Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Where's the Outrage?

Monday night I spoke at the UFT Executive Board meeting, asking, “Where’s your sense of outrage?” as I brought up the incident of the teacher who was arrested, de-arrested and yet is still facing charges by the DOE. Instead of the union getting the information from the police that proves her innocence, she has to do it herself. I compared that to telling Julius Ceaser to reach back, pull out the knife and go carve the turkey for Thanksgiving. (OK, so I was reaching.)

Oh, the UFT will provide representation as they will have a rep with the teacher today as she is questioned by a DOE investigator. And I'm sure he will do a decent job. I'm about to head over to wait outside (as I'm not allowed in) in case the teacher needs some advice. I may also have a reporter with me to interview the teacher.

The assistance the UFT gives basically stops there. The teacher did get a call from Victim Support and she said that is not what she or the rest of the teachers in the school need. They need the union to expose a Leadership Academy principal who has gone after numerous people (supposedly, 7 U-ratings last year in a small elementary school.) Some of the best teachers in the school have left. But the only response of the union is to look at things on a case-by-case basis.

Basically, the UFT provides the least restrictive (for them) support instead of doing the maximum.

How do the teachers at the school feel after the person almost half of them voted for as chapter leader in the last election finds herself in this position? Did the UFT district rep rush over there? Or any other official? Someone came to talk about school safety (this exit or that exit) when the real safety issue is that of people's careers. One teacher told me of (his/her) outrage that when questioned, the UFT official basically urges silence. A militant union would have rushed to the school and give the teachers the support needed to fight back. The principal can get away with this and never have to pay a price.

BloomKlein have a strategy to break the union at the chapter level. The UFT has none other than to hire a bunch of New Action retirees to go into the schools and whistle in the wind.

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