As someone who has been somewhat skeptical about one group and critical of the other, I find myself quite pleased to report here that a joint committee from New Action and MORE (the Movement of Rank and File Educators) has come together in such a seamless way for this year's UFT election. ICE endorses the MORE-New Action coalition.
I am running for Vice President for Academic High Schools this spring on the MORE-New Action slate. My wife Camille Eterno is running for UFT Secretary.
The purpose of this piece is not to give away too much of our election strategy but to say that everybody should be looking forward to seeing what comes out for the campaign with the two organizations working jointly. It should be powerful stuff..
I have not worked with New Action in any detailed way since ending my association with the group in 2003. Since MORE and NAC have put aside differences to run a joint slate in this May's election, there has been nothing but professional, cordial meetings between representatives of the two organizations. It has been a pleasure to work on the joint committee. I can't think of a reason why members would not vote for this combined slate. We are taking strong positions on issues that impact UFT members. If we were to win, there would be a better union on day one.
Unlike Michael Mulgrew's ruling Unity Caucus, we are for parents opting their kids out of state exams; we are taking on abusive school administrators; we support Absent Teacher Reserves; we think it is crucial to mobilize for a good contract starting now; we are working to end teacher ratings based on student test scores and much more.
The goal for the next two months is to show as many members as possible who we are and what we stand for. All of us want a strong turnout in the election.
Please join us to distribute literature in the schools and spread the word. I don't think you will be disappointed.