Monday, May 24, 2010


The Panel for Educational Policy held their monthly meeting last Tuesday at Long Island City High School. It turned out to be a meeting that was filled with irony as Unity Caucus leaders of the UFT watched in vain as their excellent points were completely ignored by the majority of eight Mayoral appointees on the Panel. Those eight kind of operate like a mini version of the UFT's ruling Unity Caucus where you know in advance exactly what they are going to do before an issue is raised. A sort of parallel universe of phony democracy.

The big issues were co-locations (invasions) of charter schools in public schools and ridiculous expenditures.

As usual, the majority of the PEP ignored what the public school teachers said and voted to co-locate several new charter schools in public schools. In addition, Gateway Secondary School to Health Sciences will also expand to include a grade 6 against the wishes of the Gateway School Leadership Team and the community. This expansion will probably mean even fewer high school seats in Queens as this school will be capped around 800 but the PEP couldn't be bothered with this triviality. Next up on the agenda was expenditures.

The DOE asked the PEP to approve an allocation of $5,000,000 to recruit new teachers while at the same time they are threatening to lay off thousands of us. The excuse given was that DOE has to have teachers for our most needy special education students ready on day one as this is a shortage area. This is a laugh as I pointed out to the Panel when I spoke as Jamaica has special education classes that in May still don't have a regular teacher.

The UFT was in the house and they made a great case on the issue of this ridiculous expenditure. The best speaker was clearly UFT Secretary Michael Mendel who spoke for two minutes of the folly of the DOE's spending 5 million dollars to recruit teachers during these tough fiscal times when they are talking about layoffs. When the PEP chair tried to shut off Michael's microphone, Mendel resisted and refused to leave. He told them they would have to have him removed.

The auditorium, which was pretty much filled with UFTers from Queens and other supporters, howled their approval for Mendel and disapproval for the PEP. The PEP did not want to set a precedent of giving someone more than two minutes of speaking time but after hearing the raucous crowd and an appeal from Manhattan PEP representative Patrick Sullivan, they relented and gave Mendel an extra minute. Michael rose to the occasion talking about the horror of his own experience of being laid off in the seventies and saying how awful it was to pit teachers against teachers as the Chancellor is doing.

Speaker after speaker followed. They lambasted the $5 million DOE boondoggle but in the end it didn't matter. The four Borough President Representatives voted no (Staten Island was absent) and the eight mayoral representatives voted yes. There's another $5 million of our money that will go down the drain.

The irony was hearing the Unity Caucus people decry the undemocratic nature of the PEP by yelling "Shame on you" and "Rubber Stamp" after the PEP voted.

If anyone would know what it's like to be a rubber stamp, it's the UFT's elected Unity Caucus leaders who as a membership obligation require their members to sign an agreement to abide by the decisions of their caucus in public and union forums. They vote lock step to support every misstep large or small that the UFT leadership comes up with. Unity argues if you don't like it you can vote them out once every three years in UFT elections the same as the mayor says you can vote him out once every four years as if these citywide elections justify the day-to-day undemocratic governance structures.

At least the PEP allows members of the public two minutes to vent; the UFT seldom calls on more than one of us dissidents in debate at the DA.

OK, so Unity received a dose of their own medicine but in the end none of us are any better off.


NYC Educator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NYC Educator said...

To say your piece and then be ignored, or to not say your piece and then be ignored?

That is the question.

Under Assault said...

Good report. I wasn't at the PEP, so thanks for taking the time to write this report. Mendel seemed to have been impressive, holding his ground and all.

Compare it now to his performance at the last DA — when he quickly rose to shut down discussion of why Unity sprung the Teacher Evaluation plan on us with no notice or membership input, shouting out something like that's what the leadership is elected to do: Lead! Maybe someone remembers his exact words.

It's certainly Unity getting a bit of it's own medicine, but it's mixed in with a whole lot of grandstanding and fakery.

Chaz said...

The PEP is fixed with the Mayor having a majority. Anything that Bloomberg & Klein wants they get.

