Tuesday, April 05, 2016


A group called Solidarity Caucus is attempting to run in this year's UFT election but they did not meet the threshold of 40 candidates for a slate designation on the UFT election ballot. A slate is a group of people who have similar ideas and all run together as a group. Solidarity only has 33 who met the union's election requirements.

People who want to vote for Solidarity candidates will have to sift through the ballot to find the individual candidates and check them off one-by-one. Well over 90% of UFT voters traditionally check off a slate where they easily vote for hundreds of candidates in one caucus with one mark instead of going through a complicated ballot to split their vote by voting for individuals.

There will be two slates on the ballot who met the election requirements to obtain slate status: Unity (Michael Mulgrew's political party) and MORE-NEW ACTION. You can find my wife Camille and I running for UFT Secretary and Vice President for Academic High Schools respectively on the MORE-NEW ACTION slate.

Solidarity's leader recently complained about MORE-NEW ACTION because our two members on the UFT Election Committee demanded that the UFT election rules should be adhered to by all sides. To my knowledge Solidarity did not object to these rules when they were set up and voted on. The ruling Unity Caucus would probably enjoy seeing a hundred tiny groups run against Unity as it would dilute the opposition vote. MORE-NEW ACTION were perfectly justified in asking the Unity dominated Election Committee to follow its own election rules concerning slate designation and Unity is doing just that. As a result while your NY Teacher newspaper has a Solidarity ad, they will not, and should not, appear as a slate on the ballot with only 33 candidates who obtained the proper number of nominating signatures to get on the ballot.

There is a very good reason why candidates for UFT Officer positions need to get 900 nominating signatures and those who want to run for the Executive Board have to be nominated by at least 100 UFT members. Candidates and slates need to be serious about wanting to run the union and therefore should be able to garner a minimum level of support before being placed on a confusing ballot that will have over a thousand names on it.

To get a slate on the ballot, the UFT election rules that go back as far as I can remember state that "a minimum of 40 candidates for officer and executive board is required for a slate designation." Having a minimum number for a slate designation makes a great deal of sense as just having a few people running as a slate makes a mockery of a complicated process and we could end up with numerous groups of a few people running who are not serious about possibly running the union. Actually, the 40 threshold is too low.

I believe 52 should be the minimum number for a slate. Let's take as a given that the group of 33 actually pulled off a miracle and won the election. Even if those 33 were the greatest campaigners in the world and had the most wonderful program that captivated UFT members so they won the election, they would have virtually no power to run the union because they would have no authority over the Executive Board.

As per the UFT Constitution, the 102 member Executive Board is charged with running the union. The Executive Board consists of 90 elected members as well as the UFT's 12 Officers. The UFT Constitution states in Article V, Section 6: "The Executive Board shall direct the affairs of this organization." Officers only have powers designated by Robert's Rules according to the Constitution and not much more.

President Michael Mulgrew has taken extraordinary powers because his Unity Caucus allows it. Unity members sign a loyalty oath which obligates them to follow the decisions of the leadership in union and public forums. If they don't follow the party line, they lose their union perks (jobs and all expense paid trips to AFT and NYSUT conventions).

Without 52 members, which would make up a majority of the 102 person Executive Board, 12 Officers would have very little power according to the UFT Constitution. A caucus of 33 would have less than a third of the Board and their leader could easily be removed by the Executive Board according to Robert's Rules (see pages 653-654) if Unity controlled 2/3 of that body. This is why a slate should be at least 52 candidates. A group that could only obtain the required signatures for 33 candidates may well have some wonderful ideas but even if they miraculously won, they could not implement any of them and would be beholden to one of the other caucuses who would still have a super-majority on the Board.

For an example of a union president who did not have an executive board behind him, see Steve Conn in Detroit who won the presidency without a strong slate and was soon thereafter thrown out of office.

Being a head without a body is not an ideal way to change a union.

