Saturday, February 6, 2016

My Proposal@MORE Today: UFT After Friedrichs -

I heard from Roseanne McCosh on my recent Friedrichs post:

MORE to Talk Friedrichs at Saturday Meeting, Roseanne Sends Mulgrew a Message

I agree with you.  I will not ask people to support a union that hamstrings its membership every chance they get.  Their abuse of power is no less sinful than Cuomo's, Gates', Koch brothers', Christie's etc... Calling for automatic support sends them the message that they can continue to treat us like shit and we'll happily pay them to do so. And it sends a message to the membership that Leadership's management style can't be that bad if even their critics are asking us to support them.  That is absolutely the wrong message to send at this time.   Leverage given away can never be regained---make them earn the support. 
And ATRs seemed to like my proposal on putting dues in an escrow account pending a reform package from Unity:

Dues to Escrow Accounts, ATRs and Friedrichs: Should ATRs Keep Paying Union Dues?

When I get a chance to speak at the discussion at the MORE meeting today I will offer the following proposal for future post-election post-Friedrichs ruling - maybe for a MORE Summer2016 workshop:
I will propose that more take a position that we will support the leadership call to stay in the union for one-two years pending some package of reforms. Not promises but real constitutional change. Like voting on dues increases. Scaled dues depending on salary (both in the MORE recently amended platform thanks to Jeff Kaufman). Proportional rep on ex bd and aft/nysut delegates so more voices get heard. Reduce power of retirees. If no signs after a year we look to organize all those who left and want to leave into an alt uft challenging for bargaining rights. 
There will be arguments that the only way to change the UFT is to stay in and fight Unity. But when there is so little chance to win more than a sliver of control and say there comes a point where you have to pull the plug.
To those out there who just want to pull their dues and do nothing - that is worse than even Unity because that kills any hope of unionism. Stay and fight or leave and fight but fight.


Saturday 2/6 12:00-3:00pm: UFT After Friedrichs
Join us for a lively discussion on the future of our union after the Supreme Court's decision. What can UFT leadership do to better engage our members? How will the decision impact rank and file members?
Workshops on how to petition in your chapter to get signatures so that MORE/New Action slate can appear on the UFT officers ballot in May.
We will also meet in local groups by districts/boroughs to organize our campaign, distribution network, and mutual support.

Pizza, soft drinks, and snacks will be served
Free Childcare will be available available
CUNY Graduate Center
34th st and 5th ave Midtown NYC
Childcare will be available

21 comments:

  1. If people can't be compelled to pay union dues then can the union be compelled to represent them?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Then there's the argument defending unions is that they are a form of state institution to keep order. Not a company union but things like the Taylor Law are designed to keep unions in line. And it works.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not our problem as far as I am concerned - it's Unity's problem.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mulgrew said if we lose Friedrichs then we have to start organizing. Proves their main interest in organizing is narrow - in their own self-interests.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Unity would rather have a smaller union they are in firm control of.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sliding pay scale for union dues? How does that work? Are you proposing that veteran teachers pay more than newbies? That does not make sense as newbies need more union services and protections since they are not tenured.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And newbies get such wonderful union services and protections of course. They get the least service since the contract by and large doesn't apply. Even union officials tell them if they are asked to clean the floor with a toothbrush do it. And all those discontinued who are so protected.
      So go ask people making 50Gs to go on paying $1300 a year, the same as those making 100G and see how far that gets you.

      Delete
    2. I make 80 Gs and think that we should all pay the same amount of dues. The newbies do need the most amount of union services and protections since they are not tenured. When you say that they are asked to clean the floor with a toothbrush that just shows that they need protection. The discontinued teachers need protection more than anyone. If I was a new teacher I would gladly pay 1300 bucks to my union if I thought it would keep me employed. In fact, I did pay a whole lot of money in my early career and after teaching for 20 plus years I am glad that I did pay heavy dues as it did make a difference back then. We had seniority protections, transfer options, and the ability to grieve letters to file. We also only had two observations per year. My early dues money were well worth the cost. If a new caucus was to get elected to run the UFT, I think that we should all still pay the same amount of money in dues.

