Friday, June 08, 2018

AMY ARUNDELL APOLOGIZES TO MEMBER PUT ON HOLD AND DISCONNECTED

We are happy to report that once in a blue moon the ICEUFT blog does make a tangible difference. When we complained yesterday about a UFT member calling the Queens UFT office about a grievance and being put on hold and then disconnected and then calling back right away and the office being closed, UFT Queens Borough Representative Amy Arundell either read our post or had someone tell her about it. Amy contacted Arthur Goldstein who texted me and I was able to provide the name and phone number of the member with the grievance.

Subsequently, we learned this afternoon that Amy called the member personally, apologized for what happened and intervened in her grievance. Great job Amy! We appreciate what you did.

As for the cynical comments that are about to come that say Amy only did this because it was me complaining on the internet, that might have some validity at first glance but it really misses the big picture. 

If all of the UFT members who read and comment here and at other teacher blogs were to step out of the shadows and become one very loud voice, we would collectively have enormous power to move the agenda of the UFT. A membership making a thunderous sound to the leadership will have much more impact than one that withholds dues after the Supreme Court makes the Janus decision. 

If one blogger can make a little difference today, all of us combined can have a world of say tomorrow within a union and not on the outside.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had problems with Amy and others in the UFT Queens Borough Office not responding to emails?

What was Amy like in her former job at the UFT?

T.J. L said...

James you made an excellent point and a good non-Unity argument for staying in.

I do disagree on one point, this blog is certainly part of the reason but the bigger reason is Janus. The Union leadership finally has had a fire lit under its collective ass. I do think there is a strong possibility of Janus leading to a more responsive, effective and more militant Union.

I'm leaning towards staying in for some of the reasons you mentioned as well as being able to vote on school matters (such as SBO) but the threat must always be there to withhold our dues to keep the pigs feeding at the trough at 52 honest.

NYC Educator said...

Amy Arundell called me, out of the blue, to ask that I help an ATR teacher get a job. I got her an interview and she is now a permanent hire at my school. I was happy to help, and Amy has returned the favor many times over for my members, both in her past and current position. She's been a go to for me and my members for years now.

She texted me yesterday while I was walking my dog at maybe 5:30 AM. She said what happened to that member was inexcusable and she wanted to know about it. You can all make cynical comments if you like, but that's not at all out of character for her and she's been like this with me and my members well before Janus.

Anonymous said...

I called the Staten Island office late January, early February for a pension consultation meeting and was told they are not taking appointments until next September, they are booked. So it goes, 6 months just to make an appointment, how's that for service.

Anonymous said...

So it seems the UFT is reading these blogs? Good, read this: GET US 2 OBSERVATIONS!!!

Anonymous said...

As a former and retired chapter leader who had a fair amount of interaction with Amy, my delegate and I felt that Amy’s hands were frequently tied by the UFT machine. We had the sense that she wanted to go further into situations yet kept from doing so. In short, she appears to be more with rank and file than say, Dermot Smythe. Now there’s one who is totally in it for himself, screw the member.

Anonymous said...

Don’t get me started on Dermot Smyth. He once screamed at me on the phone and then hung up. He is not someone who should be dealing with members.

Anonymous said...

ive been looking for a staten island job for 20 years, nobody helped me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Wow, they did 1 thing in a decade, hooray. Thats how low our standards are.

Bronx ATR said...

What struck me about this post is how happy and celebratory we are that someone from the UFT did their job by doing the right thing by a member, and vis a vis all of us. A marvelous surprise to the point that James, rightfully so, wrote an article about. It reminded me of when my Mom gave her pleasant efficient teller at a horrible bank a Christmas card with fifty bucks in it. I said, 'Mom you're giving her a card and money for just doing what she's paid to do.' She said no one else was doing their jobs and they were also getting paid, so she felt this teller was fantastic and deserved the extra recognition. She finally switched banks when that teller quit.

jeff said...

On a more importnat note...Negotiations on the next DOE-UFT contract began today! @DOEChancellor Carranza and Mulgrew shook hands at the end of the 1st bargaining session as members of our 400-member negotiations committee looked on.

Anonymous said...

Yippee!

Anonymous said...

BTW that’s not a more important note, unless you enjoy devastating disappointment. I’m joking - not about the disappointment, but I know you were being scarcastic

Anonymous said...

That was the most righteous comment I’ve ever read on this blog. Angry, honest and true. You deleted that but leave up the horrible racist stuff? I guess it hit a nerve with someone.

Anonymous said...

I am a complainer who writes to the UFT on a regular basis. The only one with decency is Amy Arundell! She always writes me back and always gets me the information I need!

Anonymous said...

A yearly meeting and you’re lucky to have a job. I never thought much of her until she was replaced by Mike Sill. Now I think she should inaugurated into the UFT Hall of Fame.

James Eterno said...

Personal insult. Complaint came in a text. Restructure without personal insult and implications of something improper.

Anonymous said...

Although I haven’t always seen eye to eye with Amy, I feel she cares about the well being of Uft members.

However, the upper echelon of the uft only cares about PR in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I may have been insulting in referencing Amy and sills inactions and nyc educators mewing, but there were no implications of improprieties. My comments did not warrant censorship, and if you do indeed feel that way you should also remove nyc educators. -John R.

ed notes online said...

My feeling is that there are people in the Unity/Unity machine who chafe at the restraints put on them by the leadership which doesn't want to go too far to alienate de Blasio, their friends in the swamp at the DOE and the CSA. These voices are fairly small so far. But when Janus hits there will be shakeups -- layoffs and forced retirements. Internal tensions will rise. Service to members will have a higher priority and these voices may grow larger when their own jobs are on the line.

