Tuesday, June 3, 2014

UFT Contract: Vote Predictions - Will the NO Voters Spark an Anti-Unity Movement?

Anyone for 80-20? 70-30? 60-40? How about 75-25?

(I scheduled this to be posted at 3PM, the rough time the vote count is expected to be announced. I will be there.)

Many of the bloggers have been out there predicting.

Mr. Talk Predicts: 2014 Contract Passes in a Landslide

UFT Contract Vote: Predictions And The Roadmap For The Future -

 Urban Ed is relatively optimistic:

My Contract Vote Prediction: 55% 45% (Sunday Morning Banter)

I view things from an organizational point of view - what does this vote mean, no matter what the count, for building an alternative to Unity? I know building MORE is an answer but I also don't want people who are not "joiners" to think they can't do anything -- but I'll explore that idea in a future post.

I remember the 2005 contract struggle where people came out of the woodwork - only to disappear once the rancor died down. The opposition - TJC and ICE were attracting people - but never managed to hold on to them. New Action had already sold out but did a faux "we oppose the contract".

So, Yes, I am wary this time about a post-vote movement.
Megan Behrent has a piece on the MORE blog.

What next after the UFT contract ratification vote? -
Megan did a great job on this analysis.

RBE at Perdido has a piece today with extensive quotes from Megan's piece: UFT Contract Vote: Predictions And The Roadmap For The Future -  

I tend to be pessimistic - my sense is 75-80 Yes because I feel the Unity machine reaches deep into so many schools the voice of opposition never gets close to. Only by facing this machine for 44 years do I know how they work. My younger colleagues tend to live in somewhat of a bubble. 

But this is a new world compared to 2005 - social media, MORE being a united opposition and so far the most effective group of people I've worked with - so there is hope.

Imagine a 20% NO vote and compare it with the vote for MORE in last year's election -- let's call it for sake of argument also 20%.

But comparing the two is apples and organges.

Our vote last year was 20% of the roughly 20% who voted in the schools. My math leads me to 5% of the total membership - say around 4000 votes - I'm too lazy to look it up. Unity's 80% in the elections was roughly around 15,000 votes - I may even be high.

Contract NO vote is a different thing altogether than union elections.

Let's look at how 20% NO votes translated if 80,000 teacher vote. I get 16,000 NO votes in what some people claim is a worst case scenario. If 70-30 that is 24,000 votes. And if the contract begins to fall apart in some areas - like an ATR slaughter fest, teachers from schools being excessed into the ATR pool, health care payments, etc. Those votes translate into opposition to Unity Caucus.

But a caveat -- they only translate into MORE's ability to coordinate this -- to become an effective alternative to Unity with wide outreach into the schools never touched and only subject to Unity propaganda. People do not realize how many chapter leaders are Unity - the key to their control. We will know more in next year's CL elections if there is a shift. If not don't expect widely different numbers in the 2016 elections. In other words if Unity controls 80% of the schools they will get 80% of the vote.

Unity machine exposed in contract struggle

A lot of people had their consciousness raised - it may be temporary  - but at some level the way Unity operates has been more widely exposed and infiltrated a certain portion of the rank and file who never really were aware.

Will they pay more attention one contract issue goes away?

The key to me is the work MORE is doing and can do.
It takes people power to challenge Unity - which in case you haven't noticed has lots of people power. The battles are won not on social media or at Delegate Assemblies but in the schools - in the trenches. If you think that battle is worth winning sitting on the sidelines is not an option

If you want to know MORE come to our meeting this Saturday form 12-3.


MORE General Meeting

June 7, 2014 at 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

224 W. 29th St., 14th Fl. (Between 7th & 8th Aves) NYC

All are welcome! 

After the contract vote what are our next steps to build a better UFT? Come join us in evaluating the contract campaign and deciding on next steps.

How can we help organize the people who were opposed to this contract into a force that can defend UFT members from a bad contract?

Future steps: Organizing in our Schools, UFT Chapter elections, May/June 2015, UFT Elections, Jan-March 2016

Local/Regional groups: Meet with others who work in your neighboring schools or regions.

Reports from MORE action committees 

We hope to see you there!

Join us for post meeting happy hour at Pioneers Bar, 38 W 29th st (b/t 6th and 7th) NYC (http://pioneersbar.com/)

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