Saturday, August 7, 2010

Parsing Inside Unity Info - Part 1- Does Klein Have A Mole in the UFT?

Well, reporters have been calling about some of the Inside Unity stuff appearing in the comments section of this post Is UFT Bronx Leader Vargas Going Rogue? - Updated. We started hearing from Da Moles (there are definitely more than one) while in Seattle and posted the July comments here.

Now some of the stuff seems "out there" but within all there are many grains of truth. We have confirmed that staffers are unhappy with Leroy Barr and Jose Vargas. As to whether Barr and Vargas are at war we have not confirmed. Lurking behind the anonymous info was the hint of racial issues. Is Vargas setting up a Latino/a only operation? Is there resentment on the part of some black Unity people? When in Seattle we had some contact with some black members of Unity who told us they secretly read and supported many ed notes positions and expressed some unhappiness at the way jobs were being given out.

This Mole comment on July 24th was interesting:
FORGET THE CONVENTIONS AND THE PERKS AND THE DO- NOTHING JOBS AT 52 BROADWAY.
RANDI LEFT MULGREW IN CHARGE- THEN KLEIN SENT HIS GUY BRIAN GIBBONS IN TO KEEP MULGREW ON A SHORT LEASH 
Gibbons used to be the spokesman for the principal's union, which doesn't necessarily condemn him to being "Klein's" man. But who knows?

There was more in the July 24th comment of interest:
RANDI HAS GIVEN UP ON UNIONS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND SHE WANTS TO BE A PLAYER IN D.C.
SHE AND MULGREW WILL DO ANYTHING TO WIND UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE- THE RIGHT SIDE BEING GATES, BLOOMBERG, ET. AL., AND BOTH OF THEM COULD EASILY BE AT D.O.E. SO SHE GUTTED THE CONTRACT, LEFT THE RUBBER ROOMERS IN LEGAL LIMBO FOR TEN YEARS AND STARTED PROTECTING HER FRIENDS IN D.O.E AND GREEN DOT AND SHARPTON AND THE OTHER MISCREANTS.
THIS IS ABOUT DESTROYING TEACHERS UNIONS AND DESTROYING PUBLIC EDUCATION AND RANDI AND MULGREW ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.
EVERYTHING ELSE IS A DISTRACTION.
This is pretty on target. I think there is more to it. I don't look at personalities as causal - what Randi/Mulgrew want, etc. There is policy and I see it as more of a direct line of consistency over 30 or more years than just as Randi's wishes. (GEM has set up a UFT/AFT study group to delve deeper into this issue.)

One thing is noticeable. Randi had her finger on every single button and jumped in at the first sign of trouble. Clearly she monitored the blogs for those signs and any rumblings coming out of dissidents in schools. She jumped in early and tried to coopt or even buy people off (see one New Action Caucus).

Mulgrew just doesn't have the chops Randi had to manage all this. Someone called yesterday and said, "Randi jumped ship just in time and left Mulgrew holding the bag." I used to disagree with this analysis since Randi's power base at the AFT was totally dependent on the UFT and behind that Unity Caucus. (I'm going to do a follow-up on why the management of Unity Caucus is of a higher priority than managing the union itself and will compare it to the Chicago situation.)

But maybe the combination of buying off the leading opposition for 20 years and the ineptness of the current opposition in making a dent (and yes, I play a role in that ineptness)  have made Randi so confident of not having to face a Chicago style revolt in NYC for a very long time, if ever. (More on this in follow-ups too.)

Another thing has emerged: One of the moles seems to be trying to redirect suspicion by giving clues to other people. I have some ideas as to who these people may be. Some are lower level school based and others are in 52 Broadway. Are they just people with grudges - didn't get a job, jealousy, etc -  or are there serious cracks showing up?

One of the more intriguing pieces of information is that there are deals between Klein and Mulgrew for UFT people to be placed at Tweed. We'll delve into some historical aspects of the UFT at the old BOE and what might be occurring. Key words: Aminda Gentile and teacher centers.

See part 2: Parsing Inside Unity: Does the UFT Have Backroom Deals for Jobs With BloomKlein?

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Afterburn1

Some of the latest info tells us that Brooklyn/SI high school district rep Charlie Friedman was forced into retirement. Charlie was one of the many Unity crew that enjoyed a cruise to Alaska after the AFT convention - they paid their own way we hear. His replacement is rumored to be closing school Maxwell's chapter leader Jeff Bernstein. At one time I heard Bernstein was going to replace Mulgrew as Vocational HS Veep supposedly Bernstein and Mulgrew are close). Berstein, on the surface a nice guy, used to have me deliver Ed Notes and then throw them away. And when I went in and put them in boxes he and Distr rep Charlie Turner made sure they didn't stay there. They both went after a GEMer at their school who dared to call out during Randi's farewell speech.

Maxwell by the way had 22 people excessed. ATRville here they come.

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Afterburn2

Our ICE pal Julie Woodward's daughter Lisa, who performs under the stage name Lucy Woodward, made a fabulous appearance on the CBS morning show this morning, performing 2 songs from her new jazz album. I've seen her perform as a rock singer a few times but now she is going back to her jazz roots. Her mom is an accomplished music teacher so we know where it comes from.
I put up Lucy's last email newsletter to fans on Norms Notes. From Lucy Woodward
Her web site is: http://www.lucywoodward.com/

I loved this piece:
The Pizza Sessions:
After a recent gig in NYC, I ended up in a pizzeria (naturally) on Bleecker street with my friend, Heather. It was a stormy night, 3 am. Six stoned, english laddies walk in and on the spot, we bonk them over the head with a couple of my songs convincing them to beatbox to 'Babies' and 'He Got Away'. It was a classic New York moment and we got it on videotape here....(viva Flipcam!)...

2 comments:

  1. Jeff Bernstein is the guy that reminds everyone of Harvey Fierstein, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Inside the (REAL) Unity Caucus:

    1-there is a dark horse to replace Friedman, who never met a principal he didn't like. STay tuned.

    2- How mant black Unity members attended the Vargas plastic handcuff protest? None! Barr told them to boycott it.

    3-why on earth would Mulgrew and Barr give an award to Veronica Montgomery Costa except for the fact that she is in control of the School Aides Local and Mulgrew has letters and e-mails from members attesting to the fact that SChool Aides are doing the work of Paras and Secretaries?
    (He is not the only one in the UFT who has those emails).
    So if Costa's members are being used to violate the UFT contract and Mulgreww and Big Bad Leroy Brown Barr do nothing about it, what does it say ABOUT HOW complicit they are in screwing the members? Google Costa and put her low-life moves on this page, together with her photos with Mulgrew when the UFT "honored" her.
    Let the readers decide how low Mulgrew has sunk.

    ReplyDelete

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