Monday, April 4, 2022

Reality Check - Handicapping the 2022 UFT Election: Part 2 - The Range of Possibilities

Let's face facts - If UFC were to win it all, it would be by a thin margin. And I'd bet my pension that Unity would protest and yell "Stop the steal." They are Republicans after all. Mitch Mulgrew.

In part 1 (Handicapping the 2022 UFT Election: Can United for Change Win? Part 1 - UFC Unique Coalition, Unity on the Attack, Will UFC Hold Together?) I talked about the UFC Coalition and how its every nature makes the oppo in this election different and also how the Unity campaign is different as an offset.  

I believe this election can range from slam dunk 80% win for Unity and nothing for UFC to a slim win for UFC, if not overall, then in certain divisions. Keys are turnout and GOTV efforts, both weak in the past. Retirees have the biggest turnout -- like 45% of the total voters, while working teachers are more like 25% or less. If both go up significantly it favors UFC. Unity knows that and will make GOTV claims but they really want low turnout. They actually brag that the 25% is actually great for union elections, ignoring that in Chicago, with in school  voting, they get 60% turnout. And don't forget -- they turned down all UFC attempts to use electronic voting. 

Let me recommend you read Jonathan Halabi with a realistic analysis of the possibilities in this election: The answer is “Mulgrew, Medicare, Pandemic”
Jon does a deep dive on the problems Unity and Mulgrew face, so go read it. His takeaway won't totally jive with mine, but here is his conclusion:

For people who follow elections, UFT elections are usually a snore. 12 officers, 95 executive board seats, 750 delegates, none of these are a contest. There is usually a tussle over the last 7 executive board seats. The high school seats. I held one of them for 11 years. But this year? At least those 7 seats in play, with a realistic chance for more, and an outside chance for the whole ball of wax. Observers and players alike are speculating about the margin. If Unity somehow loses votes from 2019 (83%), but stays at their 2016 level (76%), that will look like a huge victory for them. But I don’t think that is likely.

Will Unity lose some votes, or will they lose a lot of votes? Will they take a small hit but still sail in with 72%? If that happens, there’s no mandate for change. UFT members who want something different will be disappointed. Some Unity members among them. Of course UFC might win, and we should talk about that, a different day. But if the votes come out and Unity wins, but takes a big hit on the numbers – and that’s what I think will happen, will that send a clear message? Will Unity adjust some of its policies? Will they find a new leader?

I'd say anything over 70% for Unity is a win in the broader sense, even if UFC wins some Ex Bd seats -- especially as you go down Jon's list of Unity ills. If people ignore that in today's world, what would it take?
But if Unity gets into mid-60s or less, which would be an overwhelming win in normal elections, in the UFT that opens up real danger signs for Unity. UFC presents a real threat in the next election with a third or more votes and if it holds together (not a slam dunk there either - though any one caucus that thinks it should go it alone is committing suicide for the future of the opposition even if good for that individual caucus).

There are people in Unity who recognize that and this time, as Jon points out, Unity is taking this election very seriously - insiders tell me they expect to win it all - including the high schools. They are running a heavy campaign and let's not ignore that campaigns do work if done right. How they are playing out in the schools is something beyond me. 

And of course UFC is running a heavy, more far reaching campaign than I've seen - ever. Jonathan's view:

Broad Coalition: United for Change, the opposition coalition, is bigger and broader than anything we’ve seen in these last two decades. Maybe the coalitions is Unity’s biggest problem? You could make that argument. But I don’t think so. We had a pretty big coalition in 2016, and did win the high school division, but it wasn’t scary for Unity the way today is.

Jon goes on to address the issues that scare Unity but I think that this time doesn't compare to the 2016 coalition which was MORE/NA while Solidarity was out there very vocally even if not with slate status. And there was still some pushback against NAC which had been in coalition with Unity for a decade.

Plus the many new players who had never been involved before, some of them former Unity supporters.

The UFC coalition ranges from right of center to far left. 
Reminds me of the groups that have organized to run against tyrant Victor Orban in Hungry - they even are running a right winger for president. If Orban wins big is that a good sign for Unity? Orban vs Mulgrew for who has more control?
At least UFC didn't court the far right and has a well-supported Camille Eterno who appeals to many segments of the UFT. She was flyering in a school with a heavy Unity presence and got a great greetng from rank and file UFT members there.

Now you might read stories about the horrors of the MORE experience c. 2016-19 -- and they are not false. I experienced them first hand. So yes I was very wary of getting involved with MORE again -- especially with some people I knew all too well. 
But I found a new MORE - lots of new people. When I left there was a core of people who were active. I have found some wonderful people who I love to work with in this election and find myself in surprising agreement on a number of issues I had within MORE.
But I have a deeper understanding and so do many in MORE of the importance of coalitions. Remember - I and MORE broke over the ruining of the MORE/NA and potential Solidarity coalition in 2019 - it was my writing about that issue from some internal meetings that got me suspended -- the best thing that happened to me.

I can't tell you how many people who are center or even center left have told me they would never back a hard left group running against Unity -- and over the decades Unity has tried to brand the oppo as hard left but this year has had some problems, though some of their hacks have tried to make the UFC coalition look like a front group for MORE. 
That is the furthest from the truth. MORE certainly has the largest contingent and in the early stages of negotiations there was some concerns about balance, but despite some rough moments over candidates, things came together fairly well and all the groups have shown strength in various ways.

And I love how some people have emerged and how some have grown. Some serious talent in MORE, Solidarity (I brag all the time about how amazing Lydia has been) and New Action and Daniel Alicea with his outreach group.

I'm particularly proud of Retiree Advocate which has led a fight against Mulgrewcare and was instumental in bringing the UFC coalition together. Another sign of the failure of Mulrew who by his actions played a major role in the formation of UFC -- we can make him an honorary member.

I will dive deeper into the particulars of the election in Part 3-infinity where I will review the divisions and the potential outcomes for each.

1 comment:

  1. If Mulgrew wins the election, he will have absolutely no reason for fight for a decent contract. It will be business as usual for him and his Unity goons with the all crucial, "seat at the table."


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