Saturday, December 31, 2016


The email copied below was sent from AFT President Randi Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Loretta Johnson and Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker thanking AFT activists for what they did in 2016 and looking to the tough times ahead in 2017.

I am not going to comment but rather ask: Was this an effective end of the year message?


Before 2016 comes to a close, we want to say thank you.

The holidays are a time for reflection and gratitude. As polarizing as this year has been—and as disappointing as the results of the presidential election were—there is still much we accomplished and much to fight for ahead.

This year, you and hundreds of thousands of others participated in organizing actions—in person and online—that helped make a real difference in people’s lives every day.

When Detroit teachers and school staff spoke up about dangerous conditions in schools, you signed petitions and shared their stories. Thanks to their courage and your solidarity, we made it a national story, secured resources to make the schools safe for kids and adults, and eventually ensured that Detroit communities regained control over their schools.

When Long Island University took the unprecedented step of locking out its staff, your contributions supported those locked-out educators, while tens of thousands of petition signatures and tweets helped end the lockout and get students and professors back into the classroom.

This year, Share My Lesson has exceeded 1 million users and 11 million downloads—providing educators across the country with lesson plans, teaching resources and so much more.

Through our Innovation Fund, cities from Peoria to Miami to New York City to Daly City, Calif., are launching community schools as well as career and technical education programs.

When we joined with other healthcare and social service unions to petition the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for comprehensive workplace violence prevention standards, tens of thousands of petition signatures helped us secure meetings and a path forward with OSHA. And while we may not receive the same reception from the president-elect’s administration, we will work to protect everything health-related, from defending the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare, to fighting forward for patient safety and workplace protections. And we will do that not just in Washington, D.C., but in state capitals and at bargaining tables from New Jersey to our newest unit of hospital workers at PeaceHealth Southwest in Vancouver, Wash.

And just a few weeks ago, when Donald Trump attacked a Steelworkers local president on Twitter, our union brothers and sisters—in solidarity—fought back on the president-elect's favorite medium, Twitter. Not only did Donald Trump see labor stand up for a brother, but Donald Trump stood down.

These are just a few examples—but in fights little and big, this activism will be crucial in the coming years.

And while the presidential election didn't go our way—although we did win the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes—when kids and schools were on the ballot, we won in red states like Georgia and blue states like Massachusetts.

It’s clear from ballot measures, funding levies and school board races—people want to strengthen and improve public education, not undermine it. That’s why we’ll fight to stop the Betsy DeVos nomination, why we’re holding a national day of action with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools on Jan. 19— to protect our students and our public schools. And we’ll keep asking you to speak up online and offline to defend our schools.

It’s clear that people want to support and protect our students—regardless of their background, beliefs, their identity or expression. That’s why tens of thousands signed our petition with the Southern Poverty Law Center asking for Donald Trump to disavow the toxic rhetoric and condemn the violence and bigotry that followed his election.

It’s clear that Americans want to be able to see their healthcare providers without going broke, to be able to afford their prescriptions and to safely visit the hospital. We’ll fight the nomination of Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and we’ll defend and work to expand the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.

If we saw one thing in 2016, it’s that when people understand what we’re fighting for, they want to join us. That’s why we will redouble our efforts to help people connect politicians and policy—and that starts with listening to and engaging our members and communities.

Your activism online is a critical way we reach your friends, your families, your neighbors and colleagues. Sometimes it may seem small. But, taken together, our actions have made a real difference in 2016, and they’ll keep making a difference in 2017.

In 2016, you made a difference. Your voice helped make a difference for students in Detroit who now have safer classrooms. For healthcare professionals from New Jersey to Oregon who have respect on the job, and patients who have safer healing conditions. For teachers and staff in Chicago who have more support and a stronger voice on the job. These are just a few of the wins you helped us achieve.

From all of us at the AFT, thank you.

Randi Weingarten

Lorretta Johnson

Mary Cathryn Ricker
Executive Vice-President

Thursday, December 29, 2016


I saw this out of Michigan from earlier this month. The compensation package for the AFT Michigan President is soaring while teachers in the schools face cuts and freezes.

This is from a right wing, anti-union site in Michigan called Capcon.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan union has enjoyed robust raises the past two years, even as membership in the union kept declining. AFT-Michigan represents employees of the Detroit school district.

Most of those employees have been under a salary freeze for the past six years, and they are also paying higher union dues.

David Hecker, president of AFT-Michigan, has seen his salary increase from $145,862 in 2014 to $155,278 in 2015 and $162,718 in 2016. The figures are from the annual reports the union is required to file with the federal government. Hecker’s total compensation increased from $161,751 in 2014 to $181,996 in 2016.

Membership in AFT-Michigan has declined from 20,889 in 2014 to 18,432 in 2016. Union dues have also increased from $17.20 a month in 2014 to $18.20 a month in 2016.

The bulk of the membership of AFT-Michigan comes from the Detroit public school district, which implemented a 10 percent reduction in salaries in 2010. It also implemented a freeze that keeps members from moving up the steps of the union pay scale.

Why do unions leave themselves open to these right wing attacks?

I have never met David Hecker. He may be a great union leader. I don't have a problem with union leaders being compensated for the extra time they work but when membership is on austerity, leadership should lead by example.

This is just another illustration for why if, or rather when, Friedrichs II comes along and the unions lose in court, members will leave the unions in droves.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


In 2017, expect to hear the word matrix early and often when UFT leaders come in to schools to sell the new teacher evaluation system as the greatest thing since sliced bread. It might be simpler to figure out than the current John King imposed system the UFT praised back in 2013 but still the devil is in the details on whether or not teachers will be better off under the new 2016 system.

This blog has already commented on the pure incompetence or complicity of the UFT leadership for agreeing in negotiations to more minimum observations than the 2015 state law mandates. Observations are usually either a gotcha game where administrators are looking to set up teachers to see them at their worst or they are something we all have to get over with because it is required so administrators and teachers go through the motions to fulfill mandates. Occasionally, a teacher receives a valid suggestion on how to teach a topic in a better way if someone is working for a decent supervisor.

I am observed these days by a professional assistant principal who generally has a different approach to teaching compared to me so I have benefited by listening to a number of his suggestions since I am new to a progressive environment. I have been lucky that administrators have not used the observation process to attack me throughout my career. However, I have seen it happen to others including my own wife. When administrators are out to get a teacher, the observations are used as a dagger to ruin a teacher's life. In the final analysis, the observation process is completely subjective so perhaps we should be grateful there are other measures involved in rating us.

