Monday, June 21, 2021

UPDATE W OFFICIAL RESULTS - UFT Retiree Chapter Election impacted by proposed Medicare changes - High turnout, RA vote up by ten points, reaching 30% - highest ever - Unity still gets all 300 delegates

UPDATE: June 23, 2021 

At the Retired Teacher meeting June 22, they released the official results:

RTC Election Results

Slate results:
Total votes cast: 23,024
Retiree Advocate/UFT: 6755 (29.3%)
Unity slate: 16,269 (70.7%)

Chapter Leader Results:
Total votes cast: 23,546
Gloria Brandman, RA: 6900 (29.3%)
Tom Murphy, Unity: 16,646 (70.7%)

I and Eterno (UNITY WINS RETIRED TEACHERS CHAPTER ELECTION BUT SUPPORT FINALLY SLIPS) were out earlier because we felt they were purposely withholding the official counts so they could announce it themselves almost a week after the vote count, which was incredibly slow. That seems to be a trend in recent years. I remember having the results of elections the same day in the past - until a few years ago when I detected what seemed to be intentional slowdowns. We sat there all day in 2019, often with nothing happening as machines broke down. Unity just wore us out. In 2016 we learned we won the high schools at around 5PM. In 2004 we learned we won the high schools before noon. Also there seems to be some holding back on all the data - not in this election but in general elections. The UFT has the means to order boro, school and district voting patterns. In 2016 we got some data but they claimed they didn't pay for school patters. I think that would be pretty useful info -- to see where there is a total lack of interest. For all we know they do pay for that but don't share.


Here is the original post:

All vote totals are not official but Tentative:
Number of votes cast: 24,000 (approximately). 
Slate votes
Unity: 16,646 (70%)
Retiree Advocate: 6755 (30%), all of whom are pay union dues-  taxation without representation in the delegate assembly.

Non-slate votes (varies by candidate)
Unity: 350-400
RA: 140-150

Voided ballots  - 350+ (like people who voted for both slates or scribbled nasty comments instead of voting.

Yes Virginia, the significantly higher vote totals for RA are clearly connected to the UFT leadership attempt to privatize our medicare and would have been even higher if more people were aware. If the Unity retiree totals in next year's general election were to drop into the 60s%. there will be some panic at UFT HQ - which means your attendance on June 30 can make a difference.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Before I go on my rant, join us in June 30 at 12 noon at the plaze in front of the Indian Museum for a rolling (moving) rally where we will make some strategic stops. We expect people from many unions and there might even be some music -- I can hum.
How does this connect to the outcome of this election? What I said above. 
Note how Mulgrew keeps harping on our role in pushing back against privatizing that we are "politicizing" the issue. After all, who really cares about taking away our medicare? We just want to hassle Mulgrew.

With the whole world having moved away from privatized health care, Mulgrew acts like a Republican and moves us away from public health care. Sure it's politics -- the UFT's weak center Dem politics.

Imagine if the word had really gotten out to retirees. We wouldn't have won but I bet we might have dug deeper into the 30's and once you start looking at 40% - wowser. But I do know this is a one issue situation for retirees. They are pretty much the happiest UFT members. Almost 7000 unhappy retirees may make Mulgrew look for a deal to keep them happy but screw future retirees. 

Some background info

The vote count for the Retiree Chapter election took place last Wednesday, June 16, I and other representatives from the contending Unity and Retiree Advocate (RA) caucuses were present all day awaiting the results. Shortly before 7 PM we were given what was termed preliminary results for those who voted for one of the two slates. Approximately 500 non-slate votes where voters checked off individuals from a list of 12 officers, 25 executive board and 300 delegates to the delegate assembly. RA ran about 130 while Unity ran a full slate. 

Imagine that almost 7000 people voted for RA and we get not one delegate to the DA while Unity winner take all gets all 300. Let's do the math -- 30% would give us 90 delegates -- we actually asked for a measly 5 as a show of good faith with Unity and they said NO. As I said, 7000 taxed without representation.

24 thousand out of a potential 70 thousand votes - 1/3 were returned which is considered a fairly high turnout for this election, held every three years.

Retiree vote has generally run over 85% for Unity in general elections: In 2019, only 11% due to divisions in opposition

It's always been clear that the key to Unity Caucus maintaining dominant control of the UFT is based on the retiree vote, which in general elections runs about 85% in favor of Unity. In 2019 it was even worse - only 11% of retirees voted opposition - there were three caucuses running.

With 70 thousand retirees, votes in general elections are limited to 23,000 which are pro-rated. But in reality no more than 24,000 vote in those elections. Given these numbers, even before an election begins, any opposition begins with a handicap, behind 20,000- 3,500. That's a lot of in-service member votes to make up. The only areas opposition can win anything is in the three major divisions where retirees don't vote: elementary, middle school and high school. Elections are every three years, with the next general election coming next year in the spring of 2022. RA as a caucus is never on the general election ballot but has worked with various caucuses in those elections as support troops, especially during working hours. RA expects to play a bigger role in next year's election. 

[All- Star Cast Joins Retiree Advocate/UFT Slate to...]

Retiree vote in past chapter elections has run roughly 20%

The retiree chapter election, also every three years, has no voting restrictions and RA has done slightly better head to head with Unity in chapter elections, affirming my argument that Unity opponents due best with one united front - head to head.

Over the past two decades Unity has been opposed by Retiree Advocate/UFT, a retiree caucus originally based out of New Action Caucus which has run in general elections for the past 25 years. I'm not sure but I don't think RA ever got much more than 20% and certainly never got anywhere near 7000 votes.

RA broadened its outreach about 6 years ago by officially separating from New Action and has attracted retirees from other caucuses in the UFT. In essence RA caucus is a conglomeration of activists who were in ICE, NA, Solidarity, MORE - a true united front.  

[The United Front: Retiree Advocate/UFT brings frie...]

That effort paid off as we were organizationally prepared to address the privatization issue when it hit in April, having met regularly all year, organized a webinar with 400 people registered, Press Conf at City Hall and the upcoming roving rally on June 30. 

The jump in voting for RA reflects this work. Now I don't necessarily expect the same outcome in retiree votes in the general election but if that did happen, there will be dark smoke coming out of 52 Broadway.

Some recent ed notes articles.

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