Monday, July 06, 2015

ICE REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR MORE-UFT

The Independent Community of Educators (ICE), a founding member of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) in 2012 along with other activist groups in the UFT, voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm its support for MORE at its June meeting.

ICE also voted unanimously to reject a take it or leave it offer for a coalition in the 2016 UFT election from a novice UFT caucus.  This caucus has already decided who their presidential candidate and some other officer candidates will be and told ICE to accept their candidates for officer positions or not bother with a coalition.  They offered to let ICE run for positions they haven't found anybody to run for yet.

In a discussion held after a presentation at the meeting by the novice caucus, not one ICE member expressed political support for the novice caucus. Their ultimatum to support the presidential candidate of the novice caucus as a condition of running a united slate against Michael Mulgrew and Unity Caucus was unanimously rejected by ICE as being divisive to the long-term efforts to create change in the union. If the new caucus truly wanted to form a coalition, they would be willing to work together to form the slate. Not being willing to democratically form the coalition does a disservice to those who truly desire a stronger union.

ICE was founded as a caucus in 2003 and ran a slate in the 2004, 2007 and 2010 elections with another caucus, Teachers for a Just Contract (TJC). The joint slate for high school candidates won the 6 high school executive board seats in 2004. In 2007 and 2010 ICE and TJC JOINTLY decided on the presidential and other leading candidates. In the 2013 UFT election, ICE supported the unified MORE slate. 

ICE members will be working with MORE in the upcoming summer series.


59 comments:

Francesco Portelos said...

Norm Scott has the recording of this meeting that took place at the back room of a diner. Perhaps he should share so members can hear UFT Solidarity's presentation to work together with MORE and ICE...you know, in a "united" way. This after there was no response from ICE or MORE to over two dozen requests to support discontinued teachers, ATRs, abusive administrators, school rallies etc.

That meeting was a week ago and one wonders why this post comes now. One thing is for sure though...having to "reaffirm support" is not a good thing.

When I'm up at the podium one day, don't worry, no hard feelings, I'll still call on you at the DA.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm encouraged to hear you turned down so many requests to work with a sociopath like Portelos. He now appears delusional as well. I was going to sit this one out but i think I will support MORE this time around.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Raving Lunatic said...

Naturally we at 52 Broadway demand you vote for Mike Mulgrew. However, should you find yourself unable to do that, we will quietly look the other way if you vote for Portelos. This will dilute the opposition vote and result in a larger vote for Our Hero. Thank you and carry on, duespayers. That is all.

Anonymous said...

That Portelos would even suggest such a thing tells you all you need to know about this disturbed and disturbing individual. I feel sorry for him but feel sorrier still for those he has conned into supporting him. Pure ego.

Anonymous said...

Let's hear the tape or transcript. There's alot of old time egos at work here.

Bronx Teacher said...

The last paragraph is what is most troubling. No humility.

But as I recall I did ask you if you were willing to step down as nominee and allow a joint committee to choose who would be the joint nominee. If I recall, and Norm has the audio, there was no answer.

You don't want to listen to anyone else other than yourself. This is THE issue I have. The PERCEPTION is there, and rightly so, that this is about you, for you.

When you (And you are DTOE, SOLIDARITY, and whatever other orgs there are) unilaterally decide to bypass the democratic process and bypass the DTOE steering committee to associate with New Action, what is one to think?

When you are asked for by-laws for DTOE and you reply, "We don't need bylaws" what is one to believe?

When you go to the UFT executive committee for ATR representation and you get two abstentions and 1 yes vote (from a retiree) and the other NA's vote no one should and question your judgement.

When you allow a borderline disbarred clown attorney (Joy Hochstadt) a voice one should and question your judgement.

When you throw my 3020-a decision in my face and question and call for me posting it publicly whilst you haven't yours one should wonder if you have the best interests of the rank and file in your heart or yours.

One should wonder what you will do to those who dare to question or contradict you as president.

Anonymous said...

Don't be a Zucker- Vote Portelos

Anonymous said...

For what? egomaniac of the year.

Bronx Teacher said...

Vote for me? Nah, my cat can do the job.

ed notes online said...