Keeping this in mind, it is not unreasonable to ask if there is a legitimate growth model that can be used for the Measures of Student Learning portion of teacher ratings. The answer is that none has been developed and researched as of now that is sufficient for high-stakes use on teachers. Student test score results on exams that were never designed to rate teachers do not qualify as an objective measure of teacher performance. This is from the American Statistical Association.  VAM stands for Value Added Models, a type of growth model.

Research on VAMs has been fairly consistent that aspects of educational effectiveness that are measurable and within teacher control represent a small part of the total variation in student test scores or growth; most estimates in the literature attribute between 1% and 14% of the total variability to teachers. This is not saying that teachers have little effect on students, but that variation among teachers accounts for a small part of the variation in scores. The majority of the variation in test scores is attributable to factors outside of the teacher’s control such as student and family background, poverty, curriculum, and unmeasured influences.  

Well duh!

Enter into this picture UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Department of  Education Chancellor Carmen Farina. Their "cutting-edge" plan is to create brand new assessments to calculate the Measures of Student Learning portion of our ratings in addition to the tests already in use. MOSL Committees will have to decide what is best for teachers and students in every school or else utilize a default measurement from the Chancellor.

Here is what the UFT says in their guide on what the new measurements will be:

In addition to current MOSL options, other options will be designed to minimize standardized testing in our schools. These will fall into four categories, two existing options and two new options. The new assessments will be developed in 2016-17 for use in 2017-18 and the UFT and the DOE will consider how and where to expand in the future. 

1. Project-Based Learning Assessments are a new category wherein a student’s final assessment is at least partly composed of work the student has developed over time in conjunction with a specific project-based learning unit. These projects and/or units must provide a student with the opportunity to demonstrate standards-based academic growth.

2. Student Learning Inventories (also new) are collections of student work that will include both DOE-developed components as well as classroom artifacts (student work) that capture student growth. 

3. Performance-Based Assessments are assessments the UFT and the DOE have collaboratively developed to learn how well a student understands and completes a specific task. These assessments are already a part of our evaluation system but will be expanded into other grades and subjects starting in 2017-2018. 

4. Progress Monitoring Assessments are third-party assessments that allow teachers to assess academic performance. Examples include Degrees of Reading Power and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. These assessments are part of our current evaluation system.

Which leads to some reasonable questions:

  • Is there any scholarly research to back these assessments up for rating teachers?
  • Who is actually going to make up these new and improved assessments?
  • Who will judge the validity and reliability of the new tests for rating teachers? 
  • What about the possibility for paperwork nightmares for teachers in the new assessments?
  • Do all of the assessments count for students or only for teachers?
  • Who grades the new assessments?

Don't worry says Mulgrew because his matrix from New York State law will work in your favor.

MOTP Chart Matrix Evaluation

Let's examine Mulgrew's argument.

  • If the principal doesn't like you and rates you ineffective, fear not because the growth of the students on the assessments will give you an overall developing rating as long as the MOSL is at least effective.
  • If the students don't show the growth they are supposed to, no need to fret because the principal can still give you that developing rating if the observations are at least effective.

This all sounds favorable. However, if you are not liked by the principal and the kids don't show sufficient growth for at least an effective on the one high-stakes measurement, then you are out of luck and rated ineffective.

Remember, there is only one measure in the new system for the entire MOSL portion of the annual rating. There are no more state and local assessments. We can refer to it as a super-high-stakes assessment.

Instead of being critical, however, let's take the UFT at their word that they have actually come up with a system where it will be more difficult, if not impossible, for a viscous principal to rate a teacher ineffective compared with the current system or the old satisfactory or unsatisfactory system.

I leave it to you to judge if it is better to use unproven, unscientific assessments rather than principals exclusively to give us an annual rating.

You can bet the DOE has already looked at all of this. Their lawyers are one step ahead as they are bringing teachers who are rated developing (still at the sole discretion of the principal) up on incompetence charges in state termination (3012-c) proceedings. If the best a principal can do by writing up terrible observation reports is to give a developing, we can probably expect low rated observations to be the norm for many more teachers while certain administrators figure out how to play with the assessments to ensure teachers they don't like are rated developing or ineffective on their MOSL which will sink the ratings entirely.

This leads back to the question of why on earth the Union would agree to a minimum of four observations per year when state law requires only two? Why not get it over with rather than prolonging the agony by having vindictive administrators impose insane improvement recommendations?

UFT will argue that the burden of proof will still be on the DOE if a tenured teacher rated developing is brought up on incompetence charges. To which we should respond that the burden of proof in the past was always on the DOE in dismissal hearings for every tenured teacher.

However, in the 2013 system and the new and improved 2016 system, after two ineffective ratings, there is a presumption of incompetence and a teacher has to prove he/she is not incompetent in termination proceedings. Good luck with that.

I hope one of our High School Executive Board people will ask for some statistics on how we are doing in the double ineffective incompetence dismissal hearings now that we are in year four of a test based teacher evaluation system.

As for an alternative teacher evaluation system, I think at some point in the future if we ever become a real union again and fight for true teacher empowerment, perhaps a system like the Montgomery County Maryland PAR system would be a good place to start discussions.

Unfortunately, I don't think even this progressive evaluation system would work in NYC because of the trust needed between labor and management for it to succeed. Trust may exist at the top levels between the UFT and DOE but at the school level our system is now all over the place. There are schools with trusting relationships between teachers and administration; there are schools where there is a hostile work environment and everything in-between exists too.

In the end, the evaluation system is still a mess here in NYC. Only the UFT leadership and Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration will try to say otherwise.

To see how much of a mess it still is, let's do a very simple poll with one question for every teacher who has been in the system since 2012:

Would you rather be rated on the matrix or the traditional satisfactory or unsatisfactory system?

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas,

Happy Chanukah,

Happy Kwanzaa.

Happy anything I forgot.

Enjoy the day. I am trying not to think about the DOE today but it is not that simple to just forget. I'll keep trying.

Friday, December 23, 2016


I sometimes can still be a little surprised by the extent to which the UFT was taken to the cleaners by the city and the Department of Education in the last contract in 2014. A reader wrote to the Independent Budget Office to find out how much our lump sum payments would cost the city.

