Monday, December 3, 2007


The gang over at NYC Educator have been doing a bang-up job of exposing Leo Casey's ruminations and paranoia - it will destroya, Leo! They're calling it LeoGate. Mike Antonucci's Educational Intelligence Agency has been part of the mix. (When Mike cited some of my stuff once, Leo attacked ME for being cited by EIA, which is definitively anti-teacher union. But when you look at the outcomes of the policies Leo's Unity Caucus have supported, their actions have been much more harmful to teachers than Mike's.)

I'll say no more but it has something to do with Leo getting dissed by a mouse. I'll let you read the delicious details at NYC Educator.

Woodlass at Under Assault has chipped in with a strong post on censorship at Edwize, the UFT blog where Leo spews forth miles of words justifying every wrong turn of UFT policy. At least I think he does since I don't waste my time over there.

Unity Caucus Bait and Switch
It is worth mentioning the Unity "bait and switch" policy when it came to electing Casey the high school vice-president.

With it being clear that former high school VP Frank Volpicella was going to retire in the fall and Casey was going to replace him, Unity still ran Frank in the March 2007 election.

Why? So the not as popular Casey could be voted in by a special election of the Executive Board upon Volpicella's election in October, where Unity and their New Action cohorts control all 89 seats. (New Action ran a token candidate against him for show.)

Now don't get me wrong. Casey would have won anyway since Unity doesn't allow the high school teachers to elect their own VP. The entire membership including retirees, nurses, elementary school teachers (and soon to be voting home care workers) have the honor of voting for all the divisional VPs.

High school teachers used to be able to vote for their own VP - until the opposition won in 1985. Unity went to court to protest that there were irregularities - in an election they themselves had run. There was another election and they lost - again.

They bided their time until 1994 when there was no opposition at all on the Executive Board and they changed the rules to assure there would never again be a victory by the opposition at the VP level by having the entire union vote (at-large voting.)

But Unity continued to lose the vote in the high schools and that allowed the opposition to win the 6 high school Ex. Bd seats, a drop in the bucket when compared to the 83 Unity seats. Then they got real cute in the 2004 elections, making a deal with New Action to hand them the 6 seats (they had been behaving real nice) for them not running against Weingarten for president (she was afraid she might not get 90% of the vote.) To both New Action's and Unity's surprise, TJC and the new kids on the block, ICE, won the seats - if Unity HAD run they would have won.

In the 2007 elections they learned their lesson and ran a cross endorsement strategy. ICE/TJC 36%, Unity got 52%, and New Action 12%, thus leaving no opposition on the Ex Bd. The raw totals were so low that even a few hundred more votes for ICE could have turned the election. Check these results at the high schools:

Unity: 2,183 votes - 51.6%
New Action: 521 votes - 12.3%
ICE/TJC: 1,524 votes - 36%

New Action and Unity shared the 6 seats. ICE/TJC got none.

Democracy, UFT style.

There were 19,799 ballots mailed to high school teachers and 4,568 returned, 23.1%. Just shows you how relevant the union is to rank and file teachers. When people tell me democracy in the UFT is a crucial issue, I say – Yes, to us activists. To the rank and file it means beans - until they face the Unity machine head on at some point.

Back to Leo. If Unity had run Casey their percentage would have been lower. How much lower? Hard to tell - a swing of 300 votes would have given the seats to ICE/TJC. Or maybe more teachers seeing Casey on the ballot would have decided to vote for the ICE/TJC slate. It is still unlikely ICE/TJC would have won the 6 Ex bd seats if Casey headed the Unity HS ticket but the election would have been closer. But Unity wasn't taking any chances.

We expect there will be a hell of a lot more Leo Gates to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't lie Norm. You were a big of the piece written by Antonucci who is funded by anti-union millionaire elites. You can make you're try to change history, but I remember the thread, and there were a group of unionists who called you out on defending Antonucci.