Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Welcome New Teachers

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.


  • 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, the Independent Community of Educators’ website. We also have a web log which can be accessed at

Good luck as you begin your new career.

For more info please call us at (917) 992-3734 or email at


Norm said...

"How dare we? This is not a caucus event."

Thus we heard from the horde of UFT employees who were getting paid to be at the event. Did they give out the propaganda-laden NY Teacher withhow many pics of Randi? Not a caucus event?

Best line when Jeff said hello to Randi and asked how her summer was?
"I WORKED this summer."

Unitymustgo said...

Good start. Leaflets like these should be distributed through out the schools at a minimum by-weekly. There is plenty to inform new members about, and to remind old members about.

In my opinion key strategies need to be followed.

First, They need to be informative about what the UFT gave up under Unity leadership, and clear explanations about why these things are not good for us as employees and educators. Further, They need to state what Ice believes should be negotiated in the next contract to remedy the problems being pointed out.

Second, Ice needs to inform the membership about the improprieties Unity had done on it's own behalf to keep power. Again, I think Ice should explain what they would change to create real fairness in our union.

I additionally think Ice should pro-actively point out that Unity will likely go on the attack against them, as is their nature. Ice shouldn't get vicious back, just matter a factly respond briefly and move on to continue pointing out all of Unity's flaws.

These leaflets should try to remain fairly calm and nice in tone. They should just cover a few things at a time. Keep them simple and informative.

Last, I think Ice should create their own informal school representative system. Volunteers need to be asked for, and action started to create a presence.

Just my 2 cents.

By the way I would be happy to be the representative for Ice at my school.

Pat D. said...

This is great. New members to the union need to know that there are better ideas out there than UNITY, and they are not betraying the UFT by reading and considering other views.

Anonymous said...

Unity Must Go should contact ICE directly. The piece is great.

northbrooklyn said...

Randi is suppose to work the summer.

Anonymous said...

Go ICE!!!!!

I Hate Unity said...

We must get access to the membership mailing list so that we can send literature out to members without unity hacks removing them from the mailboxes.

Norm said...

To I hate Unity:
Things go way beyond this election.

The major way to reach teachers is through the mail boxes. No caucus other than Unity has the resources to do a mailing. We need a contact in every school who will get the lit to people through mail boxes, teacher rooms, etc and will make sure Unity doesn't remove the materials (all teachers have rights to use mailboxes for union related material in their schools) hopefully by downloading a flyer and making copies themselves to save us the costs and enormous effort of distribution by hand.

We need people to send us their contact info so we can start to work. If people want to see change, there comes a time when they have to take a stand.

We need 800 people to sign on to run with the ICE-TJC slate. These kinds of numbers will make an impression that will serve as some kind of check on Unity in the next contract negotiations. And the net we build in the elections will come in very handy in the next contract vote where we hope our contacts will stand up to Unity in the schools.

People can start by printing the new teacher flyer and giving a copy to new teachers in their schools.

Unitymustgo said...

I'm in. I'm down with norm. He's got it exactly right.

As volunteers come in a master list of what schools they are represented should be kept. This way schools without volunteers can be visited in order to gain support and hopefully a volunteer.

Anonymous said...

Great start guys. Now let's all contact ICE and win, win, win!!!