UFT President Michael Mulgrew @ #2018: UFT is at highest membership rate of NYC educators in its history, well over 99%. AFT is at highest # of members ever. Janus be damned.
That looks good but the downside of this news is that it provides the UFT leadership with yet another reason, as if they need one, to be even more arrogant than they already are and to stick to doing business as usual.
Here is something from NYSUT President Andy Pallotta:
Here is the part of the AFT Constitution that was being amended yesterday with the word permanently deleted and replaced with language to give Weingarten more power.
Article XI--Affiliation (page 15)
Section 1. This organization shall immediately affiliate with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and shall
We know the executive committee is kind of a rubber stamp just like the convention with the 800 Unity loyalty oath signing members from the UFT doing what the leadership tells them to do.
More from Lois:
Interesting example of how the UFT controls the national convention by sending its full delegate strength, always, no matter what the cost. In the educational affairs committee an amendment just failed to call on Betsy DeVos to resign. It was close enough that there had to be a count. It was 132/164. Each delegate had one vote although since UTLA hadn't sent all of its delegates, the individuals here were actually representing more people than the UFT, which voted as a block.
800 people from the UFT's Unity Caucus do whatever Mulgrew orders.
Norm Scott Calculate the cost of sending 800 unity to the convention to vote as a block. Send one person with 800 proxies. But we know the reason. To pack these committees and control them. Democracy uft/unity style in the age of Janus. Without reforms calls to stay in the union will have less impact. Will the right wing attack unions on this basis - dues are taxation without representation. Watch for bales of tea floating down the river.
And even more from Lois:
So Randi Weingarten has come to the AROS meeting. She's opened up with us and is asking us to "deconstruct" the reasons RedforEd has brought so many people out. She's commenting now on how the UFT has succeeded in opening up its bargaining committee, opening up the process to the entire union, across caucuses. She says the union is "going down the road" of involving community. Really? This sounds so heartfelt, and perhaps it is. Power is a quite a narcotic.
Having served on the UFT Contract Negotiating Committee twice, I can tell you we did no negotiating and it was just another leadership rubber stamp.
This is depressing to see the UFT held up as a model of democratic unionism when it is anything but that in reality. I read every day the comments here. There is real frustration and anger in many schools that could explode at some point in the not too distant future. Union leadership is deaf to many member concerns.
Union is stronger than ever if I listen to the reports coming from the leadership in Pittsburgh. Reality is different in our schools.
As I read it the leadership isn't really worried about a few isolated members leaving. Norm Scott on Facebook thought a challenge to the unions may come from the right.
Norm Scott UFT is the sole bargaining agent which requires it to rep everyone. They won an election in 1962 over two other groups. If a group can get enough signatures it could challenge the uft and force an election. Theoretically say the teamsters came in. But that would roil the labor waters. More likely a Koch bros front group very well funded might try it. Something (like) e4e (Educators for Excellence) could fit that bill. Randi recently did a joint op ed with Evan Stone (E4E) which is her typical way of trying to co-opt potential opponents by offering a seat at her table. Which I believe she has done with ctu (Chicago Teachers Union) and Utla (United Teachers of Los Angeles) her biggest internal aft threats which she has managed to neutralize in terms of opposing her though they feel they can get a few things done from working with her. At 2016 convention it was a love fest with bats (Bad Ass Teachers) included. Even peace and justice caucus disbanded. Randi’s genius is doing this as with new action (opposition caucus in NYC) in 2003 . That is main reason I didn’t bother going this time though I could have reported on what was really going on. But what’s the use when even the social justice caucuses have given up fighting the unity machine?
This blog has said over and over again that the only answer is an organized opposition waging a real battle for teacher rights on the job. Otherwise, leadership is right and this will be as good as it gets. The alternative proposed in numerous comments to just individually stop paying dues to send Unity a message might save a few people a few bucks but it is ultimately a road to nowhere that will just weaken our already not too robust unions.