Friday, February 24, 2017


I checked the internet this morning and there are two interesting endorsements for Mike Lillis and the Stronger Together team for the New York State United Teachers election coming this April. One is from former NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi and his officer team that included Lee Cutler, Kathleen Donahue and UFTer Maria Neira. The other more tepid support comes from Ed Notes, AKA Norm Scott.

First, the former officers:

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Norm Scott takes a different approach but still comes out in favor of ST. I am a little surprised here because Norm and I sometimes argue vociferously on union and other education matters. Norm essentially agrees with my position on ST and is not aligned with some other NYC bloggers and activists.

Norm writes:

Now the UFT is pulling its biggest power play since the Shanker merger by openly taking over the presidency and installing Pallotta -- and I imagine they will also keep tight control of the Ex VP money position. They will win of course.

But ST by putting itself out there as the opt out movement vs Unity is a very smart move. Now there is the Jia Lee conundrum -- ST is not running 5 candidates but 4 and there was pressure to include Jia as the 5th candidate. What voice has been stronger for opt-out than Jia? The current leadership of ST is still nervous about being associated with the only direct opposition to Mulgrew. And they did try to make a deal (with Unity Caucus) but were rejected. I get the picture.

Some of my good friends do not agree and have smashed Lillis. However at this point I don't see why not back ST against another Unity Caucus power play? Given the reality of state politics, at this point MORE is not a relevant player. On the other hand, ST leadership was shortsighted not to give MORE a seat - we signed up a lot of people to join ST -- I can't vote in this election and can only give moral support to ST -- but if they make this election about opt out, in a state with the highest opt out numbers in the nation out of NYC, they can inflict some damage on Unity even if ST can't win.

Do people want to have some say in this discussion? Stronger Together is having its winter conference close by on Long Island on March 12, 2017 at North Babylon High School at 10:00 am. The address is 1 Phelps Ln, North Babylon, New York 11703.

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