Monday, June 6, 2022

Stop UFT/Unity Persecution of Christina - Sign an Open Letter re: Christina Gavin & May 23rd UFT E-board Meeting


Christina Gavin, who has produced a 71 page list of election complaints which we are sending in to the UFT today, has by her activity inspired the enmity of the UFT leadership, which has made her a focus of retaliation as I reported:
 
 
The UFT leadership engaged in an attack on Christina at the April 11 Ex Bd meeting without letting her know so she could not be there to  defend herself. She did ask for time a few weeks later. She is relentless and won't just accept a trial by none of her peers. When I start posting the 71 pages of the complaint you will see why she has become their target.

Open Letter re: Christina Gavin & May 23rd UFT E-board Meeting
UFT members have written an open letter to Michael Mulgrew and the UFT's leadership to protest their treatment of Christina Gavin, a dedicated UFT Member, and their refusal to allow Christina's supporters - also UFT members - to attend the Executive Board meeting on May 23.

You can read the letter here with a description of the incidents in question: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A318fT0dmLCJPw_bbn1iOk_zc1Av-1SDTsmyKr_8yD8/edit?usp=sharing

Also printed below:
 
Please sign & spread among other UFT members to show your support for Christina! We will add names to the letter as they are submitted through the form.

http://bit.ly/openuft

Dear UFT Leadership, 


We, the undersigned UFT members, are writing to share our deep concern, frustration, and disappointment with the UFT’s leadership in regard to the election complaints targeting Christina Gavin, a committed school librarian and UFT member, as well as your refusal to allow many of Ms. Gavin’s supporters access to the UFT Executive Board meeting on May 23rd that should have been open to all UFT members, according to the 2015 UFT Constitution. 


Ms. Gavin has been a dedicated school librarian, special education teacher, and UFT member for the past 10 years. As part of the recent UFT election, Ms. Gavin has also been diligently documenting and submitting election violations on behalf of the United for Change caucus. It is not a coincidence that Ms. Gavin is being accused of 2 acts of misconduct in light of her work for the opposition coalition that attempted to unseat current union leadership. Singling out a UFT member over the course of several Executive Board meetings is unprecedented, wildly inappropriate, retaliatory, and unreasonably petty – not to mention a waste of our union’s time and resources when there are other far greater concerns to attend to that affect all UFT members. 


The complaint relating to the Google group that Ms. Gavin created does not violate any LMRDA directives about electioneering. Similarly, Ms. Gavin’s actions on March 25 at Bar 47 did not violate any LMRDA laws; Mr. William (“Bill”) Woodruff’s actions however are in violation of LMRDA as Ms. Gavin submitted to the UFT on March 28. Mr. Woodruff had repeatedly apologized and taken ownership of his actions, a recording and transcript of which statements exist. Nevertheless, Mr. Woodruff, Ms. Maria Lopez, Ms. Sheila Romero, and Ms. Mary Perez — all UFT members, including a UFT District Representative and UFT Chapter Leaders — subsequently worked together to file a false complaint against Ms. Gavin, despite a witness to the contrary of all the falsehoods they reported.


Surely since both incidents do not violate any electioneering laws on the part of Ms. Gavin, they could have been resolved through private peer mediation through the UFT and not in a public forum wherein elected union officials have slandered the character of a union member that they have been elected to represent and protect. 


Additionally, many supporters of Ms. Gavin – approximately 70 in total – were planning to attend the Executive Board meeting on May 23rd. Ms. Gavin & Mr. Daniel Leviatin, who submitted the names of all UFT members who wished to attend, complied with Mr. LeRoy Barr’s requests to submit names in advance. This denial of numerous UFT members was a result of either intentional gatekeeping to bar Ms. Gavin’s supporters from entering or gross ineptitude. In any case, many UFT members waited for over 30 minutes to be allowed entry to the meeting; many members were not allowed into the meeting in time to hear the complaints targeting Ms. Gavin, if at all. This is inexcusable – and the exact opposite of the kind of transparent and democratic leadership one-third of the electorate were calling for during the election. 


At the May 23rd Executive Board meeting, Secretary LeRoy Barr claimed that we are a union of one. Though Mr. Barr is the UFT’s Director of Staff, instead of holding a staff member, Mr. Woodruff accountable, Mr. Barr effectively minimized and refused to acknowledge this employee’s unacceptable behavior. Mr. Barr also went on to comment about the importance of setting the record straight and honestly facing history in relation to Mr. Marcus Garvey, a long-dead individual who was never a member of the UFT, but refused to do the same for Ms. Gavin. These actions by UFT representatives do not convey a message of unity or demonstrate the solidarity that is the spirit of unionism. 


