Friday, August 10, 2018

Fallout: Nysut/uft Backs anti-union pro-charter slug Alcantara endorsement over Robert Jackson

I maintain that Eva Moskowitz alone has cost the UFT more union jobs - and dues - than Janus ever will. For our union to support darlings of hedge fund charter supporters (Paul Tudor Jones, Hedge Funds, Charter Schools, and the IDC), is outrageous.

NYSUT/UFT supporting pro-charter and IDC traitor Alcantara (against pro-teacher stalwart Robert Jackson) is akin to giving Janus himself an award.

When I posted about the endorsements a follower in twitter -- a fairly young teacher, tweeted back:
Glad I pulled my cope money. They went with the moderate over the progressive in pretty much every race. They will never learn.
Arthur makes the same point at NYC Educator on the NYSUT/UFT endorsements today. The headline says it all: NYSUT Endorses, Having Learned Nothing from Trump or Janus.
[The] UFT is the big dog in NYSUT, and I don't believe NYSUT does anything of significance without our approval. That said, I'm struck senseless by our opposition to education hero Robert Jackson. Jackson stood with us through CFE. CFE was a lawsuit under which we won lower class sizes. It's never been enforced, even though the city came up with a plan to do so that was approved by the state. Jackson is running against Marisol Alcantara, who caucused with IDC
What is more dangerous to teachers and ultimately anti-union and will cost more jobs - and more dues, the Janus decision or the the anti-union charter school expansion? If the UFT had mobilized the membership to stop charters we might be in a very different position. But they wanted to play in the ed deform game themselves.


The comment justifying the Alcantara endorsement from a likely Unity slug on my recent post, NYSUT/UFT State Endorsements - Endorse IDC Alcantrara, Stab Robert Jackson in the Back - Again, is indicative of the kind of narrow thinking the people running our union engage in.
Alcantara was instrumental in passing the law that will minimize the effects of the Janus decision, which imposes a right to work regime on all public sector employees, including teachers. As a union, stopping freeloaders is critical if UFT and NYSUT will continue to thrive. This was the highest priority of the union, and she delivered. That and she voted in line with UFT and NYSUT's positions. If the charter school people want to give her money, so what, if she always ends up voting with the UFT and NYSUT. That is just them investing badly... 
WTF, justifying their endorsement. The charter schools investing in Alcantara badly or the UFT investing its endorsement badly and sending a message to future supporters that they will knife them in the back like they are doing to Robert Jackson? (I just sent Jackson a donation.)

More good stuff from Arthur's post:
Alcanatara....lists an Eva Moskowitz PAC as one of her top donors. Another is NYSUT Vote-Cope. Why the hell are we giving a dime to someone who supports a great enemy of New York City's schoolchildren, parents and teachers? How on earth can we turn against Robert Jackson for someone like that?
NYSUT made a great point of saying they opposed Senators who supported charter expansion. How does support from Moskowitz not translate into supporting charter expansion? Eva Moskowitz eats charter expansion for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we're supporting someone who takes her money. It's not a coincidence, NYSUT endorsers, that Alcantara called for a lifting of the charter cap. It's outrageous that we're putting resources behind someone like that. How do you think that will go over at the next COPE drive?
Arthur does a great job collecting for COPE in his school. COPE is not union dues and even those who hold their noses and stay in the union may not like the smell of endorsing an IDG pro-charter slug.


I posted the comment on a listserve and a retired UFT member commented:
The Writer... must think we are all idiots. Robert Jackson would’ve voted to do the same thing and minimize the impact of Janus. What Robert Jackson would not have done for the last four years is organize with the Republicans and stop all kinds of good legislation and school funding from going through. The UFT and NYSUT looks ridiculous opposing Robert Jackson.
The writer says if the charter school supporters, meaning the hedge fund community, want to give her money so what.  Really? those are the people who support Eva Moscowitz and her horrible agenda. If the UFT keeps this up they will have trouble convincing members to voluntarily signed up to pay dues.
That Robert Jackson is the victim is incredible.  There are few people who have done more for education than Robert.
Alcantara won last time when the seat was unoccupied, the opposition was split and people didn't know how bad she would be. There is a lot of activity and fund raising for Jackson.  But the hedge funders are pouring money in.  The real estate interests, biggest power player in NYS, also likes having a Republican senate.
If you know people in the 31, that runs from the west 30 along the river all the way to the top of the Bronx and maybe into Westchester, tell them about Robert Jackson.
Janus vs the people who voted to have di Blasio pay rent for charters or offer them space in public schools, which ends up undermining the school? Which is doing more to weaken the union?

1 comment:

  1. Is it possible to set up a progressive alternative COPE for UFT members that will make political contributions to candidates who reject funding from the charter schools and ed privatizers? Selections would be based on a majority vote of those contributing. I make a nominal contribution to the UFT COPE but I contribute much more to progressive democrats and Green candidates that the UFT does not endorse. I recall with disgust the NYSUT endorsement of Pataki after he appealed the DeGrasse decision. The UFT refusal to oppose Bloomberg in his third run for office was particularly shortsighted given the narrow margin that his opponent lost by. How many schools did Bloomberg close in his third term? How many charters given carte blanche? How many teachers pushed into the rubber rooms or turned into ATRS? Then the AFT Clinton endorsement in 2016 which ultimately helped Trump win. Cuomo, and now Alcantara in 2018. I would be inclined to contribute more to COPE if endorsements followed discussion and majority vote. Even if I didn't support the majority's choice, an airing of contending views would be more of a political education than the current set up.

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