Friday, February 1, 2013

Unity Hacks Deny Rights, Leading to Questions for MORE on Distribution

I was just told by my Unity chapter leader I cannot put "political propaganda" in teachers mailboxes because it violates chancellors regs. Said the District rep told her.  Can you please clarify when and where we can distribute flyers? ---MORE member
This is at least the 3rd case so far where a MORE member was told they cannot put materials in the mail boxes by a Unity person and the elections haven't even begun. Now, many of our MORE people are not experienced in these matters and we are either dealing with ignorance or an underhanded behind the scenes campaign by Unity. UFT leaders will publicly say that we have the right but maybe they are winking at their hacks to do their thing.

One thing we know absolutely: UFT District Reps will put Unity election materials in every box of schools where there are MORE chapter leaders, a misuse of union employees and union dues.

An experienced MORE person replied
Your DR is wrong or lying. All members have equal access to the mailboxes during non-election times. A Principal cannot have one policy toward one caucus and another policy toward another. That was the essence of the Baizerman arbitration ruling. During election periods -- the 2013 period begins next Wednesday -- ChancellorsRegs explicitly permit all UFT members to give out election lit in ANY school. Neither your CL nor your DR have any say over what can go into the mailboxes. They do not set or enforce DoE policies. You don't need to ask their permission.
We've been getting questions about the right to hand out MORE literature in teacher mail boxes both during election periods (Feb. 6- April 24) and non-election times. So let's try and clarify.

During election periods, the Baizerman decision allows any UFT member to go into ANY school -- even not  their own -- and place materials in the mail boxes. Now this is not always a slam dunk as most principals, secretaries, etc. are not made aware. So if there is a problem a phone call has to be made to someone at the UFT (I hear Amy Arundel is in charge of getting these calls) who then calls the DOE and the school gets a message. Since that can take time it is best to do leave and go on to another place and come back another time. Sometimes I call the school first to let them know I am coming.

During election and non-election periods a teacher has the right to put union-related materials in the boxes at all times. Not to say that if you have a Unity slug of a chapter leader they won't try to interfere by claiming only chapter leaders have the right. Sometimes even non-Unity CLs are resentful of someone infringing on their "turf" so that is something to watch out for.

You also may meet resistance from certain types of principals. Sometimes they demand the right to approve materials. They don't have that right. I don't recommend getting into a big fight with a principal on this issue without thinking it through and going back channels or even just saying you are willing to show it to them in advance as a "courtesy." A lot depends on relationships here, especially with secretaries.

Here was an email with some specific questions which I tried to answer.
Been following you as well as other bloggers for a long time. I teach at ---- High School where I would say the overwhelming majority of teachers have very little knowledge to what is happening with the new evaluation or any other aspect of ed deform. I would be interested in distributing any literature about MORE personally to as many teachers as possible in my school.
1. How can I obtain the literature to hand out?  Will it be sent to my school and placed in my mailbox or can it be sent to my home address?

We will send by mail or drop off a package for you. Or send to home address. Whatever you prefer.

2.  Will this cause a conflict with my CL or do I even need to inform him that I am doing this?
If your chapter leader is heavy duty Unity it may cause conflict. But that depends on what kind of person he is and your relationship. You don't have to inform him but it makes sense to do so.

3.  Can MORE literature be placed in teacher mailboxes?
So any teacher in a school can place materials in mailboxes -- we take the position that it can be done all the time -- but during the election period definitely not only in your own school but  MORE people are allowed to go into any school before and after. Only do it before or after school, not during working hours.

4.  I have not signed on to MORE - can I still distribute literature on their behalf?
No need to sign on to MORE. Even if you decided not to vote for MORE you would at the very least be giving people both sides. Unity will bombard the mailboxes with slick materials.
What we would also love you to do is advocated for MORE to people --and you can even invite some of us into speak -- Brian Jones and I are available during the day.

And when the ballots are sent out at the beginning of April and are send to their homes to remind them to look for them and to make sure people in your school mail them in -- preferably by checking the MORE box on the top sheet of the ballot.


