Thursday, April 25, 2013



We have initial slate only numbers for the UFT election and although Unity and New Action will hold onto their monopoly on power, the new Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) established itself as the main opposition group in the UFT by a substantial margin.  MORE finished second and improved on their predecessor caucus ICE-TJC vote totals from 2010.

Here are the updated slate numbers for 2013 compared with the 2010 count.

2013  High Schools    Ballots Mailed: 19,040  Ballots Returned: 3808   Votes Counted: 3595  
MORE: 1430 (40%)   NEW ACTION: 452 (13%)       UNITY: 1592 (45%)

The remainder are people who split their ballot.

2010 High Schools    Ballots Returned: 5203
MORE: 1369                 NEW ACTION: 774               UNITY: 2595

2013 Middle Schools   Ballots Mailed:10,807  Ballots Returned: 1879      Votes Counted: 1875
ICE-TJC: 398                NEW ACTION: 161                UNITY:1185

The remainder are people who split their ballot.

2010 Middle Schools:     Ballots Returned: 2881
ICE-TJC: 248                NEW ACTION: 421                  UNITY: 1981

2013 Functionals (non teachers)   Ballots Mailed: 51,040  Ballots Returned: 7704   Ballots Counted: 7113
MORE: 951                   NEW ACTION: 754                UNITY: 5167

The remainder are people who split their ballot.    

2010 Functional          Ballots Returned: 10629
ICE-TJC: 708                  NEW ACTION: 1175             UNITY: 7337

2013 Elementary Schools  Ballots Mailed: 34,163    Ballots Returned:7331  Ballots Counted: 6870
MORE: 1140                  NEW ACTION: 534                 UNITY: 5111

The remaining votes are those who split their ballot.

2010 Elementary            Ballots Returned: 10,292
ICE-TJC: 703                   NEW ACTION: 978                UNITY: 7337

2013 Retirees   Ballots Mailed: 58,357        Ballots Returned: 22,462      
MORE: 1490                   NEW ACTION: 1880            UNITY: 18,155        

The rest are split votes.

MORE: 5409 (13.4%)         NEW ACTION: 3781 (9.4%)            UNITY: 31,210 (77.2%)

Some quick analysis:

Something is wrong with the UFT electoral system when New Action gets only 13% of the high school votes but wins half of the UFT Executive Board seats for the high schools while MORE's 40% will get MORE no representation on the Executive Board.

It is obvious that a clear majority of the high school teachers who vote do not want a Unity monopoly on power.  Had this been a traditional two party UFT election, there would be truly independent opposition representation (no Unity cross endorsement needed).

Two other stories emerge at first glance.  First, the turnout was pitiful as only 43,138 ballots are being counted out of 173,407 that were sent out. That is a turnout of 24.9%. Just as significantly, 22,462 of those votes are from retirees.  That constitutes 52% of the voters. I would question if having retirees as the majority of the electorate is healthy for the union.

Finally, Mulgrew's vote dropped compared to 2010.  It appears many members did not vote for the opposition but they certainly didn't vote for the incumbent.  For the next election, those members need to be persuaded to vote for someone.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I agree with your assumption that someone who voted for Mulgrew last time, but sat out the vote this time is making an anti-Mulgrew statement. Obviously, low voter turnout is bad for all of us, but voter apathy may just as easily signal satisfaction with Mulgrew coupled with a sense of inevitability with the result rather than lack of enthusiasm for him.

reality-based educator said...

Unity and New Action support is down in both the middle schools and the high schools.

MORE support is up slightly from the 2010 ICE-TJC totals.

MORE received about 70 more votes than ICE-TJC last time around in the high schools and received 150 more votes in the middle schools than ICE-TJC last time around.

Unity, on the other hand, lost 1000 votes from the 2010 vote count in high schools while New Action lost about 225. In the middle schools, Unity lost almost 700 votes from the last time around while New Action lost 260.

This is no victory for MORE, that is clear. But it surely cannot be spun as a victory for Mulgrew and the leadership either.

