Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Contentious UFT Para Chapter Election - Does Unity Cheat? I Know, you're shocked!

The UFT Para functional chapter is the second largest block in the UFT after the 60K retiree chapter. Chapter elections are every three years, with the next one being spring 2024. But the recent chapter leader Shelvy Abrams, a very strong leader, has left a void and some hurt feelings inside Unity Caucus as to her hand-chosen successor will be. There was unhappiness and calls for an interim election and that is currently taking place, I assume for the next year until regular elections next year. If the para and retiree chapters were ever to desert Unity, their control of the functional chapters and the UFT itself would be threatened. And with loss of support of retirees over Mulgrewcare, there is a lot at stake in this election for the leadership.

Some of the people running are or were in Unity Caucus. Former Unity people seem to have become active opponents. Here are the campaign leaflets I've seen so far. If they win, that would be a major shakeup. But even if they don't and make a dent in what has been overwhelming support for Unity, that would be worrisome for the leadership which would have to deliver some goodies for the upcoming contract.


AFTER READING THIS, please share and discuss this with your para friends.
WE are running to give paras a voice in the union, to work honestly and fairly to represent all paras and fight to improve many things from better pay to improving working conditions.  Currently the union is negotiating and asking for a FAIR contract.  We are asking for a FAIR election process, but we are finding we are not in a FAIR and clean election.  We will be sharing what we have been experiencing, which is all 100% true, honest and we have documentation and proof of everything we will be sharing with you.  Transparency is important for you to know what's really going on and what you should look for in your chapter leaders.  

One of our candidates was told by her District Rep that:
Nominating Petitions  could not be sent in as the directions stated on the nominating petitions, but instead only go through her only and if not that the paras in that school won't be counted,
as the para CANT submit the petitions. VERY SCARY, VERY WRONG!!  Oh, and we have proof, SADLY this really happened. 


UNITY used its District Representatives to circulate nominating petitions for our chapter elections in every school. Did some of them do it during work hours, WHICH IS AGAINST UNION RULES. 

The petitions had UNITY candidates' names, and positions preprinted on them and many of them were very dark copies. Paras where told to sign their petitions even though all the candidates information was not filled out at the time they signed them.  Would you sign a contract with more than half the information missing? 

Did UNITY send these to a union print shop or was it done at UFT during work hours?  For us, all that raises concerns about fairness and accessibility. 

It is important for the electoral process to be conducted in a transparent and equitable manner, with all candidates given an equal opportunity to participate and compete for office. It is important for all candidates and their supporters to respect the rights and needs of others and to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful and constructive.

It is also important for the union leadership to take steps to ensure that the electoral process is conducted in a fair and transparent manner and that all candidates are given an equal opportunity to participate. This may include setting clear rules and regulations governing the conduct of campaigns and ensuring that all candidates are provided with equal access to resources and support. As candidates we were never told after we handed in our petitions if we made the ballot.  We noticed our opposition was now campaigning, as we assume they received notice, but we did not.  We emailed the election chairperson to find out of our position.  Where are the rules of this election? 

Yesterday on my way to the big rally of municipal workers I ran into a friend on the ferry who has been connected to the opposition on the edges for years. He told me how he was a Unity Caucus member for a few months. As a new teacher and chapter leader he assumed the union would protect him and when they didn't he figured joining Unity might help. His District Rep did not recruit him because he knew he was the kind of guy to speak out and thought that would embarrass him but someone else in Unity brought him in. He went to 2 meetings and he DR made sure to sit next to him to try to control  him. The DR told him every time the boro rep says something, he should raise his hand. My friend said WTF and walked out forever.

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