Thursday, February 22, 2007

Camille Johnson, ICE Candidate for UFT Secretary,Talks About the Breakup of High Schools and Teacher Profesionalism

UFT election ballots will be mailed to members' homes on March 9th. In order for the membership to understand why ICE-TJC candidates deserve your vote we have produced a series of videos.

Our candidates stand for a stronger union that will not sell-out to the DOE. Watch all of our videos and see how the current leadership of our union is totally out of touch with our members.

As you watch this video ask yourself, "What has Randi done to truly protect our jobs and promote our professionalism?"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fasten your Seat Belts: Unity Attacks Getting Ugly and Will Probably Get Still Uglier

The Unity Caucus (Randi Weingarten's political party) is so unbelievably scared of having any opposition within the United Federation of Teachers that they will say anything to discredit any opposition group in order to maintain Unity's forty-seven year grip on power within the Union.

Unity's latest piece of literature reaches another new low as they refer to ICE and Teachers for a Just Contract as the "axis." The obvious implication is that we are like the World War II axis powers that consisted of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and imperial Japan or George Bush's "Axis of Evil" of North Korea, Iraq and Iran from 2002. Since World War II, the word "axis" has obviously taken on a very negative connotation and no alliance would refer to themselves as an axis.

Because we oppose Randi-Unity and their New Action partners, we are compared to some of the worst regimes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Unity's attacks on our positions on the issues and their defense of the 2005 givebacks are unsustainable so they have to resort to calling us names instead. We will not be shy nor will we make apologies about aggressively responding by pointing out the facts about Unity and New Action.

Unity's position now that TJC and ICE are the "axis" and their 2005 Nazi baiting of the Unified Teachers Party are quite hypocritical because last year when a teacher who had been reassigned out of the classroom came to an Executive Board and compared treatment in the temporary reassignment center (nicknamed the rubber room by many) to the way Nazis treated people, Unity's Mel Aaronson told the person to stop trivializing what the Nazis did. Unity obviously does not practice what it preaches.

In addition to calling us the axis, since we announced our coalition with TJC, Unity has called us "zero plus zero"; they have compared us to Richard Nixon; they have created their own insulting acronyms for ICE and TJC and Unity visitors to this blog have made vicious personal comments against us regularly. We have no problem with their free speech right to say whatever they want to say but don't expect us to meekly sit back and take it. We know how to fight back and we will set the record straight.

As our friends at UTP say, "Brace yourself." This is going to be one bumpy ride.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Randi’s Committee Changes Election Rules After Admitting Ignorance of the Law

In a sharp turnaround Randi’s Election Committee did an about face and “allowed” union election campaign literature to be mailed out by the union to members’ home addresses.

At the Executive Board meeting January 9th both Randi and her Unity Party supporters vehemently claimed that the United States Labor Law known as Landrum-Griffin did not provide that campaign literature could be mailed to members’ home addresses by either the U.S. Postal Service or via email. This claim was made in the face of statements made by ICE Executive Board reps James Eterno and Jeff Kaufman. ICE Reps were also accused of not knowing Labor Law.

At the next Executive Board meeting on January 29th Randi’s Election Committee submitted an “amendment” which provides for our right to send this literature but only by US mail. No apologies were offered.

We will pursue our right to use the Union’s email list but it is encouraging to know that at least someone in Randi’s group knows the law.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


If you are wondering how much you paid in union dues in 2006, here is the answer. Teachers who worked continuously throughout the year paid $1,012.74, paras $506.44, Secretaries $757.98 and Guidance Counselors $1,033.48. The UFT did not provide us with data for other titles.

This is the first time union dues have gone over $1,000 for teachers and guidance counselors while at the same time the union no longer provides services such a Superintendent’s level grievances or Letter in the File Grievances as these were eliminated in the last Contract. People might be interested to know that back in the eighties the UFT made dues increases automatic. If the average salary goes up, then dues increase automatically. Are the services getting better? Please let ICE know.