Friday, June 21, 2024

Massive Fix Para Slate Victory - Is the Unity Machine Crumbling?

Paraprofessionals are stuck with a chapter leader against whom they voted overwhelmingly. In Unity world, that means little. As long as the sitting CL serves Mulgrew, who cares about membership?... Arthur Goldstein, UFT Paraprofessionals Overwhelmingly Reject Unity

Let's do some math. Total Slate Votes: 3408
Fix Para Slate: 2516. Unity: 892. 
Let's see if I can figure out the percentages. 
2516/3408 = 74% for FPS. 
892/3408 = 25% for Unity.
Holy Shit - the para opposition to Unity actually got a higher percentage than the retiree's 63%. 
Oh, by the way, there are something like 27,000 paras eligible to vote and Unity ran a big GOTV campaign - and only got 892 votes out of a potential 27k?

Friday, June 21, 2024, 12:01 AM
- phew - I survived the Longest Day - And I didn't go to the yoga class I registered for in Times Square. But I did take a 7:30 AM hot yoga in Rockaway yesterday - and I'm still awake. Today starts the long decline in sunlight down to the dim of winter. Brrrrrr.

Back in April I wrote about the upcoming  UFT's 3 Consequential Elections, TRS, Retiree and Para. Here are three posts I put out on the latter:
Despite winning only the TRS, all three have turned out to be bad omens for Unity Caucus. Arthur is reporting on the shocking outcome of the para election:
Despite only involving 8 wins for the Fix Para Pay slate, that election has just as deep consequences in some ways as the retiree election.


Now unlike the retiree election, the paras had a very low turnout. But the numbers in a unit Unity has exercised complete control of, might be earth shaking. Why? Because if in next year's general UFT election, if the paras and retirees vote down Unity, there is a chance to capture the 19 functional chapter exec Bd seats. Add that to the pretty sure 7 HS and now the oppo has 25% of the exec bd. And the middle school vote is up for grabs.

But the big story is the erosion of Unity support throughout the UFT and a shift to credible opposition.

Even though winning the TRS election by two thirds, the UFT ran a big GOTV campaign and only about 12k voted in an election incompetently managed. And here's the rub. Ben got one third with a small group of campaign managers (I was one), with the only oppo caucus actively engaged being New Action. (MORE sat this one out for reasons I won't get into - though some individuals in MORE did help with the petitions. 

Which leads me to another interesting trend in all three elections. How much of a presence did MORE have? Nothing much in TRS or even the RTC since MORE has few retirees since ICE was asked to leave (me among them). I did see some support for the para slate though I do no think any paras involved were involved in MORE.

Suddenly, the idea that every single caucus must be on board to defeat Unity is making some people rethink the original UFC coalition that ran two years ago.

Frankly, with changes in ICE and Solidarity and some divisions inside the UFC, I see the need for some new configuration that would be beyond the narrow caucus structure where last time semi-secret negotiation went on for months and excluding a role for rank and file who are fed up.

Some broader based entity is needed. What that might look like is up for grabs.

Here are some quotes from Arthur's piece on the para election that will illuminate how Unity operates:

The Fix Para Pay slate beat the pants off Unity, but only ran a handful of candidates. Even worse, they decided to be bipartisan and run a Unity member for Chapter Leader. That member betrayed them, trash-talked them, and Unity plastered his comments all over their social media. I hear they also gave him a job, but I can’t confirm that. 
Migda, who should have run for CL, but who’s now 1st Vice Chair-elect. Unity froze her out. They didn’t give her time off. They didn’t give her a union position. They didn’t give her a salary, an office, or even a lousy UFT email address (let alone the means to address her chapter).

This was, frankly, disgraceful. And even as this was happening, the 2nd Vice Chair who Migda replaced had all the things they denied her. Essentially, the Unity Caucus decided paraprofessionals, rather than be repped by people they chose, should be repped by Whoever Michael Mulgrew Golly Gosh Darn Felt Like.

In a democracy, the President doesn’t get to select who represents individual districts. And in a union democracy, the President ought not have the right to override the will of the members. Yet that’s exactly what Mulgrew and his patronage employees did. 

Unity... unilaterally decided paraprofessionals had to run slate voting this year. Perhaps they knew how few candidates Fix Para Pay had and hoped to freeze them out entirely. In any case, they didn’t bother running this change by the UFT Executive Board, or the Delegate Assembly. They just declared that’s the way it is.

....paraprofessionals are stuck with a chapter leader against whom they voted overwhelmingly. In Unity world, that means little. As long as the sitting CL serves Mulgrew, who cares about membership? 


1 comment:

Dan Ronen said...

Dear Norman.Congratulations for the winning! Thank you for your hard work you have done for so many years! Finally we see some light in the tunnel…