This is the money we worked for between 2009 and 2011 that we essentially loaned to the city. NYC is paying us back with no interest in installments. The first payment was on 2015. We get nothing this year but the remainder of the loan will be paid back in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

How much will this cost the city?

The IBO expert estimated the maximum our loan will cost the city is $560 million but said it would be less because of all the UFT members who will resign or be terminated by 2020 and so won't be paid back in full.

Overall, the city is planning to spend $82 billion in this fiscal year. Paying back our loan will not even cost the city anywhere close to 1% of the budget. Add the large reserves the city has and there is little doubt that we are being ripped off big time by the 2014 contract.

I do not expect the city to feel sorry for us and give us our money back early but how could teachers not be angry about being ripped off so badly compared to other city employees who had this money years ago? We still only have half of the salary increases other city employees received from 2008-2010 added to our regular checks. The full amount won't be added until May 2018. 

From the Independent Budget Office:
I am replying to your email sent to Ronnie Lowenstein regarding the “bonus” payments to be made to members of the UFT as per the collective bargaining agreement of 2014.  I assume in referring to bonus payments you are in fact referring to the retroactive lump sums to be paid out on October 1st of 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

While IBO does not have an exact cost for how large these retroactive lump sums will be, because they are directly linked to the number of union members who will be employed on the days the payments are scheduled to be made, we can estimate the maximum cost of these lump sums based upon the total PS costs for pedagogical employees in 2009-2011.  Based upon the total PS costs from those years we estimate that the entire lump sum payment would be a maximum of $560 million if every member were to remain employed by the DOE through 10/1/20

This total would translate to a maximum of $70 million paid out in 2017 and $140 million paid out in 2018 – 2020.  These funds, if not already accounted for in DOE’s financial plan, would increase the city-funds portion of DOE’s budget by less than one percent in 2017 and around one percent in each subsequent year.   

IBO has not made any estimates about what the final cost of this portion of UFT’s collective bargaining agreement would be although we assume, as a result of attrition and other separations, that it will somewhat less than the $560 million.   

While I can’t say for certain, and I am looking into it further, I do believe that these costs are included in DOE’s financial plan.  As you surmised there likely is no breakdown of PS funding which would allow you to see the budget for regular salary segregated from these lump sums.  If I am able to find any more clarity on this issue I will keep you informed.

Thank you for reaching out, if you have any furthers questions or concerns feel free to contact me.

Enjoy the vacation everyone. We earned it for sure.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


The UFT and Department of Education have agreed to a new teacher evaluation system and it looks like it is business as usual with the UFT coming out on the short end at the negotiating table, particularly on observations.

The 2015 state law 3012-d calls for at least two observations per year for teachers. The districts around the state had to negotiate a new evaluation system with their local teacher unions by the end of 2016 based on this law. I have looked at districts where there are agreements and they are having two observations for tenured teachers for the year and a few have more for non-tenured teachers. State law calls for a minimum of two observations and most districts and unions are agreeing to two. It makes sense. You can judge the plans for yourself here.

Even the UFT couldn't mess this one up, right?


The UFT somehow managed to agree to more minimum observations for effective and highly effective teachers than the current system calls for. Right now a teacher rated effective can opt for four informal observations per year. Under the new system it will be four by administration and two (not for evaluation) by other teachers. Who is in there in negotiations representing the classroom teacher? That is three times as many observations as the state calls for.

Does anyone want more observations?

As for the rest of the agreement, it looks like test scores or student growth will count for half of teacher ratings instead of the current 40%. There are new options coming in for the Measures of Student Learning portion that won't be tests but will increase paperwork documentation by leaps and bounds to show how students are learning. Who grades these new "authentic assessments"? Will it be the same principals who continually harass our members?

Below is Mulgrew's email explaining the new system. That is followed by Chancellor Farina's email to principals.

Dear James,
Today, we wrapped up some important unfinished business on teacher evaluation. In 2015, we were able to get state lawmakers to make some positive changes to the evaluation law. The next step was to negotiate with the city Department of Education to bring the city’s teacher evaluation system into alignment with the new state law. We went into those negotiations saying that any agreement must reduce the impact of standardized test scores, and we achieved that goal.
The new system, when fully implemented, will include more authentic student learning measures — from essays and projects to demonstrations of proficiency in physical education and the arts — that genuinely demonstrate what we do as teachers and what our students are learning. Whatever the assessments chosen to measure student learning, they will carry less weight because the new matrix used to determine final ratings focuses the final rating on each teacher’s strength.
Though this agreement was reached mid-year, our goal is to make the transition to the new system as smooth as possible. The observation option you selected at the start of the year remains in place. In January, your MOSL committee will meet to select the student learning measures your school will use this school year (the choices for this school year are similar to last year).
Teachers deserve a professional evaluation system in which administrators and teachers can work together to improve instruction in a safe and respectful environment. Those are the beliefs that underpin this agreement. If your principal tries to use the teacher evaluation system to play gotcha, that’s not in keeping with the spirit of our agreement and we will fight.

A new, simpler way to score

Starting this school year, you will have one measure of student learning instead of two. That measure will be factored into your final rating in a more straightforward, fairer way.
In the new system, teachers will no longer receive a score between zero and 100. Instead, the DOE will use a matrix to determine your final rating by combining your rating for Measures of Teaching Practice (MOTP) and your rating for Measures of Student Learning (MOSL).
The matrix makes it easy to determine your final rating. You find the box where your MOSL rating and your MOTP rating intersect, and that’s your final rating (see the chart below).
For example, if you receive an Effective in student learning measures and a Developing in teaching practice, your overall rating will be Effective.

Looking ahead: More authentic assessments

The DOE and the UFT are working to build out four Measures of Student Learning for other subjects and grades that would be available as part of your school’s MOSL selection process. The new options will be collaboratively developed by the UFT and the DOE and expanded in later years into grades and subjects where both the UFT and the DOE believe their inclusion in evaluation will be fair for teachers and beneficial for schools. All Measures of Student Learning will be aligned to grade- and subject-level standards and curriculum.
Here are the four measures under development (up from two this school year):
1. Project-Based Learning Assessments (new) are at least partly composed of work that students have developed over time in conjunction with a specific project-based learning unit.
2.  Student Learning Inventories (also new) are collections of student work that will include both DOE-developed components as well as classroom artifacts (student work) that capture student growth.
3. Performance-Based Assessments are assessments the UFT and the DOE have collaboratively developed to learn how well a student understands and completes a specific task. These assessments are already a part of our evaluation system but may be expanded into other grades and subjects starting in 2017-2018.
4. Progress Monitoring Assessments are third-party assessments that allow teachers to assess academic performance. Examples include Degrees of Reading Power and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. These assessments are part of our current evaluation system.

