Sunday, January 10, 2016


I sat through a UFT presentation recently as a union official came to Middle College High School attempting to convince members to contribute more money to the union's political arm (Committee on Political Engagement or COPE).  To put it mildly, his sales pitch was not successful.  Not surprisingly, the UFT is getting desperate on COPE.

Below is one of five resolutions the UFT is proposing for this year's NYSUT Representative Assembly in April.  Basically, this resolution stood out to me as it says one of our main priorities is to redouble our efforts to get the membership to fork over more dollars to the union for COPE.  This is a difficult sell because politicians continue to implement an anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-worker, anti-public schools agenda as they have in the last few years. The UFT is looking for a "seat at the table" instead of mobilizing the members to fight back.

Four other UFT proposed NYSUT RA resolutions include support for the Chicago teachers, support for the Los Angeles teachers, endorsing the $15 minimum wage and finally one to give back to Retiree Councils some COPE money.  The last one says in part: "RESOLVED, that NYSUT consider changing the current practice and recognize their retirees and Retiree Council efforts in the VOTE-COPE program by returning a portion of the dollar amount contributed by retirees designated as 999 to the Retiree Councils."

The resolution on redoubling VOTE-COPE efforts that the UFT Executive Board will rubber stamp is printed in its entirety below.

 To approve the following resolution for submission to the NYSUT RA:


WHEREAS, recent attacks on New York State’s public schools including but not limited to, the deform agenda for schools, years of underfunding public schools in New York, the attempt to expand charter schools, the increase of dependency on high stakes testing as a source of data for student achievement rather than real learning and understanding, and APPR have caused constant upheaval in the political landscape of the teaching profession; and

WHEREAS, politicians, super PACS, and hedge fund groups have raised over 9 million dollars in a single night; and

WHEREAS, NYSUT members contribute over 9 million dollars a year; and

WHEREAS, this money elects pro-education politicians around the state through contributions, media, the MAC, and boots on the ground; and

WHEREAS, up to 40% of all VOTE-COPE contributions are returned to local unions to elect school board candidates, local officials, attend the NYSUT RA and support other local initiatives; and

WHEREAS, all VOTE-COPE contributions are filed with and made available through the FEC; and

WHEREAS, VOTE-COPE is an integral part of NYSUT’s ability to pass pro-educator legislation and stop anti-education legislation such as the voucher bill, stopping the expansion of charter schools, etc.; and

WHEREAS, VOTE-COPE is a major part of NYSUT’s ability to fight for women’s rights, wage equity, immigration reform, and the rights of all working people; and

RESOLVED, NYSUT and its locals will redouble its efforts to raise VOTE-COPE contributions; and

RESOLVED, that NYSUT and its locals will promote VOTE-COPE to its members through educational one-on-one conversations with members as well as a vigorous internal media campaign.



NYC Educator said...

Interesting they use the word "deform" a term coined by Norm Scott if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Ha! They want us to put more money into COPE? What has all of that money gotten us? The answer is a big slap to the face. After the supreme court hits us we will be seeing a bankrupt UFT. Money is going to be real short real soon.

Boris said...

Just look at the new stuff with this admin. Check the NY post. 7 bags of marijuana brought to school and kid gets a "Dont do that again." No punishment, no arrest. Let the UFT address that first.

Boris said...

Those rapists arrested for the Brooklyn park gang rape were also NY city HS students.

sean crowley said...

NYSUT's planning an overnight of "activism" here in B-Lo. Nobody from rank and file was invited to offer any input on the content. From what I can tell nobody knows what's going to be discussed either. I am betting it's all about siccing teachers on their colleagues to shake them down for more money just as has been mentioned above. No thanks. I'll take my chances at the track where I at least have some odds of a return on my investment.

Anonymous said...

The UFT is nothing more than a self serving sister bureaucracy to the DOE. It exists mainly as a makework project for those employed by it. Just what are you getting for your $1000 plus per year in dues? Nothing! And for that I am looking forward to paying nothing as well.

And if you believe that last sham contract was to our benefit, you simply don't know math. All that was was a COLA, and barely that as it is.

This disaster a.k.a. Michael Mulgrew has got to go and if it means being tire UFT tumbling then so be it. NYC teachers will just build a new union from the ground up. A REAL one.

George said...

And by the way, who noticed Farina tout the high graduation rate? I wonder how that happened.

James Eterno said...

No coincidence on the graduation rate. You pressure people enough and they will give you the results you desire.

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