Friday, August 13, 2010

Mulgrew Does the Purge: The Jim Callaghan Firing at the UFT

UFT calls cops on 13 year reporter Callaghan. Claim he was fired for attempting to unionize NY Teacher. It goes even deeper than that. (Read Rachel Monahan's report below my comments.)

There's going to be lots of mud flung around over Callaghan's firing. If you are amongst the few people who read the NY Teacher, you may have noticed that Jim was the only real investigative reporter. He was the guy who exposed principals from hell. I have lots of background information that I won't go into all in one post.

In Rachel Monahan's Daily News piece today (see below) we learn the UFT actually called the cops to have Callaghan removed. Reminds me of the principal at my former school who had a parent call the cops to arrest a teacher over nothing – but why would be expect the goons at the UFT to behave any differently?

Insiders have been telling me for years that calls on the NY Teacher to expose the actions of principals or to go after BloomKlein in a serious way have been rebuffed by the union leadership and that Callaghan was one of the more vocal voices calling for more exposure.

Callaghan was a member of the 3 person so-called UFT SWAT team created by Randi to go into rubber rooms along with Betsy Combier and NY Teacher reporter Ron Isaac who used to be the notorious Red Hog blogger who defended the 2005 contract in exchange for a job. Isaac had run with ICE for middle school Executive Board in the 2004 elections but sold out for filthy lucre.

Unfortunately, I've never been able to get confirmation from Callaghan because he has refused to talk to me for many years. I was never clear why because other NY Teacher staffers have been very friendly but I suspect it was because of ICE attacks on the SWAT team as being a joke. Reports from rubber room people as to the effectiveness of these 3 were mixed.

When inside Unity moles began to post while we were in Seattle (and I tracked many of these IP addresses as coming from Seattle - so it was truly insiders) there was one post that struck me as odd. It was so full of praise for Callaghan, it was as if he had written it himself. A Unity slug then followed up by actually charging that JC wrote it. So I was immediately suspicious that someone was trying to put a hit on Callaghan.

At the same time Betsy Combier was fired from the UFT. That she has been silent is unusual and there are reports that she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement when she got the job at the UFT.

There is some deep background stuff I have access to about Betsy's hiring and firing that might relate to Callaghan's firing but I am holding off until I nail it all down. I have heard that one person in particular at the NY Teacher has been after Callaghan's job for a long time and is a prime suspect. I know this individual and am not surprised at all.

Now insiders have been coming out with anonymous comments and with other inside information. I can't confirm it all but as usual will throw it all out there.

Here are some of the comments from last night's posting announcing the firing, where someone claiming to be a NY Teacher staffer attacks Callaghan followed by another staffer defending him. Since there are not that many staffers it shouldn't be hard to sort things out.

Here are a few comments:
"Why aren't the writers unionized? It goes back to Shanker. Norm, do you remember why? The Shanker bio went into it but I forgot what it said."
Shanker got a ruling that higher level staffers are classified in a way that exempts them from being unionized. I got into this because in Chicago, CORE, the new guys in charge of the union, are left with legacy staffers from the old party in power because they are in a union. I heard thst UFT district reps at one time were lobbying for a union but Shanker sent in the spies and they killed it.

Here is another:
JC was a very good investigator and writer. If he was fired it has to be due to internal politics at the UFT. Just as Ron Davis was demoted for no apparent reason Jim was let go as Mulgrew is purging the UFT of anyone he suspects who will not be beholding to him. Watch the new rep's and staffers who are hired. Mulgrew is a thug, Jim's quotes in the news article are true. Someone should let the cat out of the bag regarding Dave Hickey the former PBA staffer who has a big say at the UFT. Investigate how he was fired from the PBA for kickbacks regarding health benefits and how he is now lining the pockets of Mulgrew and Barr. Maybe Jim should write about that.
The Dave Hickey story has legs and I got it directly in a phone call from a Unity insider just a few weeks ago. Any good investigative reporter should be able to uncover how Hickey was escorted out of the PBA and Randi was practically at the door to meet and hire him. If one checks the LM-2 reports they will find that Hickey makes over $200,000 a year - check that out because I am too backed up to do it now.

