Tuesday, October 11, 2005

40% of the Delegates to the DA Vote Against Contract Proposal Despite Leadership Attempt at Vote Manipulation

In a shameful display of filibuster tactic Randi Weingarten demonstrated she can try to stop the rejection of her sell-out contract offer but a large part of our Union won’t bite.

The Delegate Assembly opened up with a promise by the president that she would not “motivate” the resolution to send the contract proposal to the schools. She called for a motion to suspend Roberts’ Rules (which can only legally be done by Constitutional Amendment) so that we could have a “fair” debate.

Fifteen minutes into a non-stop advertisement for the resolution we sought a point of order to limit her diatribe. Since she illegally ruled, all ready, that Roberts’ Rules did not apply, no point of order was ever in order. She continued…and continued….and continued…. for an hour!

When debate began it became clear that Union officials who have not worked in a school in a generation cajoled the delegates to save their jobs vote in favor of sending the proposal to the members. Delegates who taught in our schools argued how the proposal was anti-union and questioned why the leadership would have the temerity to recommend that the document go to the membership.

In perhaps one of the shortest Delegate Assemblies in recent memory and right on cue the question was called (somehow Roberts’ Rules resurrected itself) and the matter was put before the body with over 20 minutes left to the scheduled time for the meeting.

Randi somehow “forgot” about our agreement to instruct the retirees not to vote, so they voted. The body voted 70% in favor and 30% against. When the vote was redone due to our objection the vote was much closer, 60% in favor and 40% against.

This is an incredible showing given the nature of the Delegate Assembly and the attempt to manipulate the vote.

Our fight goes into the schools where, if we get the message out, we will defeat this proposal and get our negotiating committee back to the bargaining table. Tell your colleagues, friends and fellow Union members. We are the ones who will be working under the new rules. Don’t let our Union get destroyed. Vote No.


Anonymous said...

In my view, there were about 300 votes against the resolution on the tentative agreement. That was before and after Randi asked the retirees not to vote. (By the way, one retiree voted against the resolution even after he was told not to vote.)There were 1,500 to 2,000 delegates present. If we assume the lower number, there was only a 20 per cent vote in opposition to the resolution. That's from where I was standing.

Anonymous said...

I was also present at the DA today. I saw Mr. Zahler and Ms. Languilli (a/k/a Unity goons)attempt to rush Jeff Kaufman when he called out that Randi had "forgotten" the agreement she'd made at the Executive Board meeting- she would ask unaffected retirees not to vote. After the vote she suddenly remembered her promise. In my view, the votes (both of them)were very close- 60/40.
By the way, I saw a retiree vote FOR the proposal.

Anonymous said...


Randi herself may be coming to my school on Friday. Unfortunately I work with a group who gets easily frightened.

Can ICE send someone to rebuttal if that is allowed?

Jeff Kaufman said...

I doubt Randi would speak if one of us showed up to debate her. You can suggest it and I'd be more than happy to come. Email me at JeffKaufman@earthlink.net

NYC Educator said...

Pardon me, but what the hell kind of vote is it when votes are not actually counted?

Reality-Based Educator said...

Ahh, UFT democracy...

Everybody gets to vote (as long as you support Randi's side, of course!)

And everybody gets to talk (as long as you support Randi's side, of course!)

Utterly shameless.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Kaufman; you can say what you want about the wisdom of the proposed contract, but don’t exaggerate the support the “no” position had at the DA. I was there and the “no’s” were lost in a sea of “yes” votes. You and James do your position no good by puffing up the results. To me,(and I was standing on a chair to be sure) it looked like an 80-20 split,(or 4 to 1) and the second vote–-with retirees cautioned by Randi W. not to weigh in–not that much different. In a situation where unionists disagree on strategies, can we at least agree on the facts, and not contribute to any more urban legendry about “sell outs” and “stolen votes.” Nothing was sold out, stolen or undercounted. People of good faith disagree on the contract and on how best to beat back Bloomberg and co. Can you stick to the issues, and with a degree of veracity? Some of your posts--not all, but some-- read like Fox News.

NYC Educator said...

I wasn't there, but it's preposterous that you guys need to bicker over percentages. There should be a vote count and a secret ballot.

Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose these pictures of the yes vote were all doctored up, right?


Let's see just how paranoid we can get here.

Anonymous said...

I sat in the uft rubber room last night during the DA meeting and found the proceedings to be profoundly odd. Why does Randi talk for soooo long? [no wonder the contract negs took over two years] And the vote was more than passing strange. Raise your yellow card? That's fine if you have a couple hundred in the room but not with a couple of thou. Common sense would dictate that there be at least a voice vote-"the best little school in brooklyn p.s. 00 votes yea or nay"-
if it's any comfort my delegate voted yes and my chapter voted no, so our teachers could have the chance to speak...[we seem to be moving in a 'no' direction] sensible really since it was apparent we don't get to speak or are heard any other time.

Anonymous said...

how about turning discussion to strategizing how to organize the no vote ?
rank and file rejected contract in 1995--how was it done ? where would effort be most productive--hs, jhs, etc;
how do we get the word out, counter official line, educate people ? ( i heard that at one staten island hs, people were told by union rep that if contract was voted down, there would be no further negotiations)--

Anonymous said...

Does anyone actually think Bloomberg will negotiate after the election?

Anonymous said...

James asked: why didn't (Randi) agree to count the votes? We all would have known then, wouldn't we?

James, we know now. You lost. Big, too! Arguing the honesty of the estimated count is just grist for your mill. Go convince the members
that the contract is not in our interests. But spare us the parlor tricks. Running the headline "40% of the Delegates to the DA Vote Against Contract Proposal Despite Leadership Attempt at Vote Manipulation" is tabloid stuff. Amateur tabloid stuff.

Richard Skibins said...

I was also at the DA on Tuesday. To vote was 60/40. Now, how do we know when those pictures that you posted on Edwize were actually taken? Were they taken earlier when we voted on whether to accept Randi's suspension of Roberts Rules? Were they even taken at the October 11 DA? As someone who was once in the news journalism field, I can come up with hundreds of ways to edit or manipulate photos. If a picture of you is taken as you are sitting next to a buxom blonde on the subway, it can be manipulated to show that you appear to be with her, and could be mailed to your wife. I can take a picture of an assault taking place, and can claim that it is a UNITY goon beating up an ICE member. You "catch my drift," don't you.

NYC Educator said...

"I realize they were risking their union perks to do so."

That's precisely why there needs to be a secret ballot. I'm reminded of the votes in Iraq where Sadaam got 100%.

Can somebody tell me this--when was the voting for HS Academic VP changed? Didn't we use to be able to choose our own rep, without the elementary vote, and isn't tht how Mike Schulman won?

Was that changed? If so, how and when did it happen?


NYC Educator said...


Are you saying that someone from ICE is actually the HS Academic VP?

Also, I heard that Mike Schulman was on the commitee that negotiated this contract. Do you know if that's true?

What the heck happened to these New Action guys anyway? They used to be adamently opposed to Unity.

NYC Educator said...

That's really an incredible approach to democracy. For folks like Katherine Harris, it must be positively inspirational.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the high school teachers form their own union?