To that end, we are asking UFT leadership to address these issues with the following actions: 

  1. We ask that you dismiss the complaints against Ms. Gavin and issue a formal apology for targeting Ms. Gavin. 

  2. The video recording of the open mic portion of the Executive Board should be made available to all UFT members who requested to attend but were not allowed in time to enter the meeting.

  3. To avoid any further issues with admitting UFT members into Executive Board meetings, we are requesting that the Executive Board set up a pre-registration process for Executive Board meetings, so that members can be verified in advance. No UFT member should be denied entry. 


We are committed to building a stronger union, and we believe that UFT leadership must take these next steps to make that happen.


Signed,


Kit Wainer, Retired

Martina Meijer 

Jon Mermelstein, PS 161 - Don Pedro Albizu Campos

Sarah Hill

Olivia Swisher 

Kate Connors, John Bowne High School

Tori Leventhal, Hunter's Point Community Middle School

Clare Nolan, Bard High School Early College 

Michael Cunningham, Boys and Girls High School Campus

Rosie Frascella

Alla Umanskaya, PS/IS 30 Mary White Ovington

Jessica Dickson

Daniel Leviatin, PS59x

Marian Swerdlow, Retiree

Michael Mahrer, 02M615

Chantaya Greene

Judi Cheng

Eleftheria Sabella, Queens School of Inquiry 

Michele Ascione, Abraham Lincoln HS

Kate O'Connell, Hillcrest HS

Alex Cuff, 19K404

Gabriel Fontes, Leaders High School

Gloria Brandman, Retiree

Jalil Bey

Patricia Dobosz, Retiree

Marilena Marchetti. 13K492

Taiyo Ebato

Alison Loebel, 29Q195

Niketa Hyder

Judith Loebl, Retiree 

Alex Jallot

Bobby Greenberg, Retiree

Ellen Schweitzer, Stuyvesant High School 

Ilona Clara Nanay, 12X242, Mott Hall V

Matt Driscoll, M260

Sid Kivanoski, Retiree

Travis Malekpour, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School

Denise Rickles, Retiree

Rachel Gorman, Gregorio Luperon High School

Christina Theodoro, 15K448

James Cole

Sheila Zukowsky, Retiree 

Ronnie Almonte, Bard High School Early College (Manhattan)

Prudence Hill

Jamie Powell 

Amanda Aschettino-Ramirez, Teachers College Community School

Jennifer Clavin

Martha Bordman

Juan Córdova

David Levin, Retiree

Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Maureen McDermott, Bronx Regional High School

David Gilbert, P10X

Norm Scott. Retiree

Mary Damour, M505

Nick Bacon

Mimi Bluestone, Retiree

Sam Coleman, PS 15K

Carol Widom, PS 219, Retiree

Francis Cook, PS 261

Lillie Gatewood

Ms. R. Pikser

Ilan Desai-Geller

Joy Ferguson, Brooklyn Technical High School

Herm Jerome, M282

Daniel Alicea

Jay Werner , 09X227

Jonathan Halabi, HS of American Studies at Lehman College

Dan Leopold, P186X

Sally Beane, BSGE

Danielle Aronow

Mark Zink, CSE 07

Odalis Santana, PS 109x

Megan Moskop-Toler, Community Action School

Nira Psaltos, Thomas A. Edison CTE High School 

Kate Phillips, PS 449X

Pierce McCaffrey, Clara Barton HS

Beverly Powell, Retiree

Rebecca Mayfield

Ashley Hawkins

Gerri Calandro, NYCDOE

Peter Zucker, PS/MS 29

Joanne Millar

Rob Roszkowski

Melinda Moreis

Erica  Rhine, Retiree

Caroline Sykora, Claremont International High School

Lydia Howrilka, Clara Barton HS 

Yasmin Colón

Aimee Tabrizi, HS for Media and Communications 

Lena Chou, Central Park East High School

Nikki Camera

Steve Quester, P.S. 244Q

Emily Welsh

Rick Bonacorsi

Kara Youngs, 15K136

Miriam Markes, PS 160K

John "Jack" Ganley, 15K038

Christina Fraioli, 24Q530

Peter Allen-Lamphere, M552

Jennifer Plassman, Franklin D Roosevelt High School 

Helen Leshinsky, Jill Chaifetz Transfer High School

Thomas Diaz

Noah Teachey

Bennett Fischer, Retiree

Joseph Diodato, Substitute Teacher

Oli Occelli
Claudia Aybar, 04M083

Elaine Tang, TAG Young Scholars

 
 

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