Arthur Goldstein's Executive Board report reveals that the UFT Executive Board unanimously voted to endorse Mayor Bill de Blasio's reelection bid. It is a bit surprising that according to the report, the vote was unanimous and there is nothing about any Executive Board member questioning early de Blasio support when the mayor or people close to him might soon be indicted. There are two investigations going on. The NY Times reported on the federal investigation yesterday.
I don't know if the investigations entered into the Executive Board's discussion. Arthur paraphrases Staff Director Leroy Barr's reasoning for the UFT's de Blasio support:
Things are not perfect, but remember what it used to be like. As bad as things seem, we know it’s not as bad as it used to be. We have a lot of work to do.
So the union's reasoning, if I am understanding their position correctly, is that it is awful in the schools but it used to be really awful. Awful beats really awful any day of the week.
Under de Blasio, we accepted the subpar 2014 contract with its paltry salary increases and we loaned the city money interest free that most other city workers received from 2008-2010. We won't get back our money in full until 2020. We have healthcare cost increases. Absent Teacher Reserves are still treated horribly as they roam the system as substitutes. Even worse in my opinion is that many schools are run by abusive administrators who have made the job a nightmare for UFT members. The gottcha squad of DOE lawyers remains from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's days.
My friend Marc Epstein put it this way:
De Blasio and Farina cemented Bloomberg/Klein into the DNA of the system. It’s too far gone, I’m afraid.
NYC teachers are generally not happy unless they are in a school where they are shielded from the DOE's unrelenting war on teachers.
Am I missing something? I do not favor supporting some pro-charter Republican or Democrat. Is "It could be worse" enough for us to support the mayor's reelection?
What's wrong with just staying neutral right now?