Thursday, April 18, 2019

UFT Election Results: Unity the BIG Winner, MORE the Biggest Loser, Solidarity Stays Alive

Mulgrew, the Unity Caucus candidate, received 38,591 votes, or 86.2 percent of the votes cast while Solidarity Caucus candidate Lydia Howrilka received 3,604 votes (8 percent) and Dermot Myrie the candidate of the MORE caucus, got 2,540 votes (5.6 percent).... All 102 seats on the union's Executive Board were won by the Unity caucus........UFT Web site 
My spin - a massive win for Unity and a massive loss for the
opposition even though Solidarity can claim the mantle of the only caucus that shows signs of growth.

Unity won by the biggest margin in years as the folly of 3 opposition caucuses was revealed. The total of Solidarity and MORE was roughly 6000 votes (we don't have New Action since they did not run officers). That Lydia finished second was the big surprise and the poor showing of MORE is making me eat a lot of crow with some former MOREs who predicted this disaster -- kudos to John G and Peter Z. John predicted Solidarity would beat MORE and Peter predicted MORE would finish under 4000 votes. Even he was over optimistic.

And for the first time since 1993, Unity won the high schools unassisted - Wait, Wait -- actually they were assisted by having Arthur and Mike join them and bring many former MORE votes with them to Unity.

I know this puts Solidarity in the titular position of the opposition with the most support but it is a hollow "victory." Sadly, it seems that New Action has faded so far and let's blame MORE's refusal to run with them as a reason. Some of us in the opposition might even join New Action to try to keep it alive.

In 2016 election MORE/New Action had almost 10,600 votes and Portelos running for Solidarity had 1400. 6000 (plus whatever New Action gets) combined this time is a drop in half of what the opposition received just 3 years ago. Sad. Remember - I urged people not to bother running because the outcomes mean something to people. So even if you don't want to troll for votes, people take the ability to get votes seriously even if you don't - yes, I'm talking to the faction in control of MORE who pushed this idea on some fairly inexperienced people and they just wasted 5 months of talking about the election. I bet they will have a victory party.

No one - MORE or New Action - wanted to run with Solidarity because they didn't have a big base. I didn't expect much from them and challenged them to prove they had a base of votes. And they did to some extent in that they finished ahead of all the other opposition groups and now can claim a mantle of the opposition with the most support even if it is minuscule. But they worked real hard to get on the ballot and get votes. Give them credit - let's see if they can build on this outcome. (Frankly, ICE got around that many votes in its first run in 2004 and I thought that was pathetic.)

Now Solidarity beating out MORE is a big thing in the tiny world of the opposition inside the UFT and their 3600 votes was in line with my prediction since I expected them to double their totals from last time especially since they had a slate this time. Showing some growth is essential but it was clear they didn't have enough of a base to make much bigger gains. But no matter what people say, the real race was to beat MORE -

Shockingly they did. I expected MORE to lose thousands of votes - but MORE dropped so drastically and so quickly. Jia Lee who was the presidential candidate and received 10,700 votes in 2016 ran for VP Special Ed this time and received only 2700 votes to Solidarity's Quinn Zanoni's 3600. Jia's vote totals dropped by 8000 votes and it has nothing to do with her but it does in this sense - she backed all the way the MORE moves that have turned it into a boutique caucus.

Think of it - in 3 years MORE lost 8000 votes. Someone do the % drop math -- from 10,600 to 2,600. Is 75% a rough figure or am I way off?

From what I've been hearing a whole bunch of votes for Solidarity came from people who voted for MORE last time. Let's say 1000 - the difference in their totals. But what happened to the other 6000 votes that the opposition got in 2016 - and also remember that 12000 people did vote against the contract. MORE lost them or even didn't try very hard to get them. And don't forget, they must have had some support from inside the OT/PT unit, so imagine their base in terms of classroom teachers is even smaller.

Here is my first impressions of where MORE lost votes:
Solidarity, Unity, and non-voting.

But watch the spin - MORE will declare victory - that they didn't really try and purposely ran not to win and that there are 2600 people out there to organize for their platform -- just like they organized the 10,600 last time.

All the years of building up to 12000 votes and it all went crashing against the rocks of MORE sectarianism.

At the end of the day, the opposition in the UFT is decimated and Unity Caucus is more empowered than ever. Nice work.

The faction in control of MORE ought to write  book - how to destroy a union opposition and empower the ruling power.

Here is the UFT posting.

Michael Mulgrew re-elected UFT president

UFT President Michael Mulgrew has won his fourth term as the union’s president. Mulgrew, the Unity Caucus candidate, received 38,591 votes, or 86.2 percent of the votes cast, while Solidarity Caucus candidate Lydia Howrilka received 3,604 votes (8 percent) and Dermot Myrie the candidate of the MORE caucus, got 2,540 votes (5.6 percent).

