Julie and Brian brought the social justice component of MORE, Camille the trade unionism and Michael synthesized them both.... comment after NYCORE/MORE event.NYCORE is an important component of MORE. A group of mostly young teachers, many of whom do not feel connected to the UFT, this Feb. 22 event was a first official meeting of NYCORE and the top MORE candidates which consist of the long active ICE people like the Eternos and Fiorillo and the newer union activists like Cavanagh and Jones (though not new - he was part of TJC - Brian has taken on a much larger role in union politics).
It has not been a secret that there has been a sort of yin/yang inside MORE between the trade unionism of older ICEers and the social justice aspect of the newer generation of teachers. Julie comes out of GEM, a sort of offshoot of ICE, so she stands somewhere in the middle. (And yesterday at Murry Bergtraum, she really nailed the synthesis -- video this weekend).
In the early days someone said if we could manage to put these 2 ideas together and attract people from both angles we are on to something. I have to say, this has not been an easy process at times - as someone with a foot in each point of view -- and let me declare right here that even within ICE I was more in the social justice camp -- but things have moved forward internally as people who did not know each other begin to work together.
Thus, this event sponsored by NYCORE led by key NYCORE union activists who have done so much within NYCORE to create more of a balance between pedagogy and union was an important bridge building opportunity. As I've said, trying to build a new caucus out of different cultures is not easy under any circumstances but extremely difficult in the midst of an election campaign. Which was why I was opposed to running a year ago. I was wrong.
In fact, as people pointed out -- and I was skeptical -- the election will be used to build the caucus as the highest priority over just trolling for votes and then going away for 3 years. That is the biggest threat to Unity - -- not this election -- but what MORE does over the next 2 years.
I have been involved on the edge of NYCORE for a decade, the only ICE person who worked with them and found many misconceptions about NYCORE inside ICE and some initial reluctance given a view that there was not a sense of trade union consciousness and possibly a touch of ed deform "bad teaching is the problem". That has not turned out to be true and this event served to bridge some of that gap as the ICE crew saw that these young teachers are just as interested in tenure, protecting their rights, etc but without a union to back them up are not sure how to go about it.
I got there too late to catch Julie's statement but got the others and all of their responses to questions. Camille doesn't get out to as many events due to childcare and a very busy schedule so it was an absolute pleasure to hear her and enlightening for many of the audience.
Videos will play best and in larger format at you tube but I cut down the size for faster loading and included them here as a convenience.
MORE Candidates at NYCORE: Camille Eterno, UFT Treasurer
Julie Cavanagh and Camille Eterno response during Q and A.
Jones and Fiorillo Respond on Q and A