      Delete
    3. The union has done nothing for discontinued -- no one even knew that was happening until Ed Notes began reporting on it. Untenured with brutal principals? Extending the tenure to up to 6 or 7 years under threat of discontinue. All that under their watch. You have had only 2 observations a year? I've been at hearings where there were a pile of observations being used as evidence. Retirees who need no protection pay the least amount in dues. The logic makes sense but that is also political as incentive to keep retirees in the UFT since those that are in the UFT (they don't have to join) support Unity. The union also has monetary packages and social incentives ($5 courses) to keep them in the union.
      So say post Friedrichs a newbie in essence has to tithe to the UFT for no protection at all - and by the way - the law still forces the union to give representation -- will that person pay dues? A smart union would offer the same discount it offers to retirees based on pro-rating. Your argument can also work for the tax code. You should pay the same rate as a billionaire (in reality they prob pay lower rates). Argue for the same per centage not the same flat rate -- you sound like Ted Cruz.

      Delete
  7. Norm:

    I believe you missed the target when it comes to the ATRs. Most of the ATRs I talk to believe the union does not represent them and will not be paying dues until the union makes them whole again.

    Making ATRs "second class citizens" will result i[n few ATRs paying dues to the union or any other account.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If ATRs just stop paying dues there is absolutely no leverage. Reality is if the ATRs could actually organize themselves into a potent force they could pay dues and also with hold dues en masse. Individual ATRS acting on their own has little impact. And in reality I believe ATRS are so under the gun and under threat most will not take a chance in leaving the union because even the minimal sources they can draw on will disappear. Where do they go and who do they call when treated like shit? Even if they got not response they can at least badger people. Leave the union and they are really alone. That is why if someone would actually organize 100s of ATRS into taking action instead of talking about it we would see some action. You know I tried that for a stretch when we had over 40 people at that diner and saw possibilities but there was so much disagreement between them and the labor on my part was so intensive in keeping everyone updated I was hoping some leadership would emerge to take on this task. There were signs a year ago but some of that "leadership" was self-serving and divisive and instead of focusing on organizing ATRs in a non-partisan way tried to turn it into support for one person's ambitions.

      Delete
  8. But if ATR's stop paying dues they lose representation, no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Labor law still requires the union to rep them. But they can always give them the worst rep on purpose. What they lose is right to attend union meetings, vote for ch Ldr and in uft elections which must don't do anyway. I think union should fight that law.

      Delete
    2. Your point is well taken but I must tell you that ATRs will be the first to stop paying dues unless the union treats them as equals.

      Delete
    3. I think too many are too scared to stop paying dues. Newbies who cone in not thinking union will just delay joining until they run into trouble.

      Delete
  9. I really like your idea of ATR dues going into escrow. I disagree with you on ATRs being too afraid to stop paying dues - they'll be first in line. Anger eliminates fear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both of us shouldn't generalize. Some will pay dues and some won't. I know a lot of ATRs who want to stay under cover. Especially those with a short time to go. Don't make waves and not paying dues makes waves. If they are being gone after who do they call?

      Delete
    2. They'd be better off with Ghostbusters. How would they be making waves? By not paying an entity that's supposed to be working for them? There's plenty of ATRs that aren't being helped by the UFT. Many ATRs are in the last phases of their career, these are the very people who are unafraid. If you have a couple of years or months to go, what can they do? It's the ATRs with many years to go that are full of fear. No one should count on the UFT for help - they aren't even defending the provisions of the current contract. You will see a massive amount of ATRs stop paying dues. I will continue to pay my dues- because as bad as it is, it can be much worse.

      Delete
    3. My point is there is a difference between atrs as individuals who stop paying dues and doing so as as organized force of hundreds and putting the money in a fund for joint use. I think people at the end want to get through the final years with no issue. If they face prospect of being pushed out a year or two before they can get a pension they would rather pay dues as a form of insurance just in case they need done help even if they think it will be minimal. When assignments are screwed up don't people call Amy?

      Delete
    4. I think is significant that you will keep paying since you are one of the most vocal critics. I don't know what Chaz is planning but if the most vocal pay dues it is a sign of something. Also when you retire you get union perks if a member. If you leave and want to cone back you have to pay back the arrears I think. Besides. At the more meeting it came out that the union strategy is to tie the case up in courts for years.

      Delete

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).