Thursday, May 23, 2013


Just about everyone is aware that AFT President Randi Weingarten is helping raise money for Bill Thompson in the race for New York City Mayor. Only those who truly want to believe the UFT is independent from the AFT took the UFT at face value when at yesterday's Delegate Assembly it was stated that they hadn't made a decision yet on who to endorse.  Maybe officially they have not endorsed a candidate but all signs point to Thompson.

Since Thompson is supported by Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents Merryl Tisch, a true ed deformer who is no friend to teachers, the UFT move in this direction is curious and would have been a great topic for debate at the Delegate Assembly.  However, the Union did not have a discussion on the issue and instead just had the Borough Representatives give short reports on how the mayoral forums in each of the boroughs with the four top Democratic candidates went. The floor at the DA was not opened for Delegates to voice their opinions on the candidates.  So much for democracy.

Onward to the rest of the meeting where there was an unusually short report from President Michael Mulgrew.  I missed most of it so this is from a friend's notes

Fact Finding
Contract is going through non binding arbitration process. We presented our case and told them that we are the lowest paid teachers in the region and certainly deserve a salary increase.  (I don't know if this was mentioned but the UFT has also been arguing that the projected deficits in the city budget always end up turning into surpluses at the end of each fiscal year so there is money for salary increases.)

June 12 Labor Rally
There will be a huge Municipal Labor Committee rally of all the city public unions at 4:00 pm on June 12 (same day Randi Weingarten will be in town raising money for Bill Thompson.) Mulgrew wants us to promote this rally and bring everyone.

PCB Settlement
The Department of Education has agreed to fix the PCB problem by 2016 to settle a lawsuit, This is years earlier than they originally planned.

Mayor's Race
We need the person who has the right policies but also someone who has the team in place to win the election. (Political Director Paul Egan also reported.)

Staff Director's Report
Staff Director Leroy Barr promoted the June 12 rally and told us that the officers, the Executive Board and the Delegate Assembly would all be meeting on June 19, the day the UFT will be endorsing a mayoral candidate officially.  Apparently, they want to keep the endorsement a secret.  (Does anyone believe it won't be Thompson?  This looks like the worst kept secret on the planet.)

(period shortened by five minutes to ten minutes)
Question: What is the UFT plan for implementation of the new teacher evaluation system?
Mulgrew Answer: UFT does not agree with training being done by DOE.  We are not recommending that teachers attend the training.  DOE believes a good lesson plan=a good teacher.  We don't support this notion.

Question: How can UFT protect older teachers being harassed by a Principal?
Mulgrew Answer: Put the Principal on the UFT's Principals in Need of Improvement list.

Question: How can we get a new facility for Coop Tech building that is being torn down?
Mulgrew Answer: Coop Tech is only BOCES program in NYC.  Mayor giving away city assets.  In order to tear down a school they need to build a new facility with the same number of seats but they should build one with more seats because new luxury apartments means we will have more residents in the area so Coop Tech and other schools in the neighborhood will need more seats.

Resolved the UFT supports our sisters and brothers at the legal services association UAW Local 2320 who were forced to strike on may 15 and urges the management of legal services NYC to immediately negotiate a fair contract with its staff.

It was unanimously added to the agenda and then carried unanimously.  John Antush from MORE introduced it.

A motion on re-instituting Glass Steagall was ruled not necessary because it is already UFT policy.

Special Order of Business
1. May City Council Endorsements
Manhattan District 2          Rosie Mendez--Democrat
Bronx District 15               Ritchie Torres-- Democrat
Queens 20                         Peter Koo--Democrat
Queens 22                         Costa Constantinides-- Democrat
Queens 26                         James van Bramer--Democrat
Queens 31                         Donovan Richards--Democrat
Brooklyn 33                      Stephen Levin--Democrat
Brooklyn 39                      Brad Lander--Democrat
Brooklyn 41                      Darlene mealy--Democrat
Brooklyn 42                      Inez Barron--Democrat
Brooklyn 47                       Mark Treygor--Democrat
Staten Island 50                 Steven Matteo--Republican

All carried easily.  There was opposition to all of them from Marjorie Stamberg who objected to all Democrats and Republicans and wants a new working class party to support.

The only candidate opposed individually was Ritchie Torres from the Bronx who was a no show at all of the events to help Lehman High School.  The Delegate from Lehman was adamant that this man does not deserve our support.  The UFT leaders said he was great and the Unity faithful rubber stamped the endorsement and ignored the member in the school impacted by Torres. (I voted with the member from Lehman.)

2. Resolution to support June 12th Rally for fair Contracts for all New York City Municipal Workers
All 100 bargaining units are without contracts; the mayor won't negotiate in good faith so the Municipal Labor Committee is organizing a huge rally at City Hall Park on June 12th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  This carried unanimously

3. Resolution to support the labor rights of Bangladeshi garment workers.
This carried unanimously.  There was also an amendment from Abe Levine calling for union organizing rights for Bengali workers.

