I'm taking a short break from my posts on the 1975 crisis with Part 4 still being worked on -- I'm going back to 1968 after the weekend death of Rhody McCoy to link 68 to the failures of 75. Check them out:
I can see both sides -- I mean just look at the ICE blog where people gripe like crazy and James pleads with them to get active to push back against the leadership instead of just withdrawing ttheir individual dues which will get them nowhere - even teh argument at if dues are withdrawn that will send a message to the leaders to get with it - not recognizing that it is not in the Unity Caucus DNA to go in that direction.
Even though most members don't even bother to vote -- a vote in itself of a sort -- there was potential to get there if there was an effective opposition.
Which leads us to another major difference between the UFT and CORE Caucus in Chicago and the coalition of groups in LA and here in NYC. But that lack of success here is also due to the very existence of a Unity Caucus type entity playing offense and on the constant watch for opposition voices with the ability and desire to coopt them into the caucus -- which did not exist in the otter cities.
So it's a complex question but the simplest answer is while Unity Caucus has bot been effective in forestalling the attacks on teachers etc it is a powerful force and very effective at maintaining power. Just witness how quickly they moved to take advantage of the MORE Caucus infighting and the offer to those who were pushed out to join them with no strings attached.