Looking ahead: Modified observation options

Under the new system, there will still be four observation options, but we’ve expanded the choices for teachers rated Effective or Highly Effective in the prior year.
Starting in the 2017–18 school year, teachers rated Effective — in addition to those rated Highly Effective — may choose Observation Options 3, which includes a minimum of four informal, unannounced observations plus teachers agree to open their classrooms to colleagues for at least two non-evaluative classroom visits. Highly Effective teachers may also now choose Observation Option 4, which includes a minimum of three informal, unannounced observations plus three times when teachers open their classrooms for a visiting colleague to observe and learn from their teaching.
As part of our agreement, we were also able to negotiate new safeguards and support for teachers rated Developing and Ineffective.
I realize it’s a lot to digest. That’s why we have put together a new guide that will give you the information you need to know in a simple, easy-to-digest format.
I hope you’ll join us in lobbying Albany this spring to make permanent the current moratorium on using the state ELA and math Common Core tests for students in Grades 3 to 8 to evaluate teachers. That would lock in this new focus on authentic measures of student learning.
Thank you for everything that you do.
Michael Mulgrew

Dear Colleagues,

As you prepare for time off with friends and loved ones, I want to share an important update regarding changes to our teacher and principal development and evaluation systems.

Today I announced that the City has reached agreements with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) regarding evaluation plans for teachers and principals. Our system aligns to New York State Education Law §3012-d, as well as to the Board of Regents Regulations that prohibit educators from being evaluated based on student performance on grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and math State exams until the 2019-20 school year.
Throughout our conversations with the UFT and CSA, our shared focus remained consistent: improving student achievement. I am pleased to say our new teacher and principal evaluation plans, combined with our continued focus on strong professional learning, represents an important step towards this goal.

The new plans will continue to craft high-quality teacher and principal development and evaluation systems based on multiple measures, and systems that create opportunities for educators to continually grow and improve so that all students receive an equitable and excellent education. They will also promote stability for our schools, ensuring school staff can continue to focus on their work in the classroom.
Important highlights from the agreements:

Teacher Evaluation
The Measures of Teacher Practice (MOTP) components of Advance remain largely unchanged and any evaluative observations already completed for teachers will be included in this year’s evaluation process, in addition to those observations completed during the remainder of the school year. Guidance regarding reconvening your school-based Measures of Student Learning (MOSL) committees and making MOSL selections will be provided in January 2017. Additionally, we are in the process of applying to the New York State Education Department for a waiver from the Independent Evaluator requirement and will keep you apprised of our progress.

Looking ahead to the 2017-18 school year, we have  streamlined observation options to provide more teachers with the opportunity for intentional collaboration, learning alongside both Effective and Highly Effective-rated teachers through classroom visits. We have also begun developing innovative assessments for additional MOSL-eligibility purposes, as well as expanding current options. These assessments include:
·         Additional performance-based assessments like the New York City Performance Tasks in additional grades and subjects.
·         Expanding progress monitoring assessments to other grades. Currently progress monitors, such as the Running Records, are offered primarily in early childhood grades.
·         New project based-learning assessments that build on the work being done when schools use a project-based learning pedagogical approach.
·         New student learning inventories which will include a collection of purposeful student work over time.

Principal Evaluation
Evaluative observations already completed by superintendents and Principal Leadership Facilitators will be included in this year’s evaluation process, in addition to those observations completed in the remaining months of the school year. Information on assessments included in principal evaluation MOSL will be available in January 2017.

Additionally, we are working with the CSA to select a new rubric for principal observations (Measures of Leadership Practice). We will pilot two rubrics in the 2017-18 school year. Each rubric will be piloted in one community school district and at schools supervised by one of the City’s high school superintendents, with one rubric to be selected for citywide use beginning in school year 2018-19.

We will continue to keep you updated on implementation plans, and provide ongoing support regarding next steps.

As always, thank you for your tireless work and partnership in ensuring 1.1 million students receive the best education possible.


Carmen FariƱa


Economist Paul Krugman had a very interesting column Monday examining the end of the Roman Republic and comparing it with our situation in the modern United States.

Here is one of his important points regarding the decline of the Roman Republic:

Republican institutions don’t protect against tyranny when powerful people start defying political norms. And tyranny, when it comes, can flourish even while maintaining a republican facade.

Professor Krugman is of course worried about the Republican Party in the USA in 2016 defying the political norms to turn our country into a one party state. He makes a strong case; we should be concerned.

However, when I read this I thought about not only the United States but also the United Federation of Teachers. We are a union that started out democratically and actually had competitive elections and strong debates but one party took over and turned it into basically a tyrannical system while keeping alive the appearance of a democracy.

In the 1960's, there were actually real elections in the UFT but Albert Shanker consolidated his power by requiring the Unity Loyalty Oath (one must support the decisions of the Unity Caucus leadership in public and union forums as a condition of receiving any union perk). Elections still take place but there is enough patronage to go around to ensure Unity controls the information that gets to the vast majority of the membership, particularly the retirees who make up a huge segment of the voters. The game is rigged. Only in the high schools is there actually real democracy as opposition groups in this division remain strong.

The parallels of the tyrannical Republican Party today and Unity/UFT from Krugman are best exemplified in this paragraph.

For such people, toeing the party line and defending the party’s rule are all that matters. And if they sometimes seem consumed with rage at anyone who challenges their actions, well, that’s how hacks always respond when called on their hackery.

Ever call UFT Unity reps on their hackery? Watch them deny, deny and then deny.

The UFT has not had real democratic governance in decades. We certainly had robust discourse in the past as this account from Jack Shierenbeck's Class Struggles: The UFT Story Part Six describes the internal debate before the 1962 strike:

(Note Charlie is Charles Cogen, the first UFT President who originally opposed a strike.)

