Friday, April 27, 2018

Exploring Caucus Fault Lines: ICEUFT Meets Friday, MORE Meets Saturday

Friday, April 27, 8 AM

I came back from a 4 hour MORE contract committee meeting last night where a few of us (a very few of us) have been going over potential contract demands we are putting in a survey.

Jeez, 4 days of meetings in a row -- PEP on Wed (after the funeral of a neighbor's 40 year old daughter), contract committee Thurs, ICE today, MORE tomorrow. And a shiver call on Sunday. And I'm leaving soon to go out to Long Island to help the Botanic Garden plant sale people pick out plants. And I transplanted two trees over the past few days. And I still  need to process the video from the PEP. Oy -- is this retirement?

There are a whole bunch of people in MORE who are very excited about engaging in a militant fight for a "good" contract but when it comes to actually figuring out what a "good" contract might look like, the ICE people in MORE show up to do the work. MORE will probably vote to be militant for a good contract on Saturday - it doesn't really matter what constitutes a good contract, as long as they are militant and mention strike every 10 words. (For the old-timers out there who remember our old sister caucus, Teachers for a Just Contract -- or as we called them Teachers for Just a Contract, some ICE people have labeled this TJC 2.0.)

There's a lot going on in MORE on a lot of fronts. I intend to cover it all but can't keep up at times. James posted a proposal for ICE to permanently or temporarily withdraw support for MORE after the unfair suspensions of two ICE people from steering when they weren't present.

ICE doesn't bind people so no matter what the outcome of today's resolution, some will stay in MORE unless things get even more weird. Some are considering self-suspension in sympathy. You can read the comment of one of the suspendees here. Over time details will emerge.

I want to hear all the arguments from James and others but I am not planning to leave MORE but to stay there and do the work I feel is worthwhile like fighting closing schools and lower class size and abusive principals -- I mean if some of us don't raise these issues many of the MORE ideologues will just ignore them, as they have ignored the PEP where Black Lives Really Matter.

One of the very frustrating things about MORE is the seeming inability to engage in deep dives into issues, something ICEUFT has always done very well - to the exclusion of doing some other things. But MORE has young people who have a life and don't like to meet for too long a time. ICE people will meet and talk forever because they have a lot of things to talk about. And are mostly retired.

MORE has a lot of very political and sensitive people with limited powers of analysis, or willingness to see below the surface of things -- much younger than ICE people - and it shows at times. One of the heavy issues in MORE is people being rude on the listserve. That seems to tie people into knots with lots of angst and gnashing of teeth. Even I, a known caveman, have to tone it down.

But I try to imagine a group of people claiming to want to challenge the Unity machine, ed deformers, abusive principals, etc. but can't deal with a few (and it is very few) people supposedly making some crude comments - and I have at times have made some comments in the heat of the moment but have learned that listserves are not the best place to shoot off an angry email. So now I let things vegetate a bit and it works better.

The next two days should be fun. MORE on Saturday and ICEUFT Friday afternoon, starting at 4PM and ending till they toss us out of the diner. And all day Friday I'm driving out to Huntington with the crew from Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to pick out plants for the May 10 plant sale, for which I've been volunteering at for the past 35 years.

MORE will meet Saturday from 11-2:30, actually a longer meeting than usual. After that we will race over to the MORE family leave event which goes from 3-5. I would have gone home but my wife is coming into the city for world tai-chi day and trying to get half price tickets to a show. One of the great things about tai-chi, which I have never done, is that you can't tell if it's real people or statues.

Hey, if you are a regular reader of the blogs stop by for a while and have a dose of rice pudding. And hang with the Eternos, Gloria, Schirtzer, Lisa, Vera, Ellen, South Bronx, Giambalvo, maybe Arthur, and who knows who else might drop in? Email me offlist for details.

You can also stop by the MORE meeting - if you haven't been flagellated recently.