The results, which were tabulated by the American Arbitration Association, also showed the election of the following candidates on the Mulgrew/Unity slate: LeRoy Barr, secretary; Michael Sill, assistant secretary; Debra Penny, treasurer; Tom Brown, assistant treasurer; Karen Alford, vice president for elementary schools; Richard Mantell, vice president for intermediate schools; Janella Hinds, vice president for academic high schools; Sterling Roberson, vice president for career and technical education high schools; MaryJo Ginese, vice president for special education; Evelyn DeJesus, vice president for education; and Anne Goldman, vice president for members not employed by the New York City Department of Education. They will all serve three-year terms that begin on July 1, 2019.  All 102 seats on the union's Executive Board were won by the Unity caucus.

Mr. Mulgrew said:  “I am honored to have the support of so many union members who have dedicated their working lives to helping the children and families of New York City.”

Mulgrew was elevated to the presidency after serving as the union’s vice president for career and technical education high schools and its chief operating officer. He was elected to his first full term as UFT president in 2010. He began as a teacher and spent most of his 12 years at William E. Grady HS in Brooklyn, where he served as chapter leader for five years.

Eligible voters included teachers, paraprofessionals, school secretaries, occupational and physical therapists, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, administrative law judges, registered nurses, family child care providers and other active and retired members.


John G said...

Great analysis. Brief reminder, the beginning of the end for me in MORE was when I asserted that folks who probably voted for Trump are teachers too and that if we're going to stay serious, we had to find room for them in our union caucus tent. MORE chose to not engage them and then, eventually, decided to throw out anyone who would engage them (and then anyone else would not agree with their strategy of purging their way to the top).

We now *know* there are less than 2500 hard core left leaning teachers in NYC classrooms. This lays bare the concept that we must organize from and for the left and it suggests that we all need to focus on our points of unity if we expect anything from our union.

Yet at the same time, here is this 20 something untenured teacher who -without the benefits of wisdom or age and with not even a wise unionist to guide her- has figured this out and has the matzi to scream about teacher rights and the principles of a strong union at the top of her lungs (not caring, by the way) about consequences or any political affiliation at all other than that of Union..and what happens? Her and her caucus are the only ones who are growing.

Let me know when folks figure out that 2500 is not enough to organize any meaningful opposition to the Unity Caucus and I'll put my xbox down and get back involved.

ed notes online said...

I have some new info which I will blog about soon -- Give me a break. Like you were a shadow HSVP over the past 3 years. When ICE was a new caucus competing with TJC and New Action we did better than Solidarity. What is interesting is that Unity only got 2100 votes in the high schools - about the same as in 2016. So they show no more strength - actually I am betting their real total is closer to their 1585 they got in 2013 and Arthur/Mike and others brought them up. Consider that Arthur's school alone has 200 HS teachers, most of whom went to MORE in 2016. Swap those votes into Unity this time. Solidarity had over 400 in high schools and New Action dropped to less than 200. MORE didn't run candidates. So while Unity may blast this as a 75% win for them in the HS that is a false flag.

John G said...

Oh, I was a shadow over the last few years, I'll ssy that! Lol.
Agree about numbers. There are centrists snd trumpettes at FrannyLou, though. So it proves the point: There needs to be a "we" here.
And, actually, you taught me that 😌😎

ed notes online said...

I was copying my comment from James' blog - where he called Lydia a shadow president just like James was a shadow HSVEEP since he actually got more HS votes than Unity.
Let's not forget the point about MORE. They are not interested in organizing an opposition to Unity. They are only interested in those potential 2600 - weak showing in the UFT but if they even got 5% of those people to become active in MORE that makes MORE the biggest caucus in decades. They will be shameless in this. And if they had done what I suggested and not run at all they would be looking like a rose.

Jake J. said...

Curious what turn out was compared to previous years. I found online that "about 53,000 ballots were cast in 2016 compared to 41,000 in 2013."

If 2019 had 38,591 votes, it would seem participation is way down.

That could mean members are content, or could mean they are disconnected, unaware who the candidates are, or what they are running for. Or, it could mean that the entire format sucks, there is no publicity or interest and union engagement is now lagging...

To me, Norm is the resident historian of the UFT elections, but I also look at it from the POV of a brand new teacher who doesn't understand any of this. Are there big differences in the caucuses or really just minor differences? Can "uninvolved" teachers hear from someone why their votes for *anyone* would matter or make a difference?

And then we have the overwhelming size, influence and inevitability of Unity - are the UFT elections actually a marketplace of ideas, or just a formality? Do all the deliberations of real consequence take place in Unity meetings and everyone else is spinning wheels?

I do remember Norm suggesting that the opposition lay their differences aside and consolidate forces to actually compete, but even there it seems Unity probably would have won everything. So what is this all about in 2019?

Anonymous said...

Do you have an idea of what turnout is this year?

John G said...

Well I wouldn't know. The author chose not to publish my comment on James' blog.