Wednesday, May 29, 2024

VOTE TODAY and Get out the Vote; Fix Para Pay Town Hall, today. RSVP


Paras, did you vote in the para chapter election? Did you receive your ballot?


Fix Para Pay is running several para candidates against the Unity slate and its current leadership that have failed to deliver a living wage and better conditions for New York City paraprofessionals.

Fix Para Pay is committed to fighting, alongside with you, for a living wage, a fair contract and respect. Enough is enough!

Please get the word out to all other UFT paras in our schools that change is here. And that change begins with voting for the Fix Para Pay slate.

Ballots were mailed on or around May 9-10. Look for the envelope from the American Arbitration Association (AAA).

It’s important to note that the ballot will be from the AAA, not the UFT.

If voting in the UFT para election, please check the Fix Para Pay slate box to vote for the entire Fix Para Pay slate. We need you to only mark this box only. Voting for other individual candidates will affect the entire slate.

Once you’ve checked the Fix Para Slate box, put the front page of the ballot into the secure, Secret Ballot envelope, and put that into the mailing envelope addressed to AAA.

Ballots for the chapter election must be received at the AAA no later than June 13th, so please vote and send your ballot back as soon as you receive it.

A ballot from AAA will be mailed to your address currently on file with the UFT. If you do not receive a ballot in the mail by May 20, or you misplaced it, please call the American Arbitration Association (AAA) at 800-529-5218 to request a duplicate ballot.

Lastly, after you vote, please contact 5 other paras, or as many as you know, and tell them: Let’s fight together to FIX PARA PAY! Vote for the Fix Para Pay slate.


Fix Para Pay Election Virtual Town Hall: Today, Wednesday 5/29 at 6:30 PM

Our first few virtual town halls have been a huge success! Scores of paras and UFT members joined the meetings. And the energy has been exciting and palpable. NYC paras aren’t playing around. We are demanding a living wage, now!

Please attend today’s town hall and invite other paras to join this growing grassroots movement!




UFT Paras for A Fair Contract


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sophomoric, Bullying Attack Memes on Oppo Para by High Salaried Unity/UFT, as Hacks, Slime, and Slugs, Slither Their Way to Infamy

One of the leaders of the UFT bullying attack mob is District 21 Rep Adam Shapiro. In addition to his teacher salary which is well over 100k (for teaching one period a day), he also makes 120K at the UFT. Not a bad haul for a guy who spends his days designing attack ads on those opposed to Unity.  Hell, I do that to Unity for free.
It is particularly ironic for over 200k Shapiro to attack a 50k para who does not make a living wage because of Shapiro's inept Unity Caucus' inability to secure paras a living wage 50 years after the founding of the para chapter while we've seen other urban unions like Los Angeles make large gains for paras in recent contracts.
Shapiro even let down his own caucus in the recent TRS campaign where Unity went hard at turning out the vote and gave the Dist reps the assignment. Dist 21 had horrendous turnout. Adam was too busy writing attack memes.

While he fawns for LeRoy’s approval, Shapiro would rather continue to collect two pensions, not Fix Tier 6 and abuse paras working 2 jobs trying to keep up with the out-of-control costs of living in NYC, without a living wage. Shapiro and his Unity fraternity even voted against a resolution to come up with a comprehensive, robust collective bargaining plan to fix para pay in March of 2024. 

Just as egregious is that UFT second in command and the head of Unity Caucus, LeRoy Barr, liked and shared the Shapiro post. LeRoy wants to look like the good guy so he lets Shapiro be the hit man. The next time LeRoy claims he represents the UFT, not Unity Caucus, LOL - Loudly. 
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The thing to know about Unity Caucus is that they don't like even tiny minorities of representation on elected positions in the union. They want the whole enchilada. And as the party in power they use every advantage to suppress critical and alternative voices. 
Arthur has been writing about the Unity machine with a focus on Mulgrew as the head, but he fully understands that whoever comes after Mulgrew may have a different less aggrieved style but fundamentally exhibit the same pattern of control. They will stop at nothing to dominate, even personal attacks. In recent posts they focused on the para and the retiree election with attacks on Marianne Pizzitola and para oppo exec bd member Migda Rodriguez. Arthur took issue with both attacks but today I will focus on Migda and deal with the attack on Marianne another time. 
Arthur writes:
There is no bottom for these self-serving bastards.... I know of at least two more Unity members who merit my poison pen this morning. I’m going to spare them because they are not important. They’re just cogs in the Unity machine. Mulgrew is the head... When he goes, another will take his place... personal attacks for their own sake aren’t really necessary..... to point out the hypocrisy of their stooges, most or all of whom are on salary.... The Unity machine has to be taken down.... Arthur Goldstein, Mulgrew's Unity Caucus Personally Attacks A Working UFT Paraprofessional
Arthur Goldstein, former UFT executive board member and candidate in the Retiree Advocate slate calls out the savage bullying of rank and file members, especially women, by Mulgrew and Barr’s Unity caucus patronage machine — causing some Unity members to question their allegiance to their union leadership after a barrage of unfounded attacks and disinformation.....Educators of NYC

I'm not going to spare anyone ... Ed Notes

Ed Notes reported on last year's special para election in which 5 paras had the nerve to run against the Unity machine. Two of them won. One is Migda Rodriguez. On April 15, 2023 I posted:
In one of his final posts, James Eterno also reported on the election in this April 15, 2023 post where he quotes one of the candidates:
This is from Marie Para (Wausnock) showing Unity cheating at an official UFT event. The video is on Facebook.