Voter apathy does not signal "satisfaction" - it signals either apathy or resignation.

People will try and spin these numbers any way they can - but the loss of support for the Unity and New Action slates in both the high schools and the middle schools is plain to see.

Norm said...

I agree RBE. Personally I am not elated but do hope MORE doesn't try to spin this as a victory but as a beginning. But having gone through s similar drill in 2004 when the totals for the new ICE were promising, only to see stagnation over the next 2 election cycles is a warning shot to MORE to do the scut work of organizing and not take the easy way out. Look at the 2007 totals when ICE/TJC had an even higher vote in the high schools though not by much. I know I will be the sour old man of MORE by making these comparisons but I've been there, done that.

Raving Lunatic said...

What's important here is we win, you lose. 40% of high school votes yields you nothing, yet earns me another three years at 52 Broadway. Tomorrow, while you're all teaching five classes, I'll be going out to lunch. I will remain out to lunch until you vote us out, at which time I shall retire, collect two pensions, move to Boca, and continue voting for Unity.

Anonymous said...

Nothing is wrong with the election system. At the end of the day all Unity endorsed folks won. True, some might come from a NA background but they were endorsed by Unity..forget the slate. People win elections (not slates) and it was a clean sweep by Unity. If nobody put an X on New Action it would still be all unity.

In most elections the guy or gal who gets the most votes. What you have proposed in the past is giving the first loser seats at the table, that is just plain wrong. Just remember the face on that ice skating gal that came in 2nd it will never work.

Anonymous said...

Norm, you sound defeated. Maybe it's time you give up and find something that makes you happier. Enjoy the pension you're getting from having a six figure salary. Travel. Spend more time with your wife. Happy is good.

ed notes online said...

You know I should have joined Unity when offered. Then I would have actually had a 6 figure salary and a double pension and be on that plane to LA in July 2014 for the AFT convention. And maybe even down to wherever you all held your NYSUT perk a few weeks ago.

ed notes online said...

Unity gets only 150 more votes than MORE in the high schools and you think that is a victory? How pathetic. Even with New Action's 400 or so votes you come in at less than 2000 out of 19000 ballots sent out. And all those glossy Mulgrew leaflets stuffed into mail box after mail box. How much did it cost Unity per vote?

mike said...

Thank you raving lunatic for being the only one to talk sense. Mulgrew won - period. He deserved this win after all who fights for education more than mulgrew. So what teachers are being beat over the head with Danielson and common core, when mulgrew makes backroom deals its always in our best interest. Maybe our children are taking more useless tests then ever before or stuffed into oversized classes, mulgrew is out there fighting hard in bars and restaurants from manhattan to Albany making sure our members get all that left over crust our politicians throw our way. I agree that counting the days to a new mayor should be our only strategy for a new contract. I'm glad for another 3 years of mulgrew.

Raving Lunatic said...

Thank you for understanding, Mike. Personally I'm sick of all this talk about representative democracy, and I'd like to get back to making unsubstantiated accusations about people we don't know and leveling personal insults about people we don't like. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

Anonymous said...

Let's first worry about getting Mike Mulgrew to become responsive to emails.

Emailing Mulgrew is akin to becoming "Lost in Cyberspace."

If Mulgrew receives too many emails to be able to personally respond, then let him make sure that someone in authority at the UFT responds on his behalf.

Anonymous said...

Good luck having your email answered. Can Raving Lunatic respond to this please?

Anonymous said...

Nobody is here claiming victory. That's positive.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to pay union dues anymore. What does the union do for me?

Anonymous said...

They send their delegates to conventions for you where they give standing ovations for people like Bill Gates who want to destroy us. You don't appreciate all they do for you. Just ask Raving Lunatic.

Raving Lunatic said...

