Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ruminating on the UFT Delegate Assembly, this Saturday's MORE conference and Other Matters

For the record, I don't always agree with everyone in MORE, or everything they do or say. But whether I agree with them or not, they are among the most dedicated unionists I know. A good number of them could have joined Unity, signed the oath, and gone to conventions to vote as Mulgrew instructed. Instead, they opt to lobby for member voice.....

I admire Jia [Lee] for bringing up the resolution, but I knew they would find a way to kill it. Once the Unity person complained of the MORE ad on the back of the resolution, the faithful knew how they were to vote. Then there was her nasty insinuation there was no "union bug" on the paper, as though MORE had the work outsourced to slave labor in some third-world banana republic......

I don't really understand the democracy inherent in a forum in which the chair talks about whatever for three fourths of the meeting, entertains a few questions, and needs to add extra time to allow a single motion. I wonder whether he wants people to come back, or whether he wants to drive them away so as to ensure the "highest decision-making body in the UFT" remains largely a forum for his pontifications and indulgences.
..... ... NYC Educator, DA Takeaway
Arthur Goldstein has some great stuff in this post. I hate to keep agreeing with this guy - and that he always beats me to the punch on so much good stuff.

With MORE's conference coming up this Saturday, it is good to hear some positive words about MORE given attacks from Unity caucus and the ultra-leftist lone voice in the UFT supporting Unity Caucus about that ridiculous union label thing. I print hundreds of copies of our leaflets on my home copy machine - after often doing the labor of laying them out - and these clowns try to make it look "as though MORE had the work outsourced to slave labor in some third-world banana republic." 

This is nothing more than an attempt by Unity and its allies to attack the opposition. So if we put "labor donated" on every leaflet all is OK?
Frankly, I don't always have the space when I lay out a leaflet to make the purists quibblers happy.

And I also agree on the MORE points - no one in MORE is always happy - MORE consists of real people - with different points of view and it is not always easy to try to blend these points into a coherent policy while maintaining democracy - it is always much easier to have a strong man/woman take charge - you know, the way Unity has been run for 60 years.

UFT Democracy Workshop by Fiorillo, Goldstein* and Scott  at MORE conference:

Arthur, Michael Fiorillo and I have been internal critics in MORE over some issues. This Saturday we are working together to do a workshop in union democracy -here is a rough description of the workshop:
The UFT has been structured by Unity Caucus in such a way as to enforce a fundamentally undemocratic system. We will review that structure, discuss what type of structure could be created to ensure a more democratically run union, and delve into the issue of whether such reforms can be implemented given the absolute control Unity has over every formal institution. Lurking behind all this is the possibility of losing the agency fee case and how that impacts on the issue of democracy.
*attendance depending in scheduling.

MORE on the conference tomorrow.

Here is the MORE Press Advisory.

NEWS ADVISORY: On 10/24 Teachers and Community Unite to Build Platform for New UFT Leadership

October 20, 2015
Megan Moskop (252) 367-0908
John Antush (917) 734-3907

**News Advisory**
As NYC School Crisis Continues, Teachers Unite with Community to Challenge Unaccountable Union Leadership and Defend Public Education
Movement of Rank-and-File Educators to announce UFT Presidential candidate in bid to unseat union President Michael Mulgrew and his Unity Caucus
WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2015
RSVP for interviews during the day

WHERE: P.S. 58, The Carroll School
330 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY

WHAT: Fed up with classroom overcrowding, overuse of standardized testing, and understaffing, New York’s hardworking educators have lost patience with the leadership of the United Federation of Teachers and are coming together with the community to continue building a broad-based movement for change– in their union and in our schools.

The State of our Union, State of our Schools Conference will gather rank-and-file educators, community allies, parents, and students to shape a new vision for high-quality public education and craft a platform for the upcoming UFT elections. The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) will announce its candidate for union president at the conference.

For a complete list of speakers and workshops, view the attached flier, or visit the event page.

WHO: The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE), is the social justice caucus of the UFT and largest force for change in the union. In the upcoming elections, MORE will challenge Unity Caucus, the bureaucratic political machine that has dominated New York’s teachers’ union for the past 50 years. Over the past decade, Unity has led the UFT into crisis, signing off on harmful policies such as overuse of standardized testing and pay increases that fail to keep pace with inflation, while using union funds to pay UFT President Michael Mulgrew over $260,000 per year and dole out salaries of over $100,000 per year to over 100 Unity Caucus political operatives on UFT staff.

Other conference endorsers are NYCORE- The New York Collaborative of Radical Educators, Change the Stakes, NYC OPTOUT, The Teacher Diversity Committee of New York, The Coalition for Public Education, NYS Stronger Together Caucus, and the Badass Teachers Association.

COMPELLING VISUALS:  Cheering crowds, workshop discussions, conversation. Interviews can be arranged with our presidential candidate, parents, teachers, students, and activists upon request.

The Movement of Rank and File Educators is the Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers.  To learn MORE, visit www.morecaucusnyc.org

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