‘Strike, strike’

“No, no, Charlie,” the delegates chanted. “We want a contract, not more promises.” Newspaper accounts told of “frenzied foot-stomping and shouts of ‘strike, strike.’” To great cheers, militant leader and UFT deputy president Sam Hochberg called the city’s offer of $28 million “nothing” and predicted a “tremendous strike.”

Near 3 a.m., Shanker made an impassioned plea for restraint, warning of what was in store if the city got an injunction under the harsh Condon-Wadlin Law. “This is what you will have to face,” he said. “Your leaders will be arrested and will lose their jobs. As the first set of leaders is taken off to jail, another set of leaders will be arrested and jailed. Are there enough teachers who then will be willing to support a strike?”

Hochberg countered that if the union caved in to the threatened injunction, the board would have found its weapon. “I’d say you have given up the right to strike for all time,” Hochberg said.

Lou Frazer, a junior high school teacher, got up. “We are here for every teacher and not for money reasons, but for the preservation and dignity of the profession. Let us go. Our issues are clear, simple and valid. You owe it to yourselves.” The delegates were on their feet howling with approval.

By a resounding 9-1 margin, the delegates rejected the executive board’s plea for more time. It was decided, instead, that the issue would be put before the general membership later that day.

Round 2 at St. Nick’s that afternoon proved to be more of the same. There on the stage was the lone figure of Charlie Cogen standing before an angry crowd of 5,000 members stamping their feet, booing, jeering, yelling “sell-out” and “strike now” and waving signs reading “Money yes, promises no” and “Action now.” It took Cogen some 40 minutes just to bring the raucous group to order.

Boos and cat-calls greeted Cogen’s plea to avoid being labeled “strike-happy” and to vote for a temporary truce. Newspaper reports told of “prolonged applause and loud cheers” for Hochberg and (Roger) Parente, “leaders of the militant wing.”

A Daily News reporter described the scene this way: “Some 5,000 public school teachers, split between red-hots anxious to strike today and more cautious souls … The union … is torn by internal dissension and power fights among its officers.” On the question of whether to postpone or strike now, the vote was 2,544–2,231 to rebuke the leadership and strike immediately. The hardliners had won by just 313 votes. The strike was on.

You’re all fired

Narrowly defeated or not, after the vote Cogen said, “We’re completely united.” Asked about the threat of being jailed if they defied an injunction, Cogen is reported to have smiled and said: “Life has risks. Everything has risks.” The next morning, April 11, brought out the pickets. One newspaper account told of one protester: “Charles Hoffman, 24, a 9th-grade teacher picketing outside JHS 65 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, said: ‘We’re getting a raw deal from the city and it’s up to the teachers to do something. It’s about time we stood firm. We’ve been fair. Now we have to be firm.’”

Another picketer mentioned in the press was Don Morey, who carried a hand-lettered sign that read: “More Money for Morey.” Identifying himself as part of “a younger generation of teachers with more gumption and guts — people who are not afraid to strike,” The Seward Park HS social studies teacher told the World-Telegram & The Sun that after seven years he was earning only $6,810 a year.

“People seem to think that teachers live in a special world — they expect teachers to act like angels,” he said. “But when the Board of Education acts like a factory owner, we have to respond accordingly.”

Young and old, more than 20,000 teachers refused to report for work — stunning the board and the city.

The strike was a huge success. It is hard to even conceive of our top-down we know best union leaders today even thinking in a militant way but a robust democratic debate with all sides being heard is what is needed in 2016 to save what was a once great union. I don't know if we are capable of engaging in such a discussion when the Union's leadership can't even agree to Arthur Goldstein's resolution on lowering class sizes.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


The story of Rosemarie Jahoda, Interim Acting Principal at Townsend Harris High School, is now well documented in the press and on the blogs. Jahoda was an assistant principal at Bronx High School of Science who had 20 teachers in the Math Department file a harassment complaint that was substantiated by an arbitrator but rejected by the Department of Education's Office of Labor Relations. What a great background to be promoted to principal. Jahoda is upsetting the entire school community in her new job at Townsend Harris.

She is not a rogue principal. Queens has two other interim acting high school principals who deserve to be publicly blasted as they too are creating extremely hostile teaching and learning environments in their buildings.

Kayode Ayetiwa is the Interim Acting Principal at Humanities and the Arts Magnet High School. For full disclosure let the record show that my wife Camille is an English teacher at Humanities as well as being the UFT Delegate. Each evening Camille comes home with another horror story of Ayetiwa or two of his assistants AP Moussa or Stergiopolous disrespecting staff members and/or students and getting away with it.

Teachers are working five or six periods in a row in violation of the UFT Contract; administrators are entering classes and berating teachers in front of students; observations with mostly 1's and 2 ratings on the Danielson scale are given out with regularity to many of the veteran teachers; bulletin boards are micromanaged beyond belief as are substitute lesson plans.

When Camille and Chapter Leader Lowena Howard complain to the Principal, he does nothing. Camille has filed many APPR complaints, grievances - including several for union busting - and is appealing for arbitration over last year's ineffective rating that was done by Stergiopolous and the previous principal Rosemarie Omard.

In response to grievances or APPR complaints, Ayetiwa either ignores them or he goes well beyond the time limits specified in the contract. When he finally hears grievances, he denies all of them, no matter how obvious the contractual violation, while telling Camille to sign his decisions as if she agrees with them. In one hearing, Ayetiwa actually sat there and laughed through the entire conference as Camille meticulously exposed numerous contractual violations. No resolutions to the violations are ever sought by the principal even though Chapter Leader Howard continuously asks how the issues can be resolved.

To their credit, the UFT has taken all of Camille's grievances to the Chancellor's level and she is one of the 13% going to arbitration on her rating. However, the central UFT refuses to do anything to publicly expose Ayetiwa or any principal from hell. They leave it up to the school. AFT President and former UFT President Randi Weingarten used to say the UFT would come down on abusive administrators like an 800 pound gorilla. The gorilla must be asleep these days or maybe sleeping with the administration (figuratively that is).

Harsh publicity is what is needed to reign in the likes of Jahoda and Ayetiwa, particularly since we are entering a mayoral election year and Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to be held accountable for keeping former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointments at the DOE essentially in place. de Blasio and his Chancellor Carmen Farina have shown virtually no respect for us as they continue the war on teachers started by the previous administration.