I haven't even listened or digitized the audio. I taped it because I thought something consequential might be offered. I really think there are more interesting things to be doing this summer. But if I get some time off from gardening I'll check it out. I am however posting a guide on ed notes to the people who attended the meeting - people totaling hundreds of years of activism in the UFT opposition movement - most amused at being lectured to by someone who is still wearing activism diapers.

Francesco Portelos said...

Ahhh so that's what this is all about. Age discrimination.

"We've been meeting at the back of diners for over 30 years Portelos! Who do you think you are getting your foot in the UFT after only three?"

"Diapers" "Novice"

Like I've told you before Norm. You will see me up at podium one day and despite the fact that you've discarded our work together, know that you had a part in that success, whether you like it or not.

MORE running a separate campaign would be a extremely irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Norm, et al....

Sounds like the meeting did not go well. Good news for Unity and the DOE. Not so good for everyone else.

I'd vote... if I have a vote.... for posting the actual tape in its entirety; as opposed to a "guide" or any sort of abridgement or summary. ( if in fact that's what's being considered.)

I for one have been out of diapers since well-before the Watergate era.... and I think we all know that a "guide" or some kind of abridgment or summary is just not going to cut it. (For post Watergate people: that's what Nixon's first suggested when the actual tapes were subpoenaed. Judge said "No. Way.")

So were looking at three more years of "things as they are" then.

Anyone interested in revisiting this entire notion from the get-go? Three more years of this is a loooooong time. Esp for active teachers who are currently in the trenches. (Not going to put quotes around "trenches" any more, since for a lot of actives it's a matter quite literally of life and death.)

That job can KILL you.

Thx.

Paul Hogan

Anonymous said...

Portelos running is extremely divisive. How about working with people to find candidates for office everyone can live with instead of one group saying it is our guy or the hell with all of you.

Anonymous said...

Paul - What would you say to a group that says our guy or nothing? That fact is not in dispute.

Anonymous said...

And that candidate is not trusted by many.

Anonymous said...

You guys are presenting your group in a very unflattering way. From putting your pets up for office to explosive outrage over being asked questions. You guys deserve Zucker. Now that's a humble guy. LOL.

Bronx ATR said...

So if the choice is between Portelos and Mulgrew, you guys are going to choose Mulgrew? Or do you have a candidate? Or are you guys happy with the status quo? I guess Portelos didn't go in and kiss ass. Good. Play the tape.

James Eterno said...

Please read the statement. ICE has worked in coalitions previously. A coalition picks candidates together. Certainly ICE with our history that in the past has elected representatives to the UFT Executive Board should have some say in who all the candidates will be. It is called democracy. Also, it is basic fairness.

Francesco Portelos said...

There was no joint planning, because there was no communication from MORE since we started in September. Before we launched campaign, we had asked you, James Eterno, to run as Secretary. You did not say yes. We are happy to have Cynthia Shub take that position. We do have an opening for assistant Secretary as in Leroy Barr's position. Imagine being in charge as staff director James?

Play the tape... ALL OF IT. ;)

PS: While you blog about pets running, UFT Solidarity is busy supporting members and increasing momentum.

Latest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ParasforPortelos

Francesco Portelos said...

Also, can someone point us to the direction of MORE's member support page? We have been looking for it.

We were invited to Thursday's Chapter Leader training. Again in the audio. We plan on attending.

Anonymous said...

You just proved the point. You made your decisions on candidates and then asked for a coalition. Is that how you would run a union? Aren't you meeting with NAC now? If you have formed a slate and still have openings, that only proves how weak you are. Calling you a novice caucus was too polite.

Francesco Portelos said...

Weak? Keep posting anonymously. Please don't judge or strategy...Just take notes.

Anonymous said...

To Portelos

Do you realize that it is your arrogance and hubris that is limiting your support? Or do you not give a shit.....

Anonymous said...

PS: While you blog about pets running, UFT Solidarity is busy supporting members and increasing momentum.