Some paper in NYC should get smart and hire Jim Callaghan immediately as an investigative reporter covering the DOE and UFT. (Callaghan by the way, broke the story about abusive principal Leo McCaskill at Brooklyn Tech, among many others.)

Now here is one full of fun stuff:

I work at the UFT and Jim talked to me and others about joining a union and he showed me the letter from his lawyer to Mulgrew saying he was starting a union for those of us who are have no rights-in a union! Several of my colleagues were afraid to join because they were worried that Mulgrew would fire them-for joining a union at a union! How prescient were they? 

The previous post is typical Mulgrew/Hickey COINTELPRO Nixon dirty tricks, which Mulgrew is famous for. 

Ron Davis, a pro among pros, is black. Natalie Bell, a talented, well-liked black writer was fired by Deidre McFadyen with made-up stories and told to get out of the building in a half-hour. They wouldnt even let her take her stuff.

Get people to leak you the McFadyen memos to her staff about time and attendance---- worse than any principal in the system. She is a tyrant and a liar and a nasty back- stabber and has given another full-time reporter no work to do for the past year- This is dues money down the drain! And Mulgrew let's her do it.

Jim's firing- with no due process and cops, is exactly why writers here need a union. Yesterday, the lawyers Adam Ross and Carol Gerstl (Joe Bruno's "very close" pal) told the NY Teacher staff that we are not allowed to talk about Jim! Even if he dies? 

Everyhing else from the Mulgrew schemers and scammers are lies, like they lied about Ron Davis ONE YEAR after Randi made him press secretary after he worked for her and Feldman for 18 years without one blemish. Everyone loves the guy -except and Mulgrew who hated Davis for no apparent reason. 

I and the others at the paper as well as the hundreds of people Jim has helped over the years- on his own time and not for the paper-will testify at the NLRB, the EEOC and in Jim's lawsuit. Deidre hates "seniors" because they are independent and talk back to her. She always has to be right. 

Post her salary if you have the LM 2 forms.

I hope Jim writes about all the financial sleaze going on here. It will be a Pulitzer Prize. D.R.'s staying home all day, faking time sheets with their principals (It's called stealing publlic monies), the booze in people's offices, the lies Mulgrew and his flunkies tell members. Jim will be busy for years exposing these rackets.

P.S. How do you steal from cops? 

Jim also told me he has videos of Randi calling him one of the best historians in New York and her ace investigative reporter. She also told 40 ALJ's -who he helped organize-"the consiciense of the union."

Jim's firing- and the low life way Mulgrew handled it-is so filled with irony because Jim is the champion of the underdog and Mulgrew is the protector of lousy principals. 

Read BRill in the Times a few months ago when Mulgrew admitted he doesnt think his "at will" staff should be in a union!

Find out how much money -tens of thousands- Randi and Mulgrew cost the union in overtime for non-UFT printers because they cant make the deadlines!

Here's a fun one:
she[mcfayden] ... has given another full-time reporter no work to do for the past year-

Who could this be? Has anyone seen one word written by Ron Isaac recently? Maybe as anonymous postings on blogs, but certainly not in the paper he is getting paid to "write" for.

Ironically, Jim Callaghan's last piece is published in the NY Teacher I received yesterday has a photo of the teachers at PS 193 doing their dance in front of the school. I shot that video and there is a link in the story to you tube but not directly to the video itself. Here is the link the NY Teacher conveniently left out:

Here is Rachel Monahan's story in the Daily News. 

