Sunday, April 29, 2007

UFT Committee on District Reps Meets Under Cone of Silence

Why would we expect anything different from the UFT. Look at the make-up of the committee - mostly UFT employees. The lone voices of the opposition are ICE's James Eterno (who has supported the election of DR's by chapter leaders) and ACT's Joe Mudgett (who supports the election of DR's by the members in the districts, which is where I stand). But their voices have been muzzled. There will probably be some compromise floated that will try to get them to sign on and then Unity can say how democracy is in force. Since it all is taking place behind closed doors, they will not be able to float proposals for public comment and we won't know or have any input into the process. Is this a way to conduct business? Should the opposition be part of this for fear of being accused by Unity of not taking part in the "democratic" process?

Some democratic process. I have been in a distinct minority in ICE in my position that we should not waste our time on these bogus UFT committees. Better to use the time to organize people. Want to force change in the way district reps are elected? Organize a mass petition campaign. If people in the schools don't give a shit then don't waste your time on committees. If they do give a shit, then Unity will be forced to take notice. But by any means do not get involved in the process under a cone of silence.

I say, "who cares what they say?" No one is listening out there as proven by the almost 80% of the people who did not vote in the election. I view Unity the way Weingarten views the people at Tweed: assholes who can't be trusted. Does the opposition play the same game as Weingarten who wants a seat at Tweed's table so desperately by hungering for the same thing- a seat at Unity's table?

The time for engaging in the "democratic process" of the UFT is coming to an end from my point of view. 8 members of the Ex Bd are from New Action with 9% of the vote of working teachers and 0 members of the Ex Bd come from ICE/TJC with 20% of the vote. What better illustrates the point? Read my account of the last DA. Weingarten has so subverted the process at the DA where even the "New Motion" period, the lone opportunity to take an action, has been played around with so as to make it practically unusable. In all the years of Shanker and Feldman this was one thing they never touched. But then again they weren't' afraid that something might come up they couldn't deal with. Unlike Weingarten who must control every aspect. Look how she came apart when Nick Licari (see my account in the April 26 post) started heckling her at the last DA? What Nick did should be more of a model for action. Let them vilify the opposition. No one is listening. And if they were, I bet a lot of rank and file teachers would be very happy to see some action being taken other than the same old thing.

Posted on the UTP blog:

Say It Ain't So, Joe!

The following has been lifted from Top Secret UFT files and memos, as well as the ACT site.

District Representative Selection Process Committee Convenes

The Committee to investigate the selection process for District Representatives, established by resolution of the Delegate Assembly on November 8, 2006, met for the first time on March 26, 2007. Considering that it took four months to convene the initial meeting, I don't expect any quick resolution to this important issue. Nonetheless, I will attempt the Herculean task of convincing my fellow committee members that a completely transparent democratic process, where members directly elect their representatives, is in the best interests of the union.

Why Herculean? Consider the makeup of the committee: chaired by President Weingarten (who has been appointing district reps since 2003), members include Secretary/Chief of Staff, Mike Mendel, Senior Assistant to the President, Jeff Zahler, a half dozen district reps, at least one borough representative, one or two other UFT officials, a gentleman from New Action, James Eterno from ICE, and myself, representing the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and the viewpoint of the Unified Teachers Party.

Much as I would like to share the details of the deliberations with my readers, I cannot, since all committee members were asked to keep the proceedings in strictest confidence. But rest assured I will publish a complete report once the committee has completed its mission and the cone of silence is lifted.


Anonymous said...

Gee, sounds like you and James are a bit outnumbered. Want to bet the results have already been decided?
4/25/2007 7:13 PM

NYC Educator said...

How is it working under that cone of silence? I've heard talk it's defective.

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