MORE has a rep on the election committee who will call the school info to Amy Arundell.
MORE has some excellent advice on how to deal with gaining entry into the schools: http://morecaucusnyc.org/2016/02/04/distribute-union-election-literature/
- You have the right to place union literature in the mailboxes within your school or within any other school, as long as you don’t do it while you are on duty. You can do it before or after school, or during your lunch period.
- When going to other schools make sure to sign in with security (bring photo ID), go to the office where the mailboxes are, and introduce yourself to the secretary. Show the secretary, or any administrator who asks, the Department of Education memorandum which allows you to place election literature in the mailboxes. Attached Here
- Do not agree to leave the stack with the secretary, the UFT chapter leader, or anyone else. You have a right to put them directly in the mailboxes.
- Do not get into fights or arguments! Speak confidently but not aggressively. Getting into a battle will do you no good. If after you have shown everyone the Department of Education memorandum they still won’t let you leaflet, contact Kit Wainer (KitWainer@yahoo.com,). Kit will contact the UFT and the UFT will get the Department of Education to tell the principal to let you in. You will then be allowed to return on another day.
5. The right to distribute is based on the Baizerman decision, which is still in effect, formally established the right of UFT members to distribute union material, including caucus election materials, in mailboxes of NYC public schools on their own time. If you are distributing MORE material in school mailboxes, consider printing out this decision and having it ready in case your right to place MORE materials in mailboxes is challenged.Tomorrow Mike Schirtzer and I hit the road to stuff mailboxes in some schools. If a Unity slug shows up to try to stop us Mike will talk him/her to death.
The Ira Goldfine files
Ira Goldfine who has archives from the 70s - the 1770s - gives us some background on the various grievances and decisions over the years. Note that our group - the Coalition of School Workers and its subsidiaries in the districts were behind all of these challenges that were won. My late pal Loretta Prisco and I did one school in the morning and she remained to watch the mailboxes to see that they weren't pulled out and was arrested for trespassing which led to NYCLU taking her case and forcing our district to agree to allow access to mailboxes, though we were sure we would wake up to find a horse's head in our beds one day.
You'll note that in no case did the UFT actually represent us but just was there as observers.
And note the mention of the NYSUT big wig Alan Lubin who preceded Andy P. as VP for spending cope money on whatever - back in the 1972 district 16 case.
Summary of the Various Teacher Mailbox CasesRead the entire decision: https://morecaucusnyc.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/baizermancompressed.pdf
District 16 Step 2 Hearing:_October 27, 1972:
This I believe was the first teacher mailbox case and it arose when Paul Baizerman and I received letters in our files for distributing the first issue of The Brooklyn Bridge in the mailboxes.
At the step 2 hearing we based our case on the UFT Contract Article X A2 which states “ that he has been treated unfairly or inequitably by reason of any act or condition which is contrary to established policy or practice…”.
The policy that we used was the Chancellors General Circular #4 from 1962-63 which stated: “The Board of Education, at its meeting on Wednesday, August 22, 1962 has clarified the nature of its current relationship with all teacher organizations other than the duly recognized exclusive bargaining agent (United Federation of Teachers for the teacher unit). All such organizations, including the Teachers Union, now have equal rights to disseminate their views in relation to educational matters through the bulletin boards and teachers’ letter boxes, through meetings on school premises and through other authorized procedures”
The UFT was represented at the Step 2 hearing by Alan Lubin, then District 16 UFT Rep – he played the role as an observer not a defender of our position which we argued ourselves.
The decision was totally in our favor and granted us full rights before or after school ours to distribute material in our school.
Baizerman VS. The Board of Education:
Step 2 Hearing: February 6, 1974:
Principal argues that the UFT Chapter Chair handbook specifically states that only the UFT chapter chair and delegate in the school can use the mailboxes without the principals permission and further that Teachers Action Caucus is not a recognized Teacher Organization. Harriet although not a member of TAC was distributing a TAC leaflet.
Step 3 Hearing: May 2, 1974:
The case was heard by Irving Anker, Chancellor of the Board of Education. Harriet was represented by Eve Cary of the NYCLU and the UFT was there again to observe not defend and in fact that is stated in the decision.
Eve Cary argued that Article 2 of the Contract bars the board from discriminating against any employee participating in the in the activities of any employee organization. She cited in this regard a court case NLRB Vs. Magnavox.
Although she mentioned the Chancellors circular which still existed at the time I always believed that the reason she didn’t base the whole case on it was that the Board could just eliminate that any time they wanted and that would leave no leg to stand on.
The case was an unequivocal victory.
Letter from Eve Cary, NYCLU to Chancellor Anker: August 8, 1975
In this letter Eve requested that the chancellor issue a directive that the first amendment grants teachers the right without prior permission of the principals and Anker said he already granted this in the Step 3 decision but he would confer with counsel about establishing it as a constitution right. He never got back as far as I know.
District Step 2 Hearing: January 19, 1976:
Paul and I started distributing The Brooklyn Bridge at all schools in the District and of course were stopped from doing so. At the Step 2 hearing we again represented ourselves and Ron Mailman, the District Rep was again an observer. The superintendent Adolph Dembo, merely quoted from Harriet’s Step 3 decision and granted us full rights before or after school to distribute in all District 16 schools as long as we notify the principals in advance and sign in.
Chancellor Anker Circular: March 25, 1977
After a group of us took a day off during the 1977 UFT election campaign to distribute election literature in hundreds of schools all in one day, the Chancellor issued a circular which basically said that teachers could not use personal business days to distribute literature in school mailboxes.