Townsend Harris and Humanties and the Arts are not alone. This past week another story came to us about a different school with an interim acting principal abusing people. We heard from both staffers and other members of the school community at the High School of Applied Communications in Long Island City. There is video of a student walkout last week protesting new principal Michael Weinstein's policies. The UFT knows about it and had a presence at the protest but again there is public silence from the union. There is another new principal in a different school who we have heard negative reports on that we are attempting to confirm.

When there are multiple schools in the same superintendency that all have the same issue, isn't it time for our union to do something more than just having behind the scenes conversations with the Superintendent while telling members to file grievances? Add in the veteran principals such as Jose Cruz at Math/Science, Howard Kwait at Bowne and Namita Dwarka at Bryant who have been abusing staff with impunity for years and it adds up to a real crisis. Complaints have also come in multiple times concerning two of the principals at the building where I used to work, Jamaica High School. Jamie Dubei and Carlos Borrero are two principals who have been able to get away with problematic behavior for a long time. Dubei has had almost a complete turnover of staff since the school started in 2008 while Borrero is the subject of a lawsuit that would have gotten a teacher removed from a school in about five seconds.

Much more needs to be done by the UFT to expose these bully principals. The Chancellor and Mayor need to know we are not going to stand for this a second longer.

Instead, AFT President Randi Weingarten will soon be holding a fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio's reelection at AFT Headquarters. Randi might want to consider what her members are facing here in Queens High Schools under Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina before raising big bucks for the Mayor.

As for UFT President Michael Mulgrew, I have been to three Delegate Assemblies this fall and I haven't heard Mulgrew talking much about abusive principals. Mulgrew calls NYC schools a model for the country. He obviously doesn't see or want to see what is going on in many of the schools he is responsible for.

Friday, December 16, 2016


Class Size Matters leader Leonie Haimson sent out this piece from Politico.

Our national Union leader, AFT President Randi Weingarten, in early January will be co-hosting a fundraiser for Bill de Blasio's reelection. I kid you not. The fundraiser will be held while many of Weingarten's members here in New York City are being harassed, attacked unfairly, bullied, intimidated and unfairly rated by abusive administrators. Life in the schools in NYC is a daily miserable existence filled with fear for many, many UFT members.

From the article:
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, will hold a fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign in January, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by POLITICO New York.

The fundraiser will be held at AFT headquarters in Washington on January 5. Guest tickets are $1,000 a head, “supporter” tickets are $2,500, and “host” tickets are $4,950.

Weingarten's latest fundraiser is all the proof we need to show that the AFT has learned absolutely nothing from Hillary Clinton's recent defeat. It's top-down, don't bother to ask the rank and file because Randi knows what is best for you, unionism at its worst. At the very least, maybe Randi could do one of those polls she claimed the AFT did before endorsing Clinton to see how the members in NYC feel about de Blasio's reelection before raising big bucks for him.

As for the UFT, now we know why President Michael Mulgrew is in such a hurry to put together a committee to rubber stamp a de Blasio reelection endorsement.

We also now are fully aware why the UFT will not come out publicly against any of the multiple abusive administrators who are making life a living hell for many good teachers here in New York City including my wife Camille. Camille works for a principal and two assistant principals from hell at Humanities and the Arts High School. We have filed numerous union busting grievances, APPR complaints and for arbitration on the annual rating which was ineffective. To that extent, the UFT has been supportive. However, it has not been sufficient to stop the attacks against Camille and other members of the Humanities and the Arts Chapter by the administration.

To that end, we have repeatedly pleaded with the UFT leadership to take the next step by publicly condemning Acting Interim Principal Kayode Ayetiwa and Assistant Principals Moussa and Stergiopolous but to no avail. Why don't we plaster their names all over the NY Teacher? The answer on why we don't do this is the UFT wouldn't want to insult de Blasio/Farina's principals when the AFT President is raising major funds for the mayor's war chest.

The UFT is willing to sacrifice its members to de Blasio/Farina rather than really fighting for them.

What a travesty.


The Independent Budget Office has issued their latest report on the city's finances and the city's surpluses are continuing as they have been since the city signed their pattern setting contract with the UFT giving city workers 10% total raises over 7 years.

UFT members also gave the city an interest free loan of two 4% raises from the last round of collective bargaining where we will not be paid back in full until 2020. Throw in healthcare savings and little, if any, working condition improvements and we are certainly owed a thank you from City Hall for helping them out

Here is some of what the IBO said:

Based on IBO’s analysis of tax revenues and spending as presented under the Mayor’s plan along with our own updated economic forecast, we estimate the city will end the current fiscal year with a surplus of $801 million, which is $362 million above the de Blasio Administration’s estimate. This surplus estimate does not include the $1.5 billion currently sitting in two reserves within the fiscal year 2017 budget—these reserves are counted as expenditures but do not currently support any specific spending needs.

Don't expect a thank you from the Mayor or any kind of early repayment of our loan to the city but instead look for a possible top-down early endorsement from the UFT for de Blasio's reelection.

Meanwhile, separate grand juries are investigating the Mayor and his aides over fundraising law violations and de Blasio has already been fined for violating NYC campaign fundraising rules.

I ask our readers: What has Bill de Blasio done to deserve our support?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

LIVE BLOGGING FROM DA (kind of edited)

President's Report

President Michael Mulgrew began by having a moment of silence for three members who had passed away. Two were from Cardozo (one retired) and one from Bowne.

Must take opportunity to calm people first. Tough situation at federal level. Trump's cabinet basically hates what they have been put in charge of. For example labor head hates worker rights.

Education secretary nominee spent entire life trying to privatize schools. Do members get what is about to come down on us?

De Vos gave Eva Moskowitz $300,000. Campbell Brown got money from her. $4.8 million to conservative super pacs.

Republican infighting. Would have to dismantle ESSA to give incentives to privatize at state level.

We think we have 18-24 months before Friedrichs 2 gets to Supreme Court.

No permits around inauguration day around the mall in DC. Permits will be issued somewhere. We don't know where. Protests in NYC.

Governor supporting us at this moment. Cuomo criticized Trump. Polling shows people love their public schools in NY and nationally.  NYC schools moving ahead.

State revenues slightly down.

Expect DC to dump on us. Can't afford a constitutional convention in NY. Outside money will come pouring in to NY and California as the two pro worker states. Must educate members on dangers of opening up constitiution in NYS.

