Monday, September 11, 2006

Executive Board Report: 09-11-06

Randi to Executive Board “I Don’t Have To Answer Your Stinkin’ Questions About District Rep Elections.”

In a stunning show of arrogance, UFT President Weingarten refused to answer a simple question about why District Reps are still appointed rather than elected when there is no longer any legal authority for it.

A little background. Back in 2004 when the DOE reorganized the Districts into regions the UFT leadership used this as an excuse to end the practice of elections for District Reps. The resolution which passed was billed as “temporary measure” and expired at the end of the school year in June 2005.

The following year the UFT leadership still believed that elections were undemocratic and insisted on continuing the practice of appointing District Reps although there was no plausible reason to do so. A “temporary resolution” was repeated with the expiration date at the end of school in June 2006.

No resolutions were made and we thought it reverted back to elections.


Randi was asked a simple question tonight as to why appointments were continuing without authorization. A call to revoke the illegal appointments was made (Several DRs were appointed over the summer including Queens HS and several Districts). Randi blasted back with a question as to why we didn’t object last June when the Queens District Rep position was being interviewed. Easy…it was legal then. It isn’t now.

Randi, play by the rules…even those that are stacked up in your favor!

The bottom line is that appointment of DRs is clearly undemocratic and violative of the fair and equitable treatment of our members.

In other Executive Board antics that would make a spin doctor dizzy it was announced that our wonderful contract has yielded an unprecedented number of transfers and U-ratings are about the same as last year. Knowing that a principal has unbridled power to make staff life intolerable under our “wonderful contract” demonstrates that these unverified statistics do not mesh with our experience. Spin on guys but eventually you will be tossed off.

Randi made some more promises to teachers in the rubber room. What they need is proper representation not promises. Hire investigators and paralegals to help investigate the circumstances of the charges. Randi made a statement that she was concerned that there were those in the rubber room who didn’t want their cases investigated. Ridiculous.

You think it is better to be left in the dark?


Anonymous said...

Is it true that Chapter Leader elections will be ended because they are not as effecient as appointments?

Anonymous said...

Typical. Not a surpise at all.

Anonymous said...

When will people get up and say, "enough already?"

Anonymous said...

At this Saturday's labor parade the only person who showed up from ICE was James Eterno. Where was the rest of ICE, Where was Weiner, Jeff Kaufman or Norman Scott. Wasn't there a retiree bus?

ednotes online said...

Were you taking attendance? And do you know everyone in ICE as in fact there were others there?

What exactly does this have to do with not having district rep elections?

Raising this issue in response to this post is just plain weird. As if Jeff's attendance at the Labor Day Parade is a requirment for him to bring up issues related to union democracy. Why not address the issue of district rep elections instead of throwing red herrings out?

Anonymous said...

Randi did not say that some members in the "rubber rooms" did not want their cases investigated, as your flawed paraphrase suggests.She pointed out that some folks there did not want their return to school sites expedited. Randi did not speculate by editorializing; neither did she slant the truth.By misrepresenting her actions and her words, you are not doing the "rubber room" members a service; your volitional ignorance, if anything, may put the folks whom you purport to support, in harm's way. You cannot conjure substance out of the empty hat of passion.

nyceducator said...

Her refusal to acknowledge the fact that her system of appointing District Reps, of course, is no problem at all.

Nor is it a problem that we high school teachers can't even elect our own VP.

You guys could probably teach GW a thing or two about repression democracy.

nyceducator said...

Pardon--I should've said that her system had expired, and that she was simply robbing us of another choice, with no discussion.

Thanks a lot, Unity.

Anonymous said...

While there is a high probability that some of the ICE post may be "spinned", I still feel we get the real picture here of how our union is taking away our right to select our representatives.

Anonymous said...

Atrocious! Disrespectful! Out of order! Disgusting! Randi MUST be voted out!

jameseterno said...

To the guy who was taking attendance:

Several ICERs were there at the Labor Day parade. ICE is more than just Kaufman, Scott, et al. We had a group there and we enjoyed marching.

Anonymous said...

Do ICE teachers look different than Unity teachers?????

Maybe you should wear Icecapades costumes, you know, all the glitter, so Unity can identify you better.

ednotes online said...

"Randi did not say that some members in the "rubber rooms" did not want their cases investigated, as your flawed paraphrase suggests.

She pointed out that some folks there did not want their return to school sites expedited."

Isn't this the same thing in essence? Once the case is investigated that leads to its end and a resolution which could result in going back to school.

