Saturday, June 20, 2009

Voting for UFT Retiree Chapter - YAWN!


I just checked my ballot for the UFT retiree chapter. Ho, hum! I found about 10 people to vote for. I and other ICE retirees were asked to run on the RA slate. Most of us declined.

This retiree chapter elections every three years, as much as anything, exposes the UFT sham of democracy.

There are two slates running: Unity and The Retiree Advocate. Should be simple. Just check the RA box and mail it in. But there's a rub.

Many of the RA candidates are members of New Action. You know, the former opposition caucus that sold out to Unity for jobs and 8 seats on the Executive Board, which they only won because Unity ran them on their slate too. The same caucus that thinks that the Randi Weingarten leadership has been wonderful for UFT members.

So how do you run with Unity Caucus and against them? In the magic world of so-called UFT democracy, anything is possible.

Since Unity has a lock on the election, it makes no difference anyway. The new chapter chairman, with Tom Pappas's retirement, will be Tom Murphy and all officers and the entire executive committee will be Unity. So what? Those retiree chapter meetings are death. I used to go when the late Jeannette DiLorenzo ran them. She was a lady. An open mic and delicious pastries. About 10 seconds after Pappas took over he took away the open mic and fed us stale bagels. Goodbye.

But the most important aspect to Unity is the winner-take-all election for 300 Unity Caucus retirees to the delegate Assembly. Yes, I said 300. The over 50,000 retirees get the same 60 members to one delegate ratio as the schools do. With a room that holds 850 people, you can just imagine how crowded the DA might get if there's a cold snap in Florida.

Naturally, not all 300 show up every time. Only when Unity really needs them. Like when a tough vote might be coming up. Especially if the opposition manages to get a resolution added to the agenda that the leadership disapproves of. Then it's party time after the meeting to get all the retirees out for free food, stale or not.

Well, I picked my way through the ballot looking for RA people I knew are not New Action. A useless action, but I'm a good citizen.

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