Saturday, February 25, 2017


Mayor de Blasio met yesterday with federal prosecutor Preet Bharara to discuss his fundraising. Reality Based Educator has been on this for the last couple of days. First, RBE examined the lack of real competition in the mayor's race for this year. He then followed up with a post on the meeting between de Blasio and the US Attorney.

It is mind boggling how the corruption scandal over the Mayor's fundraising never came up before the UFT endorsed the Mayor's reelection bid earlier this month.

I see three possible outcomes for the UFT and its members in all of this:

1-The Mayor is not indicted. He rewards the UFT for our early endorsement by replacing Carmen Farina, who retires, with a new teacher friendly Chancellor. This is a best case scenario. Believe it or not, there are qualified school superintendents in this country who are not hostile to teachers. We just haven't had one in NYC in the 21st Century.

2-de Blasio is indicted and/or close associates go down in a corruption scandal. The UFT has egg all over its face with another in a long series of poorly done mayoral endorsements. 

3-de Blasio is not indicted and emerges more arrogant than ever. He takes the UFT for granted as he continues the war on teachers that he inherited from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and has not relented on for three plus years in office. I do admit de Blasio talks better about us than Bloomberg but in terms of policy, it has been more of the same basically.

Does anyone see any other possibilities?


Anonymous said...

What things can the mayor actually do for us in this day and age? I would simply like to see us get 2 observations and our parking permits back. Is that too much to ask? The real problem is not the mayor, but rather the UFT. The UFT should be actively asking the mayor for things like 2 observations and our parking permits back. However, the UFT is spineless and does not try to actually get what it's members want. I really do no think the mayor is hostile to teachers in NYC. If we want things from the mayor, we gotta ASK FOR THEM. The UFT passed a "resolution" a couple of years ago to try and restore our parking permits but as with most resolutions, it went nowhere because the UFT did not try to actually get our parking permits back. As for the evaluations, the DOE and the CSA wanted 2 observations but the UFT friggin' wanted 4 observations. Did the UFT ask it's teachers if they wanted 4 observations? The point is the mayor is not the problem, the problem is our union leadership.

Anonymous said...

The UFT is not on the teacher's side. Mulgrew us a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Friedrichs II and a federal Right to Work law will render the question moot.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

Out of all the comments Abigail hits it exactly.

If I had to choose, I would wait for RBE to choose the scenario especially since he tends to have a greater understanding of who gets indicted or not. Me personally, I don't think #1 would ever happen because de Blasio favors the Bloomberg school policies and he has no intention of discarding any of it especially since the UFT never fight him on those policies. Win-Win for de Blasio and a Lose-Lose for teachers.

reality-based educator said...

I dunno if de Blasio's going to get indicted, although 4+ hours getting "questioned" by the feds in an investigation that has at least one informant turning state's evidence (the same guy who turned on Ed Mangano in Nassau County) suggests he has reason to worry. At least two of de Blasio's merry men/women are in fed sights as well, so there's a whole bunch of potential for these people to turn on one another for leniency.

But here's something I do know. Anon 11:36 AM hits it right on the head - the problem is not the mayor, the problem is the UFT.

We have 4 observations and Daily Danielson Driveby Fear because of the UFT.

I dunno who's paying them to push Danielson and Endless Drivebys, but I gotta think leadership is getting something out of it.

Is there a Gates Foundation grant we're unaware of that has them on the Danielson bandwagon?

Is there some other scheme that's providing the UFT with cash and/or prizes for pushing Danielson? Back in 2011 they claimed Danielson aligns with the UFT vision for good teaching:

Now it's being used as a micromanagement nightmare, with teachers drowning in compliance paperwork for Danielson Drivebys, jumping through hoops on a daily basis that make no sense in the grand scheme of things but sound like "good teaching" to Danielson (TM), but the UFT is still on board the Danielson Express, mayor, Farina and DOE be damned.

They don't care an iota about rank/file, that's for sure. Members are scared shitless every work day while Mulgrew and his shills talk up how great things are.

Friedrichs II is coming. You hear all kinds of things about how the UFT will handle that. I suspect they've got some grand deal in the works with Cuomo (notice how nice that relationship has been lately? Notice how the UFT is looking to knock Karen Magee at NYSUT off for not being so nice to Cuuomo?) That deal is said to have some workaround for Friedrichs II, keeping teachers paying dues no matter how SCOTUS rules, with the unions helping Cuomo in his 2020 push for the White House.

There's probably something to that rumor.

Clearly they're not worried about losing members, because if they were, they'd be dealing with the Danielson Driveby Fear instead of mocking teachers over it and/or dismissing it.

Instead they tell us how swell things are, how much better the system is under de Blasio when, if you polled teachers who have been in the system 5 or more years, I bet you'd get an overwhelming majority saying things are MUCH worse now under de Blasio than they were under Bloomberg.

That's not to say Bloomberg wouldn't be pushing this stuff too. Of course he would. But at least under Bloomberg, the UFT made some modicum of effort to push back. slight as it was. As things stand now, there's not only no effort coming from the UFT to pushback against Farina's nonsense, there's not even the appearance of it. Nope - instead they tell us all is well and if you don't think that way, you're crazy.

So, to make a long comment short, what happens to de Blasio probably doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot so long as we have a complacent UFT leadership that cares nothing about its members.

In the end, we're fucked no matter what.

James Eterno said...

RBE-If you want leadership to respond, rank and file must rise up to push them. We aren't exactly a militant bunch. Less so because Bloomberg-Klein did a job of killing institutional memory.

Mulgrew said after I pushed a resolution at the DA for the UFT to push for two observations and then it was voted down by Unity that for the record the UFT tried to get two and couldn't. I never know where the incompetence ends and the corrupt bargains start.

As for Friedrichs the sequel, the right wing will be in court the day after the Supreme Court ends mandatory union dues to make sure people can get out. It could get very messy.

James Eterno said...

One more thing: Thanks for commenting here RBE. As 12:58 pm said, you have excellent insights on politics.

Francesco Portelos said...

Gary Tilzer had been posting a lot on his blog

We had coffee recently and told him he needs to rework his blog format. Still working on it.

PS: Have your seen they sent CPE1 chapter leader to rubber room?

Anonymous said...

so true...maybe its time we shop our union....the UFT does not represent paras.....we are the forgotten members. With about 26000 paras the collective annual union dues we pay is about 17 million dollars....and what do we get...a plastic calendar holder in the mail.....sorry not enough. wonder if we said Mr. PBA union president, or sanitation, or NYFD union president, we have 17 million dollars, we like how you fight for your membership...can you represent US?

Paras need to organize and fight for SALARY REFORM....not a raise....but REFORM and this has to be done NOW for the 2018 contract.

Anonymous said...

And you vote for Unity in huge numbers.