Friday, June 15, 2007

ICE Strikes Back at the Evil Empire

Based on some input, the post below this on Diane Ravitch has been slightly revised. Check it out.

Over at the ICE blog check out James Eterno's excellent response to the Unity attack leaflet over Jeff Kaufman's comments about the UFT and Green Dot charter schools. Also my post on the June DA where Unity bragged about their overwhelming support and how they got ICE out of the Executive Board. As James points out, the vote actually made the point that to almost 80% of the teachers, the UFT is irrelevant. And now that New Action has replaced the ICE-TJC members on the Executive Board, it will be a complete rubber stamp Executive Board and even more irrelevant, if that is possible. For some time, I have felt that the ICE people were wasting their time and energies at Exec. Bd. meetings where the entire board is on the union payroll. But we did get to eat and schmooze, for all that was worth. And after so many years of Delegate Assemblies, I am getting the feel the same about them. Under Weingarten, whatever shards of institutional democracy there were have been shredded. Hmmm! Shredded shards - a new theme for the UFT.

The WeinKlein combo has turned the UFT into something that reminds me of the Roman ruins I recently visited, with more life in the 2000 year old Roman Forum than in the UFT Delegate Assembly and Executive Board. Attila the Klein and Rhondalia the First have made a devastating team in the sack of the UFT.

Attila and Rhondalia celebrate victory

A few choice excepts from James:
Yesterday's Unity leaflet quotes ICE's Jeff Kaufman in the Sun article saying, "This is the end of the Union." Unity neglected to mention Jeff's next line where he says referring to Randi: "She's going to leave in her wake now a real change in terms of what teachers unions are."

[the] Unity piece reverts to boasts about Randi's election victory saying how Unity's election victory was a "tremendous vote of support from all our UFT members." All of them? What about the almost 78% of teachers who didn't bother to vote? In Chicago recently, close to 2/3 of their teachers voted in their union election. I brought this fact up at the last Executive Board meeting. The UFT is a weak irrelevancy in numerous schools in NYC .

Michael Fiorillo posted this on ICE-mail:

Many good points made in your your blog posting, James.

I'd just like to add that at Wednesday's DA I had hoped to ask Randi about the Green Dot issue, but of course that was not possible, since she filibustered for well over an hour, to the point where questions and other business were an afterthought.

Had I been able to ask her, my question would have been,

"Randi, you've spoken about how "aggressively pro-union" the founder of Green Dot schools is, and that the teachers there are represented by a union. However, in the next breath you said that they are speaking with UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles, the AFT local) about signing a contract. If there's a union at a Los Angeles public/charter school that is not represented by UTLA, then isn't that a COMPANY UNION, illegal under the NLRA, and thought to have been eliminated back in the 1930's? What are you doing meeting with the boss of a charter school that has a company union - inevitably dominated by management - when the practical result is the undermining of a fellow AFT local?

Just thought I'd try to ask, but silly me.

Location for future UFT Delegate Assemblies and Executive Board meetings. The Emperor's box will be renovated but no new seats will be added.

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