My spin - a massive win for Unity and a massive loss for the
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.
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.