In the Chief Leader article covering the challenge, Joe Campbell one of the defeated candidates for President is cited. Tony Utano is the TWU President who won the election.
In the immediate aftermath of the election results, Mr. Campbell wrote in a social media post that Mr. Utano’s slate “was voted in by 18 percent of the eligible voting membership. That means 82% did not vote for them. Think about how dangerous that is going into contract talks. The fault of voter suppression, member disenfranchisement, and a purposefully horrible election process is the fault of the Union leadership and they wear that badge with dishonor throughout this upcoming term.”I thought it might be interesting to compare what Michael Mulgrew's mandate is among working NYC teachers (no retirees or non teaching UFTers in this comparison. I want to talk teachers.
Fortunately, we have Jonathan Halabi from New Action's breakdown of the votes. While I disagree with Jonathan writing a wrong name for one of the caucuses as it is insulting to them and their voters, I still was pleased to have a place to look for election results.
There are around 70,000 UFT NYC teachers (that is probably a low number), Jonathan counts 11,909 voters. That translates into about a 17% turnout among teachers. We are approaching low turnout levels not seen since schoolboard elections. Michael Mulgrew's percentage of the votes may look huge at 78%, but it is only about 13% of the eligible teachers. Mulgrew's real strength is with retirees who don't vote in most unions for who represents active members.
Since Jonathan counts in a way that shows the number of voters lower, there probably were a few more voters but you get the idea.
A 13% mandate (let's make it 15% if we estimate higher) is no mandate and it explains why we can't do much as a union. On the other hand, to be fair let's give another view. Some might argue that the 86% teacher voting in favor of the recent contract shows teachers are content. That referendum had over 60,000 teachers cast ballots but voting was done in the schools where it is easier to get teachers to vote but there is very little security.
Do any readers want to chime in here? Are teachers content or have they given up on the UFT or is there something else going on?