Friday, April 6, 2007

UFT Election Results 2004/07 Compared

Below is a spreadsheet comparing the 2004 and 2007 UFT elections.
Make sure to use both scrolling arrows to see all of it.

Note the following:
The high percentage of retirees (44%) voting, almost all of them for Unity with another 1600 from New Action thrown in for Weingarten. Over 21,000 of Weingarten's roughly 40,000 votes came from retirees. ICE/TJC got just 5%.

The incredibly low vote everyone got from working teachers in the 3 major divisions. Weingarten received less than 7,000 votes from elementary schools, a significant drop from 2004 of over 2000 votes, 1700 middle school votes, a drop of 1000 from 2004 and around 2700 in the high schools, a slight drop from 2004. When New Action votes are subtracted (assume some came from people who still thought they were still opposed to Unity) the results look even worse. Less than 12,000 votes out of a potential 70,000 for Weingarten in these 3 divisions. If you add the less than 7,000 functional chapter votes to this total, Weingarten's totals still come to less than 20,000 from working UFT members.

New Action was clearly replaced by ICE/TJC as the opposition/alternative to Unity despite the fact they were handed 8 Executive Board seats for their loyalty, a Pyrrhic victory. Even in the high schools, where they received 3 seats, they had no relevance in Unity's victory. Their future usefulness to Weingarten is in question and when she leaves for the AFT they may be done. However, we can expect an attempt to keep them around for at least one more election.

As for ICE/TJC, as expected, they did not win the high schools against the combined Unity/New Action totals and will have no seats on the UFT Executive Board, thus allowing the Board to meet for a few minutes, eat, and go home early. Weingarten won't even have to bother attending as she can be sure nothing embarrassing will be raised. On the other hand, ICE/TJC were the only ones whose percentages in all divisions except retirees rose.

It is clear that ICE and TJC, separate groups who came together for this election, have not developed enough outreach yet. Since ICE is only 3 years old and TJC is in the 4th year of its fairly new incarnation as a force in UFT elections - both groups spurred by the New Action sell-out which began in earnest in late 2003 - there is a sense of progress, albeit slowly. If they continue to organize between elections by reaching out to people in the schools, they efforts may pay off with a better showing next time. More important than votes right now is developing a strong cadre of organizers/distributors in the schools. The test of how well they do will be told in the next election in 2010.

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