Monday, October 23, 2017

Will the UFT Hold Together Post Janus?

James Eterno:
Since our October 5 post came out on what it would take to fix the UFT internally or for the high school division to oust the UFT and start a new union, we have received some inquiries and several commitments to help with fragmenting the high schools into a separate bargaining unit but not enough to make anyone at the UFT sweat... ICE blog, Spring Creek Drivers Look to Bolt ATU To Create Own Union
James reports on the move by bus drivers in one shop to leave the Transit Workers union:
 Bus drivers who work out of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Spring Creek Depot in Brooklyn are one step closer to breaking away from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 and forming their own union after winning the right to vote to do so when the Public Employment Relations Board last month ordered a decertification election that is expected to be held in November. Read more
 James brings this story up in the context of talk around moving to disaffiliate the high school teachers from the UFT. Between 6 and 7000 signatures would be needed. The opposition in the last election received around 2300 votes. Would it be possible to picky back on these votes to get enough signatures? And then a vote would be held in the high schools if PERB approved.

Now given Janus and the decisions people will have to make whether to stay in the union or leave, this adds an interesting wrinkle.

I have not supported a move to disaffiliate up to now but the very process of having people going around schools gathering signatures might shake the UFT/Unity tree where they might consider the kinds of concessions that would give the high school teachers who have voted for the opposition in almost every election a true voice, especially in the VP position which used to be elected by high school teachers until 1994 when Unity changed it to at-large so that even the 60,000 retirees get to vote for the HS VP.

I don't automatically go along with the moves in MORE to support a "Stay in the Union" campaign unless we see some concessions -- including taking a hard look at the salaries of our UFT, NYSUT and AFT officials. More on those salaries in future posts.


  1. Count me in to collect signatures in my elementary school. I am more than willing to help out on this.

    1. Sorry. This is only for high school teachers. Thanks anyway.

  2. Norm: You really need to do a little more research and not post fake news found on the James (ICE) board. These good folks in Spring Creek are attempting to do the direct opposite of what you are proposing.

    The spring creek group is trying to leave a smaller union and join the larger union that represents most NYC transit workers. Most of these folks worked for the predecessor private companies before the MTA consolidated some years back. Like the Green bus in your neck of the woods.

    What you are trying to do makes no sense in this day and age either pre or post Janus. We are in fact Stronger Together (if I can actually say those two words in the same sentence).

    1. It shows that you can get a bargaining election.
      If we got to that point if you want to keep the uft intact make fundamental changes. Allow votes on dues increases. Adjust power of retirees etc. have a constitutional convention. An ineffective larger union doesn't get much.


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