Expect attack on pensions. NY pensions by Constitution must be funded by government. Pension funds doing well.

Millionaires and billionaires plus right wingers want constitutional convention

Must have vote every 20 years. Yes vote would open up all aspects of state constitution.

If a yes vote, 3 reps from every senate district and 15 at large.  They can go on for years. Proposals if approved must then go to referendum.

We cannot fight federal issues and fight what is going on in a convention too. Fact-less reporting is now the norm. Hard to fight all of this. 1967 last convention.

Evaluation System
Close to an agreement on new system. Accountability should not be based on test scores. It should be based on whole child.

Mulgrew spoke to State Ed Commissioner about accountability.

DOE,CSA. city and UFT negotiating. We want real teacher voice.

Told DOE and Mayor's office that assessment has to come from inside classrooms.  Authentic assessments (student learning measures). Project based learning based on what students are learning is fine. We have no qualms with people evaluating us. Collect real evidence but must figure out how to do it. Matrix is in state law. We will be thankful for that.

Must get deal done by next week or UFT will leave and we will lose state funding. Principals know if they give less than 24 points, it is automatic ineffective under current system. Can't do that with Matrix. MOSL process will be different. Ready to do training if we get a deal.

NYC Mayor
Committee being put together on mayoral endorsement. Sanitation and some other unions endorsed de Blasio.

Staff Director's Report
Jan 15 is last date to spend Teacher's Choice. Accountability due a week later. Leroy Barr gave other dates.

Question Period
Q When will DOE be approved to do PD?
A We don't run DOE. UFT and Teacher Center approved.

Q Contract says PD should be on school time?
A UFT will train people to do PDS for CTLE credit.

Q Can Cuomo reign in IDC?
A IDC largest supporter of community learning schools. Understand frustration but we are looking for common ground. We are not happy with what some Democrats are doing.

Q Will opt out put funds in danger?
A Opt out is now dangerous. If 95% in a district don't participate in tests, ESSA law says funding can be withheld.

Q Concern about new evaluation. Why can't teachers choose if they want tests to count in scores?
A Other side has to agree to it. We want more voice. Using test scores can benefit certain teachers. Want Regents to be an option. Certain schools like test scores.

New Motion Period
NYC Sanctuary for immigrants and all students. Many resolved clauses on immigrant calling for mobilization ultimately calling for shutdown of schools if any kids are subject to deportation.

Marjorie Stamberg motivated it. Reps in schools. Must go further. No business as usual. We are the biggest and most powerful union and we must fight for immigrants.

Howie Schoor spoke against. Says we have DOE and city working with us on this issue. Must not put members in peril.

Resolution voted down. Mulgrew tells us there will be arrests if kids are dragged out of schools

Richard Mantel MSVP opposes Betsy De Vos being approved as Secretary of Education. It was placed on agenda.

Special Orders of Business
Resolution on induction of new teachers. Mentoring in law. Superintendents need to give real support. UFT supports a second year of mentoring. It passed.

A resolution against sexual violence passed.

One opposing the constitutional convention passed.

The resolution the Exec Bd passed on respect for all came up. Peter Lamphere tried to reinsert Donald Trump's name but the Unity majority voted that amendment down.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Former Council-member Sal Albenese is going to make his third bid for mayor in 2017. A field might be starting to develop to challenge Bill de Blasio in the Democratic primary next year.

The Queens newspapers are writing about state Senator Tony Avella contemplating his second attempt for the top spot in the city. Avella's flip over to the charter school side and joining Jeff Klein's Independent Democratic Conference makes him suspect but it is telling that Democrats think de Blasio is worth challenging.

Avella is quoted in the Times Ledger paper via the NY Post saying, "“The mayor’s close staff are very arrogant and not responsive,” he said “I personally believe we have an absentee mayor.”

Then this from his spokesperson:

“It’s no secret that Senator Avella (and most of Queens) is not happy with the current mayoral administration and their policies,” a spokesman for Avella said “There’s also been a growing wave of encouragement from Queens expressing their desire for Senator Avella to enter the primary field which the senator is recognizing.”

Anyone else considering jumping in?

Monday, December 12, 2016


You will know if it is the month of your birthday if you receive this lovely birthday reminder from the UFT.

Thank you Education Transformation Act of 2015. I do not fault the UFT for sending the reminder.

The union wishes you the happiest of birthdays with friends and family this December.
Those of you with December birthdays must register with the State Education Department using your TEACH account this month to meet the state’s new requirements regarding certification and tracking of professional development hours. The state requires that educators first register online during the month in which they were born.
Those with a permanent or professional certificate must register with the state through their online TEACH account. This registration informs the state that you are keeping your teaching certificate active. There is no fee associated with registration.
How do I register?
Who needs to register?
  • Teachers with permanent certificates
  • Teachers with professional certificates
  • Retired teachers who wish to maintain their certification
Please note: If the state issued your professional certificate after July 1, 2016, the state automatically registered you. Teachers who have an Initial, Transitional A, Transitional B, Internship or Conditional Initial certificate do not need to register.
A new state law affects how you track PD hours
  • Everyone begins a new five-year professional development cycle in the 2016–17 school year.
  • The state requires those with professional certificates to collect and track 100 professional development hours by a state-approved provider in five-year cycles. Professional development hours are formally called Continuing Teacher and Leader Education, or CTLE, hours. For the time being, the 80 minutes allocated for PD on Mondays will only qualify as CTLE hours if it is facilitated by the UFT Teacher Center or the UFT because they are state-approved providers and will supply members with a certificate for the approved hours. See the state Education Department’s list of approved CTLE providers. You have to keep your own records. We suggest putting documentation of workshops you have attended in a CTLE folder.
  • The state does not require those with permanent certificates to track professional development hours.
  • Any professional development hours completed after July 1, 2016 will count toward your 100-hour requirement.
Nanette Rosario-Sanchez
UFT Certification Special Representative

Sunday, December 11, 2016


I don't know if it will make a difference for Mayor Bill de Blasio's reelection but thanks to Reality Based Educator for directing us to the cover story in today's Daily News on the mayor's pay to play fundraising schemes.

This front page says a great deal about the situation. Read the entire story and tell us if you think there is anything new here.

My guess is the worst of these stories or even some indictments might be held until around October when they can do maximum political damage and then we will be stuck with a mayor who will more than likely be far worse.

