Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lunch With a Chapter Leader I Met for the First Time

I had a lunch date with a teacher, a long time supporter going back to ICE, who was going to put MORE election lit in the mailboxes of 5 neighboring schools followed by a meeting at 52 Broadway to draw ballot positions for the UFT election - as I reported, UFT Election Update: Today is the Drawing for Slate Positions - #MORE2016. 

I'll report on the latter in a follow up.

It was quite a pleasure meeting this contact whom I only knew from anonymous comments on blogs. He is a long time reader of all the major NYC ed blogs and one of the most knowledgeable people I've met, showing me the importance of the blogging community in providing an alternate source of information to the rank and file people who are not racing around to meetings and doing organizing outside their schools. He shares this info with his colleagues so he is doing the important work of education, the first pillar of Ed Notes' triad of educate, organize, mobilize. There are other readers of Ed Notes like Roseanne McCosh who do the same.

He made sure to share the info MORE was putting out on the contract with his staff and even people who were contract supporters are coming to see that he was right.

When we have people in hundreds of schools doing this kind of work we will begin to shake the union.

But make no mistake about it - Unity knows this can be a threat and monitors people to track where there are cracks and focuses attention on schools like this.

He told me quite a story about how Unity micromanagement has increased by putting pressure on chapter leaders to conform. I also learned that the DOE has put pressure on principals to kill the opt out movement - this school had a higher percentage of opt outs last year and apparently came up on the DOE radar. For years he held back but now feels it is the time to step up. He commutes and doesn't have a lot of time but I told him to come to one DA and hang out with the crew sometime. We found we had a lot in common despite a 30 year age difference.

I had written that I would take him to lunch but he insisted on taking me to lunch. I know he is reading this and I have to insist that the next time it is on me.

You know that I was not for running in the elections but the election process leads to meetups like this and makes it worth it.

If you want to take me to lunch or have me take you to lunch, you know where I am.

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