Writer Jim Callaghan says UFT booted him for trying to unionize his colleagues

Friday, August 13th 2010, 4:00 AM
Description: Jim Callahan (above) says he was fired from the United Federation of Teachers for trying to unionize his writer colleagues  .
Mecea for News
Jim Callahan (above) says he was fired from the United Federation of Teachers for trying to unionize his writer colleagues.
The city's powerful teachers union fired a staffer Thursday for trying to organize his colleagues, the spurned worker said.
Longtime staffer Jim Callaghan, 63, who wrote speeches for UFT presidents and articles for the New York Teacher newspaper, was booted from headquarters Thursday afternoon.
And he's convinced his firing stems from his efforts to unionize fellow writers working for the union.
"[Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew]'s the most hypocritical person in the school system right now," Callaghan said. "He doesn't want us to have the same rights as teachers."
Union officials strenuously denied the firing was related to any unionization drive, saying Callaghan's dismissal was related to "serious behavior issues."
Callaghan isn't buying it, though, and intends to take his case to the National Labor Relations Board, as well as filing an age-discrimination suit, he said.
The UFT veteran, who said he'd been with the organization for 13 years, was fired at 1p.m. and told to get out, he said. After cops were called, he was later allowed to pack up his things, he said.
The NYPD confirmed that officers were called to the union's headquarters at 52Broadway at 1:03 p.m. to resolve a dispute. No one was arrested.
Callaghan gave the Daily News a copy of a June 7 letter from his lawyer to Mulgrew, which said Callaghan feared retaliation for his work encouraging fellow writers to join a union.
UFT spokesman Peter Kadushin rejected Callaghan's claims that organizing led to the firing.
"We responded to Mr. Callaghan's attorney citing Mr. Callaghan's failure to live up to professional standards in his office behavior," Kadushin said.
Kadushin also noted that "the overwhelming majority of people who work at the UFT are represented by unions, including Local 153 OPEIU, SEIU Local 32BJ, Local 94 Building Engineers and Local 1L Amalgamated Lithographers."
Callaghan called his ousting particularly hypocritical since Mulgrew recently blasted the firing of teachers who had been organizing at Merrick Academy Charter School in Queens.


Philip Nobile said...

Jim Callaghan is one of the really good guys. All he wanted to do was write the whole truth in NEW YORK TEACHER. But Randi and Mulgrew censored him repeatedly to protect their private deals. Now that Jim is fired, expect more revelations of sleaze at the top of the UFT and more swiftboating from Mulgrew's P.R. walker Peter Kadushin.

ed notes online said...

Does anyone know Kadushin's godfather at the UFT? Someone left a comment he was a relative of someone.
I remember how nervous he was when I did that ATR sellout rally video.

Anonymous said...

Check out the daily news article about Callaghans firing,and look at the comments posted. Lynne Winnderbaum former Bronx H.S. Dist Rep says a mouthful and shows what a real unionist thinks and believes in.

ed notes online said...

Here is Winderbaum's comment. She is the former Bronx HS district rep and UFT HS exec bd member. Jim can have no bigger testimonial than this from someone who was inside the UFT and Unity:

Jim Callaghan's oft-repeated belief that "An assault on one of us is an assault on all of us" should be the simple guiding principle for all union officials who are in any position to fight against the worst abuses of our members. Writers' talents are not tied to their jobs. They never stop writing. I know Jim's passion for justice will not be silenced. I wish him well.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

I personally can't wait for Jim Callaghan's book on the NYC DOE and the UFT to come out.

Anonymous said...

Unity people posting here have been willing to sell out UFT members for years, particularly in 2005 when UFT gave away many of our rights. How many of the current Mulgrew critics were telling us how becoming ATRs was good back then?

You kind of remind me of informers turning on the mob. Better late than never but how many teachers have been hurt in the process while you count your money and double pensions in your union jobs while keeping your mouths shut for years as teachers were getting screwed and you sold us the Unity party line happy talk?

We are glad you have finally seen the light but what took you so long?

Some of you have a lot to answer for.

Anonymous said...

Ron Davis hired Kadushian.
Davis is the 5th black writer who didnt "work out" at the UFT-the other four were fired; one of them, fired by McFAdyen whose husband Hector Figuerora is a honcho at Local 32BJ just settled her racial discrimination suit against the UFT, another got $150,000 after suing Artie Pepper and the Welfare Fund. THe other two were thrown off the ledge. How weird is that?
Davis was demoted by Mulgrew because his day ended at 6 pm?
When is it suppposed to end?
The hours are 10 to 6.
Check the outside of 52 Broadway and see alll the $175,000 and up UFter's who leave at 6.
Great video Norm!
The Davis attack is yet another Mulgrew smear tactic against someone who has served the union brilliantly for almost 20 years.
We all know how hard he worked before 10 and after 6 and on weekends.
So Mulgrew is smearing the co-director of his Communications Department on a blog? He is one pathetic character.
Does anyone notice a pattern here? Mulgrew acting the same way principals behave when they want to fire someone-just throw out the lies and see what sticks.
That is why many of the rubber room cases are being settled with teachers paying fines to go back to work- these "horrible" teachers who Klein wanted stripped of their teaching license and fired. Klein and his ambulance chasers at DOE never had any proof that would hold up before an arbitrator.
WHy wont Mulgrew put that story in the union paper?

