Yesterday, New York State United Teachers (our state union) protested outside the governor's mansion after Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill he proposed that would have shielded teacher ratings from the results of common core tests for a while. NYSUT President Karen Magee led the protest.
Meanwhile, former UFT District Representative and current NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta was inside the mansion as one of the invited guests for an open house.
We're protesting but still keeping that seat at the table.
No ambiguity in the comments coming from Beth Dimino, the President of the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association and a member of Stronger Together Caucus, the statewide opposition party in NYSUT. Here is what Beth said on Facebook on December 30 concerning the recent Cuomo veto.
Now NYSUT is coming out against Cuomo. Really! It was never Cuomo's intention to support this bill. The proposition was only made to get an endorsement or to prevent a Teachout endorsement. And NYSUT/UFT/AFT leadership fell for the trick. Instead of whining now about this bill that we all knew he would veto, how about working to block a statewide APPR?
Beth also commented on Facebook yesterday along with a link to an NYC Educator post concerning the rigged nature of our union's democracy:
State and National Union Leadership needs to get up from their comfortable seat at the table and start representing rank and file. Our leaders make 3-5 times our salaries and seem to identify more and more with those who oppress teachers, students and public education. True Unionists work for the good of all, they are not self serving. Let us hope they wake up tomorrow morning ready to truly defend public education in the New Year!
Here is Beth again on Facebook reacting to President Karen Magee's attempt to explain NYSUT's positions on television.
Trying to sound politically correct only muddles the waters. Here are the two answers for the next time Madam President. 1) I expected that 98% of the teachers would be effective or highly effective because NY teachers have proven over and over again that they are the best teachers in the world! 2) NYSUT will expend all of its energies to make sure that the tax cap is eliminated. If Mr. Cuomo was happy with a paltry 53% of the electorate to get elected then school districts should not need a 60% margin to pass their budgets. Local School Boards should have the power to determine what their local school expenditures necessitate.
Now there's a leader!
Happy New Year everyone. This is going to be one bumpy ride for us in 2015.