Saturday, October 07, 2006

Q&A on Edwize, the UFT Blog

We were recently contacted by a member of the media to respond to questions about the UFT's blog, Edwize. The following are the questions and the answers we submitted:

Q.: According to UFT staff, Edwize was intended to be a vehicle for the UFT to join the debate about education policy. It was not intended to be a space for discussion of internal union politics. However, before and during the contract vote last year, Edwize became a forum for discussion of the contract. Is this accurate?

A.: Edwize not only supported the contract but vehemently attacked the opposition. Some of the attacks were personal.

Q.: Is Edwize a valuable resource for you and other UFTers? Why? What should Edwize be that it is not, in your view?

A.: Edwize is viewed by a handful of people since it was clear, early on, that it was an uncritical mouthpiece for the then current union policies. It is clearly partisan and those members who view it, know this.

Q.: Was Edwize an important forum for debate of the contract? What were the limits? What were the benefits? Did rank-and-file members who were not already activists talk about Edwize and content posted there?

A.:While the main posts were in total support of the contract certain comments were deleted. There was a clear agenda and they did not hide it.

Q.: Did you experience any censorship of your views on Edwize?

A.: See above.

Q.: Should Edwize be a forum for discussion/debate in the upcoming UFT elections?

A.: While the opposition does not need this forum I sincerely believe they will keep far away from election issues for fear of the LMDRA. They do not want their messages seriously questioned.

Q.: Edwize does not link to ICE-UFT, as far as I can tell. Have you asked them to link to your site?

A.: That is correct. I asked the person in charge early on to link us and other teacher sites since their list of sites seemed to be quite extensive. I was politely told that the blog was "not for partisanship." Chalk one up for anti-Union Democracy.

Q.: Any other comments?

The ICE-UFT blog was started shortly after Edwize began. We are consulted by many of our members and the media as the only clear opposition to UFT-Unity politics. We support our Union but not its leadership and all of us work very hard to force our leadership to allow the Union to become more democratic. When we question Union policy we are labeled, on Edwize and elsewhere, as anti-union. While we have a small presence on the Executive Board we are effective in raising critical issues to our members. Our blog has been a strong voice in that effort.


Anonymous said...

Edwize is irrelevant, though I don't waste my time checking it out. It is dominated by the views of Leo Casey and supported City Sue, who makes around 140 grand or more as a UFT PR flack. As for the new teacher blogs, there are dozens of new teachers doing blogs of their own. Why do they need Edwize?

A question: Why would anyone expect Edwize to be any different than all the other Unity vehicles that spout the party line?

Not only does Unity keep alternate views out of the official organs, but uses its goons in the schools to pull literature out of mailboxes. Even district reps have been seen doing it.

Pat D. said...

Well said. This represents how I feel as a UFT member at this time. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You attack Leo Casey with vehemence and vitriol. I suspect it is because he has in a scholarly and passionate way arranged the facts to speak for themselves without distortion. You are snipers but not marksmen. Shoot arrows at the guy and he won't bleed, because the truth is coarsing through his veins.
You call him a Unity Hack. I guess you'd call the great Supreme Court judges "Constitutional Hacks."
redhog ( not anonymous)

JustdaTruth said...

We are going to win. The Stalinistic Unity party and their sycophants will lose in the long run. As to the last anonymous post. Why bring the supreme court into this discussion? As to Leo Casey, In my opinion many respects he represents the worst in Union Democracy. A man who seems to not want anything except for power and importance.If he can't stand the heat, he should stay out of the fire.

RedBlog said...

Let's tell all the boys and girls you work for the NY Teacher so everyone is clear as to where you are coming from.

Anonymous said...

I could have called myself "anonympus," or adopted any number of aliases as the three members of ICE do, but I didn't and it was not an oversight.
I was a classroom teacher for 35 years. Junior High School English, no sweetheart deals.In the many many terms that I was chapter leader, my upport among the atff never dipped below 100%. The Regional Superintendent told my principal quite recently that I was "amazingly difficult." I never had fear, even decades before I was eligible for a pension needed for my large family. I am a unionist. I have never abrogated my principles for anybody and never will.I was never asked to do so by the union and I never was asked to sign any so-called pledge. I speak up as I always did. Will the person who posted the above comment please identify himself? Let's debate out in the open. By the way, you haven't even attempted to deny the veracity of what I had said in my earlier comment about Leo.

Anonymous said...

To the Unity Follower-

" upport among the atff never dipped below 100%."

You are an English teacher? No wonder why the kids can't spell.

Anonymous said...

EdWize is a Unity Caucus propoganda blog. Everyone knows this.

Unity is Crap said...

In my school, a non-unity teacher was elected CL. The DR came in and, with unity hacks in tow, took over the chapter. When the delegate posted ICE and TJC literature, along side the Unity literature, the DR yelled at him for "hanging up this garbage" and proceeded to tear only the ICE and TJC literature down. On the non-instructional first day of school, the DR ame in to my school. One teacher was wearing one of those "Oust Randi" shirts (available at and she flew off the handle!

Thank you Jeff and ICE for allowing true democracy in your blog.

snakehead utp said...

Unity's actions and policies speak for themselves. The pro- Unity posters only confirm the fact that every Unity hack and lackey takes an oath of blind allegiance to serve the caucus. They are so deluded by dreams of double pensions and perks that they can't see the truth. Or maybe they know which side their bread is buttered on and just lie through their teeth. Unity's motto: "The UFT belongs to us, screw the membership."

Anonymous said...

To Unity is Crap-

Why does the chapter leader invite the Unity DR into the school?

unity is crap said...

Once the election was held, and the Unity loyalist was defeated, the DR said that the new CL was "difficult to work with" ("control" is more like it). The DR was not invited into the school, but simply came in and took over. Shades of the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

Norm said...

Wow, Unity is crap.
You stole my thinder. I just got back from Czech and Hungary and my upcoming column in The Wave - part 1- compares Klein's takeover of the school system to the invasions of Eastern Europe. Part 2 may deal with the actions of the UFT.

Listen -- email me privately ( with the name of your DR and yr school so we can take her apart. We'll keep you anon.

DR's have been the goons of the UFT and have been hassling people and taking stuff out of mailboxes. This must be policy for so many to be doing it.

They scare off a lot of new CL from helping ICE by holding over their heads a threat not to help them -- not that they do much good anyway but new CL feel the need to rely on them. But we have Jeff & James and others if they need help so have your CL contact us if there's a question.

Norm said...

Hey UTP guys:
I love the fun as much as anyone and I dig your stuff. But it is time to spend less time on the blogs and more time organizing. Get contacts in schools and call them and get them to put lit in the boxes. Take some of the stuff off your blog and make a leaflet out of it. Posting funny in your face comments here has minimal impact.

Send me names and schools for the master database so we can get someone in every school in the city to stand up to the Unity goons. There is no real challenge to Unity until that is done. Let not spit in the wind.