Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Union Dues No Longer Deductable - Ties to Janus Case

I hadn't heard much about this provision but when tied into Janus it is yet another dagger aimed at unions. Will not being able do deduct the $1400 a year for UFT dues, how many more will leave the union?

We talked about some of this yesterday when some MOREs and New Action people got together to stuff envelopes for something we are sending out. The feeling was that the UFT could address the dues structure - like going to a pro-rated system based on salary but probably won't because given the average salary, that would lower dues drastically. Good luck asking the newest and lowest paid members to opt in to paying such a big chunk of their salary.

Added: See Salon:
https://www.salon.com/2017/12/23/deducting-a-ceos-jet-but-not-a-cops-uniform_partner/

20 comments:

  1. One more reason NOT to pay UFT dues!

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  2. You moron, at 10:51, it’s another reason to pay your dues.
    Unless you are already a GOP stooge, you are doing what they want.
    Even if the UFT is not doing the best job (and they aren’t), we would be in a much worse state if we didn’t have a union.

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  3. I hate to say this but he is right . We have to pay our dues . Having a union is better then without . Anyone on here saying differently is a republican stooge . And I loathe many of what our union does

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  4. When the Unity UFT Caucus defends teachers like the FDNY NYPD municipal unions then union dues will flow into its coffers after June 2018. The era of a blank check is over. Just think some city unions aggressively support their members. It's time for the UFT hierarchy to come on board before the ship sinks from apathy.

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  5. Calling members republican stooges and morons is counterproductive if the goal is to get members to stay with the UFT post Janus. Roseanne McCosh

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    1. Actually Roseanne the union leadership seems to agree with you.

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    2. vitriol and abuse is par for the course on this blog. Norm usually shows the way.

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    3. Then you must be a masochist to come here to be abused. Doesn't unity have a web site.

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    4. I'm not sure what you mean, Norm. I don't care if people want to spew insults. I don't care if UFt leadership agrees with me or not. My point is that commenters who believe we need to stay in the union aren't winning over to their side anyone on the fence or anyone ready to leave the UFT by labeling those same people republican stooges or morons. Not wanting to write the UFT a blank check does not make one a stooge or a moron. Roseanne

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    5. Roseanne. Happy new year. I'm not sure who is calling people stooges and Morons. It looks like a unity guy to me. But at the top of unity I think they are trying to be careful and not alienate trump voters though it is hard. I understand your vote though I think you will ultimately regret it as the republican agenda decimates health care, pensions, etc. already if you own a house in ny state the value will drop 10% or more. I see a bleak future. Dems not much better but it's like saying we can have 3 feet of water in a flood or 10 feet. As one who was flooded believe me it is a difference. I don't think people are morons but I do scratch my head since overall republican agenda has been so bad since Herbert Hoover as they fought Fdr so deeply. If we never had a union imagine where we would be today. I think the problem with more taking an active position without demanding consessions from unity opens up space for pro union but anti unity people with a populist streak which we may see happen. My position is that people who leave the union should use the money they save to organize. A hundred people kicking in 1400 bucks would have a nice kitty to starts something. Not sure what but maybe enough to force uft to change course.

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  6. BOTTOM LINE: If the UFT wants us to keep paying our dues, they gotta step up to the plate and provide us with the protection, services, and support that the other municipal unions have in NYC. The simple fact is that our working conditions are in the toilet right now and it is pretty much the fault of the UFT not fighting for us but rather trying the chum up to the City for a "seat at the table". We deserve a fair and decent evaluation system among other things. If the UFT can't provide, they do not deserve our money. And yes a shitty union is better than no union. However, after Janus, we have a chance to put the hurt on the UFT coffers and as such that might be the kick in the behind that it needs to to actually man up and work for us.

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    1. There should be strategic planning right now - by whom, I don't quite know, since conditions in the schools is secondary, at best, to MORE - on how to jam the UFT leadership into becoming or real Union, or losing dues.

      Perhaps a petition stating that unless they publicly stand up and take out a notoriously abusive Principal/ perform some act of real trade unionism, then the signees will bolt from the union? Just thinking out loud...

