We thank you for reading our leaflet and exploring our site.
We are the Independent Community of Educators, one of the political caucuses within the United Federation of Teachers. We are made of up teachers, psychologists, paraprofessionals, social workers, retirees and other DOE staff members who are concerned that the current direction of our Union is being weakened by our leadership. This is most evident from our recent contract which negotiated away many of our rights to have a voice in the schools where we teach. Over 30,000 of our members voted against the contract.
As new teachers we understand a little about what you are going through and can help you navigate the maze of rules and regulations that engulf the DOE and the UFT. Our UFT leaders have lost touch with most of our members and have permitted the DOE to run our schools like corporations.
We ask that you keep an open mind and see what the DOE and UFT leadership has done to our schools. If you have any questions please call, write, email or comment on this blog. You need not give your name or other identifying criteria.
Good luck on your new position and drop us a line.
For those of you who did not get a copy of the leaflet distributed at the Brooklyn Tech New Teacher Conference it is reproduced below.
WELCOME NEW TEACHERS!
AN EDUCATED MEMBER IS OUR BEST HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
- from the Independent Community of Educators (ICE)
The union representing teachers is called the UFT- United Federation of Teachers.
Like all large organizations, UFT members have more than one philosophy about what the main goals of the union should be.
Members have formed parties within the union called caucuses.
The caucus of the UFT president, Randi Weingarten, is Unity Caucus, just like the party of the US president, George Bush, is the Republican Party.
If you did not support President Bush or all of his policies, it would mean you had different beliefs than him and that you might be a member of a different political party, but, it would not make you un-American.
If you do not support President Weingarten or all of her policies, it means you have different beliefs and might be a member of a different political caucus, but, it does not make you anti-Union.
Some of the decisions made by incumbent politicians are for the good of the people they represent. Some decisions are made so that incumbent politicians will be re-elected and their party will retain control of governance.
Keep this in mind as you listen to and read about what Randi Weingarten is doing. Be aware that there are other ideas about our Union. Union officials, including the president will be elected by you this Spring.
While all teachers pay UFT dues you need to sign a membership card to vote. Make sure you do.
If you want to find out more, log onto http://www.ice-uft.org/, the Independent Community of Educators’ website. We also have a web log which can be accessed at http://iceuftblog.blogspot.com/
Good luck as you begin your new career.
For more info please call us at (917) 992-3734 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org