Wednesday, May 11, 2022

UFT Election 2022 - Jammed Scanners, 50K vote, Lots of Schmoozing as UFC Gang Show up, 27K Retirees Counted but no results yet - Day 2 begins with Elementary

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

We were there until 10 PM last night just as the retiree vote, which they began counting at 12:30 PM (it took them over 3 hours to get everything set up). 

I was there from the beginning and watched then set up in a separated section - I could see piles of ballots - David Hickey gave us very rough numbers on returns for each division as we came in and I reported them out. They looked low - the biggest drop seems to be elementary school and the highest number of retirees voted ever -- probably when all is said and done, over 27K, which is  clearly well over half the returns.
 I got some answers to questions. My first concern was ballots that arrived Monday after 8 AM - David Hickey assured me they would be counted - and maybe even some in the morning Tuesday mail. Later they called me out as a member of the election committee to say these totaled 1600 and wanted me to speak for the UFC to say yes and I did -- we came in ready to ask for them to be counted. Some people emailed me asking how I could tell they were kosher and I just don't have an answer to that. I also asked if we could examine the name of those who voted and Hickey said that would be fine. He did that with Portelos in 2016. I don't know if I have it in me to stay in that room to do that, since today we have another day of sort of observing.

When they started doing the count we realized we had no way of actually watching the ballots going through the scanners. We used to be able to look over their shoulders and watch the computer screens. They say there are 4 scanners but I only could see two. We complained and they got a UFT tech guy to set up a camera to broadcast two scanner views on the big screen where you could watch the ballots fly by -- and get a sense of how the vote is going -- except the scanner seemed to stop every 3 votes. I pretty much gave up and left that to more patient people. But there definitely seemed to be more Unity votes going by than UFC. We figured maybe 70-30, which would be disappointing because Retiree Advocate got 30% a year ago in the RTC election with 24K voting. I would have hoped the majority of the 3k more voters would lean in our direction. So far no sign of that but as they completed the count around 10 PM last night by counting the non slate votes - Jonathan said there were about only 200 of those - we still didn't get numbers.

The decision to count the biggest batch first was interesting as they could have knocked off MS, HS and elementary school and maybe even functionals yesterday. We are promised that info today and I am heading down soon.

Some reports from our colleagues:
  • Halabi: Even the incomplete results are incomplete


    Jonathan made this chart on turnout. I was very disappointed as we were counting on a big turnout which we think would have favored us.  These barely natch the 2016 nunbers and elementary is a big drop, though it matches 2013 and 19. Elem seems to have a pretty big swing.

    As Jonathan points out we are having problems in getting certain numbers and we will keep pressing today. While upstairs at 52 we hear there is great interest but no real concern as long as the retirees didn't go wild. Under 70% for Unity is a break from the 85% but no where as big a break as people hoped. Clearly even the Unity people unhappy with MulfrewCare couldn't pull the trigger for UFC.

    The other news was that they fed the workers and observers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yummy. Not really.

    And we had a fun group -- the RA people of course there all day and then out working pals began arriving and we had a lot of fun hanging out - and even chatting with some Unity people -- as I said at the Ex Bd Monday night - UFT Election Riff Raff - Norm Speaks at UFT Ex Bd, - the election is over, let's talk and figure some shit out -- at the end of the evening, Daniel Alicea, Leroy Barr and I had a good and open chat where we proposed the oppo UFC group be given some official status at the DA to present a motion at every meeting and maybe a question or  two -- I mean Mulgrew has a seating chart for Unity people and says we get 10K plus votes or more, we do represent a constituency, even if a minority.

    Ok -- I'm heading down and will report info to Jonathan and James so look to their blogs for updates and maybe a twitter feed from me.

    And what would it take to get some scanners that don't jam? The past few elections cycles seem to be worse.


  1. These low turn out numbers are a referendum that Mulgrew is doing a good job and that all if fine for the teachers of NYC. I mean why would someone NOT vote? They would not vote because they are either happy with the way things are going or they are too lazy to care. Each of these two reasons will be interpreted by Unity that going forward, it will be business as usual and our upcoming contract will most likely be a disaster. Lastly, the Unity machine has learned a lot from this election. They learned that they will never have to have a presidential debate again as well as the fact that they will forever ban online voting in future elections.


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