But Randi also said it is so difficult to find a resolution to the issue of those who want their case done as quicly as possible (like Steve from Tech who spoke) and those that don't. What's so difficult? If you want your case expedited then the UFT should help by getting it put at the top of the list. Simple. It is hard because they don't want a solution as the rubber room people embarrases the union because they fear the press for defending people. Why did Randi have to wait for Steve to come to a meeting to make a plea before calling fro a reso to support him? Pure PR.

And you seem to forget the pamphlet, as Randi seemed to also that was promised in June to help new members of the RR - remember how she attacked Jeff's proposal to hire paralegals to do indpenendent investigations? Well when asked about it over 2 months later we saw that dear in headlights look. Not exactly a priority for the UFT.

Anonymous said...

We don't got to show you our double pensions, either.

Unitymustgo said...

About the comment to wear costumes to help identify Ice-members. With the way Unity runs our Union maybe Yellow 6 point stars might be there preferred choice for you.

Anonymous said...

That last comment about the yellow star is in very poor taste. You should be a bit more careful about the holocaust imagery.

Impeach Randi said...

Then Randi should stop acting like a Hitler-esque dictator.

Anonymous said...

Wake up teachers and oust Unity now.

ednotes online said...

Hey gang. Let's get some perspective here. While we are adamantly opposed to many of the policies of Unity, we in ICE in no way would ever categorize Randi in such vicious terms. The average teacher who has dealt with Randi would think anyone who categorizes her this way is a lunatic, so be careful out there.

With all its problems the UFT still functions in ways that other unions would only hope to reach. Randi has proven to be one of the most responsive union leaders you will find. A lot of this is PR but not all of it.

The building of an alternative to Unity is not only to replace them but to become enough of a force that their policies will be modified in response to the pressure. There are signs this is already working. Again, whether this is PR or real, we will have to wait and see.

One thing they won't give on is democracy because it will threaten their control. So no matter what Randi does to molify people, you will never see her give an inch on any of these issues unless be have enormous forces behind us. And we firmly believe the basic policies of the UFT cannot change until the DA and the Exec Bd are democratized.

A more democratic union is not an abstract concept but has a daily impact on people in the schools - witness the last contract.

Anonymous said...

Can this matter be taken to court?

Norm said...

I personally don't believe in taking internal union issues to court. Besides, they really don't give a crap and as I said above, the UFT still looks very democratic on the surface.

If we can't win over the membership through effective organizing (actually no matter how well we organize, it is the changing objective conditions in the workplace that often sets the conditions for organizing.

If we only get a small percentage of the vote, calling on the courts to create more democracy becomes laughable.

jameseterno said...

Norm is right about Randi personally. Demonizing her is out of line. Randi does respond at the school level when called upon. Currently, she is personally helping my school fight an important safety issue. We have spoken on two occasions in the last couple of weeks.

This debate is about Unity policies which emphasize control over democracy. Randi is certainly a big part of what the UFT does and all of us have had to deal with the terrible results from the current contract. However, it does not add to the discussion for any side to use Nazi comparisons.

snakehead UTP said...

District Reps. must be elected... no debate is necessary on that issue. Who would be against it - except the lackies who want to help Unity keep their stranglehold on our union. UNITY OUT!!

Anonymous said...

Many other unions have gone to court or made the headlines--TWU for example. So far very few teachers are aware of this issue, but if it came to the forefront that Randi is controling the HS and DR representatives, it might make a difference to the rank and file.

jameseterno said...

ICE, TJC and UTP all agree with the sentiments of the last anonynmous and Snakehead. This is where the debate should be. Union democracy is an issue where Unity loses the argument each and every time.

Anonymous said...

You five guys hyperventilate so much that you inevitably work yourself up into comparisons of Randi and the UFT to Hitler and Nazis. It says everything about what you are about.

BTW, I have read UTP's propaganda about the DRs. Isn't it interesting that the DR they complain so much about was elected by the CLs for 20 years before he was reappointed to the position? Who's kidding who here?

And didn't ICE people ask for -- and get -- the reconsideration of the Queens HS DR. so that James Eterno could a second and a third bite of the apple? Only to now complain that the appointment took place after some magic date -- without noting that it was in deference to their requests that this was so. Do you think everyone is a fool?

jameseterno said...