Unfortunately, duespayers think Michael has nothing to do but answer email. Just during this campaign season, Michael has had to travel as far south as Florida simply to campaign. Now it's certainly not our fault if the opponents couldn't be bothered doing meet and greets. We did it, and fortunately you duespayers were kind enough to pay for it. We appreciate all you do, and we would certainly appreciate it if you would thank us rather than criticize us. One day you will be retirees, and when that day comes we will make sure Michael visits you too. Kindly stop asking me questions on weekends, as I have that time earmarked for playing Beastmaster.

Anonymous said...

Raving Lunatic you have to earn that double pension occasionally.

Raving Lunatic said...

I shall be at 52 Broadway at the crack of noon Monday.

mike said...

I hope norm joins new action so raving lunatic and I could run against him on the unity line and then cross endorse him (wait I'm confused)

ed notes online said...

Thanks Mike. Actually I will propose to MORE that they give up the fight like New Action and don't run a candidate against Mulgrew so he can win 100% of the vote as long as we get more Executive Board seats than New Action. Like 12 since we had more votes than them.

mike said...

I agree norm, you and raving lunatic and I should move to Florida with the real UFTers, we get visits from our esteemed leader, early bird specials, and still dictate the direction of the union. Norm I heard that you heard that someone heard that mulgrew picked up the New York post the other day in front of 52 broadway, please tell me that not true - well see you all at the next DA- because real leaders attend DAs

Raving Lunatic said...

Florida is okay when you retire. But if you can score a gig at 52 Broadway it's really the best. I encourage you to make a deal with Unity, and maybe we can get one of you on salary. We're certainly willing to give up a meaningless group of seats. However, you will have to wash a few cars, go out for dry cleaning, and fetch coffee as needed.

Anonymous said...

Choice to belong to the union... Right to work.
MORE = right to work. You all need to get your house in order. It is a good thing MORE is forming a steering committee or folks like "anonymous April 27 9:46 could be on the MORE SLATE next time. Anti union rhetoric, get over the loss and don't lose sight of the shared fight in which we are all involved.

Anonymous said...

Please explain why MORE did not get at least 1 seat on the Executive Board.

James Eterno said...

It's very simple. If you combine the New Action and Unity votes, their candidates (endorsed by both parties) had more votes than ours so they win the seats.

Unitymustgo! said...

Just received Mulgrew and Weingartens latest propaganda spin. Here’s a quote from Mulgrews:

“Because Mayor Bloomberg blew up the negotiations around the new teacher evaluation
plan, New York City teachers will not be evaluated this year on the basis of the new state tests.”

Am I the only one who sees the scary implied message in this clearly carefully crafted communication? So let me make sure I have this straight, because Bloomberg blew up the negotiations I’m not being evaluated on the basis of the new state tests. Therefore is it accurate for me to conclude that Mulgrew was prepared and had apparently agreed upon using the new state tests to evaluate us beginning this school year? Am I also not mistaken that he has for months been publicly ridiculing the mayor and DOE for not providing a curriculum or properly preparing students for these very tests? Now here in this very letter that has the intended purpose of calling for a moratorium on using these same tests to evaluate teachers he alludes to the fact that had not Bloomberg blew up negotiations we would in fact be being evaluated by these very tests right now at this very moment? Is it me? Am I crazy? Am I misunderstanding his carefully crafted words? Why are we not fighting harder? Where is an effort to garner member support yet alone parent support against this nonsense? Is he fearful of blowing up his sisters DOE job? While other parts of the country are finally rising up in attempts to fight back against this nonsense, we are falling on their sword intentionally? To be clear I am a chapter leader and in my last meeting it was eluded to that our lawyers (hopefully more than 3) are hard at work preparing grievances to be filed the day after King imposes an evaluation upon us. I should note that not even 5 minutes before this gem came out we were all told not to worry about the new evaluation system because there is none yet!? Is this like the ostrich burying their head in the sand as the predator approaches? We should all be praying and question number one should be why does our union suck.

James Eterno said...

That is correct. You can thank Bloomberg for all of us not being evaluated based on the student test scores this year and not our union. Blood thirst administrators must be looking forward to September when they can use Danielson to rate us.