Friday, July 20, 2018

The Nuclear Option - Unity Caucus Trolls Be Warned - People Pulling Dues May Look to Alternatives

Unity Caucus, Reform (and Repent).


Warning to Unity trolls --- many of us are discouraging people from pulling dues - telling people to stay in the union. That may not last forever.

If the current structure of the union stays the same there will be moves to get people to not just not pay dues but to take that money and fund a move to organize an alternative. You guys will go nuts and attack the shit out of them and accuse them of dual unionism. You will say they are being funded by the Koch bros (they used to say Ed Notes was funded by Bloomberg).

But imagine even 100 people kicking in $1400 bucks to start an ad campaign to get people to join them. They would say how pro union they are but that Unity has failed some crucial tests of unionism.

I don't expect Unity to change, as the AFT convention proved when 750 slugs backed Randi all the way in everything she does -- it is going too far to compare this to Republicans backing Trump, so don't even try that.



With MORE becoming what it's become and no real viable alternative to Unity, where do people go? Initially, they will still gravitate to an opposition group, thinking Unity can be taken down - remember that was what Solidarity and Portelos was selling last time and when I tried to point out the realities I was accused of not wanting to win. Even of they have a slate this time, between them and MORE and New Action there is so little presence in the schools the election results for next year are already in --I always maintained you can judge by how many people show up to a Delegate Assembly to challenge Unity -- and it is less than ever,

With UFT elections coming in 6 months I am sitting on the hammock and doing what I can to get people to boycott -- to me it would be a joy to see Unity have no loyal opposition to point to -- people don't vote because there is so little at stake.

Even in the high schools where there is a real contest, less than 5000 out of 20,000 vote. So MORE/NA won with 2350 votes out of a potential 20,000. It will be no different this time. MORE HS Ex Bd people cannot claim to rep high school teachers in the real world -- only the 2350 who voted for them. And the 2250 who voted for Unity - well, they get rep from the other Unity people. Meanwhile, those 2350 high school people had no voice in Pittsburgh.

What about 2 thousand elementary school people who voted for the opposition or the 1300 middle school people --- no voice on the Ex Bd or at the AFT and NYSUT. In a proportional rep system they would get a few Ex bd seats and some AFT delegate positions. That would bring some political diversity to the UFT -- those disgruntled people might not be leaving so fast.

Let's see what happens over the next 3 years. The danger is if the Koch type people use e4e to do exactly this. Don't think Randi is not aware of this danger and that is why they are trying to co-opt E4e.

So, the Unity machine may be able to keep membership through threats and intimidation. But one day some people may just decide to look for an alternative.

3 comments:

  1. I was one of the 2,000 elementary teachers who voted for an opposition group to Unity. (I also convinced a number of my colleagues to do the same) I wish an established, strong, union would offer us the opportunity to represent us. Just imagine if the TWU was willing to represent us? The city would shit a brick and we would get a real contract for once.

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  2. Just putting this out there: "The Ultimatum Petition"; the idea of collecting names on a petition, and giving Unity XX amount of time to make certain changes, or else the signatories will withold their dues, is both the only option open for people who want the union to be closer to members AND a Pandora's Box that I'm sure will not be able to be closed again.
    For those of us who would like the union to reform, the options are between"sucks" and "sucks more".

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  3. Teachers need to do more than look for an alternative. They have to become the alternative.

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