  1. Norm-: Can you post the Baizerman decision and also the Board of Ed memo that allows us access to the mailboxes? This battle was fought and won decades ago and has been decided all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

    1. Kit is working on getting the Baizerman decision materials together.

  2. This is the sound of the end for the concessionaires and their unionized gravy train. Look at them kicking and screaming.

  3. Why the namecalling (hack,slug)? Did you ever think that maybe the way you pigeonhole all members of a group that not only does it turn them off it turns off others to your arguments and POV as well? Not everyone who disagrees with you guys or is a Unity member engages in the kind of dirty tricks behavior you describe (and fail to substantiate)- if this is going on it says more about the individual that engages in that kind of behavior. There are unethical people in every organization, does that mean that all in that organization are unethical? That is profiling and stereotyping - are you for that? Maybe in the handful of cases you say exist it has more to do with personalities or rivalries in that particular school. Also, many secretaries and principals as James says above do not know the rules and might pull things out of ignorance or just feeling that you are cutting into "their" territory. Since names are not mentioned, you don't identify the District Representative or schools I'm guessing that no one can definitively identify who pulled materials out of boxes, it is just assumed that the Unity guy did it.

    1. While there are a number of honorable UNity people there are also slugs and hacks. And by the way -- this is not "you guys". It is ME. So don't brand what i write as somehow MORE or GEM or even ICE. That is a tactic Unity slugs (which I am sure you are not) engage in -- to paint an entire group based on one person's positions. I can understand that given that in Unity you can only have one point of view. Sort of like an ant colony.
      Why are people uninformed? The union sure makes sure people are informed on stuff they want people to be informed on. All they have to do is issue an order to the Dist Reps -- at your meetings inform the CLs that people haev the right. Of course they don't.
      So on pulling things out of boxes -- and I do have names etc but I only use the names of the worst slugs like Washington Sanchez or Charlie Turner --please explain the motivation for anyone but UNity to pull MORE things out of boxes? Note how E4E gets its shit into boxes but we don't hear about them being pulled --- because E4E is not a threat to Unity.
      And yes when it comes to Unity I am all for profiling and stereotyping -- you joined an undemocratic organization that suppresses voices and has led us down the path to the end of the public school system and the ultimate end of teacher unions -- though I am sure the Unity people at the top will find a way to maintain themselves in power. Why don't you get up and complain about the incredible number of 6 figure salaries? I guess you will say they work so hard -- maybe even harder than the average teacher who makes about 70 g for working with 5 classes a day packed with kids?
      Oh, I can go on.

    2. On explaining why someone would pull MORE literature out of boxes - maybe a secretary or Principal who thinks she is in charge of the universe would pull stuff because no one kow towed to her? Maybe someone who hates the person stuffing the boxes is doing it for just that reason? Maybe a rivalry between the chapter leader and a MORE person that has to do with dislike and personal reasons rather than orders from on high? There are lots of petty, stupid people in this world that do nasty things without following orders due to an evil conspiracy. Why are people uninformed? Because many people have tunnel vision, they are busy doing bubble sheets or somesuch nonsense, they have consuming child care or health issues, they are selfish, young and inexperienced, grew up in an anti Union household, their morale is shot, they are moving on in two years to run a charter school or work on Wall Street, getting their AP license, lots of reasons people are uninformed that don't involve the leadership of the UFT - more astonishing is how many people are eligible to vote in state, local, and national elections and not only do not vote or affiliate with a party but don't even bother to register to vote. Or teachers who voted for Bloomberg three times, buy the NY POST every day, then complain they have no contract. That's not the fault of any UFT VP, Special Rep, Dr, etc. How many chapter leaders don't even bother to show up at the DA or for the Dr's monthly meetings? I'm sure if the level of control that you say exists then there would be close to 100% attendance, instead of the 20 - 40 % that is usual.

    3. How about DRs and some Unity people bragging about removing materials? Caught red-handed. But that is expected. Do you think they will give up even a small piece of power without dirty tricks? I've been dealing with these people for 43 years. Most are fine but there is a thug element.


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