Friday, January 31, 2014

NYSUT Rift Update: The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung as Hobart and Cortese Endorse Iannuzzi Slate

Rumore is making a gambit that Mulgrew would defend his local better than Iannuzzi? Who is he kidding? ... Comment on ed notes
Our pals at Port Jefferson Station have posted this. For NYC people Hobart and Cortese may not mean much but they have been heavy hitters in NYSUT. I've never supported them but their support for Dick carries some weight. Below that is a comment on Ed Notes, followed by emails from Mike Lillis, President of Lakeland Federation of Teachers with some heavy criticism of Andy. This battle ain't going away too soon.

I think a question to explore very soon is WHY? And how  this battle affects Randi and the AFT given the dominance of NYSUT in that organization. Some people are even whispering that this is a Mulgrew power play against Randi. Hard to believe but anything is possible.

Hobart and Cortese Endorse Iannuzzi, Neira, Donahue, Cutler

January 31, 2014
NYSUT Leaders and Members:
We are proud to serve as the Honorary Reelection Committee and to endorse the reelection of Dick Iannuzzi for President, Maria Neira and Kathleen Donahue for Vice President and Lee Cutler for Secretary-Treasurer of NYSUT!
We have been involved in framing the NYSUT mission and vision from its inception.  Along with many great unionists from across New York, we’ve watched our union grow and evolve in ways that place NYSUT at the forefront of the teacher union movement — in fact of the entire labor movement.  Dick and his team have a vision that is inclusive of every constituency group and local regardless of region or size.  They have made leaders feel and know that they are part of a union that cares about and advocates for every member.  They understand that leadership is about making the tough choices in tough times to save our members’ jobs, and about recalibrating our budgetary priorities and restructuring our organization to better meet our members’ needs.  They know that leadership is about leading and taking responsibility for decisions, not finger-pointing or scapegoating colleagues when times are hard.
Like each of us, the STRONGER TOGETHER team understands that a union best serves its members with a long-range strategy and vision that supports real change, but not change for the sake of change.
The future of NYSUT depends on a team whose vision looks toward the future with new ideas that engage a collective voice, and not one that seeks to look backwards and fails to recognize the value of every member.  Dick, Maria, Kathleen and Lee have the vision and experience to lean into the future on your behalf, and that’s why we are proud to actively provide our support.
In solidarity,
Thomas Y. Hobart, Jr.
President Emeritus
Antonia Cortese
Former  NYSUT First Vice President
Hobart/Cortese Endorsement Letter

Geo Karo has left a new comment on your post "Is Iannuzzi Toast?":
Important coverage here.
Opponents of Cuomo and King's corporate deformist policies that have ravaged teachers' working conditions and children's learning conditions should do all they can to build support among the remaining out of NYC and out of Buffalo teacher union locals.
And Rumore is making a gambit that Mulgrew would defend his local better than Iannuzzi? Who is he kidding? Mulgrew and his proxy Pallotta paid $10,000 for a table at Cuomo's (reelection) birthday party. What Kool-Aid is Rumore drinking? Has he forgotten that Mulgrew's beneficiary --Cuomo-- has threatened to take over the Buffalo School District, screaming that the BTF's APPR MOU is illegal?
Thankfully, Buffalo is not the only big non-NYC block of votes. Syracuse's union president Kevin Ahern was an early supporter of Iannuzzi's move vs. King. Think of all those YouTube videos of teacher union members across the state, railing against Common Core & King's tour. Like Ahern, we could expect that they will more likely side with Iannuzzi over Michael "put up a lame response to deform" Mulgrew.
This is a classic Which Side are You On struggle. Mulgrew is unapologetic re the most repressive APPR in NYS, Mulgrew defended CCSS on principle throughout 2013. Can NYS teachers afford to let Mulgrew's sham unionism seize tighter control of NYSUT?
Andy Pallotta/Mulgrew may win in a runaway but they have created longer lasting problems of divisions at the state level that won't go away soon. Will a serious opposition caucus to state Unity emerge? Even people who vote for Mulgrew will soon come to see that things will go backward.

Aside from the email below from Lakeland Fed of Teachers President Mike Lillis regarding the threat to the NYSUT legal department once Mulgrew gets his hands on it with total control, I've heard similar thoughts from people inside the legal dept -- that whatever support they give teachers currently will not be as strong. And I know that there are people who have said they wouldn't use their NYSUT lawyers but I've also heard some good things. Remember - UFT has no legal dept for teachers - only NYSUT lawyers.

I thought you might find this helpful.  For anyone who believes that Andy is somehow being held back by Dick, this article in Capital New York would be illuminating.  Since Andy got to Albany, the only meaningful means we have had to address our members concerns is the legal dept (APPR lawsuit, Tax Cap lawsuit).  Thankfully the legal dept is controlled by Dick, because if Andy controlled that as well our members would have no reason to hope for improvement.  Andy has mastered the Art of talking about hard work and doing nothing,except working behind the scenes for the last year and a half to  orchestrate a coup.
Here is his email to the Pallotta:
Michael Lillis

to apallotta, rianuzzi, mneira, dianuzzi, kdonahue, Lee

I am compelled to write to you regarding the recent article in Capital NY concerning the I.D.C. and their efficacy. After reading and agreeing with everything that Dick had said about the I.D.C. and the dysfunction that they have created in the Senate, I was shocked to read that rather than let Senator Klein answer directly for the lack of movement regarding our agenda items concerning testing, women's rights, and farm workers, you decided to intervene and allow Senator Klein to save face by not having to provide a rationale for why he is obstructing our agenda.  To see so many of our legislative agenda items either stalled or rejected by our "friends," it is high time that we more clearly and publicly delineate our agenda items as Dick has just done.  

We are at a crucial moment and we need the legislature to perceive us as unified and moving in a single direction with clear expectations for the Legislators behavior.  Significant work has been done to lay a foundation to turn back the tide of the education reform agenda forced upon us by the Governor, the Legislature and the Regents.  Within the next couple of months there will have been close to two dozen public hearings hosted by Regents and Legislators alike and they will hear a consistent message about SED overreach and incompetence.  For you to have so visibly sent out a mixed message about what we want is amateur and does not serve my members.   As evidence of how this undermines our agenda on educational issues I found the article in Capital NY through a link on  Clearly organizational dissonance undermines our effectiveness and will be exploited by people who want to marginalize us. 

We, the rank and file teachers in NYS, are at the breaking point over these curricula and testing issues.  We need action and the current structure of the Senate has proven itself to only enable inaction and an opportunity to blame others for why individual Legislators are not taking tough stands. Dick is absolutely correct to point out that it would be better if the Senate was completely controlled by either the Republicans or the Democrats, because then when teachers and parents go to vote, we will know who to blame.  

The next few months is going to provide us a unique and powerful opportunity to act quickly to get legislative action to slow down and reverse this poorly conceived education reform agenda.  If we squander this opportunity through our own legislative dissonance the membership will be justified in wondering, "how could such a once powerful organization have been marginalized so quickly"?  Nothing will marginalize us more effectively than sending a mixed message to legislators about what we demand.

Thank you,
Mike Lillis
President Lakeland Federation of Teachers

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