Saturday, May 21, 2016

Putting to rest the Unity Bogus Argument against Proportional rep at AFT/NYSUT conventions

What some refer to as clout appears to be the ability to stifle real discussion. That's not a good thing.... in terms of the presidential selection process (Democrats and Republicans) - most of the world recognizes "winner take all" as inherently unfair.... Jonathan, comment 
I've been posting some thoughts on reforming the UFT (Does the UFT/Unity Know if You Voted? Hell Yes!) with a focus on the 750 or 800 winner take all election of AFT/NYSUT delegates. I argue to not run individual candidates but apportion a number based on the percentage vote each caucus receives and the caucuses name their delegates AFTER the election.

Take the Democratic Party primaries which the UFT eagerly participates in -- most states are not winner take all - some have complex rules based on districts -- or a requirement to get a certain percentage of votes.

Then there are those super delegates -- in essence the UFT inserts its 750 into the AFT/NYSUT conventions in the same manner - as controlled by the top of the party to vote as one. Their version of super delegates to give exactly whom clout? UFT members or Randi and Mulgrew?
What if every state were WTA -- the delegate map might look different. Think of the electoral college with each state winner take all - imagine if states were carved up into counties -- would make for a different type of presidential election.

Unity people have been arguing against this idea for the 46 years I have been involved in UFT internal politics with the outlandish response - well I'll let you read one.
As far as your suggestion to reduce the voting choices to just the slate, or just slate and officers and exec board, that might be do-able provided you dropped the proportional part of your plan. You may disagree, but it is a legitimate position that all delegates be part of a single voting bloc at the convention. If we go to AFT convention divided ideologically, the argument goes, then we diminish our clout. (I'm not arguing that position, I'm just mouthing it). 
Diminish your clout? What a bogus argument given that Unity sends at least 5 times the number of delegates than any other local - I think Chicago is number two with about 150 delegates.

And in NYSUT those 750 are an even bigger mass.

So this person disclaiming it is his or her position - really given the exact echo of the Unity line -- is telling us that say if MORE had 20% of the delegates then Unity would "only" have 600 delegates. Clout?
Think of the AFT - a hot issue - maybe using test scores as part of a teacher's rating. Unity is in favor (multiple measures) - but perhaps only 65% of the votes go Unity, and the UFT is divided 65 - 35. Under winner take all, 750 votes at the AFT convention go for rating teachers on test scores, and the rest of the country likely doesn't matter at all. Proportional? 500 for using tests, 250 against, and a real national discussion can take place..... Jonathan
Jonathan begins to get to the root of the issue. There is also the disenfranchisement of dues paying UFT members -- and a lot of dues goes to AFT and NYSUT -- who lose any chance of having a voice there. Thus given the top down orders from above nature of Unity where Randi/Mulgrew decides on how they all will vote --- the people who vote for MORE get no representation. I would got to court arguing for a refund of the portion of dues that goes to AFT and NYSUT as a way to challenge the winner-take-all rules. Might make for an interesting case.

Imagine if MORE one day won 49% of the vote and gets not one delegate? I can take this to the Exec Bd issue too - say MORE won 55% of the elem, ms, and hs divisions - but Unity won the functionals and retirees -- at most MORE would only get 23 out of 100 Ex Bd positions.

Democracy? In the UFT/NYSUT/AFT so-called "clout" trumps democracy and for some the calls to stop the undemocratic, dictatorial Trump calls for howls of laughter when coming from Randi.

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