Wednesday, January 23, 2013

UFT Elections: The Game is ON

I guess the UFT leadership feels they have a good election window given the breakdown of negotiations and Mulgrew coming out of it looking enhanced with Bloomberg clearly being proven as a liar.

So finally, at last night's UFT Executive Board meeting, an election committee was formed and expected to report back to the Feb. 4 EB meeting where the recommendations for ground rules will be voted on. That will probably kick off the petitioning campaign beginning at the Feb. 6 Delegate Assembly, usually a 6 week process, followed by a few weeks of campaigning, followed by roughly 3-4 weeks of balloting -- they are sent to the homes and returned by mail. So by my estimate, we are about 3 weeks behind previous elections, so expect April balloting with a count in the neighborhood of May 1. Just my guess.

MORE and New Action each get a rep on the election committee along with about 20 Unity people. Amy Arundel will head the committee. Thank goodness Ellen Fox relieved me of this task. I'll keep you posted on how this breaks out given the expansion of the Exec Bd.

Consider the spring break coming in the middle of balloting (if I am right about the time table) as a negative for MORE given that they will have free access to all school mailboxes during the election and will lose a week of campaigning. Unity will have its chapter leaders and District reps where they have no chapter leader stuff every mail box in the city with slick Unity lit a few times while New Action will send out its mostly retiree crew to do the same. While I used to do a lot of this too, I am mostly taking a pass this time  -- I will probably be doing my hair.

Though I am not always a fan of the traditional opposition tactic of spending the election running around from school to school stuffing mailboxes with lit, it is pretty much what will happen once again. My experience in the past was that we didn't get enough results out of this tactic but maybe times are different.

And as I am fond of saying, the Einstein definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But what do I know? I'll leave it to the next gen MOREs to figure this crap out and learn for the future.

One other thing each caucus gets is a 2-page spread in the NY Teacher for two successive issues. Since few people bother to even read the NY Teacher (me included) the opposition gets few results from that too. But lots of anxt-time spent worrying about it. Again, I'll take a pass.

The only thing that works is having someone on the ground in as many schools as possible --- and I don't mean a passive person, but a reasonably active MORE supporter who is aware of the issues and able to articulate a response to the Unity line of malfeasance.

It mostly takes a ballot return ground game since 75% of the working teachers don't vote --- many just toss the confusing ballot. So if you are unhappy with Unity MORE would need people in the schools to remind people to send back the ballot, hopefully with the MORE slate checked off. Not just remind people -- but even set up a "voting day" where everyone who didn't vote brings in their ballots and all get mailed out together.

If people actually voted --- say double the vote -- Unity would feel heat and in fact could lose some Executive Board seats which they desperately want to avoid, preferring to hand 8 seats over to their pals in New Action.

And another thing people in the schools can do is explain exactly who New Action is and what they are doing in this election --- the bidding of Unity to split the opposition vote -- and do not forget many of the New Action people are on the UFT payroll -- sort of reminds me of Bill Thompson's wife who had her museum receiving Bloomberg money while her husband was running against him. Thompson ran the worst campaign in history.

No wonder New Action made such a big deal about supporting Thompson last time and maybe they will again this time since Thompson seems to have a lot of money coming in from -- hmmm, think Bloomberg is abandoning  Quinn and supporting Lhota but pumping up Thompson, who will run another awful campaign again?

Coming UFT slogan: Only 12 more years of Lhota.


Anonymous said...

I can guarantee that every teacher in my small school will be voting MORE. (I was able to get the majority of teachers at my school to sign the MORE petition regarding a rank and file evaluation resolution vote last month) Your blog is correct in that it only takes one motivated teacher in each school to rally the troops to get the word out to vote against the Unity machine and make a vote that actually counts for something. MORE will get a good representation this election!

NYCDOEnuts said...

Same here.
Voting day is a great idea. Any others (whenever you're done with your hair, that is)?