So I don't get it. Why does Portelos continue to bother ICE or MORE? He clearly has enormous support and MORE is apparently going to die.
Last I heard MORE is still alive though and a caucus that has the right to make its election decisions on its own timetable. After experiencing Portelos not one person connected to MORE wants to have anything to do with him. But his obsession with MORE won't go away.
If it decides to run in January so be it. If it decides not to run so be it. Portelos left MORE so why doesn't he leave it alone? And ICE too?
Why does he feel he has to come to a MORE event instead of organizing his own chapter leader training workshops?
Clearly he wants to use the work MORE does to offer support to teachers and schools to push his own agenda. But MORE is an open group and all are welcome. He should bring his supporters so they can see what a caucus he slanders does in its summer series.

ed notes online said...

I'm amazed at this enormous waste of hot air on an election that is meaningless where there is nothing to win. If you don't believe that you are living in Oz. Unity has stacked the election so an opposition - whether 1 or 10 caucuses run cannot be won. A victory would be keeping Mulgrew under 70%. So instead of Unity, New Action and MORE we add Solidarity to the ballot to split the 25%. The only thing affected is that the opportunity to win the 7 high school ex bd seats will probably be lost. 7 out of 100. Anyone on this thread who is telling people something different is lying or delusional.
And if you don't believe me come back and read this next May. I'll be happy to counsel anyone who is crushed by the outcome.
I'm somewhat shocked when Paul says: So were looking at three more years of "things as they are" then. Do you really believe Unity can be overturned? Jeez. And I thought you were reading ed notes all these years.
And you think the exact nature of what transpired at this meeting is so important that I should leave my garden and put time and effort into the tape? The most important thing to me about that meeting was that I ate a melon instead of my rice pudding. But if you want to take a ride out to Rockaway and hang in my garden I'll be glad to let you listen.

Francesco Portelos said...

Why? Because I'm going to be leading something called the "United" Federation of Teachers. Therefore I continue to attempt to connect with all members including communicating with the nurses and non teachers, paras, secretaries, counselors etc.

Please share the audio. ALL this answered.

Francesco Portelos said...

Why? Because I'm going to be leading something called the "United" Federation of Teachers. Therefore I continue to attempt to connect with all members including communicating with the nurses and non teachers, paras, secretaries, counselors etc.

Please share the audio. ALL this answered.

Bronx Teacher said...

Francesco-

You are? It's been determined? You have some kind of clairvoyance?

I was there. You really want the audio released? Forty years later the Watergate tapas are still being released and at no point has it helped Nixon.

Anonymous said...

Why is there an argument with someone who has clearly just polished off a pitcher of Sangria? And if Portelos is really sober, then just chalk it up to way too much time spent in the rubber room.

Raving Lunatic said...

It's gratifying to see you all engaged in personal attacks. Kindly keep directing them at each other. This saves us trouble. We are very grateful to Mr. Portelos for all his efforts.

Anonymous said...

You all suck. Raving Lunatic - What do you intend to do with your life when the unions lose in the supreme court and we no longer have to pay your salary?

Anonymous said...

I am not a friend of Portelos. I have seen him at many a meetings, never having had a drink. This is how he is while sober.

Anonymous said...

>>>>>'m somewhat shocked when Paul says: So were looking at three more years of "things as they are" then. Do you really believe Unity can be overturned?>>>>>

Norm....

Actually, I DON"T believe that . I initially OPPOSED SCUFT ( the "novice caucus", as certain MORE advocates childishly call it.) running a challenge as a waste of time and energy. I don't believe TPTB would permit any circumstance where a mere election would upset the arrangement between union leadership and employer that is currently in place. Way too much at stake for THEM.

So, I voted against it, was outvoted and was later persuaded that an election campaign might provide a mechanism by which vexing and heretofore taboo issues could be aired and examined.

What I don't get is what YOU and other MORE reps were doing there.... at a meeting - the ostensible aim of which was to discuss the possibility of running some kind of joint or coalition opposition slate. When you say yourself that an opposition challenge "cannot be won."

