Saturday, November 05, 2005
Ratification Vote Shows Leadership Disconnect
While the vote is in and most of the spin has been spun there are some important observations that must be pointed out.
Never in the history of the UFT has so much effort gone into the ratification process. No stone was unturned, union dues spent, or pressure exerted to get this contract passed.
Despite a clear message by the Executive Board last year, reaffirmed by Randi and included in an edition of the New York Teacher opposition literature was barred by UFT leaders from being placed in mailboxes. Yet UFT District Reps and other paid staff members were given unfettered access to stuff teacher mailboxes while ICE members were not even allowed into schools or saw our literature removed from the mailboxes when we did get access.
For God’s sake they even made a pitch in the rubber room (and “forgot” to discuss the new provision dealing with the new right of the DOE to suspend members without pay).!
Randi, herself, along with other high ranking leaders were dispatched to “trouble spots,” schools were information or poll data indicated a strong negative vote.
Union meetings were disguised as information about the contract where they were clearly clever pitches to support the ratification in which most of the negative points were omitted or downplayed.
Despite a resolution calling for the ballots to be mailed to members and that strict rules be followed for the ratification vote (the resolution was ruled “out of order” by our President) the Union insisted on providing numerous opportunities to permit misguided Chapter Leaders to be able to see how members voted by holding the “secret ballot” to the light and not following historical Union practice of requiring Chapter Election Committees to hold the vote.
All this and they only got 63% of the counted votes. With 37% voting no and almost 20% not voting or sending in invalid ballots, there is clearly something rotten at 52 Broadway.
The membership has spoken, to paraphrase Randi, and they want to take back THEIR union!