Retired Unity Chapter Leader Gene Mann writes a weekly online newsletter called The Organizer. He gives some valuable information and provides some editorial comments usually in favor of the Unity Caucus (majority party in the UFT that Michael Mulgrew and Randi Weingarten belong to) party line. This week I was a little surprised to see Mr. Mann stray from party orthodoxy in explaining why we should all contribute to COPE (union political action). Mann made a very good case on why we have to work against state Senator John Flanagan, who leads the Republican caucus in the state Senate.
Here is what he wrote about Flanagan:
John Flanagan (R-East Northport) successfully got S.3501 passed on March 1, 2011, at a time when Bloomberg was poised to lay off 6,000+ of us. The bill eliminated all seniority protections, including callback after layoff. Essentially, if your principal chose you for excessing, you lost your job.
Our friends in the Assembly (think Sheldon Silver) kept that nightmare in the closet and Bloomberg called off the layoffs since he couldn't do them his way.*
Bravo Gene I couldn't agree with you more. Flanagan is bad news for us. Then why did NYSUT in 2016 contribute $109,600 in COPE funds to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee to help elect Republicans to the state Senate so Flanagan can keep his position as majority leader?
Why did Unity/UFT Political Director Paul Egan justify the expenditure at the Executive Board?
It makes no sense at all.
*It should be noted for the record that after the bill in Albany failed to end seniority layoffs for teachers in NYC, Mayor Michael Bloomberg still threatened layoffs and only backed down when the UFT agreed to weekly rotation for Absent Teacher Reserves and for the 2011-12 school year giving up sabbaticals.