>>> Jeez. And I thought you were reading ed notes all these years.
And you think the exact nature of what transpired at this meeting is so important that I should leave my garden and put time and effort into the tape?>>>

I do NOT know HOW important the exact nature of the meeting was. It's the subject of disagreement between members who were... it appears... PRESENT at the meeting. Evidence of same appears on this thread. Playing the tape verbatim will instantly clear up the question of who said what... and maybe even "why".... at the meeting.

The alternative is: don't play the tapes and thereby encourage a trivial, pointless "dialogue" characterized by multiple personal insults ( all from the MORE end, near as I can tell) accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Unless one is ok with things as they are. In that case, ya got a winning strategy there.


Thx.

Paul Hogan

Anonymous said...

Don't be a Zucker, Vote Portelos!

Bronx ATR said...

Paul,
I agree 100%. To say its all meaningless and put up this kind of fight for coalition seems very disingenuous.

Anonymous said...

For what? Why don't you go fight with the Unity guys? Your campaign is dividing us.

Anonymous said...

A question. Why on earth would you need to tape this meeting at all. If you are supposed to be building trust there shouldn't have been a need to tape. These folks seem to be very Nixonian.

Anonymous said...

To be used against the party being recorded.
Although it seems this time it worked the other way around.

Anonymous said...

6:08 pm, Yeah. Wouldn't you feel creeped out in a meeting if your views were documented and put on the Internet for all to hear.

This is people's idea for how to get more people mobilized?

Anonymous said...

Portelos why don't you share the tape? You tape everything.

ed notes online said...

Paul
No one at the meeting disagreed. Does anyone have more integrity than Eterno? You think he made this up?
You've got a whole lot wrong here. And I have to say, after our numerous conversations, somewhat disappointed in that you seem to believe the Portelos line without questioning too deeply.
I called an ICE meeting to talk about a range of issues, including elections - the first meeting since my debate with Schirtzer. Portelos said he wanted to come to present his case. The majority voted not to allow him to attend but people pointed out that he would then go around whining (which he's done anyway). And that ICE has historically had open meetings. But no one more than Portelos in the past decade of ICE meetings has tried to use ICE's openness where people feel safe saying things, especially since at a previous meeting Portelos distorted things people said and then broadcast it on the internet.
So he was told he could have some time but had to leave. He protested that he was an ICE member - he is not - just on the listserve - in essence wanting to be part of the debate over his offer.
Since the diner has limited space I do a head count and asked for an RSVP = which people did --- but not surprising, he ignored that request and told 3 people from his caucus to show up = creating a very awkward situation since they came early = and we has to discuss other issues since Portelos was late. I admit I lost my cool in anger over his actions and took it out on them - I did apologize later -- but also felt he just used these people - no warning about what they were walking into - they had no idea it seems what ICE was -- mostly people working with MORE and a founding group of MORE. Some MORE members who have come to previous ICE meetings were also invited.
Why did I tape the meeting? Because I expected Portlos to tape it - Paul - you sat through his hearings - he taped everything = and felt he would use or misuse or edit the tape for his purposes. I taped it to protect ICE and if he did tape it and uses it then I would go back to the tape -- but right now that meeting is over and done with and we have more important things to do.
Fact is that after being exposed to Portelos close up I would say people in MORE and ICE pretty much unaimously want nothing to do with him == but he is so deparate that he never stops badgering both groups. This is not about a unified slate -- when New Action announces it is leaving Unity we can talk about that.
MORE is the unified slate out of a decade or more of multiple slates --- Portlos forming another caucus because he was um=nhappy with not getting his way in MORE created dis-unity = which is interesting since MORE supported his independent efforts in DTOE and the ATRS - but note that Portelos 2016 web site posted in May 2014 months before he left MORE -- everyone knew what he was doing and yet he remained on MORE steering even running again in July 2014 = and then created as much disruption as he could in that body of trust.
ANd he doesn't let MORE alone -- I say go in good health and organize your masses and show you have real support - and he wants us to do the scut election work for him.
That is why he wants a unified slate -- if he had the ability to do so himself he would do it. And that you buy his phony line is disappointing.
I am against putting a lot of effort into an election where there is so little to win but will put effort into aspects of the election that can be won = like the high school seats. MORE is the unified slate that ICE, TJC, GEM, NYCORE put together over years of meeting together to forge an alliance. The door is open to New Action to become part of that. it was open to Portelos too and because he is a spoiled brat who must get his way on every issue he cannot work in a group that he doesn't own. He is the divider, not the uniter.
We did that because multiple caucuses has never worked out in the past - and in fact New Action was a merger like MORE in 1995. I am not wiling to go backwards because Portelos needs attention.

