Sunday, November 15, 2015

Telling Comment on How UFT District Reps Favor Principal Friends Over Membership

In the world of totalitarian Unity Caucus even one voice of dissent is worrisome and they put lots of energy into deflecting and marginalizing these voices.
Are UFT/Unity Caucus non-elected District Reps the most insidious people in the UFT hierarchy? This comment was posted by Anonymous on your post "Commentary: Suppressing Democracy at the UFT:
All part of the story of our lazy stupid apathetic membership. We have a very decent CL, Unity affiliated, but asking a lot of questions. It is so pitiful to watch the District Rep come into the building and toss the CL under a truck, even right in front of members. The UFT leadership is trying to push the CL out with taunts and challenges from the friend of a highly placed UFT official. Said UFT friend, is a handsomely paid ($15,000 to 20,000 a year) shill for a principal who buys loyalty with DOE cash. When it came time to pick SLT people, our stupid beyond belief staff voted for this person. You can tell someone not to step off he curb in front of a speeding car, but when they deliberately choose to ignore you, they sort of deserve what they get.
There are so many bad stories about UFT District Reps. These are the key middle management people who ride herd on the chapter leaders in their district to keep the membership in line and undermine any opposition roilings in the schools. They are the key components of the Unity machine. Before 2002 they were elected by the chapter leaders in the district. Unity managed to control this process well enough as to have all DRs in the caucus - until the Manhattan HS teachers revolted in 1990 and elected long-time Chapter Leader Bruce Markens, who was re-elected time after time until he retired in 2000. Bruce was like a giant burr in Randi's paw and as soon as she could she eliminated the possibility this would ever happen again.

DRs hold meetings every month with the district CLs who are mostly cowed into pushing the leadership agenda. Even opposition people seem to avoid confrontation at these meetings. Now some DRs are more skilled than others at keeping order - they tell opposition people one thing while slashing at them behind their backs. In the world of totalitarian Unity even one voice of dissent is worrisome and they put lots of energy into deflecting and marginalizing these voices.

If you are a CL don't take it any more. Don't let them totally establish the agenda. Make them deal with issues in your school that are not addressed. Don't assume all the other CLs in the room who are quiet are happy. Reach out to them and see if you can establish alliances. Even set up an alternate district meeting of even a few where you can address issues of concern.

1 comment:

  1. Our union is becoming just as paranoid and repressive as our school buildings. Heaven forbid that teachers have a say in *anythjng*, even our own flipping union! it's like we need a platoon of middle managers there, just like we have in our buildings. Mulgrew is becoming more like Bloomberg everyday. Maybe he always was.


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