UFT Presidential candidate Julie Cavanagh, Secretary candidate Brian Jones, Treasurer nominee Camille Eterno and Assistant Secretary nominee Michael Fiorello addressed a number of union and public education concerns and then they fielded questions from the audience at a NYCORE meeting. Issues covered included bloated union officer salaries and double pensions which leads to our leadership being out of touch with the membership, the history of the UFT, how to stop principals from abusing the UFT contract, what a member driven union would look like in practice, how destructive closing schools is for communities, privatization of education both here and abroad and many others.
A main theme is that now the UFT has a top-down bureaucratic structure that does not work for the benefit of the membership or the schools. If MORE is elected, the pyramid will be inverted with the members put into the driver's seat. The recent activism of the Chicago teachers can serve as a model.
I hope to see these four and other MORE candidates in action again. I was sitting in the audience imagining a debate between MORE"S top candidates and the UFT's current leaders from the Unity Caucus. I couldn't think of a bigger mismatch. I can see why Unity's President Mulgrew and company would never want a debate. I think we should have several.
Today is part 2 of the activist weekend at the CUNY Graduate Center.