The ICE-UFT BLOG respects everyone's right to run for elected office but rules are there for a reason and should be respected just like we expect principals to honor the provisions of the UFT contract. If the rules are not to your liking, then by all means fight to change them however the rules for obtaining 100 signatures to get on the ballot for the Executive Board and having at least 40 candidates for a slate designation are not onerous.

I ran around Queens and got signatures for candidates on petitions while still managing to help take care of the family, assist with grievances as well as other problems for UFT members (including one of Solidarity's 33 candidates) and teach. Instead of finger pointing at other people for saying that election rules should be respected like we expect the UFT contract to be adhered to, I would hope that people who did not get a slate designation would learn from this experience and admit they made a big mistake.

As for May's UFT election, a vote for any of Solidarity's candidates is a protest vote but if you really want to see the UFT change, the only choice is to vote for the MORE-NEW ACTION slate when your ballot arrives in the mail. We have hundreds of candidates.


Unitymustgo! said...

well said. Thank you.

Francesco Portelos said...

We've been asking this question everywhere and can't find anyone to answer. Ready?

"What does MORE do?" Not say, but do.

They don't debate. They don't answer simple questions. They don't collectively protest one of the countless abusive admin. The "don't" list is lengthy. The "do" list is an enigma.

Rocky Raccoon said...

One thing MORE does that you don't is gather widespread support from every area of people opposed to Unity and ed deform. Here is just one from the PJSTA.

← The CTU’s One-Day Strike
A Couple of Links While We Wait for Opt-Out Numbers →
Contribute to Defeat Mulgrew
Posted on April 3, 2016 by thepjsta: Contribute to Defeat Mulgrew- Contribute to Defeat Mulgrew

Now your turn.

Anonymous said...

What MORE doesn't do:
1. Debate an asshole like you
2. Don't go to your dinky useless protests with 7 other people.
3. Answer the simple dumb questions you harangue people with every day. As if anyone owes you of all people any answers.

Why don't you answer some questions. Like how you spent 5 years as your abusive principal's butt boy while she chopped at people in your school so you could get her to give you a recommendation to be a supervisor?
Can you name even one of your former "colleagues" who will stand up and support you now? Why are the people who know you best shunning you?

MORE says opt out you say sell out.

Anonymous said...

Ask him one more question.

What medical procedure do you plan to use to remove those marks on your head from all the 10 foot poles?

Joshua Tree said...

What does MORE do? Meets with groups of teachers from schools with abusive administrators behind closed doors to help them plan a resistance while offering all the support they need. If they, not MORE, decide to have a rally, MORE will be there but MORE will not call a rally outside a school while people cower inside so MORE can have a photo op and then brag about all they are doing. Which is just one reason people trust MORE.
MORE will not seek credit for assisting and helping empower people to fight abusive principals. MORE believes in having UFT chapters build roots into the community so they can get support in fighting abusive principals. That is the essence of the kind of unionism MORE espouses. What kind of unionism do you espouse? Rabid Raccoonism?

Francesco Portelos said...

Wow MORE's support from people outside the NYCDOE should be a big help for Samuel, the para fired because he raised safety concerns. No paycheck and no health insurance since Febr.

Maybe it will help Anastasia, a 24 year special ed teacher with the highest scores on her school who is going through termination hear. Port Jeff to the rescue.

Hey...what about Ainee, a probationary teacher from Queens who was discontinued just like that? No letter, no warning.

Maybe their widespread support can really, really help:

Don the ATR brought up incompetency?
Audrey who was forced to resign before she retired
Mary the Para under false investigation in Queens
Francesca the middle school teacher who really needed out of her toxic school environment?

Here's an endorsement for you from a man who said "Historically the UFT opposition groups have been 'whacky'." https://www.dropbox.com/s/ym2dsdur3a2413g/Solidarity%20Endorsed%20by%20Assoc%20for%20Union%20Democracy_1.pdf?dl=0

How about most of my former school still calls me to help them out. How about last night I gave a speech to the District 31 CEC about IS 49 where the SAVE room has been empty since March, no subs want jobs there so the principal has to cover classes. Superintendent comes to me after and says "I took notes from your speech. Will look into it."

