Monday, December 5, 2016

UFT Exec Board: Hottest Debates in the UFT; MORE members meet With Leroy Barr today on abusive principals

NYC Educator report: Patsy Cline Sings Crazy. UFT Practices It.
I give credit to LeRoy Barr and Howie Schoor for enabling an honest discussion on this issue. The last time I was able to participate in an honest discussion with union leadership was never (and if you're reading this, Unity, that cuts to the core of our problem)....
Arthur Goldstein savages the Unity leadership in his latest post, though recognizing the value of the debate. Arthur and the other MORE EB members are the major reason I'm getting ready to head over to tonight's UFT Exec Bd meeting. I swore I would not attend these meetings where 7 opposition people talk to a crowd of Unity people. But I've been pleasantly surprised by the kinds of open discussions, as Arthur pointed out above, haven't been taking place anywhere else in the union. I wrote about the Ex Bd meeting and the adult ed chapter report from Schirtzer yesterday -- Mike Schirtzer UFT Exec Bd Report: Adult-Education Chapter Stands Up and Fight Back

Opposition members can ask as many questions as they want, speak often and not face calling of the questions to shut off debate - unlike the DA where Unity "call the question" clones shut things down regularly. While Arthur mocks Mulgrew for not attending EB meetings or at most make a token appearance, I think not having him there is a good thing. He can be an oppressive force - with oafish comments.

Howie Schoor, whom I've known for almost 40 years - he repped my on my only 3rd step grievance in 1979 - I lost - is an amiable host.

MORE and New Action come loaded with questions and since the first meeting of the year where we raised a reso on abusive principals, there has been some back and forth with Leroy Barr. Mike Schirtzer has organized a pre-Ed Bd meeting today at 5PM with Barr on the abusive principal issue, which will be attended by people who have been experiencing conflicts at their schools. Our minimal goal is to have the UFT bring up specific principals at consultation meetings with the Farina people. That is a first step. I believe there was a meeting on Friday and we hope to get a report on the adult ed situation I reported on yesterday.

On the debate that took place last week over whether to use Trump's name in a reso - Unity says that will offend Trump supporters in the union -- I thought the long debate was one of the best I heard -- I won't mock the leadership for what is essentially irrational - as Arthur pointed out last week -- that they offended people by their very support for Hillary and spent a year trashing Trump. So to leave out his name now looks ridiculous. But I get that they are getting a little desperate with Friedrichs redux - with the future outlook not looking good for the union. They know that significant portions of UFT members won't pay dues - unless they feel they are getting something for it.

I do believe that on some level the leadership has been trying to be more responsive to people under attack -- I am getting some good reports from some people saying they feel more supported. Also some people who were asking me for assistance have gone quiet - I'm assuming the union is working with them.

Well, gotta go into Brooklyn and grab the subway - look for Arthur's report tonight or tomorrow.

Here is his report of last week's meeting and some other commentary on the use of the Trump name in the reso.

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