With urban unions under severe attack in Washington, LA, Chicago, New Haven and New York, the Detroit teacher contract may be the most severe. And of course, Randi Weingarten and the AFT were handmaidens. (And for those of you who are impressed by Michael Mulgrew's rhetoric as somehow making him different than Randi, come back and talk to me in a year or two.)
Detroit teachers union activist Steve Conn sent this out.
This is some reasonably accurate tv reporting on our fight in Detroit to defend public education and reclaim our union: http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/22177639/index.html
Detroit Federation of Teachers (AFT 231) members voted overwhelmingly tonight to relieve Keith Johnson from his duties as DFT President until a recall vote is taken at the February 11th membership meeting. The membership also voted for the DFT to join the lawsuit against the $250 TIP "loan", and urge all members to immediately file State of Michigan Employment Wage Complaint Forms.
Early in the meeting, Johnson declared all efforts to recall him or support the lawsuit "out of order," in spite of a clear majority vote that these questions be placed on the meeting's agenda. When members refused to allow him to continue the meeting undemocratically, he walked out of the room, later returning to try to adjourn the meeting. Refusing to adjourn, the members passed three motions: (1) supporting the lawsuit against the $250 TIP; (2) setting the recall vote for the February 11th General Membership Meeting; and (3) relieving Johnson of "his duties and obligations as DFT President pending the recall vote."
DFT members are determined that the question of Keith Johnson's recall be decided by democratic membership vote and in accordance with the DFT Constitution.
The recall of DFT president Kevin Johnson, a Weingarten ally, is an early warning sign for the AFT and Weingarten, who praised the contract and was involved in the negotiations.
One report says:
"In a paid advertisement in the Sunday New York Times, Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, praised the Detroit contract, saying it was “much more than a collective bargaining agreement; it is a covenant between educators and administrators…”
Weingarten makes clear that the AFT and DFT want to be full partners in Obama’s school restructuring plans. She boasts that the agreement includes “several reforms that will drive the enhancement of student achievement, including school based bonuses, peer assistance and review and a new, comprehensive teacher evaluation system.”
At the same time, the AFT president said, “both parties recognized the severe financial conditions of the district and sought innovative approaches to save money,” including the pay and health care cuts “that will save the district millions.”In a separate press release, Weingarten said the educational provisions in the deal “would make it one of the most progressive big-city teacher contracts of our day.”
Given past oppressive actions by the AFT and Weingarten in Portland.
See ed notes exclusive reports:
Education Notes Online: AFT Hack Attack
I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of similar attempt by AFT goons to subvert the anti Johnson movement. A complete takeover of the union is not inconceivable. These people don't give up power easily.
With Nathan Saunders running for President in Washington DC and CORE challenging in Chicago some trees might be shaking at the AFT convention in Seattle this summer. Some activist groups from around the nation are talking about attending to force the AFT and Weingarten to confront the assault on public schools.
Steve sent this a few days ago:
Please email or call me about what is happening in your city or AFT local!
I will be reporting to our regular weekly citywide teachers' meeting.
We need to communicate and coordinate!!
AFT Local 231P.S. Our latest plan is to run for delegates to this summer's AFT Convention: We must do everything we can to get the convention to turn around the AFT and begin a national fight to defend public education!
Interested in, or planning to be, a delegate to the convention?