Last Friday, a UFT District Representative sent the email copied below to the Chapter Leaders in the district. Apparently, someone raised their hand and spoke some blasphemy about President Mulgrew at a district Chapter Leaders' meeting. Elected Chapter Leaders need to get information from the union leadership but just as importantly Chapter Leaders need to raise issues that are concerning members in their schools. Without open discussion where people can make statements on what is happening with their constituents, a union is not a democratic organization. The email explains just what is wrong with the UFT structure and why there needs to be change. If this is happening in one district, I wonder if this is how other districts operate.
We have supported elected District Representatives for many years and were appalled when then President Randi Weingarten stopped District Rep elections in 2003. DRs were elected by Chapter Leaders in a District in the past. Therefore, DRs were accountable to the Chapter Leaders they serviced; now they are accountable to the UFT hierarchy. Someone who was not a part of the ruling Unity Caucus, Bruce Markens, was actually elected as a DR and Manhattan High Schools functioned truly independently. When Bruce retired, Tom Dromgoole, another non-Unity DR, was elected to follow him. The UFT changed the rules to mirror the C-30 selection process for Principals. Now a committee with Chapter Leaders and union officials interviews candidates and makes a recommendation to the President who picks the DR.
A committee was formed by Weingarten to come up with a fair process for DR selection several years ago. It met once. I know I volunteered to serve on this committee. It never met again. We are stuck with the results.