Tuesday, September 19, 2023

A week late - First UFT Exec Bd Meeting Echos Labor Day Parade Lovefest - UFT Endorses Candidate Supporting Retirees on Healthcare

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023

I'm reporting on last week's ex bd (Sept. 11) and other events around that weekend. 

I didn't go to yesterday's meeting because my wife offered me a better meal. But given my reporting on UAW and other strikes

here is Nick@NAC reporting on the Sept. 18 meeting re UAW:

There was a resolution on the UAW Strike. I didn’t speak on it, as I of course support my fellow unionists and had already spoken enough. But, there was a certain irony to voting to endorse another union’s strike for 40% wage increases over 4 years when Unity Caucus spoke out against gaining our own right to strike, and later mercilessly heckled opposition members for suggesting we ourselves should be strike ready. The DC37 pattern that UFT conceded to without a fight, remember was just 16.37% over 5.5 years. To put this in perspective UAW was offered 21% initially over 4 years – that’s more than we got in our final deal. We heckled our own members for asking for a strike over a smaller wage increase than the offer UAW is rightly striking over. I support the UAW, and also support the UFT being able to strike. UFT leadership supports the UAW, but not our own right to strike. The contradiction should speak for itself.
Nick's full report is here.

Friday, September 15, 2023

It's a Militant Union World - Except for a Certain Teacher Union

Continuing my series on How UFT/Unity is More Like Management than Union 

Today's assignment:

Compare and Contrast: UAW Shawn Fein and UFT Michael Mulgrew as union leaders.

Key point: Fain pushes back against tenets of crony capitalism while Mulgrew supports shifting public money into the hands of corporate giants. And you will never hear Mulgrew talk about where the real money is in this city by attacking real estate interests and calling for them to pay their fair share. Why is a subject for future analysis. Hint: Militancy is no longer in the Unity DNA - except when it comes to attacking the opposition.

Friday, Sept. 15, 2023

I got off the ferry shuttle bus near my house yesterday with another guy who was wearing a union tee-shirt. I asked him if he was coming from the rally I had attended and he said hell yes. I asked what union and he is a Teamster out to support other workers. He lives a block from me. Nice to see union spirit in a 75% Republican neighborhood. 

I woke up today to a chill in the air. And a UAW strike. Today we are heading up to Westchester to meet up with Harris Lirtzman for a tour of Untermeyer Gardens. But I needed to get these points out before I go.

I'm postponing my blog post on the first UFT Ex Bd meeting of the year on Monday and last Saturday's Labor Day parade due to the breaking stories of the UAW and ongoing SAG/AFTRA and Writers strikes. 

A bunch of Retiree Advocates attended the big rally and picket lines on East 19 St and Broadway yesterday. 

The militant union movement in the nation is intense - and how this makes UFTers who just voted up a contract with a 3% raise and little else, feel - well not having access to schools - I wonder if anyone is even thinking about the comparisons. We saw no one from the UFT staff there - 52 is just a short subway ride away -- but if they did show it would be only for a photo op.

My thoughts go to how our UFT leadership lines up with the Mayor on healthcare issues while Republicans and Democrats come together to protect us from being forced into Medicare Advantage schemes. And note that the Teamsters and UAW fight to reverse givebacks, including ending multi-tier systems while the UFT seems fine with a 6-Tier pension system. In fact they gave a report at Monday's Ex Bd that the largest group working is in Tier 6 (only 7 Tier 1 left working). 

Tier 6 - another UFT death panel.

Note this breaking news --- Right and left unite to protect Medicare in Congress and Adams (and probably Mulgrew) go ballistic.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

How UFT/Unity is More Management than Union as it Succeeds in Changing NO to YES on OT/PT Contract Vote

When we lose we re-do... Unity Caucus mantra

The evidence keeps mounting. The UFT is more an agent of the employer than a union. Ie - See healthcare
A major difference between the UFT 60s-early 70s and now? The leadership and staff were battle hardened strike vets while the current crew have spent their time managing the membership to tamp down militancy. The role of the Unity machine is to manage the membership and lower expectations, not to defend their interests. The story of the re-vote on the OT/PT contract is a perfect example.
...since collectively bargaining away our healthcare is so important to UFT leadership, there’s a certain irony to AAA certification of the OT/PT revote...Nick@NAC
Wednesday, Sept. 6

There were cheering crowds by Unity Caucus hacks in Mudville, as the mighty OT/PT chapter was struck out - for now, a Pyrrhic victory for Unity which will come back to bite them. The lesson for critics of Unity is to mock and boycott the bogus negotiating committees with their cone of silence in the future as the sham they am, and question the entire voting process on contracts and even on UFT elections. There will be much more scrutiny of ballots in the future - observers should camp out at the AAA offices.

When our UFT President communicated to membership that he wouldn’t be able to do the job of collectively ‘re-bargaining’ in a timely manner, Unity orchestrated a divisive and undemocratic re-vote campaign to avoid going back to the negotiating table...Nick@NAC
UFT Organizing Model

High school teachers have voted against Unity for most of the past 4 decades, yet are saddled with the Unity HS VP since the 1990s and might start calling for going back to the old pre-1960 days of the militant High School Teachers Association, which with the recent death of a UFT founder George Altomare, reminds us of his role in bringing HSTA into the UFT fold through a merger in 1960. There would be  no UFT if not for that merger. The history is interesting. Altomare was forced to retire when Shulman defeated him for HSVP in 1985, a cataclysmic event in Unity history and setting the pattern of "When we lose we re-do." (See Jonathan's dissection of the high school division.)

Highly paid 6 figure UFT staffers making double the pay of many therapists trolled and mocked the OT/PT leader and when challenged resorted to ghost twitter accounts. 

Imagine if these highly paid staffers actually spent their time defending teacher rights.

Unions and strikes are so popular right now that in every labor dispute a clear and overwhelming percentage of the American people side with workers, not the bosses. And that’s just the beginning..... Internet comment

But our leaders live in the UFT/Unity universe, so the summer/fall of strikes is a myth to them.