but it has been necessary to constantly remind my members that NYSUT did not endorse Andrew Cuomo in the last election.

Members have shared articles and photographs from Cuomo’s Birthday Bash Fundraiser placing me in the position of trying to defend NYSUT to my members. According to one of my executive council members, one Facebook photo included a NYSUT ED Director boasting that she had attended this birthday bash. I can only assume that this posting was an implicit endorsement of our Governor. Should I assume that this member was in attendance on our VOTE-COPE dime, so to speak? If so, I find this to be a serious breach of trust. My members and I expect complete transparency with regard to VOTE-COPE expenditures and NYSUT endorsements.

A response would be appreciated.
Tim doesn't report if he received a response from Andy. Most people report they don't receive responses from Mulgrew (as opposed to Randi who would respond to you if you sneezed) so maybe something was added to the water at the UFT since she left.

2 comments:

  1. Norm,
    Here's a scenario to consider: NYSUT locals outside of UFT have been mired in APPR, etc. for over two years, with the majority of locals agreeing to plans with their districts while UFT battled Bloomberg over their plan.
    Now with UFT in the midst of their own struggles with APPR implementation, perhaps they are looking to upstate, Long Island, etc. to lead us all out of the morass.
    Looking at the REVIVE platform gives me hope that new leaders at NYSUT will take much tougher positions against the reform agenda.
    Either they are lying or they are truly on to something.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One thing people need to remember is that although Dick signed us into APPR, with out him there to at least guarantee the element of locally negotiated portions of APPR we would have been like other states where they state says here, this is your APPR. Cuomo is part of the reform agenda and without a clear statement from the Revive slate that they will not endorse him, then there is not much to support.

    ReplyDelete

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