Monday, May 18, 2015


The Buffalo Teachers Federation held their elections recently and long time incumbent Phil Rumore has won reelection.  On the surface this would appear to be a blow to those of us seeking change on the state union level (New York State United Teachers aka NYSUT) as Rumore supported the Michael Mulgrew backed Revive slate last year in the NYSUT election.  However, a deeper examination of these results reveals there are some positive signs up in Buffalo.

First off, our fellow blogger Sean Crowley was elected to the union's Executive Committee.  Two other candidates from the opposition Renew BTF slate also won seats.  They are Kevin Gibson from Stronger Together and Teresa Leatherbarrow.

Digging even deeper we find that the opposition slates came within 64 votes of forcing a run-off election between the top two presidential candidates.  Anyone think there are grounds to challenge? The statement below does not look like they are heading in that direction but one never knows.

Meanwhile, out in Hawaii the teachers' union leadership lost the election and now they don't want to leave. The Executive Board voted not to certify the results.  Instead, they are calling for a do-over.

The statement from Renew  BTF up in Buffalo comes from Facebook.

Dear RenewBTF supporters,

We owe so many thanks to all of you who supported us along the way! Congratulations to Renew candidates Kevin Gibson, Teresa Leatherbarrow & Sean Crowley who won executive seats in their respective categories!
 We know you will be beacons of change, energy, and progress for the membership! I'm very proud that Mel and I and Kristen were able to post second place in our races and that the campaign and election indicate a large group of people who want change! We hear you loud and clear and we will continue to advocate for all of you and for our schools and public education. I have called Phil and congratulated him -- but had to leave a voice message -- I am looking forward to speaking with him in person -- and have said we look forward to working together with him as we have done in the past for what is best for the membership and for a strong union.
 RenewBTF will continue with its progressive mission and we will work tirelessly to effect change and to have impact at BTF, District, Board of Education, and NYSED levels. 48 percent of the electorate in this election supported the challenging tickets -- this is remarkable and it is a herald for change. We are as determined as ever to be strong advocates for members. We remain organized, vocal, and activated, and we are positive and looking up for BTF's future!

With much gratitude,

Pat Foster, Mel Holden, Kevin Gibson & Kristen Mendoza
-- We, as well as all of you who have given so much in support -- are RenewBTF


Anonymous said...

Very surprised by Buffalo. The teachers there had to know they were screwed big time by Mulgew's influence.

Anonymous said...

But they too were apathetic. Hard to turn that around.

ed notes online said...

Look at Sean Crowley and others winning Ex Bd seats despite not winning the presidency. In NYC you can win Ex Bd seats with Unity endorsement like New Action does. In the high schools before New Action sellout to Unity, they were able to win HS ex Bd seats, but never by much - and 6 or 7 out of 89 at the time and 100 today.
So even if there are claims of lack of democracy in the Buffalo election, it is still more democratic than the UFT.