Your argument is flawed. UTP complaining about a DR who was once elected and is now appointed makes a great deal of sense. If he was elected, he should be accountable to the chapter leaders who elected him who should decide whether or not he should keep his job and not the UFT President. That's called democracy. Now he's DR for life, accountable only to Randi. Where's the democracy?

It would have been an interesting competition if there was an election for Queens High School District Representative, not a phony C-30 process with mostly Unity Chapter leaders, a former Unity Chapter Leader and a group of Unity officers making the decision. The DR hiring system is about as real as a three dollar bill. I didn't see Unity people coming to ask my supporters to sit on the hiring committee.

Only the UFT would emulate the Board of Ed's C-30 process for hiring administrators that I was on a UFT committee to reform several years ago because the C-30 process was so unfair.

I only submitted my name for the DR position after being asked to do so by ICE and independent chapter leaders. Also, a couple of Unity people were privately very supportive, as were some strong former chapter leaders. I knew full well I was a long,long, long, long shot, no matter how successful the Union is at my school. After all I'm not Unity so competence amounts for nothing.

ICE people never asked Randi for me to get a second or third interview. After the first interview, since there is no longer an election, chapter leaders (not all ICE) called the UFT officers to lobby for me to get the DR job. That's all they could do since they have been disenfranchised by the current appointment system.

They didn't request that I be given a second or third bite at the apple. I could have very easily lived without that second interview which was a waste of time since everyone knew who the UFT wanted for the DR job from day one (no disrepect to that person by the way).

If the Union followed its rules and had elections for the DR positions, then this issue would not exist and people could respect the DR's as elected officials who are accountable to the chapter leaders who elect them. It would strenthen the Union.

Finally, to claim that we are responsible for the Nazi comparisons that go up on the blog is absurd. When Unity puts out a piece at the DA saying that TJC and ICE are "0 + 0" I guess that's your version of taking the high road. In the 2007 nasty campaign rhetoric, there is no doubt that Unity threw the first punch.

Anonymous said...

James Eterno can't be serious. Saying that ICE and TJC are 0 + 0 is the same as comparing Randi to Hitler and the UFT to Nazis. Do you even listen to yourself long enough to know how absurd you sound? The fact that you and your small circle of friends hyperventilate at jet engine speeds does not make the resultant hallucinations any truer to the rest of us who take in measured breaths.

jameseterno said...

ICE didn't write the comments comparing Randi to the Nazis. In fact, we don't support such statements and are not afraid to say so.

Unity officially called us 0+ 0 and I also seem to recall some Unity people saying our friends at UTP were using Nazi images. Do you repudiate those comments? Also, when Randi complained that we used the term Unity Hacks in one of our pieces and she was offended, we changed it to Unity representatives. I'll gladly debate the Unity Caucus on fairness at any time.

Nothing from the previous person on the District Rep stuff? Please argue the facts. It's much more interesting than name calling.

Anonymous said...

"You five guys hyperventilate so much that you inevitably work yourself up into comparisons of Randi and the UFT to Hitler and Nazis. It says everything about what you are about."

Anon- That you would ignore Norm's and James' comments regarding this issue says everything about what you and your Unity friends are about.

Anonymous said...

Okay, James, let's get this straight. You think that it is slanderous to say the UTP web site was using neo-Nazi imagery when they put up a web site that:
1. was headlined with a quotation from the leading American support of Hitler running up to WW II, Charles Lindbergh, which is often used on neo-Nazi web sites;
2. with a flag that, like the Nazi flag, has a field of red with a white cicle in the center, with the initials UTP replacing the swastika in the middle;
3. eagles draw straight from SS insignias.

So, exactly what would constitute neo-Nazi imagery?

jameseterno said...

I hate to paraphrase Ronald Reagan of all people but there you go again just proving my point in once again bringing up Nazi comparisons. I spoke to the UTP people about all of that and their decision on backgrounds and quotes had nothing to do with them being Nazis. They aren't Nazis.

Since UTP has recently been quoting the Sex Pistols, I guess you will call them anarchists next. Give me a break.

We noticed that Edwize has a background that looks remarkably like the Japanese imperial naval flag. We don't go around, however, saying that Unity supports Admiral Tojo and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Just once could one of you Unity people please make a point without calling somebody a name. Is it possible that there are people of good will out there who believe that the UFT needs to be reformed and therefore disagree with the Unity structure?

advisor said...

There are no Nazis in the UTP, although we have an abundance of opium addicts and those with a decidedly sideshow sexuality.
So really, we are just like you, except we believe in democracy.

