I don’t know if you personally feel the full impact of our Union’s malfeasance at your school ... Jeff Kaufman to fellow chapter leaderOur Tele Nova saga continues.
Part 1: Jeff Kaufman to UFT on Day of Action: You guys are kidding, right?
Were you around when we lost seniority; when our grievance procedure was decimated; when we did nothing to stop closing schools or fight the insipid rip off of public education by allowing the anti-union Charter movement to take a strong hold in New York?
Were you around when we stopped electing district reps or when we were no longer consulted about dues increases or the levels of salary and benefits (including double dipped pensions) our leaders receive? Were you around when our leaders supported anti-education politicians including Pataki and Bloomberg, yes, Bloomberg?
Were you around when our contract negotiators, with a few conceded changes created an army of ATRs who were told not to complain since they were being paid as they are constantly abused in schools and have received U ratings at much greater rates than any other group?
Were you around when our leaders lied to us about how school budgets would reflect the costs of staff salaries so that experienced teachers would be routinely discriminated against?
Were you around when our leaders allowed hundreds of teachers accused of a variety of improper conduct or incompetence to be left to be totally unrepresented in kangaroo U rating appeal hearings and improperly investigated termination hearings?
-------, I don’t know if you personally feel the full impact of our Union’s malfeasance at [your school] and honestly I hope you never do. But most of the membership, the dues paying and hardworking members of our profession work in schools where we have lost our voice and have become the focus of the blame for the downfall of public education and look to our leaders for some help and direction only to be disappointed, contract after contract.
As our Brothers and Sister did in Chicago it’s time for our leaders to go back to school. We will take back the UFT for our members. I hope you choose the right side.
Aspirations High School
Here is the email Jeff is responding to -- and I love this line which I have been hearing for 42 years: When this education deform era wanes [INSERT CRISIS OF THE MOMENT] (and it will), we can debate the value of our spirited points of view again.
This guy is probably too new to get that the Unity leadership has never allowed debating the value of any points of view other than their own and if you do you get charged with being anti-union and a traitor, sort of where this guy is touching on.
RE: Day of action flyer
It is at this point that I feel that I have to stand up for the people in our organization that lead us, that help us, that advise us, that support us and that have been leading the fight side by side with us. I stand by the people that work side by side with us in our every day fight for what is right for our members, our students, our schools and for public education as we know it should be.
While I believe that we must struggle to achieve our ideals I feel that "perfect must not be the enemy of good". We must do the best we can for the teachers we work for, and the students we teach.
We are involved in a monumental struggle against a Mayor that seeks to dismantle our school sytem and our Union. Yet we are sitting at our computers engaged in a debate over the meaningfulness of flyers! Really. Is that what we are about? A flyer is just another tool of the many that we have that help us to lead our chapters. If people feel that complaining about a call to action is more important than actually taking action; I cannot agree to that.
That the Department of Education has become a dysfunctional bureaucracy is clear to every teacher in New York City. The fact that the networks are incompetent is also painfully clear. The fact that Leadership Academy principals, and their supporters in Tweed have mismanaged our school system, damaged our students, and have wounded our beloved communities by destroying our schools is painfully clear to every single New Yorker. He and his chancellors want to destroy our profession, and sowing division among us is a powerful tool.
I am UFT and proud. I go to marches, meetings, and when the opportunity presents itself I try to lead. I will not be a whiner. I will not fault people who work themselves to the bone to do what's right. I will put my money where my mouth is. Given the opportunity I will respond to a call to action.
This is the eleventh hour. It is at this time where we must march side by side. We must put on our union shirts, and put away our grudges. We are a UNION, not a division. We will rise and fall based on how strong we are when we stand together. Nothing less than the fate of our schools hang in the balance. When this education deform era wanes (and it will), we can debate the value of our spirited points of view again.
But right now let's stand together for the good of our profession, and do what is right and good for our schools. After all, we are a Union of Professionals.