Anonymous said...

The approval of the $5.000.000 MILLION for the new teachers was a DONE deal between BloomKlein & the UFT. Mulgrew pretended to be upset as part of the show. I am a special education teacher who has been an ATR for 3 years and cannot find a job.
I am sure that there are so many other ATR teachers who have the special education licence and don't have jobs. This is a complete stupidity not to give jobs to experience teachers.

Anonymous said...

We have to remember the goal of Bloom/Klein is to eliminate tenure. These are baby steps toward achieving that goal with UFT'S complicity.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Unity is to blame by allowing the mayor to be elected both the 2nd and illegal 3rd term. Then they flip-flopped on mayoral control and really didn't put in any protections against PEP.

Do I believe them now when they stand up and seem outraged? Hell, NO!! They helped create the monster they can't destroy (maybe they took a page from LOST).

Anonymous said...

The last statement is sad but true.

ed notes online said...

Unity is Vichy

Anonymous said...


THE REMAINING ISSUE IS WHEN will UFT Bloomberg Vichy ally Michael Mulgrew and other New York labor leaders let their members know exactly who they are suing (last week's press release) to recover hundreds of millions in stolen pension funds? wouldnt the members want to know which bank to boycott? and why didnt the UFT fully vet their good pal Hevesi after Weingarten engineered the union's mayoral endorsement in 2001 even though a majority of her members favored Ferrer? (the endorsement came from a 100-member rubber stamp executive board and 1400 union delgates, most of them loyal to Weingarten-not the 150,000 members)
Everyone IN New york knew there was a rat when Hamk Morris told the Campaign Finance Board in 2001 that he was "volunteering" for Hevesi, passing up millions of dollars in political consulting fees. Why didnt Weingarten and Mulgrew know what Fr. O'Hare, chair of the Finance Board, knew? Why are Mulgrew and other labor leaders reluctant to tell their members and the press who stole their dough? why isnt Mulgrew asking for a criminal probe instead of begging Albany to pass a bill giving him the right to sue these wall street pimps? why indeed? who is Mulgrew protecting? is it someone in the UFT very close to him? is it himself? is it Weingarten herself? what did she know about Hevesi in 2001 and when did she know it?
write to the TRS,the Manhattan D.A. and U.S. Labor Dept. and the U.S. Attorney if you are a UFT member- your money was stolen but Mulgrew refuses to tell you who stole it!
bring back jimmy hoffa.
what do you expect from a guy who says the mayor wants LESS teachers instead of FEWER?
and he is an English major?- or so he says?

Anonymous said...

did anyone think that the Mulgrew controlled NY Teacher could get any worse since he turned it into a Pennysaver?
now he is lies to the members in every issue, abandons the rubber room teachers, sells out the substitute teachers an lies that Bloombeg promised Randi two four percent raises if she f...u..c....k....ed.... Billy Thompson the same way she f...u...c...k...e...d... long time UFT friend Carl McCalll, the same way she f..u..c....k......e..d..... Barack Obama, the same way she f.u....c..k..e..d... Freddy Ferrer (what is it with Randi and black and Latin men anyway? is it more personal than political? ask J.R. Wilson, her black counsel she fired).
so Mulgrew knew all along there was no deal for the two 4 percent raises, so he plays along with the PERB fiction while playing footsie with Bloomberg and he refuses to stand up to powerful pols. is this what he learned in the Carpenters union when he was busy taking his English and elocution lessons?
he is pathetic- at least Randi had a brain. why is he is so proud to talk like ARchie Bunker?
isnt he is like, you know, the head of a union of EDUCATORS?
check the filings behind the L.M.2 forms- which are summaries- for hidden raises, consulting fees to friends, lawyer fees and the real fraud: a slush fund called "52 Broadway Associates," where Mulgrew flunky David Hickey hides the payoffs and cash disbursements and shills for the private caterer he hired.- offering other unions and companes a 10 percent discount if they use the UFT caterer, thereby screwing the members! what does Hickey get by shilling for a private company located on the members property?
Mulgrew is hiding the 52 Broadway Associates disbursements from the U.S. Labor Dept.
Hickey worked for the PBA when the lawyer Hartman stole $7 million!
how do you steal from cops?
ask Donna- she knows.

