Friday, March 30, 2007

UFT Election Preliminary Results

These are not final as they were counting ballots that came in yesterday -- 700 and not all were counted. These results also do not have the non-slate ballots which take a long time to count -- so individual totals for every candidate will vary.

My % numbers are based on rough estimates and lousy math.

The major story is the incredibly low turnout amongst working teachers. Maybe 22%. Weingarten's "overwhelming" victory should be looked at in that context. Of course that also applies to our votes.

Weingartens' 10,000 votes TOTAL (on Unity slate) from elem, middle and HS is numbing. Add around less than 1500 she got from New Action (a portion of whom did not know they were voting for her.) So she gets less than 12,000 votes out of the teaching staff of 70,000? More likely closer to 11,000 or less real support. I view this as an overwhelming rejection of her leadership. We just failed to capitalize.

An enormous bulk of votes coming from the Unity/New Action totals -- over 20,000 retiree votes. New Action got 1600 and we got 1061 - 5% of retirees.

Out of 50,000 retiree votes sent out around 22, 500 voted. Only 18,000 count as they will be pro-rated.

Unity got 2183 HS votes total out of almost HS 20,000 ballots sent out. We got 1524 and New Action got 521. That means Unity would have won barely if we got all the New Action votes -- but we would have challenged the election results if we had. New Action gets 3 ex bd seats with 521 votes. Democracy Inaction. They also got the 5 at-large seats for a total of 8 with an incredibly low % of votes.

Middle school returns were almost a joke. Out of 13,000 ballots sent out 2384 returned. Here are the results:
ICE/TJC: 444 (almost 20%)
Unity: 1499
New Action: 273

Elementary: Out of 37,000 ballots, 8,904 returned.
ICE/TJC: 1337 (15%)
Unity 6252
New Action: 562

Functional: paras, secties, nurses, speech, attendance, etc
Out of 42,000 votes, 9000 returns
ICE/TJC: 1032
Unity: 6464
Nw Action: 548

Loooking at the teaching staff in the 3 divisions (rough numbers):
70,000 ballots sent out. 15,000 returns
Retirees. 50,000 sent out. 22,400 returns

Positive Trends:
ICE/TJC buried New Action in every division except retirees where New Action got the bulk of their votes (almost half). The goal of replacing New Action as the recognized opposition has been met.

ICE/TJC increased their vote in every division from last time not as much by total but by %.

the campaign obviously did not reach the membership. TJC put out about 90,000 leaflets and we did about 50-60,000. The impact if any must be assessed. TJC did a mailing to every middle school teacher in the Bronx. With 444 total votes that impact was probably negligible.

Putting a lot of time and energy into Exec Bd and the DA looks like a waste. The results bear that out.

If an opposition/alternative is to grow (and the removal of New Action as a legit opposition despite their 8 seats is and continues to be a goal) direct, continuous activity to reach the teachers in the schools is necessary. Only a group of people who have the will to do this will make a difference.

Look at the high school results; 1524 total votes.
Think of the number of large high schools with people running with ICE/TJC-- many with 200 members.

Off the top of my head:
Jamaica, Hillcrest, Bryant, Aviation, Stuvesant, Bergtraum, Norman Thomas, FDR, Francis Lewis, Port Richmond, Bronx High. Did the bulk of our votes come from these few schools? Then the leafleting campaign had almost 0 impact.

For Unity it is even worse when you think of only 2183 votes after all the power they have? And New Action's 521 with their massive leafleting campaign? Unity would still have won without them. Interesting that their red-baiting campaign was a slap at new Action too.

(And by the way, New Action is trumpeting that their web site has an objection - tepid at that and that Shulman called Randi and she sort of apologized. New Action grows more pathetic by the minute.)

Frankly, it did not look like either New Action or Unity were happy. The ICE/TJC people at the count had the most fun all day. No spirit is bowed.

The issue: Is there a way to wake up the membership in the schools? What strategy would it take to do that? If the answer is that is not possible, people must decide if it is worth continuing. If the answer is there is a way, then people must have the will.

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