Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#MORE2016: UFT Election Flotsam and Jetson - Happy Hours, We Get Mail and Phone Calls

There are MORE events in 3 boroughs this Friday (see below) none of which I can attend since I will be driving down to the NPE conference in Raleigh NC on Thursday. I know, I am nuts to be taking this 10 hour drive all by myself but I am not into flying right now and a road trip gets me out of doing any work for the 25 people coming for Passover next week. And my wife is happy to be rid of me for a few days.

I made a rare visit to the Bronx today to stuff mail boxes at a few schools that weren't being covered. One building had 5 high schools - the old large high school is still in there but hanging by a thread - and the other was pretty much old school large high school with one small school.

It certainly is an interesting experience as I get a little bit of a feel for the different schools. And when I get to speak to people it is eyeopening. I met a teacher retiring in June. I asked her about her former principal who was known as an ogre and dumped by the BloomKlein DOE - after which the school really sunk - and she said there was good and bad but that most people were supported all the way - not all - if he turned on you you were dead. But she said people were willing to give up some rights for this support - especially when it came to discipline - none of the kid is always right stuff. Now she said they would stab you in the back in a second. I get it. I had a principal  like that. Maybe I should have appreciated her more.

As I wrote the other day, #MORE2016: UFT Elections and Leaflet Distribution, the ultimate goal is to never have to have an outsider stuff mail boxes but to have someone inside the school doing it while also advocating for MORE.

We have come to feel that the majority of votes come from schools where we have people and where those people actively try to get out the vote. Unity with many more people in schools does the same thing and given their numbers I an surprised at how few relative votes even they get.

Which means the real growth I would look for in an election is how many people are actively doing organizing work in their schools and the outcome should reflect that work. Now my sense is that there are more people I don't know sending requests for literature and getting it out in their schools but since I don't know them I have no idea if they are willing to do more than that - like talk to people and get them to vote.

I've been asked to go out to a school to speak next week during their lunch hours in an area where we do not have much organizing going on but do have one contact at the school who made the arrangement.

Today someone from the Bronx called the MORE phone number - which I answer - and wanted to know more about the Bronx Happy hour this Friday - whether it was open to people from other districts or just district 10. (It is open to all). Hopefully she will go and become a MORE contact and distributor for her school. The funny thing is that she said she voted for MORE last time because her cousin was in MORE. I sadly had to inform her that her cousin has joined the enemy, Unity Caucus, which absolutely astounded her. I pointed out that Unity has things to offer MORE doesn't - conventions, jobs and a way out of teaching even at the cost of one's integrity. She told me her former chapter leader had gone the same route. She seemed enthusiastic about MORE. Well, at least may now have one family member on our side.

Michael's post on FB
I will be singing and playing guitar at this MORE Happy Hour event co-hosted with Nate Schiavo. Informing UFT members about the upcoming elections, and toasting another week of dedicated teaching. All are welcome. (ballots mailed May 5th.

Riverdale/Kingsbridge Teacher Social
Friday at 3 PM
An Beal Bocht in Bronx, New York
 There are also other happy hours on Friday.

North Brooklyn:
The MORE CAUCUS Invites you to Happy Hour at the Rustik Tavern
Friday April 15th , 3-6PM
471 DeKalb Ave  (btw Kent & Franklin Aves.)
in Bed Stuy/Clinton Hill
$4.00 - Draft Beers, Mixed House Cocktail Drinks, Glass of Red or White House Wine + Full Menu 

The UFT Elections are coming with ballots mailed out to your home on May 5th.
You'll have a chance to vote for new leadership of our union. Come meet the candidates, ask questions, share your concerns, and help us build a better union!

Join with us for drinks & discussion

Bring along your colleagues

For more info: http://morecaucusnyc.org
Manhattan East Side
Jia Lee will be attending the one hosted by Brian Jones.

If you or someone you know lives or works in Manhattan, please let them know about this upcoming Happy Hour on the Upper East Side THIS FRIDAY!

(details below)

Jia Lee will be in the house!

Here’s a link to download the flyer:


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