Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Breaking: UFT Doesn't Announce Election Committee, Indicating Postponement

Coming evaluation deal and loss of mid-winter break days may be factor in delay.
Monday, Jan. 7

Tonight's UFT Executive Board meeting was pretty much drop-dead date for the UFT elections to take place within the rough time-frame that they have been run in the past: process begins in early January, petitions due in mid-February, ballots go out in March with vote count around April 1 (a very appropriate day for anything related to Unity Caucus).

The UFT constitution says elections must take place sometime in the spring, which ends around June 20, I guess. Is the Unity caucus leadership thinking they would fare better with ballots going out in May or June when the lost Feb. vacation days would become a memory and whatever eval deal they make would have been spun any which way the leadership wants?

Before anything can take place, an election committee must be formed, usually with people from the opposition on the committee, and ratified by the Executive Board.  I was told by a high UFT official a few ago that someone from MORE would be included. This committee sets all the rules and parameters for the election. Usually, the committee is formed in November or December and takes a few weeks to formulate things.

So at tonight's Ex Bd meeting there was some expectation that if we were to meet the timetable, the committee would have to be announced tonight. The next EB meeting is on Jan. 22, the day before the DA, so even if announced that day, we would have to wait for it to report back to the EB meeting after that, which would be Feb. 4 and with mid-winter break, even then the election would be delayed. Even New Action, which will endorse Mulgrew in exchange for Exec Bd seats, were in the dark.

Some of us have been trying to figure out what advantage might accrue to the leadership to postpone by 2 or 3 months and that is not clear. Could it just be delays due to other stuff going on? Sandy? Too busy with Bloomberg to deal with the election?

Conspiracy theorists like me don't buy that. Within the opposition there are those who think Mulgrew will resist on the eval issue and others who feel he will cave, which the UFT has had a history of doing. Maybe they are waiting to see how whatever deal they work out plays out amongst the membership.

Then there is the link to a possible contract and the charges by the DOE the UFT was looking for money in exchange for the eval deal, which wouldn't surprise me given that they could sell any eval deal to the members for bucks and in an election the money always helps the people in power. Maybe the delay is about their hope they can stare down Bloomberg and convince him to toss enough bucks on the table to allow Mulgrew to sell the deal. Maybe just point their assault weapons at Bloomberg with their new pals at the NRA.

Now here was an interesting tidbit at Gotham today. Remember when MORE brought a reso to the Dec. DA calling for a membership vote on any deal, pointing out a change in how teachers are evaluated is a change in the contract and the constitution says members must vote on contract changes. Leroy Barr argued the case that only the Unity dominated DA should vote (be men and stand up for your right to keep the vote in the DA, you lilly livererd spineless geeks). Then Leroy closed by saying contracts are one of the only things that must go to the members. Huh? Can Leroy contradict himself any more in a 5 minute speech?

So read this point by Mulgrew today:
In a sober-toned response to the city on Thursday, Mr. Mulgrew called the allegations a “serious misunderstanding” of the union’s position and the law; he argued that the teachers’ contract, by law, must address the evaluation system, so it was fair to tie the two together.
Oops, Mulgrew better tell Leroy Barr that the eval system is tied to the contract. Can MORE get a do-over at the Jan. 23 DA?

NEXT: Check ICE blog and NYC Educator for another outrageous UFT view of "democracy".

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