What about now?

Since de Blasio apparently has no qualms about quid pro quo politics, how about, as has been rumored, sending Carmen Farina back into retirement and bringing in someone to clean house at the Department of Education as a condition for UFT support?

The Daily News investigates Mayor de Blasio's fundraising in the Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, edition.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Harris Lirtzman read Thursday's post on the possible UFT de Blasio endorsement. He sent me the piece below from Crain's New York Business.

It looks like Mayor de Blasio may get a challenge from his left. Maybe only symbolic right now but not insignificant.

Potential foe emerges on mayor's left

Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, says he is mulling a run for mayor. Advocates for police reform are beyond frustrated with what they see as Mayor Bill de Blasio's refusal to implement police accountability and transparency measures, and contend that minorities continue to be treated worse than whites by the city's criminal-justice system.

A challenge from the left, however symbolic, would be a blow to the man elected to "end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color," as his son Dante put it. —Rosa Goldensohn

Friday, December 09, 2016


In our first real hopeful sign since the election, the unions are getting together in attacking Donald Trump's attack tweet directed at Local 1999 Steel Workers President Chuck Jones. Jones is the union leader at the Carrier plant in Indiana where Trump took credit for a deal that will allow many folks to keep their jobs but apparently not all of the jobs Trump claimed to have saved are staying in Indiana.

Below is AFT President Randi Weingarten's email to us in response to Trump's tweet where he said that Jones is doing "a terrible job representing workers." Weingarten is joined by Lee Saunders of AFSCME.

Below that is the email from the AFL-CIO supporting the Steelworkers union.

Finally, we have copied International Longshore and Warehouse President Jerry Daggatt's letter to Jones.

Could labor actually be showing real solidarity?

It's going to take much more than these baby first steps but maybe there is cause for optimism.


Donald Trump ran for president promising to respect the working people of America. Now, at his very first opportunity to show respect to America's working families, the president-elect has failed the test.
Just last week, Trump was touting his effort to keep jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana from moving overseas. Thanks to corporate tax breaks offered by Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Carrier is keeping hundreds of jobs in the state. These Carrier workers are no doubt relieved to be spending the holidays knowing their jobs are more secure, and we are grateful for it.

But Trump wasn’t honest with the workers at Carrier or the American people. And Chuck Jones—the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999 who represents the workers at that plant and has fought hard to bring the plight of his workers to the public’s attention—knew he had to hold Trump accountable. He explained Trump was taking credit for saving 350 jobs that were already slated to stay, but that 550 workers would still lose their jobs.

"Trump and Pence, they pulled a dog and pony show on the numbers," he said.

And because Jones told the truth, Trump—the president-elect of the United States—responded by personally attacking Jones and our union sisters and brothers across this country.

Trump took to Twitter and said Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers" because Jones wouldn't let Trump get away with lying. He suggested the steelworkers should be working harder.
Trump attacked a union activist for standing up for his members. We need to stand up to him and hold him accountable.

We've put together a page where you can send a message directly to Trump letting him know how you feel about his disrespect to Chuck Jones, the Steelworkers, and working women and men across America.

Click here to tell Donald Trump to show respect to America's working families.

Thank you for standing up and helping us hold Trump accountable for the promises he made to the working people of this nation.

In solidarity,

Randi Weingarten

President, AFT

Lee Saunders,
President, AFSCME


Trump is personally attacking union members now.

Sign the Card to Show Solidarity with Carrier Workers President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to personally attack union members at Carrier for setting the record straight on the number of jobs that are actually being saved at the company. Now, Chuck Jones, the president of the United Steelworkers local that represents Carrier workers, is getting threatening calls for speaking out and telling the truth.
Sign the solidarity card now to tell Carrier workers that you’ve got their backs.
Sign the Card ›
On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to personally attack Chuck Jones, a union member and president of United Steelworkers (USW) local 1999 that represents workers at Carrier.

Trump went on this tirade after Jones and other Carrier workers corrected the record about Trump’s claims that he’d saved 1,100 jobs at Carrier from moving to Mexico. The actual number is 800 jobs saved. 550 jobs are still being moved to Mexico, despite the $7 million Carrier is getting in tax breaks.
Because of Trump’s tweets, Jones is now getting threatening calls.
Let’s show Chuck and Carrier workers that we’ve got their backs. Sign the solidarity card now to stand with them.
Chuck Jones and working people at Carrier have been fighting to save their jobs since long before Trump even became the Republican nominee. Carrier refused to even consider offers from workers and demanded they would only save jobs if they accepted deep wage and benefit cuts.

For more than 35 years, Chuck and millions of USW members have stood up against unfair trade deals that allow companies like Carrier to make products overseas and ship them back to the United States. Since 2000, they’ve been a part of more than 50 trade cases to help keep family-sustaining jobs in this country.
Trump’s attack on Chuck is not only personal, it shows again that he only has disdain for people coming together in unions to improve their workplaces. Whether it’s his refusal to negotiate with workers at his Las Vegas hotel, his history of not paying contractors and small businesses that do work for him, or his support for outsourcing jobs by using Chinese steel on some of his buildings, Trump has proven yet again he’s no friend to working people.

Pledge to stand in solidarity with Chuck Jones and Carrier workers to let them know you won’t stand for Trump’s attacks on them.

In Solidarity,
Elizabeth Bunn
Director of Organizing, AFL-CIO

P.S. If you’re on Twitter, you can show your solidarity too by tweeting this sample tweet out.

Dear President Jones:

On behalf of the 65,000 members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO we stand in solidarity with you and your members and against President-elect Donald Trump and condemn him for his criticizing you for doing a very good job at one of your most important responsibilities: protecting the jobs and welfare of your entire membership.

We strongly believe that all Organized Labor should rally to your defense, with the understanding that President-elect Trump’s attack on you and your Local is an attack on us all.  It is a grave foreshadowing of what we can expect when Mr. Trump takes office.  Our Sisters and Brothers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have a slogan:  “An Injury To One Is and Injury to All.”

You and your USW members do not walk alone.  We stand with you and will remain beside you as you continue to protect your membership and advance the principles of Free Trade Unionism.


Harold J. Daggett

Mr. Richard Tumka, President, AFL-CIO
Mr. Leo Gerard, President, USW
ILA Executive Officer