4. Resolution to support the 2013 Gay Pride March
This carried easily.

Should the UFT be endorsing bill Thompson for mayor?  There won't be a discussion at the Delegate Assembly until after the decision is made. You can comment if you like here.


Anonymous said...

Played like a violin.

Jeff A said...

We don't endorse Mulgrew does. See May 11 NY Times and Zach Johnk, Assistant to the Senior Editor, Standards The New York Times response to my correction plea, “It's clear from the article that Mulgrew's personal endorsement is what these candidates are looking for, even if he has to go through the technicalities of getting his members on board.”

Anonymous said...

We should support DeBlasio- 1199 backs him, an he is a friend to unions. Thompson is an inside guy, with no charisma

Anonymous said...

What about John Liu?

ed notes online said...

Lots of people like Liu but he is hurt by the supposed scandal and most people shrug "too bad." He was the biggest threat to the oligarchy so they shunt him aside. I don't follow all the mumbo jumbo politically but I sense progressives coalescing behind de Blasio.

Anonymous said...

Media is being played too

Anonymous said...

All of the blog postings on the mayoral election conveniently fail to mention the fact that teachers have no contract. Isn't the first question to ask any mayoral candidate: What is your policy on the municiapl worker's expired contracts?

Anonymous said...

Kevin Kearns said:

Thompson is certainly a big concern, and also the UFT's choice. Just
looking at the Gotham Schools "Next Education Mayor Piece" we can see
that Thompson has said "There has to be some equality and equity
between the charter and district sides of a building. I’m not against
new charter schools and co-locating the schools, but we have to do
this differently.” Thompson will continue the grow the charter
sector, even if he doesn't close schools.

Last night his buddy Tisch was not surprisingly at the Success Academy
Gala, and I am sure Thompson can easily be bought by Eva. Thompson is
moving towards the center and embracing ED deform, because he does
have a legit shot at being the next mayor. Unity cares more about
picking a winner than picking the right winner. Let's just hope that
Thompson at least keeps his word on the Moratorium on school closures,
and relinquishing majority control of the PEP.

Anonymous said...

Don't bet on him being much better than Bloomberg.

Anonymous said...

ICE-TJC-MORE has been touting Thompson for the last 4 years...just look through this blog, Norms and the rest.

Now, that he may get an endorsement you guys want someone else.

Live by your words.

Anonymous said...

Not true about Thompson. ICE supported the rejection of Bloomberg in 2009, but did not endorse Thompson. Look at the record. Now that Thompson is with Merryl Tisch, it is easy to say goodbye.

ed notes online said...

A Unity shill visiting and pushing Thompson. If Mulgrew said porky pig you would be on here in a flash telling us we shouldn't eat pork.
In fact Ed Notes went after Thompson time and again -- take some time and search the blog.
MORE has never mentioned Thompson or any mayoral candidate though some individuals in MORE seem to be leaning to de Blasio. And don't forget that great union lover D'Amato raising money for Thompson. We know they want Lhota but he made some dumb comments and now Thompson is their next best choice - they probably decided they could better get their ed deform agenda across with a black mayor. Throw a few tweaks in and maybe people will be fooled for another 4 years. Hey, I got an idea for a button your Unity slugs can start wearing: 12.31.17.

Anonymous said...

That Obama endorsement worked really well didn't it Mr. or Ms. Unity. Some people can see where Thompson is headed and don't like it. hat NYSUT Cuomo endorsement is working out too. When will they ever learn?

Anonymous said...

Norm- Is Unity's Porky Pig endorsement also coming at the June DA? Will Porky be up on the stage with Mulgrew and Thompson? I heard ICE may support Donald Duck and Daisy. You know how political director Paul Egan prefers quail.

Anonymous said...

Porky pig for mayor.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately whoever is the next mayor the climate will still be very toxic with regard to teachers and public school education. The teacher's union is getting ambushed from different directions. This new evaluation system, if imposed on us, is not meant to make us better teachers. This new system is meant to make it easier to get rid of teachers or at least burn them out. Every teacher working under this new evaluation system that I know of dislikes it and is looking to retire early or leave the field altogether.

Anonymous said...

There are lesser evils. A sympathetic mayor would be helpful for sure.

Anonymous said...

4 years ago Tony was the best choice for mayor, but the union shunned him. However, the UFT was wrong not to support the Democratic candidate. But 4 years later we see a side to Thompson that would make a UFT endorsement laughable.

DeBlasio is the best choice!!!

Anonymous said...

Dc37 endorse Liu. Polls don't catch his voters.