Win or lose, 33 or 333 it doesn't matter. Solidarity stands behind the members.

No MORE Action. Not New Action.... REAL ACTION.

Oh and just for fun, take a look at our www.optthemout.com site. Just hit 13,000 refusals.

Take notes... ed notes.

Pete Zucker said...

And what is it you have actually accomplished for these people or for that matter at all?

So some newsletter read by 5 people endorses you, big whoop.

The debate or town hall was laughable. It was pure propaganda. You spoke what you're against but you are only talking about fixing the symptoms not the disease.

Read This post again. Why was James able to do what you and your Family (Solidarity)were unable to accomplish?

You sold your Family (Solidarity) a bill of goods. You've been unable to deliver. Look in the mirror and try to figure out why it fell apart.

Anonymous said...

You could do all of that but you can't count to 40.

Raving Lunatic said...

This is the kind of convo we love to see guys. Let's see more posts like this. Happy to see you guys fighting each other instead of us.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

MORE dosnt sit around all night long drinking Sangria and then take to the blogosphere spouting bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Francesco, you have convinced me to vote for you.
I believe now that the people in MORE don't do anything.
And here I've believed the bull that for the last 20 years James and Camille Eterno have been helping hundreds of people every day. In fact I don't believe that Eterno was ever elected chapter leader by his staff for 18 years. Or delegate by the school he works in now as an ATR. Must be MORE fairly tales.

Who can believe that MORE high school Executive Board candidate Arthur Goldstein, who apparently gets reelected time and again by the 300 UFT members in his school despite sitting on his ass, has done squat for his members?
And all those other MORE chapter leaders like Kit Wainer, Dan Lupkin, Lauren Cohen, Jia Lee, etc. getting elected under false pretenses - thanks for informing us that all they do is go to happy hours and get drunk.

Or that bogus MORE chapter leader list serve that supposedly services chapter leaders with questions every day.

And that MORE had a chapter leader training that had 60 people attend last summer is obviously something they made up.
And the lies MORE tells that 8 different MORE members attended your hearings when you were in trouble.
Or that MORE gave you a half hour of time in front of an audience of a 100 standing room only people to tell your story.
Or that MORE paid for the food at your DTOE events.
Lies, lies , all lies.
Your honesty and integrity shine through all the grime.
You have my vote.

Anonymous said...

I'll vote for all the Solidarity candidates that are running. I'll then vote for the MORE candidates, if there are no Solidarity candidates for those positions. The extremely nasty attacks on Portelos has pushed me and many ATRs away from MORE. I respect and like James. I won't vote for anyone that was from New Action and wouldn't have even if they had joined Solidarity. I really don't think any of this matters anyway. Mulgrew is the once and future king of fools - UFT members.

Raving Lunatic said...

He certainly is as long as you split the vote. And all of us at 52 thank you sincerely for that.

Francesco Portelos said...

I'm not talking about individual members and what they do. I'm talking about the group MORE as a group. I'm asking what they do collectively as far as initiatives and actions.

You can't just go and throw a red shirt on someone and say "Hey all their history is now ours."

What school did MORE help behind the scenes with chapter leaders and abusive admin? Was it John Dewey HS? I believe the chapter leader is now with UNITY, is he not?

I wish James and Norm would openly discuss their feelings of what they believe MORE is and isn't. You can only hear about their "growing pains" and "build roots" so much until you ask "Is this tree going to ever grow?" I truly hope so. Not every anti Unity member belongs work in Solidarity.

Francesco Portelos said...

The following schools have endorsed me for president. Eat your heart out, MORE.

