Monday, March 18, 2024

Unity Changes Rules for Para Election without the consent of the para chapter, EXBD AND DA, UFT Paras for A Fair Contract

I've always believed that the chapter elections every three years are more important than the regular UFT elections (next one is spring 2025). These chapter elections in the schools and in the functionals are about to heat up.

A group of paras are getting together to run in the election under the banner of UFT Paras for A Fair Contract.

I reported on Thursday (Mar. 14) about picking up petitions for the retiree chapter election:

Retired Teacher Chapter Election - Opening Day for Petitions - And Retiree Advocate will be signing for the 300 candidates on the slate

The para election petitions were out on the counter. The para chapter has 28k members and is second to the retiree chapter 70K member and crucial for Unity to maintain control of the UFT. With the possibility of the control of RCT slipping, tightening up the para chapter is major for them. If they lose control there, the end for Unity would be on the horizon. The opposition has not done a good job in reaching out to paras. Hopefully that is changing. But Unity, while showing incompetence in servicing the members, is very competent in finding ways to keep control. And they changed an important rule in the para chapter after facing a dissident group a year ago in a special election, the first time that has happened.

Below, note the change in the para chapter election rules between 2023 and this year by the addition of slate voting to the chapter with at least 7 required to be a slate. Until now, only the retiree chapter had slate voting. All other functional chapters do not have slate voting. Not the secretaries or the social workers, for instance. 

This is a naked attempt to keep total control of the para chapter after Unity lost 2 out of 5 seats in last year's special election. The dissident group actually recruited 7 candidates but Unity gave one a job and "talked" another into not running. Thus the new requirement of having to run 7 people to be listed as a slate on the ballot is significant.

Unity worries about delegate assembly are a factor in the decision as there are about 300 delegate positions at stake and by forcing people to run on a slate it prevents any oppo para voices from becoming delegates. Also worries that in case Retiree Advocate should win their election, they would elect 300 delegates.

There are rumors floating around that Unity may try to separate out para retirees from the Retirees and form a separate chapter. 

Note that paras do not make a living wage in the UFT. Look for my follow-up post later tonight on some questions at tonight's Ex Bd on this issue.

This move reinforces the dictum that Unity operates under a prime directive: Hold on to total power at all costs. Servicing the members is not a factor.

 EONYC posted:

The @UFT para chapter constitution reads: 

ARTICLE IX. Nominations and Elections Nominations and elections of all officers, other Executive Board members and representatives shall be held in accordance with the provisions of Robert's Rules of Order, except as otherwise specifically provided by this constitution or under its bylaws. 

This election change was made without the consent of the para chapter, EXBD AND DA. 

 It is illegal. Educators of NYC@educatorsofnyc Mar 14 @UFTUnity patronage entourage continue to make up rules as they go — a la carte. After, losing 2 para seats in last year’s para chapter election… they simply changed decades of rules for this upcoming chapter election.









To get the full story, we need to go back a year ago when 2 paras not approved by Unity got elected in a special election. Now facing the full-scale election this spring, Unity has created a barrier by forcing slate voting in a para election for the first time.

We learned that when the names of people running a year ago, some in Unity, were revealed, Unity gave one of them a full-time job and forced another to withdraw, thus leaving the group with 5 instead of 7 people running.

NOTE: The new rules chose the "arbitrary" number of 7 to constitute being listed as a slate on the ballot.

In some of his final posts on the ICE blog, in April 2023 James Eterno reported on a special para election:

Unity Caucus, the UFT's ruling political party for over sixty years, is facing a challenge in the interim Paraprofessional Chapter Election from people who appear to be independent but also had some Unity supporters. 


 And he also posted this on April 15, 2023


I also reported on the election on the same day:

Maria a para running posted this:

This is from Marie Para showing Unity cheating at an official UFT event. The video is on Facebook.

Spotlight on Truth 

You can’t say you didn’t….cause ‘ya did!! Lets look at the video tape!

Let’s pay attention to the rules of the UFT.  Let’s be clear on a few things….the UFT is our union, Unity is a caucus within the union.  Just as there other caucus’, such as MORE, ICE and SOLIDARITY.  Unity has been the controlling caucus within the union.  Whenever there is a function that the UFT pays for, NO caucus can campaign at these events.  If they did allow this, all candidates should be given the same space, time, and expense of campaigning on the UFT’s dime…or should that be on YOUR UNION DUES.

Now let’s pay attention to the timeline.  January 26, 2023 the UFT held the BRONX SRP at 4PM at the Bronx Borough Office….(this was a UFT paid event), yet the Unity Candidates were there campaigning BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ELECTION PROCESS WAS ANNOUNCED. 

The nomination petitions weren’t even ready until February 16, 2023.  There was no official announcement of when this special election was going to be… why were the Unity Candidates already being introduced as candidates and what position they were running for? And how did only Unity know about the election ahead of the official announcement?  And again, no caucus is allowed to campaign at UFT paid events!!!

This is obviously and attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other candidates.  If Unity has no regard to adhere to the rules and regulations in this election process, which would ensure a fair and transparent election, what can you expect from them if elected?

Ultimately, you want leaders that know and respect the rules and regulations governing this election process.

Unity played it very cagey with the results of the election.

Ed Notes May 30, 2023

UFT Election Officials Refuse to Reveal Para Election Numbers

Rumors that oppo in para election won two out of 5 positions up for grabs. The para chapter is the second largest (28k)after retirees in the UFT. Try to imagine how a general election (in 2025) would look of both of these chapters were close. Unity will pull out all stops, especially in the 2024 chapter elections. Watch those numbers (if they are honest) for signs of breakage in the Unity front.

When people used to claim Unity cheats in elections I always responded they don't have to steal an election - until elections get close and contentious. Then it's Katy bar the door. I firmly believe that if UFC ever won, Unity would pull a Trump and refuse to leave. 

There's a breaking story on the recent UFT para chapter election to replace leaders who have retired or left for the next year until the regular 2024 chapter elections with hints of Unity playing games and a refusal by UFT election officials to release voting counts. Educators of NYC has the preliminary story

The dissidents actually did win 2 seats and that set off shock waves in Unity, which has exerted dictatorial control over the chapter since its inception. How these 2 have been treated since that election is a story in itself -- see how the OT/PT chapter leaders were treated when they won - the attacks on them escalated until Unity regained control of the chapter.

Unity: Caucus of Knifing Membership in the Back - A parody of the Unity Caucus blog

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