Call us what you want, just don't call us Unity. We don't care. The point remains: there is no real democratic process in the UFT.

Issues only please.

Anonymous said...

Unity can't argue the issue without seeming anti-democratic. It's much safer for them to hide behind a smoke screen of name calling. I've see this tactic employed by the Unity supporters time and time again... its really getting tiresome and boring.
I would like to see the Unity supporters for once answer the question "Why not return to the voting process for choosing District Representatives?"

Anonymous said...

No one said that there were Nazis in UTP. I don't know any of them. What I did say was their original web page used Nazi imagery. And that I saw with my own eyes. I notice that you haven't addressed that issue, and explain how one "innocently" brings together a Charles Lindbergh quotation, a flag modeled after the Nazi flag and eagles from SS insignias on one web page.

The devil made me do it said...

Don't forget you guys claimed the fist was from skinhead iconogrpahy when fists have been used to represent militant unionism forever.

As for the eagles, have you checked the eagle on the United Farm Workers web site - black eagle on red background. Now there are some Nazis for you.

Anonymous, we know that only people working for the union had the time to try to dig this stuff up and try to slander UTP, who by the way don't give a shit. But since we're paying your salary, why don't you peek out from behind your little shades and sign your real name? No guts, no glory, the name of the Unity game. I'll tell who I am if you tell who you are.....

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions of my own I'd like answered.
Why has the UTP been calling for a democratic union since day one?
Why has Unity been trying to avoid this issue since day one.
When did the Nazis replace their Iron Eagles with the American Bald eagle? (Please look at the eagle used on their web site.)
If Lindbergh is a Nazi why was he mentioned as an American hero on the last English regent ? (Spring '06)
In my history classes I don't remember the swastika having the letters UTP on it anywhere, do you?

Anonymous said...

Okay, show me the Farmworker website with quotations from Charles Lindbergh.

Lindbergh was well-known as a virulent anti-Semite and racist, of the sort who would say "We can have peace and security only as long as we band together to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood."

Leading neo-Nazis and racists embrace Lindbergh.

snakehead UTP said...

Typical Unity diversionary tactics. These people refuse to debate the issues and consistently resort to name calling. Why is that? Hmmm. Could it be that it is in their best interest to not have an open exchange of ideas and information? Or is it just that they have nothing but contempt for the membership of this union, and don't think we are capable of making a decision? Either way they are showing their true anti-democratic nature. They use the word "democracy" as a PR ploy and nothing more. They work very hard to conceal their agenda, which is contradictory to the needs of the membership. They can call us whatever they want (even Nazis)if that makes them feel better but it doesn't change anything. The truth is the truth. That's why I say UNITY RAUS!

Anonymous said...

We will never have democracy in this union if we have the president and her subordinates selecting the people who will represent us. Why doesn't the Unity member who keeps posting his/her insulting personal attacks deal with that issue?

UnityOut said...

Great point anon but Unity will never deal with this issue. What can they say, "We don't want elections because we might lose our jobs." We've had 40 plus years of Unity. Would you want 40 years of either Republican or Democratic leadership? It's time for a change. My motto has become "Anybody but Randi!

Anonymous said...

I love it. Eterno brings up the UTP web page, but as soon as someone points out the fact, it becomes diversionary. Well if it is diversionary, it is YOUR diversion.

Now, one could think that whomever put together the UTP web page was just plain ignorant about who were Lindbergh was and what he stood for, or what the Nazi flag looked like, or what the eagles on the SS insignias looked like -- if it was taken in isolation. But together? What are the odds on that?

Sergeant Schultz said...

You Unity people provide us here at the Paraguay division of the UTP with countless hours of high hilarity and endless laughs, thanks.

Col. Klink said...

I think it should be clear, by now, that the UTP is a hot-bed of Nazi sympathizers and neo-Nazis, that plan to destroy the United Federation of Teachers--and perhaps even the world-- by demanding democracy and accountablility from the leadership.
In addition, the UTP's poorly planned spring 2007 musical "Springtime for Randi" can find almost no financial backing in any quarter. The play, featuring the late Zero Mostel, David Brenner as the young Randi, and the Snakehead as LSD, seems doomed never to see the lights of 52 Brdwy.

Anonymous said...

Unity supported George Pataki for governor. Not quite the Nazis but isn't that bad enough to get them voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

Unity also gave Pataki the John Dewey Award while he was fighting the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit. That would be funnier than the Hogan's Heroes jokes that are up here if it wasn't so sad.