My announcement of the ICEUFT  Meeting:
Meeting Friday: Independent Community of Educators

The Independent Community of Educators (ICE), one of the two founding caucuses in MORE, will be meeting Friday at 4PM to discuss a range of issues related to red state teacher revolts and recent actions in MORE. The meeting is expected to last three of four hours - or until everyone has had time to express their thoughts. Maybe midnight.
As usual ICE meetings are openly announced. As a consensus group with a wide range of opinions, all actions suggested are not binding on individuals.
Contact me offlist if interested in attending as there is limited space and meeting location might have to be changed.

Tentative agenda:

Undemocratic actions by MORE steering to suspend 2 members of steering, both associated with ICE, without due process and with ex post facto rules. The background behind a prominent member of MORE threatening to leave MORE unless one of them was purged from MORE and the so-called compromise reached to suspend them for a month, thus removing two potential votes on steering that might be in opposition to the initiatives being pushed.

Other undemocratic acts within MORE, including the moderator of the debate, unilaterally called for the MORE meeting to be closed to members only, the first time this has been done in the history of MORE. Plus the extremely constrictive rules promulgated by the moderator, one of the 30 people who signed the proposal.

An official response from ICE, including calls for ICE to formally suspend or withdraw its support of MORE? Discussion on options, including total withdrawal.

Objectively analyze red state teacher revolts vis a vis current and future conditions in the UFT.
The viability of the current proposal being floated in MORE, which is a reminder of the program put forth by the other caucus that formed MORE, TJC (See Ed Notes on the relationship between ICE and TJC over the years.)
James posted this on the ICE blog:


The Independent Community of Educators (ICEUFT) will be holding a meeting tomorrow (Friday) in Manhattan at 4:00 P.M.

It is no big secret that the relationship between ICEUFT and the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) has been frayed at times and lately it has kind of exploded. I have written the following resolution that I will bring up tomorrow. It kind of speaks for itself.

Whereas, a group within the Steering Committee in the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) has suspended two Steering Committee members who are associated with the Independent Community of Educators (ICEUFT) without any due process or authority to suspend people;

Whereas, due process is a fundamental human right and a basic principle of democracy that cannot be compromised; and
Whereas, the Independent Community of Educators (ICEUFT) on principle will not have anything to do with an organization that denies its members basic democratic rights; be it therefore
Resolved, that the Independent Community of Educators (ICEUFT) suspends all support for the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) until further notice; and be it further
Resolved, that the Independent Community of Educators (ICEUFT) will continue its work to advocate for the members of the United Federation of Teachers and for public education.

This is Norm Scott's agenda for the ICEUFT meeting:

Members of the Independent Community of Educators (ICE), founded in 2003, original organizers of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) and one of the founding caucuses of MORE, will be meeting to discuss a range of issues, including a discussion of the red state teacher revolts and the status of its ongoing relationship with MORE, on Friday, April 27 at 4PM

The MORE Meeting announcement - note how little information is given about what has been going on to the MORE membership.
REMINDER: Please try to attend this important meeting that will discuss the future direction of the caucus.
MORE General Meeting 
Sat. April 28
CUNY Graduate Center
Room 5414

Proposed Agenda:
  • Contract Strategy Proposal
  • Committee Reports
  • New Items/ Sharing of concerns
Join us afterwards at the Parental Leave Forum - From 3-5 PM at the Ya Ya Center  - RSVP Here on FB - 224 West 29 Street, 14th floor, New York, NY 10001

If you'd like to help out in some way contact or 


  1. Some people will tell you that "Less is more," but in this instance "MORE is definitely less."

  2. Norman, you're apparently inexhaustible supply of energy continues to amaze me here in Texas. I hope you save some of that energy for a soon-to-be ferry boat ride to the Upper East Side. Meanwhile, I thought for a moment you had captured one of the stars of the famous film White Christmas to be in your ranks, but then I realized that there was a comma between Vera and Ellen.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.