Saturday, May 16, 2009


You first read our resolution calling for the UFT to protect its Chapter Leaders on this blog this past Tuesday (Chapter Leaders and Rubber Rooms) and so did President Randi Weingarten who admitted at Wednesday's Delegate Assembly meeting that she saw the resolution on the blogs. She did not want to leave an ICE resolution as it was so the UFT adjusted it but basically the Unity resolution is similar to the resolution to protect Chapter Leaders that Norm Scott authored. Below is the original ICE text and then the UFT modified version.

ICE Resolution:

Resolution on Teacher Reassignment Centers (Rubber Rooms)
Chapter Leaders and others have been sent to a TRC after asserting members' union rights, questioning and challenging principals on illegal mandates and practices;
In addition to Chapter Leaders, Leadership Academy Principals have also targeted teachers who show independence or otherwise are perceived as threats to authority;
Sending teachers to the rubber room can be a career breaker for teachers, regardless of the merits of the charges;
Threats of rubber room undermine UFT chapters and have a chilling effect on the professionalism and independence of all teachers;
The number of teachers sent to rubber rooms has escalated since the beginning of mayoral control which has led to an increased level of autocratic rule in many schools;
OSI has investigated in a biased manner;

The UFT will set up hotline for Chapter Leaders sent to rubber room and there will be an immediate response, including a demand immediate information about charges against the teacher, immediate legal assistance, a letter to principals putting them on notice that without a substantive emergency reason for rubber room placement there will be counter charges of harassment based on union/age/freedom of speech issues.
After an initial rapid investigation of the circumstances, where there is a determination of harassment, the union will organize a daily picketing of the school until the harassed Chapter Leader is reinstated.
The UFT will come up with a means to monitor OSI investigations.

Now the UFT version distributed to Delegates on Wednesday:

Resolution on Teacher Reassignment Centers
Whereas, chapter leaders and others have been sent to a TRC after asserting members’ union rights, or questioning and challenging principals on illegal mandates and practices; and

Whereas, in addition to chapter leaders, principals have also targeted members who show independence or otherwise are perceived as threats to authority; and

Whereas, sending teachers to a TRC can be a career breaker for members, regardless of the merits of the charges; and

Whereas, threats of the TRC undermine UFT chapters and have a chilling effect on the professionalism and independence of all members; and

Whereas, OSI has often investigated in a biased manner; therefore be it

Resolved, the UFT will continue the current practice of assigning a lawyer to a chapter leader in this circumstance as well as a swat team to the school and of monitoring the OSI investigation; and be it further

Resolved, after an initial rapid investigation of the circumstances, where there is a determination of anti-union animus, the union will organize actions at the school in concert with the chapter leader and the chapter until the harassed chapter leader is reinstated; and be it further

Resolved, that the UFT insist that the DOE notify the union in advance of the removal of a chapter leader from a school.

Having read both closely, it seems to me like the UFT looked at the original and removed some of its teeth but the substance is not all that different.

UFT President Randi Weingarten probably wanted to make sure that one of us was not seen by the Delegates presenting a resolution to protect Chapter Leaders where ICE would have to get the credit or Randi would have to come out against it and the Unity faithful would then have to oppose extra protections for Chapter Leaders.

Her answer was to have one of her people write a modified resolution, quickly distribute it so only the people who closely read the literature ICE distributed at the door would notice the “old switcheroo,” while other Delegates would think that this came from Randi’s group. Obfuscation at its finest.

At the DA, she allowed no debate on what was really a substitute motion after it was quickly distributed. There was just one speaker in favor. This was not exactly democracy at its finest or the kind of bipartisanship that Randi often talks about. Randi should have let us present the resolution or ask us to cosponsor this substitute resolution. Instead, she took the resolution from our blog, changed it somewhat and presented it as her own and didn’t even credit ICE directly, just some anonymous blogs.

Meanwhile, Unity distributed literature at the Delegate Assembly attacking opposition without meaning. It’s funny how Unity has no problem taking our work and making it theirs and then attacking us at the same time.

We will post a separate piece on the rest of the meeting.


Pissed On said...

When I worked for another union the stewards all received super-seniority to prevent the company from attacking union reps. The UFT doesn't give a crap about Chapter Leaders or seniority for that matter. Shame!

Chaz said...

how come SCI biased investigations are not included??? In many cases SCI investigations are more one-sided than OSI investigations. There is something fishy here when both ICE & Unity ignore the SCI investigation process.

Anonymous said...

It is so difficult to understand why Randi could not credit ICE with their own resolution which she she adpted or 'co-opted' as her own. Is she still afraid of ICE gaining power even after they have been decimated to the point of losing thei seats on the exec board? This is really quite amazing because there are other caucuses in the UFT that deserve recognition. We are supposed to work as a team, no matter what caucus you are, or are not a member of.

Under Assault said...

Plagiarism: "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own." Weingarten didn't credit ICE and is therefore guilty of it. People have won big bucks for this amount of plagiarism in court.

ICE should think about changing it's name to the "Independent Conscience of Educators." It's consistently being the heart and the brain of the most basic union values.

Chaz said...

Under Randi I have watched and experienced a diminishing of teacher due process rights. I see no change going forward. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Chaz I think that was an oversight leaving out the special commissioner of Investigations which is often much worse than OSI. It is implied.

ed notes online said...

I and another person wrote the resolution in a hurry and we didn't have time to fully vet it. It will come up again since the Unity version has no teeth by putting the SWAT team on the case and calls for monitoring OSI - we could have made it stronger by calling for Jeff's original point of hiring our own investigators and probably some other things.

We wanted to generalize it to all RR people but figured with chapter leader elections taking place this was more apt at this time.

Any suggestions send them along for next time. We know one thing: this Unity version will have zero impact on protecting chapter leaders or anyone in the RR.

It will take a union with principles and spine, not resos to protect people.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the dictionary definition of plagiarism Woodlass.

Anonymous said...

great piece!

Under Assault said...

Anon., 10:00 a.m.
You can be sarcastic, I certainly was sarcastic.
But, you're not denying the existence of the misdemeanor, crime, or whatever else you want to call it.

Brooklyn CL said...

There should have also been a provision protecting former chapter leaders from retaliation.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Our CL (soon to be our former CL) wouldn't put an SBO up for a vote this year (probably one of the few times- if not the only time-she showed some cojones. In a way, I feel sorry for her next year, because I have a suspicion that she is going to be a major target- because our principal is NOT happy about it.

Anonymous said...

Time to Boycott the New York Post....Please ICE... take up this cause!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with a Post boycott. Why not?

Also, no sarcasm intended Woodlass. I really meant that you were right in calling what Randi did plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

Apparently ICE caught Randi with her pants down.
Why is Randi who is now a major national union leader bothering with these issues? She seemed to have no interest in the fate of chapter leaders in the rubber room. Yet the second ICE brings it up she goes to some lengths to coopt it. Is this the action of someone who is supposedly leaving? Worst case scenario (for Unity) is that ICE raises it and everyone goes home and forgets all about it.
Unless she's a raving lunatic, why get involved if you have one foot out the door?