Eric Severson said...

We need to stop bickering among ourselves and focus on a plan to take the fight to Mulgrew/Unity. As long as the opposition caucuses and leaders are divided and squabbling Unity keeps its stranglehold on power and continues to sell out the rank and file

Anonymous said...

Norm.... ( and Eric: I agree w. Eric , btw. A lot of this ..... not necessarily ALL ......is trivial stuff. And "trivial" is putting it generously, btw. And, more importantly it's MONUMENTAL distraction. Neither MORE or SC is the *problem*. Let's get on to addressing the *problem*.)

I don't take ANYTHING that ANYONE says at face value. Hence the thought occurred to me that producing the tape in its entirety will settle ... or at lest cast light on... the question of who is/was genuinely serious about forming a united front.

If ... as someone upthread says.... UFTSC said "Portelos is the presidential candidate; take it or leave it.", that is ONE thing. If ... as others have averred or implied in the thread .... SC reps were treated dismissively and/or contemptuously and MORE/ICE people were uninterested in any sort of dialogue... that is something else entirely.

I DO understand that there are all sorts of problems associated w. putting a tape online .... the contents of which may contain comments, etc. made by people who were present but were speaking informally and under the assumption that they were at a 'private', informal gathering and speaking in that spirit ( i.e. privately and informally.) So if that's a large part of the tape question.... let's just move on.

I defer to your infinitely greater knowledge re. the history and complexities of UFT minority caucuses. Some of this appears relevant to the current circumstance.... i.e. it provides historical context.... some not so much.

Re. Mr. Portelos: He's an imperfect individual with ... paradoxically .... much to offer in the fight to turn the UFT back into an effective union for NYC school teachers and related school personnel.

He pushes the envelope and has a tendency to "give better than he gets." We all know that.

But how effective would he be otherwise? Churchill ( to indulge a somewhat clunky historical analogy) was a racist, an imperialist and an all around prick... excuse the vulgarity; but what would have happened to Europe... and the world...had "Mr. Nice Guy, Neville Chamberlain, remained Prime Minister during the WW II ?

Something much, much worse, seems to me. Which is not to say that Portelos is Churchilian. Or that we are discussing here on ICEUFT the future of that planet and the human race. Just that you're probably not going to get very far with the people running this school system by playing according to some kind of country-club etiquette.

But who would know that better than you?

Back to our story: I once proposed to SC that it NOT run a candidate inn this election... and that it support MORE, instead. (JUST in the election.) It wasn't taken seriously, for whatever reason.

Since MORE is ..... near as I can tell .....ambivalent or uncertain about running a candidate for Pres.......why NOT just vote for the SC candidate? To do so would imply nothing about one's more general feelings about the candidate ( i.e. Mr. Portelos). It would simply help to convey broad based opposition to the appalling leadership that has overseen... what.... 2/3 of teachers "turning over" in the last ten years or so?

Not to mention the thousands of departed NYC teacher/unionists that are presently "turning over in their graves."

Thx.

Paul Hogan

James Eterno said...

The analogy of Portelos to Churchill is more than clunky. It does not hold up at all. In 1940 when Britain was not doing well in the first year of WWII, there was a vote of no confidence that Neville Chamberlain won but the opposition Labor Party would not support him and he knew Britain needed a unified government. Churchill was a choice from the established majority Conservative party who the minority could work with. Portelos has burned so many bridges that he would not be an acceptable choice for MORE or ICE.

Francesco Portelos said...

Burned bridges? I believe I just built several other ones to scout different terrain MORE wasn't reaching. As soon as I did MORE was like "NO REENTRY!"

The same they would do if Change the Stakes, ISO or PL became a caucus. Let's face it, the group Don't Tread of Educators was fine. We were the member support group MORE voted to endorse, but as soon as the word caucus came out...game over.

