Tuesday, May 10, 2022

UFT Election Riff Raff - Norm Speaks at UFT Ex Bd, Heads to Vote Count at 8 AM

I wanted to be on the election committee to raise a lot of questions and may have missed the ball on many.- Norms confessions. 
Methinks Unity already has a lot more election info than UFC does: Turnout overall and in each division and may have been monitoring it all along. I had asked election chair Carl Cambria this question on turnout around the second week -- do we have numbers. He said he'd get back to me. Still waiting but I'd bet a bundle that info has been leaked to Unity all along.

If UFC were to win, Unity would refuse to hand over the keys and go to court to

protest. There is precedent when they did that to NAC in 1985 when Shulman won the HS VP. I wanted to write about the repercusions of a UFC win locally, nationally and even internationally due to the importancs Unity control is at the state and national level in supporting the Dem party and its fundamental neoliberalism. I'd bet anything that if UFC won and Unity went to court, they would win a new election.

Jon Halabi has two interesting posts with a deep dive. Must reading today before the results come in.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

I'm in the city getting ready to head down to 52 Broadway where the election vote count begins at 8. We can expect hours of opening envelopes and sorting the color-coded ballots into batches. I will try to live blog the count if I can get onto wifi.

Some key questions we intend to ask:

  • With the deadline being a ridiculous Monday, 8AM, I want to know if there was any mail delivery at all on Monday before that time. Was there mail delivery to AAA on Sunday? Saturday? What day and time was the last acceptable mail delivery?
  • How many ballots have been received after 8AM Monday and will be received? How many late ballots will there be? This is a crucial question given the vote suppression through limited GOTV days (spring break taking a chunk) and limited time for ballot replacements. Imagine of there are thousands of late ballots that go where? In the trash? We want to see Monday and Tuesday delivery ballots brought to 52 Broadway so we can examine the envelopes.
  • Were member names scanned and tabulated as they came in or were they all done Monday after 8 AM at AAA? If as they came in, AAA had a grasp of turnout, even by districts. Did AAA at any point share turnout numbers with their employers, the UFT? If so, Unity would have had a read on turnout that UFC didn't and could have driven turnout where they were strong.
  • We are asking for the names of every person who voted. That is a Dept Of Labor union election rule. I expect resistance. But we have a right to spot check to see if ballots were handled properly.
  • When did the ballots get brought to 52 Broadway from the AAA at 120 Broadway? Monday? Or Tuesday morning? Who watches the ballots before we get there? Just a thought.

I spoke at the UFT Ex Bd last night during the 10 minute open mic period - I was running late making ferry connections and Leroy Barr was kind enough to hold my slot. I took the Rockaway ferry and arrived at Wall St at 5:15 and could have gone over to the UFT to try to speak in person. In fact I asked Leroy Barr to order me some Beef Wellington for dinner. But with covid etc I decided to jump on the quickest uptown ferry to 34St and I got to my apartment after 6 for the zoom. At the end of my statement I told Leroy he can have my beef wellington.

Nick Bacon's notes captured the essence of what I said - I copied and pasted below with a link to his blog at New Action. I didn't get notice I could speak until 5 PM and I was on the ferries, so I hurriedly scribbled some notes. I had the full ten minutes and could have easily filled them about this election but only was able to put together around 5 minutes.

What I didn't say but wished I did (in addition to the election questions I raised above) is related to the case of the UFC candidate who protested to the union that he was put on the ballot without his permission. I believe he believes that and he is probably right. But so is UFC in thinking he was OK with it based on documents I saw and submitted. I also spoke and texted with him over the weekend. 

The Exec Bd Important: Hell NO -- Leroy, Mulgrew reports and a Schirtzer Question

His problem is that he was told how important the Ex Bd position is and he is so busy he knew he couldn't serve in an important position so he asked the union to remove his name from the ballot. Leroy's report indicates that if we won the elementary schools they would remove him even though after I explained just how inconsequential and irrelevant the UFT Ex Bd was - a rubber stamp - except for Schirtzer - he was fine with being on the ballot. I wish I had said just how inconsequential the Ex Bd is.

I posted my sort of predictions yesterday:

I don't see a bg UFC win and we need to determine what constitutes a big Unity win. Under 70% is a big win in election world but in UFT world anything in the 60s, especially the low 60s, is a win but not big.

And DOENUTS, who split his ballot, seems to match my estimates except for retirees.

I fear that newbie activists

Nick Bacon -- UFT Executive Board Minutes 5-9-2022: Election Complaints, PERB, and APPR

6:01 LeRoy Barr: Open mic period: Norm Scott supposed to speak, but isn’t here. Mike Schirtzer mentions he’s running late. Leroy says if he’s running ten minutes late for the ten minute period, maybe we’ll give him 60 seconds? (Laughter).

Norm Scott: Given 10 minutes by LeRoy. Election stuff. Election is over, we’ll have results in a day or two. Things get heated. We’ve seen it. Things will tone down once it’s over and we can have some dialogue I hope. This election brought out a lot of people who weren’t involved before. Some were neutral or on other sides. But one thing that people were enraged by the most was that people weren’t being heard, whether at the DA or elsewhere. People don’t mind losing a vote if they have a chance to present their point of their view. Fine with majority rule, but the minority needs a chance to present their case. If we don’t get to talk about where we differ or disagree-that can’t happen.

Election complaints: different levels of complaining. One thing that bothered some was that people who were working for the union were doing things on union time. We were trying to track that, which caused some consternation. But we felt that if you were on the clock, you shouldn’t engage in union politics. But what we found was that we were being charged for doing things on school time. Well if we did, that shouldn’t be a UFT issue, that’s DOE. We were also stopped from giving flyers in mailboxes by Unity CLs. Can understand when a principal doesn’t get the memo, but people running on your slate should be told that they have to allow us in. We had times where we went 3 times, and were told by CLs that we wouldn’t be allowed to put in mailings.

Some complaints on what UFC has done. One complaint tonight. We had a candidate, who did not realize he was a candidate. He complained. Friday, I spoke to him and he said he didn’t complain – he made an inquiry. He showed him what he wrote, and saw that yes, it did look like a complaint. So I’m going to explain what happened – a misunderstanding. This candidate indicated he had an interest in running, but was convinced that exec board would be too much work (even though the food is great!). Once he saw his name, he realized he didn’t have the time. When I spoke to him on Friday, explained the exec board and that it involved a zoom every 2 weeks, he said that he’d be fine serving under those conditions. He had thought it was a much more time-intensive position. So this was a misunderstanding on the part of the both sides. I told him we regret it, but part of the issue is he didn’t make it quite clear. There was a lack of clarity. We have addressed that and hopefully to the satisfaction of the exec board. Please enjoy my Beef Wellington.

LeRoy Barr: 3 election complaints.

  1. What Norm touched on. This complaint is election fraud by (name redacted). Complaint was made to Carl Cambria that he was placed on ballot without knowledge or consent. Spoke with Norm about this improper nomination. Recommend that complaint be upheld. In future elections, all candidates should sign a form to their nomination. Executive Board reserves right to take future action if election is impacted. Apparently candidate wasn’t aware he was on the ballot until members of his school approached him. In text exchanges, it appears that the candidate was interested in one position (NYSUT Delegate), but not executive board. Appears that there were communication issues, and our text data isn’t complete (parts of conversation deleted). The candidate does not want to be on the ballot and this allegation should be upheld. Mike Schirtzer debates. He gave his information to be on the ballot, said he wanted one position but not another, is that correct? Vote: Upheld, Schirtzer abstaining.

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