Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Word up in Albany via Perdido Street School is that the UFT leadership might be preparing to stage another coup d'etat against their own hand picked New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee.  Magee was basically installed by the UFT leadership after former NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi showed some intestinal fortitude and independence from UFT and AFT leadership by standing up to Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013 and 2014.

What has Magee done wrong? She did show some resolve by coming out in support of the opt-out from testing movement while the city union won't come out for opt-out.

Mulgrew denies that he is out to get Magee but doesn't contradict the notion that he had a role in forcing the New York State United Teachers political director Steve Allinger to retire. Mulgrew is quoted in Ken Lovett's Daily News Daily Politics blog saying, "We have to get work done, move fast, and everyone has to be on the same page."

Lovett then goes on by writing this: "Union insiders say the Allinger situation is part of a larger schism that has left state teachers union President Karen Magee isolated from the rest of her union leadership halfway through her first term."

Mulgrew denies being dissatisfied with Magee but should we believe his words or Lovett's union sources?  I choose the latter.

It is interesting to note how the mighty Revive NYSUT team that took over from Iannuzzi has seemed to have fallen so quickly.

I believe that the best hope for punching a huge hole in the Unity Caucus machine that controls the UFT, NYSUT and AFT (they have a different name nationally) is to take them on at the state level where they are more vulnerable as compared to the UFT or the AFT. There is no way to get to the retirees who make up a majority of the electorate in the NYC union and New York has a huge influence on the AFT.

Our best chance is to make change at NYSUT which is why I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the statewide opposition to Unity called Stronger Together from day one.  ICE officially backs ST Caucus. We hope to make a breakthrough in the city too in the 2016 UFT election but NYSUT is where the locals outside of New York City can unite and bring about real change.

Only when the Unity machine that has supported so much of the education deform agenda (for example rating teachers based on student test scores on standardized exams) that has made life in the classroom intolerable for many of us is defeated can the rank and file have a real chance to once again build a real labor union.


Anonymous said...

The best way to take out Unity will be to watch TV with a cold beer as the supreme court does the job for us.

Anonymous said...

Members make their voices heard by electing local delegates who represent them at NYSUT's annual convention, which is called the NYSUT Representative Assembly, or the NYSUT RA. The NYSUT RA is NYSUT's highest policy-making body, except for a membership referendum.
NYSUT delegates are elected to one- to three-year terms by secret ballot of your local's membership. Their terms vary according to local constitutions.

How are the representatives from UFT Districts 24-35 elected? This above is from NYSUT's website. There is a SECRET BALLOT? and where can a member of the UFT find our representatives names?

Michael Fiorillo said...

It sounds like panic might be setting in at 52 Broadway, despite Mulgrew's persistent smirk.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is going on???????

How does Mulgrew call the shots?!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 5:35. The SCOTUS Calendar says Freidrichs will be heard Jan 11. All of this handwringing won't mean a lick after that. That's why all of the politicians are faking a retreat on RTT; they know the fix is in with SCOTUS. Just let the court take the heat. That one ruling is going to accomplish everything that Rhee, Klein, and Moskowitz were trying to accomplish.

But, they should be careful what they wish for. By smashing the big union, they will be creating a vacuum into which many smaller, underfunded unions will pop up. They may not think that is a threat. But, they have not studied labor history. Small, regional unions are the most disruptive. Especially small ones that are desperate for members. They fight. The same way a wounded, cornered animal lashes out: I predict a bunch of regional strikes after the AFT is destroyed in January.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see how meathead Mike ,in the latest addition of New York teacher, is so impassioned regarding the Fredericks case. Too bad this clown didn't have the same passion in fighting for a decent contract for his membership. He argues that the forces behind this case are trying to "enrich themselves". Bullshit. He wants to continue to have his hand on our wallet so he can continue to enrich HIMSELF.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I've changed my opinion. I want dues to be optional. The UFT has become irrelevant. When I asked and needed them, for the first time in 24 years, I was refused help. Nope, this thing has to be destroyed and a union built in it's place. Here's a hope to saying good riddance to Mulgrew and Weingarten.

Anonymous said...

24 years, and they couldn't help?! Amazing. I am so tired of our leadership. I don't even know your story, but, I believe it. I've seen it happen. I've even heard the man, Mr. Casey, try to rationalize our union's inability to protect experienced teachers. He acted like there's no problem. Wrong! Those who are close to 30 years in the system are always targeted for harrassment. It's blatant. I have never seen an ATR who was green. They are always experienced teachers who are high on the pay scale that eat up a Principal's budget.

Anonymous said...

We have a union that pretty much gave the green light for age discrimination by the DOE which is a federal CRIME
Don't know who's more disgusting - the DOE or the UFT who allowed it

Anonymous said...

How about due process? Isn't that a constitutional right as well? How do you prove you're not guilty in a NYC DOE court? How can one group of teachers (ATRs) have different due process rights? The UFT in agreeing to and approving this last contract took away its legitimacy.

James Eterno said...

UFT reps to NYSUT are elected by all 185,000 members at large. It is impossible to get to a huge group of voters - the retirees- so our election is virtually a done deal. It would take a minor miracle to defeat Mulgrew's Unity Caucus in NYC. I hope it happens.

Anonymous said...

Members win cases frequently. Members win out right cleared of all charges frequently. Members avoid serious charges and survive and are returned to the classroom frequently.

If you spend the time on the internet you will hear the worst horror stories. Just like if you go to medical website you will read abut the worst case in a disease situation.

The fact of the matter is Union Reps help the vast majority of the members. The fact of the matter is that UFT and NYSUT lawyers are some of the brightest in the city.

There is a reason why the NYPost and all the other like minded hate the UFT, because the UFT is there. The UFT is always there.

That story is not the story that James wants to tell. Horror stories get more blog views.

James Eterno said...

Could you cite some statistics on members winning frequently in 3020a hearings? We will publish them.

Anonymous said...

A UFT lawyer told me 85% of all teachers brought to a 3020a lose their job. He said 100% are guilty. He said just by being charged you're guilty - it's just the degree of guilt, and the punishment which ranges from suspension, fine to termination. It would be great for the UFT to verify the statistics. They love statistics and they're not advertising it - so I believe him.