Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fiorillo on UFT and Mulgrew: We Need More than Words

Read ICE's Michael Fiorillo's guest post at NYC Educator: We Need More than Words

Michael opens with:

So, Michael Mulgrew finally found the time to respond to Mayor Bloomberg’s - and, given Arne Duncan’s smiling presence on stage, President Obama’s – declaration of war before Thanksgiving. Bloomberg presented the full menu of the privateers who are busy cannibalizing the public schools: merit pay, high stakes tests as a weapon, attacks on tenure, seniority, ATRs, accelerated public school closings and charter school colonization. Mulgrew’s response sounded good: the language was strong, direct and missing the saccharine tone of Randi Weingarten’s old missives to the membership. Nonetheless, I’d recommend that everyone watch what Mr. Mulgrew does, rather than what he says.

And closes with:

As currently led, the UFT cannot be reformed or made into an effective vehicle for defending teachers, and is in the process of bringing its members, the public schools and ultimately itself down in the deluded thought that it can maintain itself by collaborating - their term, not mine – with people who seek to destroy it. Only a revolt by an informed membership, then to ally itself with parents and students to oppose privatization and corporate control, provides any hope of saving public education and teacher unionism in NYC.

But head on over to NYC and read the entire post.

Michael didn't mention the Unity collaborators, New Action, which were handed seats on the UFT Ex Bd by Unity endorsement in order to keep the ICE/TJC dissident voices like Michael off the Board.

Michael Fiorillo will be amongst the 6 ICE/TJC candidates in this year's UFT election, along with Francis Lewis HS CL Arthur Goldstein and 4 other strong candidates.

Imagine these voices, though only 6 out of 89 on the Ex Bd. A small step, but a beginning of, as Michael says, "a revolt by an informed membership, then to ally itself with parents and students to oppose privatization and corporate control, provides any hope of saving public education and teacher unionism in NYC."

If you are in a high school, it is especially important to get your colleagues to check ICE/TJC slate when they receive their ballots in March as that simple act will be a vote for all of the above plus people like James Eterno for president and other excellent candidates who will be revealed soon. ICE/TJC needs people to distribute literature in schools and help promote the election slate.


Anonymous said...

Michael Mulgrew is not very different from Randi's not the words he says, but the actions he takes. As a union, we should have vigorously opposed mayoral control when it was up for renewal in the Legislature. We should have vigorously apposed Michael Bloomberg during this year's election--he might have lost!!! But the union is too busy spending our dues on themselves, forgetting its mission as a union to protect its members and figuring out ways to deflect fault from the poor decisions they have made. If Mulgrew truly wants credibility, he needs to come clean with Unity's mistakes over the past few years. There is a growing tide of anger from the membership and the once apathetic staff in my school is all going to vote him out of office in the next election. We are sick of the Union's laissez-faire attitude, lack of interest in its members (they forget that they represent us teachers!) and poor or even malicious decisions.

One slightly angry letter is not going to appease the membership anymore--especially when it takes so long to respond (why wasn't this letter released within hours of Bloomberg's speech???)

The membership wants real action and real leadership and not another (here's my prediction for Mulgrew's strongest action) candlelight vigil.

When Mulgrew admits that sitting on the sidelines during the mayoral elections was a mistake and that not fighting against mayoral control of schools was a mistake, and when he admits that he and his cronies were outfoxed (yet again)by Bloomberg and Klein, then maybe with a clean slate, we can start to believe him. Otherwise, it's just hot air.

I don't know when the next elections are (and why aren't they now since he was never voted into office? Don't we have a democracy in the union???), but I know that in my large high school he will lose by a large margin--and in the past our membership either didn't vote or voted for Randi....

Anonymous said...

The next union president election, if I'm not mistaken, is in May. But everyone forgets that there are more elementary, middle, and intermediate (k-8)schools than high schools. In these k-8 schools they are members that are not that involved in union politics. Another reminder is that many members do not submit their ballots. Just look at the Bloomberg - Thompson election where people assumed that Thompson would lose by a substantial margin so they decided not to vote. Thompson only lost by a little less than 5%. Therefore, I agree with Michael F. that there has to be more than words. Action, not reaction. No more closing of schools - demand a moratorium, force the DoE to follow the new school governance law, and let's make (rank and file), if possible, citizen arrests of those educrats in Tweed for breaking the state ed laws. Didn't Councilman Charles Barron and a mass of DoE protesters tried that in July to arrest those at Tweed because of the senate stalemate/scandal the mayoral control was not passed and Tweeders were illegally residing? The mayor, Klein, and those in Tweed CANNOT continue to skirt the state ed law.

ed notes online said...

The next UFT election is about to begin in January when petitions go out with ballots going out in March and due by the last week of March.