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.