Monday, October 24, 2016


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.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the UFT is currying favor and preparing a sacrifice. ATRs?

Anonymous said...

By the way, why isn't the UFT holding their yearly meeting with ATRs?

Anonymous said...

A high-schooler pummeled the principal of a Lower Manhattan public school Monday, after the educator demanded he turn down the music on his head phones, police said.

Luis Penzo, 18, was walking through the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising, in Murry Bergtraum High School on Pearl St., around noon Principal Matthew Tossman, 36, told him to turn down the music and take off his head phones, cops said.

Penzo put the head phones on the floor. Tossman bent to pick them up and the student started punching him in the head, cops said. Penzo faces a felony assault charge.

Earlier this month, cops caught a 16-year-old student carrying a handgun in his backpack as he entered the Murry Bergtraum campus, which is located a block away from 1 Police Plaza.

Anonymous said...

We were told at our CNY region 45 NYSUT meeting last night (by VOTE COPE organizers) that VOTE COPE must contribute to all parties in order to "get a seat at the table." In other words, we pay to play. I don't doubt that this is the way politics works, but who determines how much money will give us a voice? Is $100K the minimum to talk to the Senator? Why does NYSUT bother to endorse ANY candidate if we're going to pay for access regardless of their stance on issues?


Anonymous said...

DeBlasio is responsible for this. If it were a teacher, the kid wouldn't have been arrested or suspended. Don't even try to take a cellphone - its their Mayor DeBlasio right.

James Eterno said...

I could understand NYSUT giving COPE money to individual Republicans who support public education. However, the Republican caucus under Flanagan has done nothing for us. They do not deserve our dollars.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the NY Senate Republicans have done nothing for us but remember the NY Republican Assembly Members came to our defense during the 2015 Budget Process where Cuomo rammed the 2015 Education Transformation Act through at the last minute. GOP AMs such as Steve McLaughlin, James Tedisco, Al Graf, Edward Ra and others stood up against CC, APPR, High Stakes Testing while the Democratic AMs held their noses and voted yes.

in the Senate it was quite different. The Democratic Senators such as George Latimer and others were our heroes while the Republicans were aligned with Cuomo and his destructive ed policies.

Our unions need to support those candidates, Democrat or Republican, who stand up for public education, public school teachers, and students and pull back on support for those politicians who don't have the backbone to do the right thing.


Anonymous said...

Any documents or breakdowns of like a COPE audit? Can we see some transparency of how it is used?