With UFT elections coming in the winter/spring and the contract vote ending today, there is a connection between the two events. With Eterno predicting 89% YES, I won't go that far.I am setting the over/under for this contract at 89% approval as that was the yes vote in 2006, the last early contract.James Eterno on ICEUFT BlogHANDICAPPING THE CONTRACT RATIFICATION PERCENTAGES -
My guess on the contract vote outcome on the teachers contract will be anywhere from 75% to 93% YES. The Unity campaign could only be counteracted by a strong NO campaign. It didn't happen.
[This is a reworking of my previous post: UFT Contract Vote Scorecard Update - Who's For and Who's Against?]
75% would be a major victory for MORE and ICEUFT blog, which led the VOTE NO campaign with yeoman work by James Eterno on the ICE blog, though Solidarity Caucus, with less outreach, also opposed. James' work has impressed people in MORE and there seems to be some healing going on since the rancor last April. The contract issue has closed a bit of the gap between ICE and MORE, though some ICEers are still outraged at the undemocratic behavior of MORE. (I promise to get into these weeds at some point.) How many NO votes can be attributed to the campaigns?
I think James' post, which by the last weekend had 14,000 hits, may have been the most effective of all: EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK ON WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE NO. But he has kept up a constant drumbeat.
Also see this excellent piece on the MORE blog:
NYC teacher union loses all of the battles it never fights - The new UFT-DOE contract makes no change in the 50-year wait for lower class sizes, a fair grievance procedure, and a rational job security process, among ...I know class size reductions cost money, but to leave this ragged grievance procedure in place is criminal.
New Action leader and Ex Bd member Jonathan Halabi urged a YES vote with reservations. New Action as a group has not even met on the issue so they have not taken a position. This is a problem for MORE. And for New Action. How do you run in the UFT elections against Unity without a position on the contract?
Two elected MORE/NA Ex Bd reps, Goldstein and Schirtzer, are strong YES votes. My beef with them is that it seems OK to wait another 50 years for grievance procedure or real class size relief. Two observations and parental leave are victories but let's keep an eye on where we should have been going. MORE will continue to lobby on the contract.
I'm going to wager that the lack of a strong unified NO campaign will push the YES votes higher. But if the numbers are similar to 2014 where we had a stronger campaign that will be a sign of unhappiness in the rank and file. But much higher means an accepting rank and file of Unity rule. Don't tell me, as I heard someone say, that people voted YES holding their noses. A YES is a YES.
ICEUFT is having its monthly meeting tomorrow to discuss the contract vote and election possibilities.
I am observing the count most of the day but it probably won't be completed by the meeting and besides I cannot share the outcomes with people no matter how much rice pudding they shove down my mouth. (UFT Contract Vote Count Friday - Embagoed Till Sunday).
In 2005 ICE and TJC led a massive campaign, with rallies at the DA and the UFT and the vote count was intense -- close to 40% of the teachers voted NO. New Action, in alliance with Unity, was not part of the movement though they did issue a leaflet in opposition.
In 2014, MORE led the Vote NO with about 20,000 leaflets handed out as we went around to schools stuffing mailboxes. (Old vets like Eterno and I were somewhat disappointed in the MORE effort.)
Teachers voted 75% in favor but with 92% voting the 25% against came to 16,000 votes and there was another 4000 NOs from other divisions.
This time MORE led a Vote No campaign, but due to its internal issues that have led to a shrunken MORE, there was limited outreach in the schools but a more effective campaign on multi-media. MORES seem to think that in the schools they are in and active, there will be a NO vote -- I agree but there are too few of them.
The OT (Occupational Therapy) teachers are most upset as they were in 2014 where they did ratify the contract despite reports they were organizing to turn it down and this time they seem to be furious, so I will keep an eye on their vote. Expect paras to vote overwhelmingly -- maybe 95% YES.
The pro-election faction wants to use the campaign to push the "contract we deserve" campaign rather than focus on winning the high school seats.