-Ted Maritas.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew couldn't care less about teachers. Everyone knows that. However, watching all of these Unity people throw mud at each other is kind of like watching the Iran-Iraq War. Not much too pull for.

Anonymous said...

That should read: Not much to pull for. Can you fix it Norm?

Anonymous said...

Michael Mulgrew has a history of playing the thug/enforcer role. That is why Randi made him COO before anointing him the King. Who else was qualified? Only a few people because Unity/UFT is a caucus that is really run by only a few people. These insiders have certain "chops" in terms of understanding the larger day to day operations of running the union, but when push comes to shove they are the UFT's "Achilles Heel." This business/company mentality is antithetical to building a strong, vibrant, visionary teachers' union. So who else was qualified? Mendel? Casey? Gentile? Not one of them had the right face/persona/front to pull off the "new, tough, young union stance." Of course, it's all bullshit. For them, Mulgrew was the right face with the right personality (excessive hubris) which of course is all wrong. If the leadership were smart, they would be more inclusive and less exclusive so that a person with a better combination of intelligence, knowledge, vision, courage, honesty and pragmatism could rise to the surface to lead the union. Our loss. The coming weeks and months will prove costly for the leadership and the membership as we continue to fight against the dictates of very powerful men (Wall Street, Gates, Broad and others, Obama, Duncan, Bloomberg and Klein) without ever calling them out about their real agenda and mounting an offensive and an alternative that could unite teachers, parents and students. It will prove costly because we will also have to contend with the new circus, "Jersey Shore" reality tv show the union has become in light of the Callaghan firing. Thanks Michael. What are you going to do when stories from Grady H.S. and 52 Broadway make a splash across the pages of the Post and News?

Anonymous said...

How dumb are Mulgrew and his Legal Aid lawyers Adam Ross and Carol Gerstl, who Weingarten fired as her General Counsel and kicked her ass up to Albany to hold Joe Bruno's "hand."
Mulgrew and Ross and Gerstl had Dick Riley and Peter Kadushian leak part of Callaghan's personnel file to the Post today- a move that will cost us dearly when Callaghan files his lawsuit.
The word around the Caucus is that Mulgrew said he didnt care what it was going to cost the members- he wanted Callaghan destroyed so he will never work again.
Doesnt that sound like Don Corleone?
Even a first year law student would have told Ross (Zahler's nephew) and Gerstl you just can't do that-Riley and Kadushian have apparently put themselves at a major legal risk but of course we will have to pay the settlement probably with a dues increase.
Riley knows the story about Callaghan being suspended for two days was only after he filed a harassment complaint when Michael Musle Man Hirsch went ballistic on Callaghan at a NY Teacher staff meeting in December, telling him he was going to kick his ass.
By leaking the files, especially by withholding the whole story, they will surely be sued for slander by Callaghan.

UFT policy- we can get a copy for you Norm- is that you can't be retaliated against for filing a harassment complaint- you know, just like in the schools.
Why is Mulgrew doing this?
Does he realy have a college diploma or did he get his G.E.D. at a diploma mill?
Those of us who saw the letters from Engler stating that there was "an incident" at the meeting and promising an investigation know that Mulgrew is as low as you can get in the sludge pile but now he is going to cost us big time.
And Riley will keep spinning the myth that we are at war with the charter billionaires who want to wipe out our union with Bloomberg's help.
So, let's see: Callaghan gets suspended for two days without a hearing and Hirsch the working class Marxist is allowed to waddle around the halls, stealing story ideas from others and getting paid a handsome sum for lying to us in every issue of our newspaper- and I use the term lightly.
Some theories in the Caucus are that Weingarten chose this bonehead Mulgrew so he would fail miserably - which he already has -so she can come back to the rescue.
And we still dont have a contract although we were told in October when we went into the tank for Bloomberg that the "fix" was in for two four percent raises.
What fix?
Sounds like Mulgrew wins the Jake LaMotta award for union "leaders."
Mulgrew is never tough unless- like Rudy- he has bottom feeders to do his dirty work.
He is a disgrace to our union. That was a perfect photo of him in the Post today- holding a roller with whitewash. Could our enemies have staged a better photo-op?
He looks like Curley from the Three Stooges, which is what most of us call Engler, Barr and Hickey.
There is a lot of unnacounted for cash floating around 52 Broadway and we have no doubt that Callaghan will find it.
Why do Mulgrew's top aides have bars stacked with top-shelf booze in their offices? Whose troubles are they trying to wash away? Are we paying for this too?

