There is some news coming out of the AFT convention and it isn't being made by Randi Weingarten or her devotees. It is from one of Norm Scott's reports over at EdNotes.
I think the world of Norm because he has been retired for years and does not have to stay involved in union politics but he does and he does it because he believes in the cause of unionism and public education.
With that said, Norm and I have had many disagreements through the years, mainly on the issue of social justice unionism. I have sat through many fruitless discussions in MORE and ICE maintaining over and over again that the UFT-AFT in many ways are decent as social justice unions. I have continuously argued that attacking the Mulgrew-Weingarten Unity leadership on the lousy contracts they agree to with worsening working conditions is a much better way to win over the demoralized teachers in the schools. Norm and I have had countless private discussions on this topic too. Today it seems Norm may have conceded some ground.
From Norm's Ed Notes:
Lots of good stuff around the race issue. Executive Director of Color of Change is speaking -- and there's a rally and march today at 4PM around the shooting here a few weeks ago.
Am I at a MORE meeting instead of the AFT convention?
As James Eterno always says - it is hard to out social justice Randi - at least on the surface. There are also a hell of a lot of black Unity delegates here who must roll their eyes when white people in MORE run against them as THE social justice caucus.
He is now introducing Patti Crispinio as leader of LGBT community OK - I can say stuff about Patti's history as a Unity --- I won't use the word today in the spirit of the day because I support Patti's efforts in this area. I'm feeling the Unity.
Patti makes a great speech -- and introduces Kimberley Colbert, a St. Paul teacher at the school attended by Philado Castile, whose family Hillary met with yesterday before her speech. Kimberley lays on some heavy stats on the toll on black lives. She tolls through the cities that have had mass shootings as funeral music plays and reps from those cities come to the mics and say the names of the city out loud.
Some real in depth talk of white privilege - heck, is Unity/Progressive Caucus matching MORE on race issues? I think that is great - let them also be the social justice caucus of the UFT and the AFT -- their problem is they don't do the other stuff they should be doing real well - like defending the contract.
I have a three word response to the line about Unity's problem being not defending the contract:
NO SH*T NORM!
That is why we just won the high schools in the UFT election. Make no mistake about that.