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  7. "Conditions in the schools is secondary, at best, to MORE". Really? Well, may I ask what is the most important thing for MORE? Is it some kind of social justice theme? I voted for MORE in the last election. Maybe I made a mistake. Not too sure what world the folks at MORE are living in, but the teachers at my school are pissed as Hell right now at the treatment that we are facing on a day to day basis in our school. We sure as heck are not huffing about some social justice inequality right now. Please fill us in on what we are missing.

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    1. Well we have to be careful here. There are a few people in more who may put together general meetings and conventions that seem as disconnected from school based matters as unitycaucus /UFT leadership. The majority of folks that are in more,, including chapter leaders, our executive board members and bloggers make sure the conditions in our schools is the number 1 priority. We are the ones that brought abusive administrators, unfair student funding, class size, ctle/PD, and paid parental leave to the forefront. We led the call for a fair contract with full retro paid on time not over 10 years. The aggressive vote no campaign and anti-Janus policy is a direct result of what we brought to uft during the cuomo demonstrations. Yes there is a faction in more, just like unity or any other group that has other priorities and agendas. But most of us in more have been loudly and proudly pushing the uft leadership while leading the fight on chapter levels. We will pay union dues, but we demand structural changes to the union so that it is more responsive to membership.

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    2. I wouldn't refer to MORE as monolithic. Norm and I, and Mike Schirtzer, and James Eterno are pretty open about our positions. I write regularly about conditions in the schools. We've been putting out a newsletter that focuses on little else. I'd also argue that working conditions, including class sizes, administrative abuse, and nonsensical corporate evaluation plans in schools are most certainly social justice issues. So is protecting the children we serve, and when UFT is in bed with reformies, we're pretty open about that too.

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    3. There are different segments in MORE - some are more interested in social justice issues. Others focus on school issues. All the bloggers like Arthur me and James are in MORE and you can see where our focus is. The high school reps along with New Action people also focus on school issues. So Michael's comment is focused on only that wing of MORE - but I don't have problems if they want to push their ideas as long as they don't stop the others from pushing theirs.

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  8. Unless UFT really, and I mean really, starts to make some serious changes in how they represent members - they WILL lose dues - it will be unstoppable. $1,400 a year is a lot of extra change teachers may want to keep in their pockets.
    Did Mulgrew not figure this would happen? Why did he and Weingarten go along with public education-crushing ideas? Why was Common Core so great? Why were these new teacher evals so wonderful? Think $$$$$$. That same money is still corrupting them. In my opinion, they will NEVER change. That is why the teachers unions will go down. The leaders are corrupt. Question in my mind is - were they "in" on the whole thing from the beginning - to take down the union from within?

    I agree with 9:05 - what exactly is MORE doing? Social Justice issues? At this point? They'll go down too. Teachers need militant leaders right now. Leaders ready to shake things up, not place nice.

    Like Trump or not - he came across as a LEADER - one that would shake things up. And guess what? - whether you like it or not, MANY fed up teachers voted for him. Democrat politicians and union leaders have only themselves to blame for that. Let's see if they change their ways. So far, I see nothing..

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    1. Trump will create millions of jobs this year and the left will whither away.

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  9. All due respect to Norm, Arthur, Mike, James Eterno and the other hard-working, long-suffering MORE members on the Executive Board and in the organization, who are dedicated to improving the lives of teachers. They and other MORE members are far more committed and active than I've been recently.

    MORE, like any group, has a wide variety of viewpoints, and I'm fine with that. The problem for me is when I read about issues the group wants to pursue, and the wages, hours and working conditions of teachers (i.e. trade union issues) are not always at the top of the list.

    You want to inspire the overwhelmed/intimidated/apathetic/uninformed/demoralized teachers of NYC to fight for themselves and others? Good, then provide them with some kind of tangible improvement in their work lives. Organize and fight for some kind of concrete material benefit to them, like forcing the UFT leadership to take down a Psycho Principal/Superintendent or two, and then perhaps they'll give you a hearing about what teachers in Mexico or elsewhere are enduring.

    Concrete material benefits for everyone has got to be the focus and message, all the time; start to achieve that, and people might consider following you into other arenas of struggle (a good and necessary thing). Until then, it's political cosmetology.

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