Sunday, March 25, 2007

A letter from ICE

There are people in your schools who have not yet voted or are not even aware an election is taking place. In the last election 70,000 active UFT members DID NOT VOTE. We need you to remind them to vote.

People say the 2006 contract was a holding action till the next one with more givebacks. They also agree that if not for the 40% teacher NO vote on the 2005 contract, Unity would have been emboldened to give back more in 2006.

Thus the case:
The higher the vote for ICE-TJC, the better the chance to fight givebacks on the next contract.

Without a potent opposition/alternative to Unity, the dictatorship leading to bad decision-making will continue.


Help get out the Vote for ICE-TJC!

The only opposition to Randi Weingarten, ICE-TJC, is under attack. Randi Weingarten’s political party (Unity Caucus) is using their bloated campaign contributions to slander ICE-TJC. Unity is able to raise vast sums of money because of the patronage jobs they reward their members with. Unity has mailed people a letter distorting the positions of ICE-TJC and our presidential candidate: Kit Wainer. Kit is a decent guy who is the long time chapter leader from Leon Goldstein High School in Brooklyn. He is not advocating an unprepared strike as the answer for every UFT problem. He knows that we would lose an ill-advised strike and all of us would not support one. That does not stop Randi/Unity from making stuff up.

The most ironic charge Randi-Unity made is that Kit is a socialist. We thought “Red Baiting” went out of style when Senator Joseph McCarthy was denounced publicly in the US Senate. The irony is that Randi Weingarten is running on both on the Unity ticket and on former opposition party New Action’s slate. As Teachers for a Just Contract says in their latest literature: “The New Action members Unity has cross endorsed include longtime open members of the Communist Party USA.” TJC adds, “Weingarten and her predecessors Feldman and Shanker were all socialists, card-carrying members of the Social Democrats USA, an offshoot of the American Socialist Party.”

People’s politics or personal lifestyles are not at issue. We care what their record of achievement is for the members of this union. As students of history, we would rather have socialist Eugene Debs backing us up than Randi Weingarten any day of the week. The real issue is how far Unity and New Action will go to hold onto power. That’s what this misinformation campaign is all about. Unity certainly can’t run on their record, which is a total failure. They gave away so many of our rights in the 2005 Contract:
We lost the right to grieve material in our files.
We lost the right to grieve observation reports.
We lost the right to say no to hall patrols and cafeteria duty.
We lost the right to start school after Labor Day; we now start in August.
We lost the right to transfer based on seniority.
We lost the right to a job if excessed; we now get in Absent Teacher Reserve positions (subs).
We lost the right to preferred placement if our schools are closed; we now have to hustle for jobs or be placed in ATR positions.
We lost the right to be innocent until proven guilty etc…

Unity has the money to mail smear stuff to the members. All we have to counter it is our mouths, our computers, our telephones, our votes and most importantly the truth. We need everyone to work for the only real opposition, ICE-TJC. To vote for all ICE TJC candidates, simply put an X in the ICE-TJC box and then place the envelope inside the secret ballot envelope, seal it, then place it in the outer envelope and put it in the mail. With your support, ICE-TJC will continue to have one agenda: doing what’s right for the members.

PUT AN X in the box


And tell your colleagues to do the same.

The Independent Community of Educators (ICE)

Election Snafu
Many ballots are being returned due to an error by the AAA who are supervising the balloting. New envelope have been sent from the AAA. But some have not received it and may not even be aware of the problem. However, it is possible a number of ballots will not be in on time (5pm, March 28) due to this snafu. That is an issue that will have to be addressed.


  1. I don't think Unity actually wants to make givebacks. The problem is they simply don't care much. The path of least resistance is to take whatever DC37 gets, and that's what they do. As long as their patronage employees have their jobs they'll continue to spout the party line.

    And all those New Action guys are now on the payroll. They pretend to oppose but are required to support Ms. Weingarten in order to retain their positions on the gravy train. It's remarkable how many teachers haven't got the remotest notion what's going on.

    The other day one of my colleagues proudly announced she'd cast her vote for New Action. When I told her she'd voted for Ms. Weingarten she was absolutely shocked.

    She won't make that mistake again. Actually, I'm pretty sure I voted for New Action in the last election, thinking that ICE and TJC were diversions intended to create support for Unity. NY Teacher is fairly useless as a source of what's actually going on with the union, unless you think the comings and goings of Randi Weingarten constitute everything we need to know.

  2. It's not that Unity wants givebacks. But the only way they can get people money is by selling the contract. BloomKlein extracted their pound of flesh in '05 and the strategy of the ways they want to fund schools to force out senior teachers is a follow-up to the killing of seniority rights. They will be glad to agree to pay top salary of even 150 G because they know that few will make it.

    As for New Action, bad on us for not being able to get the word out but it seems to take years to raise people's consciousness. Assume a large percentage of New Action votes will come from people like your colleague. They will get a pyrrhic victory if they win the high school seats. Thats is if ICE and TJC do a good job post-election.

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  4. I spoke to our district rep, and told him I really thought 80% of rank and file have no knowledge or interest of what's happening in the union. He surprised me a lot by agreeing. His party, though, is the prime beneficiary of apathy.

    There's a lot of that to overcome, and having over half of rank and file with less than five years of experience, there's little sense of history. Actually the woman who voted for New Action has 20 years in, so I shouldn't attribute lack of knowledge only to newbies.

    Three years ago I knew little or no more than she did.

  5. I mailed my ballot on Monday 3/26, only to find it in my own mail 3/27, and it having to be at AAA by 3/28. I took the ballot back to the post office 3/27, where the postal clerk showed me a bar code printed under my name and return address which caused my ballot to be returned to me rather than being mailed to AAA. I am wondering if this was on purpose, if such sabotaged envelopes were supplied to people known to be anti-Unity.

  6. Seriously, does ICE even serve a real purpose other than to drive a wedge within our union? Has ICE ever accomplished anything worthy of mention? And no, a sham presidential candidate in the last election, shoddy quality YouTube films, and heckling during the Delegate Assembly doesn't count.

    -Son Of Unity, the next generation
    I'll be back!


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