Sunday, March 6, 2016

School Horror Stories Continue in DOE With UFT Support

This is UFT election petition turn-in week in preparation for handing in the petitions to the UFT in time for next week's March 10 due date. Every one of MORE/New Action's 300 candidates requires a petition with at least 100 signatures while the officer slate needs 900. More on the petitions in a follow-up but first I wanted to share some of the conversations I've had with some people dropping off.

A 5th year non-tenured high school teacher with Yet Another Shitty Principal - a YASP - and doesn't expect to get tenure this year either. The backup solution? An application to law school to become a labor lawyer. "I can't commit to the DOE under these circumstances," she said. When I suggested a transfer to a "better" school she said she purposely entered teaching to try to teach in a difficult school and work to change things. Not without tenure she won't.

I told her MORE could certainly use her legal services when she graduates.

Then yesterday afternoon after we finished collating the petitions I dropped by a bar with a friend who came to help. She was meeting up with old colleagues including 2 school secretaries she used to work with. In just a few moments of conversation they laid out the bleak situation for so many secretaries - the work overload, how they are expected to do so much of the work principal offload onto them. One of them retired 2 days ago, not being able to stand it anymore.

Of course in both stories, of which there are so many more, the UFT is complicit. As Emily Giles wrote in the piece I published yesterday:

Mulgrew bases the power of the union on the status of his partnership with de Blasio's administration, rather than on the ability to mobilize the rank and file. The priority of the union leadership, then, is to maintain that relationship at all costs, even when it means jeopardizing the interests of the membership....

ATR Field Supervisors
Coming soon: How one school teams up to support a harassed  ATR - until rotations removes the ATR to go to another school where who knows what will happen.

The teachers are writing letters of support to be used when and if the DOE files 3020a dismissal charges.


  1. Is Portelos a mini Trump? Will the "angry disenfranchised" figure that M/NA is just politics as usual and go for the demagogue huckster? If Portelos eclipses M/NA, Norm, it's really curtains for your team, don't you think?

    1. Porty is a mini Trump with even smaller hands.

    2. Smaller hands? Well, that means if he has smaller hands he must have a smaller.... Yuck! Never getting that thought of my head.

  2. The members of our Union are among the 14% nationally who have a Defined Pension Benefit. That fact is evidence of the dislike by powerful folks who want to destroy us. When we have a politician who covets our votes and will do things for us, then we must exploit this relationship. Sometimes that can look like we are compliant when we are really not. After the last Mayor of NYC who totally hated us and continues to do so, the new one is malleable. That said, you witnessed Mulgrew's war with the Nanny, but that is finished, so for the time being we fight alongside the Tall One. Thank you, Dr. John Marvul

    1. Dr. John Marvul, the ultimate Unity apologist who is now resorting to telling us how wonderful it is that we haven't yet lost our pensions. You were compliant with Bloomberg and you are compliant now. You fight alongside the tall one even though he doesn't fight. We'll engage in a real fight.

    2. The only thing Mulgrew and Unity exploit is the the dues paying membership. Mulgrews serves "the tall one" on bended knee. Mulgrews is on his knees so often he is now only able to stand up straight twice per month when he transfers our $54.87 from our pockets to his.. Roseanne McCosh

  3. I don't agree that MORE/NA is politics as usual. But I'll leave why for another time. Angry people may well vote for an angry candidate and a huckster will attract votes. But since nothing can be won by either group other than the high school 7 seats what difference does it make? A key to watch will be the turnout. If it goes up in terms of anti-Unity votes then that is a good thing even if Solidarity gets those votes. If it stays what it was last time and MORE/NA and Solidarity divide that then it means they didn't bring more people to the table but just carved out a piece of MORE votes. The needle basically didn't move. Either way, what happens after the election until the next time? The longtime opposition people will not align with a huckster so there will be 2 opposition caucuses around - but that has been the state in the UFT for most of its history.
    MORE is learning from the past and understanding that the elections are just a tool not an end - that winning the local schools and districts is the necessary steps that must be taken to achieve an election breakthrough.
    With very different approaches and very different demographics and outreach to schools each group will have to show some sustainability when there is no election. From what I see MORE has a much younger group but that means they are also subject to leaving the system. MORE has a plan for post election no matter what the outcome which is why I don't see curtains and why it is not politics as usual. There are still a bunch of people who have been doing this for decades and have been through all sorts of changes from pre-New Action (TAC and New Directions) through TJC, ICE, GEM and now MORE. They are not going away and the next generation of people who are committed to careers in the system seem to be all in. MORE alone contributed 170 candidates to the election with over 300 running all together. That is not a light number consider that most of them are working in the schools, not retirees as has been the case all too often. Does that translate into votes? We'll see. I believe that the fact we made it clear that this is not a winnable election but a building process helps us. The other caucus declared it will win and how not winning plays with its supporters remains to be seen. Which is why the major thing to sell now is to do as well or better than MORE and declare that a "victory" and then try and hold it all together for the next 3 years. All I can say about that after over a decade of watching post-election withering away selling people on wait until 2019 is not a good sell. MORE on the other hand has plenty on its plate no matter what the outcome.


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