Spotlight on Truth: You can’t say you didn’t….cause ‘ya did!! Lets look at the video tape!

Let’s pay attention to the rules of the UFT.  Let’s be clear on a few things….the UFT is our union, Unity is a caucus within the union.  Just as there other caucus’, such as MORE, ICE and SOLIDARITY.  Unity has been the controlling caucus within the union.  Whenever there is a function that the UFT pays for, NO caucus can campaign at these events.  If they did allow this, all candidates should be given the same space, time, and expense of campaigning on the UFT’s dime…or should that be on YOUR UNION DUES.

Even when Unity loses, they use their machine to attack and degrade the winners. If Retiree Advocate should actually win the chapter election on June 14, expect the attacks to begin in June 15. Unity would destroy the chapter if needed to take back control. In this year's para election, Unity changed a few rules, requiring at least 7 candidates to be a slate. Fix Para Pay found 9 and then Unity offered their chapter leader candidate a job and got him to quit the slate.
Unity Caucus, after over 6 decades of control of the UFT, senses danger to their monarchic empire when even a few people stand up and oppose them. They react like any threatened monarchy - attacks and repression of democracy. 
Let's focus on the para story.
After a barrage of unfounded Unity Caucus attacks and disinformation, Arthur has focused on Mulgrew in his commentaries while also pointing to the Unity enabling machine that is so reminiscent of the Trump lemming crowd. 

Arthur did a great explanatory piece on the attacks on a non-Unity para exec bd member  who had beaten a Unity member in last year's special election. 

It’s quite another to attack Migda Rodriguez. Migda simply cannot make a living on a paraprofessional salary. I’m sure I couldn’t either. So she has a second job to provide for herself and her family. Thanks to Unity’s long-time failure to negotiate a living wage for city teachers, I worked two jobs for decades, and I understand the strain of doing so.

Many paras have to take a second job, the reason Migda could not attend para exec bd meetings where most of the members are Unity and have extra jobs at the union. Going back to Arthur who tells the full story:
Migda, along with some friends, decided to help herself. She decided that Unity was not making her economic survival a priority. A raise that does not meet cost of living, like the ones in the most recent contract, is not a raise at all. In fact, it’s a pay cut. And occasional bonuses do not obscure the fact that UFT paraprofessionals need a raise, not a tip.

Migda and her friends ran for UFT office. Migda was elected second vice chair by her fellow paraprofessionals. The last person to hold that position, a Unity caucus member, was given a full-time union job to perform his duties. After all, where on earth is someone working full-time as a paraprofessional, let alone working two jobs, supposed to find the time to help members? Unlike teachers, paraprofessionals are programmed all day, with only a break for lunch.

Mulgrew’s Unity Patronage Cult runs the UFT. While the members chose Migda, Mulgrew chooses only people loyal to him. So there was no job for Migda. There was no office space. There was no time off. There was no email list for Migda to contact those who chose her. In fact, Unity did not even give Migda Rodriguez a stinking UFT email address.

Make no mistake, just like they did to the non-Unity OT/PT leader, Melissa Williams, they froze out Migda. They deliberately made it impossible to do her job. Then, when she chose to continue to support her family rather than attend meetings, they decided to humiliate her publicly.

I’ve been to the Unity page. People with Unity jobs are saying Migda should have stepped down if she couldn’t attend the meetings. In fact, when Melissa Williams did just that, stepped down, they ridiculed her for doing so. She was useless, a phony, or whatever juvenile nonsense the stilted minds at the patronage mill could muster.

 If you’re opposition, Unity will come after you no matter what you do. They’ll do anything to protect their privileged positions. Unity has no consistency, no integrity, and say whatever they can muster to suit the moment and protect their privileged status at the patronage mill....

Mulgrew's Unity Caucus Personally Attacks A Working UFT Paraprofessional: There is no bottom for these self-serving bastards.

I reported on the campaign against Melissa Williams on August 4, 2023: Dissecting UFT/UNITY's Dirty War Against Therapist...
Since those posts even current and former Unity and union officials have been disturbed. I'm not allowed to post screen shots from the web page so I will paraphrase:
A former Unity/UFT official pointed out to a Bronx district rep who was attacking Migda that the UFT did not give her a job like they did to all previous 2nd vice presidents and would not even giver her an email to do the job and said it was unfair to attack her when she didn't show up at meetings where everyone else was being paid on the UFT dime.
On the Unity FB page, which I can post from, another 200K a year slug arrogantly replied that these jobs are not part of the election process and no one is entitled to a job - except Unity, of course. In case you didn't know, the Fix Para Pay Slate lost its chapter leader candidate after Unity bought him off with a job. Bill Woodruff is fine with that. Fact is these jobs ARE part of the election process and many people run with Unity for those jobs. 

In the UFT there are plenty of jobs using our dues available - if you swear allegiance and promise to keep your mouth shut.

Here's one more back and forth with another high salaried Unity Bronx Dist Rep who says he is concerned about someone not attending meetings required for the job, again ignoring the fact that the Unity people get paid -- by the way like they do to attend DAs. He says she should apologize to the members who voted for her when in fact Unity should apologize for denying her voters the services she could have delivered if they treated her like they would a Unity person.

A Migda supporter asks whether high salaried staffers like him who are paid to "do the work" should be asking underpaid paras to apologize for prioritizing their 2nd jobs and therefore not partaking in unpaid work (unlike the Unity paras in the same position).

I will address the equally insane attacks on Marianne in a follow-up.
Call me uncivil. When they go low, we go lower.