As for Amy -- we have had our disagreements but if anyone needs help she is the person I would contact -- but now that she is on one borough that limits her outreach -- the Queens office needed a major overhaul - and some of those people need to be cleaned out - but I imagine she has little power to get rid of people.

What she should do is hire James and Arthur and that would shake things up.

She should put a major target on the back of HS Supt Juan Mendez and the NY Teacher should put out a bill of charges. She should send people to every PEP meeting to talk about the disaster he has been.

But even if she wanted to do it she would not be allowed.
Her no longer being at main HQ is interesting --- maybe removing and isolating a voice calling for a more aggressive stance?

Remember Debbie Poulos and her removal as Brooklyn Boro rep which I believe - without proof - was due to her aggressive stance against principals.
The CSA has way more influence than they should - their defense of abusive principals calls for strong rebukes from the UFT leadership -- publicly - not Mulgrew at DA and Ex Bd meetings where he talks tough.

Anonymous said...

Open your eyes dude. She did nothing to help ATRs collectively. She didn’t voice her opinion when we tried to start a chapter, she didn’t vocalize disapproval against Fair Student Funding and she was rewarded with a higher position. Now there an even worse person in the position. She works for Mulgrew, not us.

James Eterno said...

Just don't make it personal. Even here, NYC Educator "mewing". Come on. Email me off list please. Arthur helped this member for sure.

Anonymous said...

I never said he didn’t. I am forced to defend a comment you deleted, that I and no one else can reference. He uses Amy’s intervention as proof positive of her greatness. Fawning would have been a more appropriate term than mewing, but only marginally so. He has also repeated it ad neauseum, at least twenty times here and on his blog. As for Amy she did help the select few out of thousands and she is indeed a dynamo compared to her replacement. Again she did little to help us as a whole other than the once a year meeting about bathroom keys. She never spoke out publicly against the ATR pool or Fair Student Funding. When I complained to her at one of the meetings she told me I was lucky to have a job. Now I hope I don’t offend you or your friend NYC Educator or Ms Arundel. If you choose to censor this it is of course your right to do so.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to her many times about hardship travel, WHICH IS ALREADY IN THE CONTRACT. If fought, would be ordered by a judge. She told me "Our way of transfer is the Open Market." I told her I try it every year and despite a stellar record, I get ignored. She said DOE only grants transfers based medical, I said the hardship clause says 90 minutes each way by public transportation. What does medical have to do with it? I'm traveling from Staten Island to Brooklyn, on buses trains and ferries, sometimes to the border of Queens...It is years later, still getting ignred.

James Eterno said...

You basically put back the first comment but did replace mewing with fawning from comment 2. Contact Arthur through his blog if you have issues with what he writes there. This is not the place for that.Here I do not think Arthur fawned or mewed over Amy twenty times. That is a big stretch.

You are putting me in an impossible situation. I can't please you or him. I am not really offended by any of the debate but when it becomes personal with terms like fawning or mewing, it is an attack.

Everyone knows who Arthur is and who I am. You are anonymous and did not email as I suggested. Hiding behind anonymity is easy.

In the end Arthur is an excellent chapter leader just reelected for a fourth term and he is doing an outstanding job representing high school teachers, including ATRs, on the Exec Bd. I am glad I helped him get elected even if I don't agree with him 100% of the time.

James Eterno said...

Norm, Mulgrew would die a million deaths before he would allow the UFT to hire me for any position or any other union for that matter. Probably would want to black list me from the DOE if he could do that too.

11:14, I agree about the hardship transfers. It should be fought.

As for Amy, we have disagreed before openly (once in a very heated argument on the phone) but I always like that she returns emails and calls and will listen to what we have to say. She also will take action as she did in the current situation. That speaks louder than words. I respect her and hope she does improve the Queens office.

Anonymous said...

Not to butt in on the hilarity of an offended Arthur, who is insulted by anyone that disagrees with him, but fawning over Amy shouldn't be considered a personal attack. I've seen many the middle aged ATR do so. I'm no exception.

Anonymous said...

James, which UFT official do all the Borough Reps report directly to?

Is it Mulgrew or someone else?

James Eterno said...

I believe Leroy Barr is the staff director but pretty much everyone except officers serves at pleasure of President as far as so know but I am no expert on internal UFT workings. They don't tell me.

Anonymous said...

James says "don't make it personal." I recall you going after principals you or your wife personally had a problem with. James had no problem being personal then. When bloggers made personal negative comments against the principal, he didn't remove the comments because it fed his personal agenda. I am starting to see the hypocrisy other bloggers are talking about.

Anonymous said...

It is true. But she also knows a lot of us are getting abused.

Anonymous said...

Amy and Mulgrew has dold out veteran teachers.

The DOE will still be allowed to have two lists of ATRs. The first list for ATRs who came from closing schools or programs and the other for ATRs who survived their 3020-a discipline hearings. Based on past placements, the DOE only recommends hiring from the first list and only when there are no ATRs left on the first list will ATRs who won their 3020-a termination hearings be offered a vacancy. To ensure that ATRs who won their 3020-a hearings are not offered a position, the Scarlet Letter (red flag) remains on their file for principals to see, even when the ATR was found not to have committed the charge. The average age of an ATR is around 53, so this qualifies as age discrimination. Many fellow teachers that are being hired have not completed their masters, or are completely inexperienced. There are rumors that Tweed had encouraged Principals to target their more senior staff, and field supervisors are also coming with an agenda.

Anonymous said...

She also said to ATRs they cannot get fired on observations. She lied. She just to say only on time and attendance.