For MORE, there can be only one caucus as they stated at their chapter leader training yesterday.

At UFT Solidarity we don't even use negative words like "opposition." Most of our members don't know who ICE/MORE is.

Let's just move forward and do our own thing.

Eric Severson said...

Right, as Paul says let's keep our focus on the real enemy here. Mr. Portelos did not go to Albany in 2010 and ask for a testing based evaluation system, say he would "kick in the dirt" anyone opposed to Common Core, shout down MORE members proposing an Opt Out resolution or roll over for Cuomo's anti teacher budget and call it a victory. That was Mulgrew and Unity, and they are the ones we need to focus on defeating. If you look at the platforms of MORE, New Action and Solidarity, they are in agreement on 90% of the issues. At a time when teachers are quitting in record numbers and universally fed up with the union's lack of leadership, that matters more than personality conflicts. As Harry Bridges who is quoted at the top of this blog once said, "I'd stand on the line with Satan himself if he was for the six hour work day." If MORE has someone better to run than Mulgrew (which should not be difficult since my cat would be better than Mulgrew,) someone everyone in opposition can get behind, let us know who that person is. Either way, let's stay focused on who is ruining this union and stay united in working out a plan to defeat Unity.

Anonymous said...

Read the comments both here and at South Bronx School blog to see how many bridges have been burned.

James Eterno said...

I am just stating what MORE and ICE feel. If you don't think that is burning bridges, ok. I agree it's time to move on.

Anonymous said...

Seems like MORE has their of own loyalty oath. I guess at some point a caucus must press upon its members to speak in a unified voice. Very interesting stuff. Seems Unity caucus like. I think I'll switch and go with Solidarity. Only problem with that I guess is it seems that Portelos requires the same loyalty oath. Is there a caucus out there that doesn't require these oaths written or unwritten?

James Eterno said...

ICE certainly does not have a loyalty oath. Come to a MORE meeting and watch the ICE people votes go all over the place. MORE doesn't have one either. Trying to move on but someone always keeps coming back to this discussion.

Francesco Portelos said...

James, just turn off comments on this post. It's in the post settings. Obviously others are trying to stir the pot between Solidarity and MORE. It will help us move forward.

http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/enable-disable-comments-blogger-pages-posts/

James Eterno said...

Never did that before Francesco. If people want to say something, it's fine by me. I'd like to move on but if someone has something they feel should be added, this blog is fine with it. I really take a very open view of first amendment rights. I'm not going to say this is my blog so don't criticize me. Note we didn't take off one comment, even those that are quite critical of ICE. Unity attacks us here often. I can only remember taking down some profanity laced tirades by adults as kids have googled me and ended up here. We didn't want their impression of teachers to be that we were acting like children.

Anonymous said...

Really Portelos ego is almost as big as Mulgrew and Randi. I was sway to believing in his cause at first but no longer. I have given up the Kool-Aid. I hope more will follow my lead. Portelos is bad news.

Anonymous said...

Why?

Anonymous said...

Why? He is on every site looking for anything written negative or positive that is about him. It just gets to be too much. This behavior is not in keeping with a true leader. Why can't he stay away. Stick to his own cause.

Francesco Portelos said...

Hey, trust me, our cause is doing quite well despite lack of support from activists who have supposedly have "been doing this for over years."

However, if I'm cut do I not bleed? I'm human. My wife caught wind of these comments and posts.

"Why are they doing this to you?"

"Because honey... (and I lean over to kiss her on her temple) they're probably jealous. After decades of fighting they still meet in the back of a diner."

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to be sick after reading the last post EEK! Portelos you not only wanted to be at the diner with all the More and ICE people you wanted to sit at the head of the table. When you didn't get your way your threw a hissy fit and cry like a baby. Yes it has been 30 years and we are still going strong. You are the other hand are self destructing with every post. It is quite enjoyable to watch. Why did you even come to the meeting? Us jealous of you really now that is a stretch. Who is the one chasing and blogging on every site. UMMM could it be you honey?

Anonymous said...

Go ICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!