-Charlie Cogen

Anonymous said...

Which Marxist will come to the rescue?

Mike Hirsch, UFT staff writer and member of "Democratic Socialists of America"?

Leo Casey, Vice President of the UFT and member of "Democratic Socialists of America"?

Micah Landau, UFT staff writer and member of "Solidarity"?

"An injury to one is an injury to all"

Ira said...

Brother Al and Sister Sandy are spinning in their graves tonight at what they have wrought - civil war is at hand and its one gang of slimebuckets against another gang of cheaters and liars and opportunistic leeches. This of course is a natural end result of building a caucus based on blind allegiance and paid for in perks to enforce silence. As for Mike Hirsch he is has been their lackey for years - calling him a marxist is a joke. Is any of this coming from another slime bucket Ron Isaacs - the guy who prostituted himself to get a few shekels and turn on the opposition? He should be chiming in soon of course undercover. Be careful about beknighting Callahan because I think he's got lots of his own skeletons in the closet and lets face it he has been doing their bidding for years. When are we going to hear from the great and mighty opposition caucus NAC about all of this.I love that not one person identifies themselves - guess they don't want to lose any perks or convention trips -- or maybe the thought of kissing ass for the next two years just to get a free week in Detroit and not too many patronage jobs on the horizon has the loyalists just a tad bit more willing to open up maybe even willing to take a leap off a sinking gravy train. So when will we see Randi come in to play the role of mediator or better yet hatchet woman?

proofoflife said...

Norm, I noticed that they gave you no credit for the dancing teacher video! They only like your ideas when they can steal them!

ed notes online said...

Not my idea PoL. It came from the school. The UFT covered it but did not put the correct you tube link to the video - hey it appeared on ednotes and GEM you tube channels. We don't want people to get contaminated.

Anonymous said...

It wasnt posted corectly because the chapter leader ran against Unity.

McFadyen uses dues money to punish teachers and students because a chapter leader doesnt walk in lock step with Mulgrew's gestapo.

george foreman past his prime said...

Everyone in the union knows that Hirsch, who fights under the name "Haystack Calhoun," is a pet of McFadyen- she even gave him special hours IN WRITING so he doesnt start "work" until 11. He whines about getting up early (7 AM) to go to schools -where the members who pay him $100K a year are already working, cries about working weekends and basically is a rewrite man for all the bilge that spills out of Mulgrew's office every half hour.
McFadyen used him as a fat thug to threaten Callaghan at a staff meeting.
Hirsch the Whiner said he would kick Callaghan's ass if he didnt stop complaining about the bosses at the paper who were killing stories.

Hirsch had already stolen a story from Callaghan about the Citizens Budget Commission; Hirsch has a history of being a company fink; when Weingarten tried to rewrite the Shanker book review that Callaghan and Hirsch were writing, Hirsch went and cut a secret deal with Weingarten, who then praised him in an email for being a "good boy."
Those people starting a writer's union at the UFT wouldnt trust Hirsch for five seconds.
He loves to yak about Stalin and Trotsky and the rights of the workers, but he is just a paid stoolie and no one on the staff likes him or trusts him; McFadyen gave him an easy gig and he is milking it for everything it is worth at the expense of the members.
By the way, after his outburst at Callaghan, calling him a fuck at an editor's meeting and saying he would not work with him on the Citizens Budget story (Callaghan's idea) he was allowed to keep working and rewarded by McFadyen, who every staff member hates.
Callaghan was suspended two days pay for baiting Hirsch while Hirsch received no punishment!
That is how our union works- just like DOE.
Hirsch, more than anyone, is responsible for the anti-union atmsophere that Mulgrew and McFadyen have created at the N.Y. Teacher.
That is why we need a union-to protect us from fake unionists like Hirsch, Mulgrew and Mc Fadyen.