Monday, January 1, 2018

Splaining UFT Ex Bd Replacements - Why So Many and Why Didn't Unity Challenge the MORE/NA Replacement

MORE/New Action and Unity Caucus recently replaced some members of the executive board -- more had one replacement, Unity 3. Since Unity has the votes, if they had put up a candidate they could have easily stolen the seat from MORE. Yet they didn't. Why not? When it happened in the past -- like 15 or more years ago with New Action, Unity was much more fierce and took the seat away, calling forth a protest and walkout by New Action and some good publicity for them.

Here is my analysis of what is going on.

Since the current UFT Executive Board began its term in September, 2016, Unity has had to replace a few of its elected reps -- I've lost count but it could be around 10, which would be 10% of the entire board being replaced less than half way through its term of office. The only time MORE challenged one of the replacements seat was the first time they had to replace someone in the fall of 2016 -- Mike Schirtzer nominated me and I actually received 4 Unity votes --- Here is my post from Nov. 17 - some were more surprised at this than the Trump victory just a short time before.

My Slogan "Make the UFT Great Again" Won Me 4 Unity Caucus Votes For UFT Exec Board

In a vote only a little less unlikely than the election of Donald Trump as US President, it was reported that four Unity Caucus members defied their caucus obligations to vote for Norm Scott for a seat on the UFT Executive Board. ... James Eterno, ICE blog,  MULTIPLE UNITY CAUCUS MEMBERS VOTE FOR NORM SCOTT
Since then MORE/NA has not bothered to challenge, which Unity people seem thankful for because then they don't have to wait two weeks and hold an election. I have mixed feelings -- on the one hand it is a waste of time to challenge but on the other it does open an opportunity to put forth some serious people who if not for the way things ran in the UFT would be on the board.

So why have so many Unity people left the board?

Could it be the wonderful food?
[Arthur's comment on the food -- Meeting interrupted when Philly steak sandwich falls on floor with resounding crash, breaking member's foot. Ambulance is called, member is taken in ambulance.]

Why risk going to a meeting every other Monday evening when there is a chance of being injured by a sandwich falling on your foot and when you could be home watching cable news and the Trump follies? Why have to sit there and listen to MORE/New Action people asking questions and raising resolutions?

And attendance has been very bad -- lots of people not there. Some Unity people barely showed up last year and have left the board. One recent Unity replacement I spoke to didn't seem very pleased but had to do it even if very inconvenient.

So premise number 1 for why they didn't challenge for the MORE/NA seat --  Unity is not having an easy time filling EB seats with enthusiastic recruits. So why do they need to shanghai another one to challenge MORE/NA for yet another seat?

Premise number 2 --If they challenged for the MORE/NA seat, we would have had a great propaganda tool and also would have run against them for every replacement and Unity would have to have held elections every time.

I think this is self-explanatory. It made sense for Unity not to bother challenging.

Now let's address why MORE/NA was replacing someone.
In MORE's original agreement with NA, the 7 HS seats were split 4-3 with MORE getting the extra seat -- New Action proposed that since MORE had gotten more votes in the 2013 election. MORE chose its 4 people and also an alternate. Within a few days of starting the petition campaign, one of the NA people pulled out and we had to fill this position ASAP -- and we had a problem with our alternate who some of us believed was not going to stay in teaching -- and thus we would lose that seat if we won.

One day I will tell this story which included backstabbing and skulduggery that took place around this issue. But it worked out in that the always amazing Marcus MacArthur who jumped in to fill the slot, thus giving MORE 5 people and NA 2.

Now it turned out that one of the original 4 MORE people came to 2 or 3 Ex bd meetings and just stopped coming -- for reasons I won't go into now since I am only guessing. But one day I may share my suppositions. But it was embarrassing for MORE since everyone had agreed to serve for 3 years. But the 6 EB seats were enough and our people were very effective.

At any rate, here was an Ex Bd seat that in fact should have belonged to New Action and was unoccupied. New Action proposed a solution --- if the MORE person resigned, New Action had a veteran CL who would fill that seat -- but it depended on whether Unity would challenge that seat. We weren't going to hand over that seat to Unity and from our point of view if they did  challenge the MORE person just would not resign the seat -- better empty than Unity. But it turned out Unity didn't want the potential hassle and bad publicity if they did challenge - what's the difference if MORE/NA has 6 or 7 to them? MORE/NA also did not waste time challenging for their 3 replacement seats.

So now there will be 7 active opposition EB members.


  1. Erik Foreman supported by Peter Lamphere and Megan Moskop decided he was going to be on high school ex bd after the more slate was decided. Everyone knew he was not committed to teaching, using his position to agitate as he did in Starbucks, and forced a member of steering to call each candidate after we had been approved by membership,and ask if we would step down for erik. Megan and Peter brought a proposal to a general meeting, at that time still attended by over 60 people, to seperate HS ex bd candidates for individual votes, and the other divisions remain skste. This got voted down by everyone except the ISO block. Erik left teaching, abandoned his chapter leader position and now "salts" cuny.

  2. I don't buy it Norm. In the same post you want us to understand that MORE/NAC is there to "challenge" Unity, "the 6 EB seats were enough and our people were very effective." and that "The only time MORE challenged one of the replacements seat was the first time they had to replace someone in the fall of 2016" and not the other dozen times?

    C'mon. With hundreds of paid members and puppet strings attached, Unity can't fill EB seats now?

    I don't buy it. Will the "effective" members not in Unity bring up that a class action suit for ATRs is brewing and that Unity should share the member stats to help these ATRs?

    1. Of course you don't buy it. Next why not claim money passed hands? Or that they let us take an extra sandwich. And in case you haven't noticed our people have been raising a lot of issues --- as I say -- it is a yin yang whether to challenge -- I see some value in it -- they feel they have other things to do. I have an idea -- next time we can put you up as a candidate.
      Why don't you come to the Ex Bd and bring what you want to bring up yourself? ask why so many UNITY people have dropped off? Of course they can fill the seats but even they don't feel Ex bd is important -- look at them sitting there - bored as hell - and having to listen to us.


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