Anonymous said...

PBA fixture’s legal troubles
July 7, 1997


Here are some of the details in last month's superseding federal indictment of the former Patrolmen's Benevolent Association great, Richie Hartman. The indictment arises from the government's corruption investigation of the Transit PBA and its lawyers and consultants, and provides an indication of where it may be heading.

In December, 1988, after Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau decided not to prosecute Hartman for gambling away hundreds of thousands of dollars of PBA escrow funds in Atlantic City, union President Phil Caruso retained Hartman as a "labor consultant."

His retainer was for two years, 1989 and 1990; he was paid $1.98 million a year.

Morgenthau has contended he never prosecuted Hartman because Caruso would have testified that the PBA had loaned Hartman the money he blew. Instead, Hartman agreed to surrender his law license. He then launched a new career.

In 1989, Hartman obtained his New York state insurance license and began acting as a broker for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. That September, the PBA entered into an agreement with MetLife, allowing it to sell PBA members life-insurance policies, the premiums automatically deducted from members' payrolls and paid to the company.


Anonymous said...

Why does everyone assume that Mulgrew and or Weingarten call the shots when it comes to large issues? Has anyone ever stopped to consider that Mulgrew answers to people much more powerful than Weingarten, etc?

Anonymous said...

Like who? Just interested.

Anonymous said...

yes. Mulgrew the phony labor leader answers to a higher authority- Bloomberg and his billions.
it is where a third-rate schlub like Mulgrew-who cant even speak proper English- will get his next job after he decimates the union.
Mulgrew has no balls- he is a wimp who is afraid of powerful men.
kinda' like Randi-they answer to the New York City Partnership and the Association for a BEtter New york- they want to be players because they have no souls or inner core of beliefs.

Anonymous said...

what did Mulgrew know about Brian McLaughlin and when he did know it?
did he report him to the feds?
they are bosom buddies.

Anonymous said...

Thursday I got a call from a friend who is a member of the NYCPD and in the know. he told me that on Friday that 6,000 pink slips were going to be handed out. Two thousand to aides and 4,000 teachers. He stated to me what is wrong with your union president he is in bed with the DOE. The pink slips were not handed out since they used this as leverage to work out a deal for charter schools. So much for union protection of its members.

Anonymous said...

When? When will this nonsense stop? On June 2, 2010, there was a ‘Code Blue’ at PS 106Q and principal Marcella Sills was not in the building. What does it takes to remove this crook? She showed up at 2:35PM after she was called about the ‘Code Blue.’ She did not drive her car when she finally showed up at 2:35PM because of course she was pretending that she was already at work. Liar, she is late every day. Who is she supervising when she shows up for work at 2:35PM? She is blatantly stealing time. Check with the teachers in the building she has been on time on no more than four occasions this school year. If the NYCDOE is lucky she shows up by 11:30AM. She has the acting assistant principal, math coach, IEP teacher, senior school aide, Core Knowledge facilitator, and parent coordinator covering for her.
Superintendent Michele Lloyd-Bey, you must be aware of this blatant theft of time by now. What do you intend to do about it? I must remind you that you are also paid by tax payers’ dollars. Does this scoundrel have secrets for you? Why aren’t you doing your job? We all know she is incompetent but you can relief her of her position because she blatantly steals time. She has not earned her pension or sick time. Who is keeping tabs? Certainly not a particular OSI investigator. I wonder what his hours are? He ‘investigates’ at PS 106 Q late evenings when the principal shows up.
The mayor and school chancellor should be investigating the principal of PS 106Q and the superintendent for district 27. They should not be allowed to collect their pay checks. One for theft of time and the other for negligence. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people of Far Rockaway pay taxes and deserve better for their children. Who cares for the poor? Wake up people in authority and get rid of the crooks running this school.