Tuesday, April 15, 2008

UFT's Michael Mendel Hammers Joel

Klein meets the press after the meeting.

One of my complaints about the UFT has been their inadequate response to the attacks on teachers. For years I've been urging Randi Weingarten to have the UFT present at PEP meetings to challenge Joel Klein's bull. Frankly, I was doing this on my own, though in the last few years some people from NYCTAG and some rubber people have joined in. The PEP is a useless body, but it is the only public forum in the entire world of Tweedom. And if the UFT were there, there would be more press coverage.

Last night the UFT, which stupidly holds its Exec. Bd meetings the same night as PEP, as they did last night (though they held it at Julia Richman Complex as a protest of more BloomKleun follies,) brought out many staffers and school psychologists. At the same time, James Eterno showed up with 50-100 parents, teachers and students from Jamaica HS. But more on all this later.

Chrisopher Cerf dreams of how he can parlay his Edison stock into buying the NY Department of Education and taking it public - after he takes it private, of course. (I just got an email calling him a "dick.")

David B. captured some great audio (and these pics) of the UFT's Michael Mendel hammering Klein on the tenure issue. He did a great job, though his speech reaffirms what we've been saying - the UFT offers little protection to the non-tenured. At least I didn't hear mention of any. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Listen to Klein's tepid response. We consider Michael one of the good guys at the UFT. And he's a NY Rangers fan (I used to sit behind him at Ranger games and heckle - about UFT policy.)

Plug in at David's blog.

or click below.


  1. What I find most interesting about Michael Mendel's comments is when a few seconds in they have to ask who he is? Maybe it's just a formality thing and he was supposed to give that info before beginning his comments, but it doesn't sound that way. If it is the case that they really don't know who he is by sight then that's really sad. I wouldn't even know where to begin with whats wrong with that.


  2. It's just a formality. Before the meeting, Klein was sitting at his seat and when he noticed Michael in the audience, he practically came rushing out of his seat to go over and chat. Michael called Leroy Barr over - it looked like the first time Klein and he met. I got the whole thing on video - you know, the next time I accuse them of collaboration. Michael did a good job on the whole. He as also angry and worked up. One thing about him - he comes from the trenches. Many years as a middle school teacher and chapter leader in tough central Brooklyn where local school politics were really screwed up. He's probably too close to the end of his career to be a successor to Randi.

  3. I am trying to listen to the audio but it doe not seem to be working on either site.

  4. It's about time the UFT stood up for it's members! Good work Michael.

  5. He did a great job getting the essential points made in just a few minutes. I wish I could have been there, to watch Klein, poseur that he is, having to sit and listen to a peer expose his political motivations publicly like that, and in no uncertain terms.

  6. Another hypocrite from the union of failed teachers.


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