Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Randi's Detroit Deja Vu: Is Union "One Voice" Arguement Fundamentally Undemocratic When You Toss an Elected President Because You Don't Like His Voice?

"One voice" is the source of major policy errors - like support for mayoral control, NCLB and RTTT to name just a few.
Unions Argue for One Voice in collective bargaining in Friedrichs - which I get -- but Unity uses same argument to send 750 Unity "One Voicers" to kill democracy at AFT/NYSUT. Then there is Detroit.
AFT national headquarters took control of its Detroit local, and now they are running around the city simultaneously distancing themselves from the sick-outs and using them to regain support for the union.... Antonucci at EIA
Randi returns to the scene of the crime (really, multiple crimes):
Lookee who is going to be the main speaker at the DFT general membership meeting - which will bar Steve Conn because they threw him out of the union after he won the majority of votes in 2 elections.

What do you think would happen if there was a miracle and Jia Lee was elected president of the UFT - there is a better chance to win the powerball and I'm going out to get a ticket. Unity would find some way to undermine it.

But more on Detroit and union democracy below.

I'm not into the lock-step expressions of horror at the impact of Friedrichs on the UFT/NYSUT/AFT, an impact that will certainly be influenced by the way these 3 levels of the union have been run for 40 years where a small oligarchy based in the NYC version of Unity Caucus has been in absolute control and exhibits no evidence of changing the way things are done.

I'm not even so sure Unity will be too upset to lose a batch of their most vehement critics who will leave the union - as long as they are not organized enough to cause the kind of problems we see in Detroit or Las Vegas (more below).

The UFT may have to go leaner but will still make sure they are in control. So they cut down a bit on the patronage machine. They will still spend millions to send their 750 to conventions instead of sending Mulgrew to cast a vote for all 750.

No, they will not alter the way they operate.

In other words, we will not see changes in the at-large voting in UFT elections that sends 750 Unity winner take all delegates through at-large voting to AFT and NYSUT assemblies where they get to shove Randi decided policies down our throats. Nothing like hearing the Unity cheers for Bill Gates or for uncle Mikey when he threatens to punch you in the face if you take his common core. Of course this summer we will hear Mikey say the opposite and get the same cheers from the same people.

Unless a growing opposition to Unity leverages Friedrichs in ways to force change.

My guess is that 70% will continue dues checkoff and the union probably believes if can use peer pressure to convince another 10-15% to join their colleagues.

(I think the longer term threat to teacher unions is non-union charter schools which will one day chop 35% off union membership.)

It is hard to argue that a SCOTUS anti-union decision takes away democracy when you don't have democracy.

EIA's Mike Antonucci at Intercepts delves into the "one voice" argument used by unions: Collective bargaining offers professionals the advantage of being able to speak with one voice.

Unity brings up the same "one voice" argument when we bring up proportional representation - which means that if MORE gets 20% of the vote they get 20% of the 750 delegates. (morecaucusnyc- Union Democracy: A Life-or-Death question for the UFT).

MORE is raising the proportional rep point in the upcoming UFT elections which cannot be won by an opposition until the fundamental election rules are changed away from the massive at-large where everybody votes, including retirees, for most positions. Most other teacher unions have flexible systems where people can win positions based on divisions and even geography and you get a cacophony of opinions and voices brought to the table. Democracy may be messy but be debating the issues at the top levels of the union you get better decisions. Like from Day 1 going back 30 years, we would have tried to put the breaks on support for ed deform.

"One voice" is the source of major policy errors - like support for mayoral control, NCLB and RTTT to name just a few.

Can there be a lawsuit making the claim that we are taxed/pay dues without representation? Get the tea and toss it into the bay.

Here, in One Voice? Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jan• 13•16
Collective bargaining offers professionals the advantage of being able to speak with one voice.
Mike, who is a noted anti-education union libertarian, raises the kind of things that should concern us.  
This is an excellent sentiment if you happen to agree with what that one voice is saying, but it is when you disagree that it leads to problems – to the point where the U.S. Supreme Court has to work them out.

The unions say they were democratically installed – albeit by an electorate 40 years ago, in many cases – and the majority voice should prevail. That is the American way.

But recent events in three major American cities illustrate that teachers’ unions aren’t so enamored of that one voice supported by the majority when it doesn’t speak the words they want to hear.
Well, more than 3 cities. The Unity way is not majority rule as they claim. Their system would be equivalent to a political party that gets 51% of the vote then gets 100% of all the seats in Congress.

First Mike talks about Steve Conn and Detroit:
* The Detroit Federation of Teachers ousted president Steve Conn from office and from the union. He had majority support of the members who voted, and now he’s running around the city organizing sick-outs. AFT national headquarters took control of its Detroit local, and now they are running around the city simultaneously distancing themselves from the sick-outs and using them to regain support for the union.
Meanwhile, there is another group – Detroit Teachers Fight Back – that describes itself as “a union within a union” and says it is not affiliated with Conn or his supporters. This group is organizing its own rallies and – it seems – its own sick-outs.
Ahhh, Detroit.

And then there are 2 other cities related to the NEA:

* The Nevada Employee Management Relations Board certified the election that made Teamsters Local 14 the exclusive representative of education support employees in Clark County, which includes the city of Las Vegas. The incumbent NEA-affiliated Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) could muster only 970 votes in an 11,000-worker bargaining unit, yet the board allowed 30 days to challenge the certification in court, which ESEA is likely to do.
There have been rumors that the Teamsters would follow up with an attempt to organize the teachers in Las Vegas, currently represented by the NEA-affiliated Clark County Education Association (CCEA), but that would be a steep climb. On the other hand, NEA’s backup plan has included splitting the ESEA bargaining unit and incorporating school-site employees like paraeducators and secretaries into CCEA and letting the bus drivers, custodians, and off-site personnel go to the Teamsters. This would run contrary to the union’s usual insistence that school support employees not be separated by job title.
And Memphis: Well, I'll leave just the link http://www.eiaonline.com/intercepts/2016/01/13/one-voice/ if you want to go on as that story is a bit more obscure.

Ed Notes on Detroit sickout:

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