Monday, November 16, 2009

The Maddening Logic of the AFT/UFT and now DC

Candi Peterson has a laid off teacher report from DC. Here is the section that makes critics of the Weingarten/Mulgrew policies want to scream.

Depending on whose version you believe, many laid off teachers who attended the November 5 hearing voiced their concerns that the hearing did not go well. There were reports that there were many objections to the Washington Teachers' Union's defense. In a WTU Building Representative November 10 meeting that I attend at McKinley last week , WTU Field Representative Anita Corley stated publicly that the WTU's legal arguments appeared weak because they did not want to alert DCPS lawyers to the strategy that the WTU would ultimately use in arbitration. When I heard this as a rationale, I actually couldn't believe what I was hearing. I couldn't help but thinking what it if the judge rules that the WTU cannot go to arbitration ? Then what ?

Sound familiar, UFTers? Welcome to the world of AFT/UFT defensive posturing, Candi. Get used to this logic. We've been seeing this for a long time here in NYC. We just finished working on a new ICE Update that addresses this issue:

What is it that makes our Unity leadership so prone to wrong moves at every turn? Their failures result from a core Unity philosophy that changes the traditional role unions are supposed to play in defense of their members, opting instead for a partnership with management in exchange for a false sense of insider status. Thus, their main battle becomes trying to win a seat at the table for themselves, while shutting out the concerns of the rank and file. This is no mere tactic but a transformation of the nature of the concept of unionism, wherein the major concern becomes selling so-called “reform” programs to a victimized membership: bonuses based on testing, rating teachers based on test scores, closing schools, open market system, support for charter schools at the expense of public schools, etc. This partnership is a losing proposition for the membership — a strategy of always playing defense, not with a goal of winning better working conditions, but of trying to minimize the losses. This debilitating strategy is an adherence to a core philosophy that is often called “New Unionism.”

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