Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Green on Randi and Bloomie Term Limits

There's lots of speculation as to whether Bloomberg can have his cake (a 3rd term) and eat it too (renewal of mayoral control of the schools.) Bet he can. And he can expect no more than proforma opposition, if that, from the UFT. Already the governance committee of the UFT has postponed its report on where the UFT stand on mayoral control due to the 3rd term issue.

Why that has anything to do with the concept of mayoral control is beyond me. But you know we have said all along the UFT was in favor (since 2001) no matter what they come out with (as a sop to the members) but have no real intention of fighting for much change other than some tweaks.

Elizabeth Green, former NY Sun ed reporter extraordinaire has been a guest blogger at Edwonk, a place I visit only when someone has a blade planted in my gut, but to read her I will.
Full post here.

Green has an interesting take on Randi's position on Bloomberg and extending term limits. Some think she will try to make a deal in exchange for Klein's head.

Yes, she is relentless in her criticism of Joel Klein, the man much-disliked by her members. But Randi does not just attack; she also tries to work as a partner on school reform. And the man she always publicly declares her partner is Bloomberg.

Of course Randi is Bloomberg's collaborator and partner but I hope Green isn't buying the UFT sham that somehow BloomKlein are not separated at the hip. He is a faithful Bloomie lapdog. Arf! If Bloomberg is a partner, Klein is no less one too.

Here is where Green is off when she says:

... Randi often holds off on taking a position until her union delegates have voted.

In fact Randi decides on her position and then uses her total power and the Unity Caucus political machine, which stacks the delegate assembly and has total control over the Executive Board, to turn that into official union policy.

Green is half right when she says

But another thing Randi often does is make deals, and it is hard to imagine that she will not try to use this time of vulnerability for Mayor Bloomberg to strike a bargain with him — to pledge some kind of support in exchange for some kind of win.

Yes, Randi makes deals. Green is wrong if she think Bloomberg is vulnerable and needs Randi. In their collaborative deals, Bloomberg comes out ahead by buying her off with more money for salaries (of which there will be precious little). But if any bargain is struck UFT members will come out the losers just as they have on all the other "bargains" - loads of givebacks and working longer for "raises."

Bloomberg and Joel Klein have UFT members on the run with ATR brush fires breaking out all over the place and Randi not being able to spend much time doing whatever AFT presidents do while she runs around putting them out.

Like she had to run over to Canarsie HS last week after angry ATRs practically ran District Rep Charlie Turner out of the building. I guess the Unity hacks' whine, "Why blame us. Klein changed the funding formula" followed by "Why are you complaining that a first year teacher has a position while you are a sub, be glad you're getting paid?" are just not working.

After calming the troops (she will defend ATRs "over my dead body") she sent poor Turner back in there the next day. He hasn't been heard from since.

Where was UFT COO (Chief Operating Officer), Mulgrew Who? (I told Green months ago that Mulgrew would not be the president of the UFT.) Wanna bet Randi is running again in 2010 for UFT Pres? She can substitute her name on Bloomberg's press release about how in these economic times yada yada yada the UFT needs her yada yada yada experienced leadership.

After Green's post on Edwonk she got this goodie from a UFT source - which I'll bet is from a certain UFT/AFT president's horse's mouth. You know the old diddie: a source is a horse is a horse is a horse.

Just got a reply on the post below from a UFT source, who adds of the line Randi is walking, “It’s not a tightrope, it’s a micro filament!” The source also sizes up Randi’s next steps by saying there are too many factors for a final deal to be brokered. “The best strategy … wait,” the source says. “No one can deliver on promises at this moment in time.”

Sure. Micro filament. We need to wait, not act. This is what the Executive Board will decide tonight and pass on to the Delegate Assembly on Wed. Wait.

With the membership despising BloomKlein so much Randi might have a bit of a sell but she'll pull it off by using the economic crisis and any other scare tactics she can think of. Maybe throw Bill Ayres name in somewhere to scare 'em.

Instead of doing a full court UFT political press on the city council members to vote Bloomie down, they'll punt. They'll throw a bone to the rank and file by calling for the voters to decide knowing full well that won't happen.

Of course the poor Unity schnooks who went around schools telling people we just have to wait out BloomKlein for the short time remaining and put the next mayor (the preferred Bill Thompson) into power will have to hope the rank and file won't remember that one.


Anonymous said...

What Randi is trying to do by turning up the heat on term limits, is put the ATR question on the back burner.

Even if term limits comes to a vote and the likelihood of a vote is slim, as you say; and, given the fiscal crisis, and Bloomberg's popularity among the general electorate, the vote more than likely would go in his favor, and for democratic reasons, among others; yet, whoever the next mayor is, he/she will still be under pressure to move against the ATRs, and the Department of Education will still face cutbacks.

Therefore, let's see her ploy for what it is - an attempt to dissipate a real fight on behalf of the ATRs, and all teachers and staff.

NYC Educator said...

I'm always amazed that the UFT claims to support mayoral control, hoping for a friendly mayor. I've been teaching over a quarter century, and I've yet to see one. How they could dangle that carrot and approve of this dangerous idiotic policy is beyond me.

Under Assault said...


Norm: Am troubled that you call Green extraordinaire, then pick at her about 4 times (half wrong, wrong, etc.).
It's a strange disconnect. Can you elaborate?

Rachel Grynberg said...

There is also something fundamentally wrong with the UFT's ability to know the political waters. Endorsing Hillary, when it was really clear she couldn't win. And when there was no need to endorse anyone if we had to hold off. But, fundamentally this crew doesn't have it's hand on the pulse of the times and also the potentials for change. We need a new Mayor and if Obama wins -- and he should -- it would be easy to ride that momentum. All across the country, the NY Times reported today, more African-Americans are taking office. I think, and maybe I am going out on a bad limb, but I think we need an African-American candidate for Mayor. Of course, we first and foremost need a GOOD candidate. But, I think the tides are changing and that a strong African-American -- or Latino candidate could wipe the floor with Bloomberg. The working people of this city have had enough of Bloomberg and what he has done to their children. A candidate who can also gain credibility with the African-American and Latino communities should be able to take this election. Fernando Ferrer was a wimp, so we can't look at his example as meaning anything. Plus, he ultimately was willing to sell the city to Bloomberg -- I'll never get that election morning breakfast he had with him. Never.
If the unions of this city got behind a viable candidate of color, I think he/she could win. People in this city have had enough. They just need someone they believe will keep the promise.

The only person I can think of is Charles Barron off the top of my head. But, there has to be someone. There has to be.

Anonymous said...

Charles Baron? And you say Randi isn't good at politics.

Anonymous said...

I agree that organized labor in NYC should back a candidate but, one that could defeat Bloomberg and his billions. If the Black, Latino,and Asian communities can decide upon a viable democratic candidate. And if the democratic party bosses could agree to unite instead of in fighting, then. Bloomberg could be defeated. The chances of this-slim to none. Therefore the UFT is correct to sit this one out. It is in the best interest of the members in the long run (another 4 years).

ed notes online said...

Have you witnessed what's happened to the UFT in the last 7 years? Another 4 years? Long term for NYC teachers in the trenches is 2 weeks.

More important, the attitude of sitting this out is what has gotten the teachers into the pickle they are in. No fight from the top makes teachers feel helpless. I say pay Bloomberg back by fighting him tooth and nail and even if you lose, you win by the struggle.

But expect the UFT leadership to really stand up? That is why there is more need than ever for a militant opposition with significant support to push them.