College of Staten Island High School for International Studies
(CSI High School for International Studies)
Concord High School
Curtis High School
Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School
Mesivta Kesser Yisroel
Michael J. Petrides School
Miraj Islamic School
Monsignor Farrell High School
Moore Catholic High School
New Dorp High School
Notre Dame Academy High School
Port Richmond High School
Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical Education High School
St. John Villa Academy
St. Joseph by the Sea High School
St. Joseph Hill Academy
St. Peter's Boys High School
St. Peter's High School for Girls
Staten Island Academy
Staten Island Technical High School
Susan E. Wagner High School
Tottenville High School
Yeshiva of Staten Island, Yeshiva Tifereth Torah

Francesco Portelos said...

So now your obsession has taken you to using my name for comments? Throw on a shirt and tie and shave your head too?

Anonymous said...

Raving Lunatic,
Thank MORE/NA. NA is Unity.

Anonymous said...

New Action broke up with Unity. NAC is running with MORE.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What Portelos doesn't get is that MORE is the collection of individuals who take action based on the support network MORE provides. To separate the acts of individuals as somehow not driven by being part of a collective is ludicrous. MORE people are stronger in their schools due to being part of MORE. He is desperately trying to put up straw men.

Anonymous said...

Why would people in MORE do what Solidarity does by holding a sparsely attended rally in front of a school with little or no participation from the staff or parents? MORE has a different philosophy - they are working with teachers in schools to empower them to take control of their situation. You are right about one thing. MORE will never appear outside a school to protest their principal without the participation of key people on the staff and with some parent support because you can never get rid of a principal without parents being involved. And even then what exactly do people gain from an outside group showing up unless the people in the school want a force there? Doing this actually puts more pressure on the staff than the principal.

What MORE does is meet the people from the school and provide advice and support on how to activate themselves. And MORE will not use their work with these schools for political reasons. Why? To protect the people in the school from a sense of being used and to enable them to use the UFT for their purposes without compromising themselves for getting MORE involved. If they feel having MORE openly support them would help MORE would do so. The analysis based on history - and Solidarity is a perfect example - is that can do more harm than good. Dworka is still there and so are the other 2 or 3 principals you protested - with no real consequences for them. But it made you feel good and use it in your campaign - there are people in these schools that get how you are using them. So if you are waiting for a list from MORE you won't get it. And if you want to charge MORE with not doing anything go ahead as these schools know full well the story.

Anonymous said...

If Solidarity protests, it's a feather in the principal's cap when seven people show up. You need real support before you jump out in front of a school and complain about the principal.

Francesco Portelos said...

MORE isn't a collection of bad people. Again, I'm talking about "group" initiatives. I was on steering at MORE and teacher centered issues were tabled for social justice ones. Do we need to post the public version of the minutes?

Is Michael Shulman the only New Action/MORE member that is working for Unity? He collected $16,000 just last year and another $15,000 the year before. See here: https://goo.gl/9btcXC

Solidarity's initial work with New Action wasn't because we liked Michael Shulman or Leroy's obedient puppy Jonathan Halabi. We were more interested in the unionist experience of Greg Destefano, Arjun, Doug and Paul Milstein etc.

At Leonie Haimson and Diane Ravitch's Skinny Awards June 2015, I asked Norm Scott what's the problem? He tells me "We [MORE] don't have a problem with you or Solidarity. We have a problem that you give New Action any credence. They're traitors. They're nothing. They exist for Unity." You can see how this is all humorous now.

Shulman is still pretty upset that Norm called him a "scumbag" on his blog, but for $16,000 to weaken opposition, he can forget. Or from ednotes: "One can imagine how people like NA dictator Mike Shulman felt sitting and stewing at EB meetings watching James and Jeff do their thing. And plotting with Unity how they could remove these thorns in both their sides."

They keep plotting with Unity.

A vote for MORE/New Action is a vote for UNITY. Simple as that. Vote responsibly.

James Eterno said...

MORE from its inception said they would consider working with New Action if New Action no longer supported Mulgrew. That was our main difference. New Action no longer endorses Mulgrew and we are working together. Having left NAC over their non opposition to Randi Weingarten, I can say it has been great working with the NAC people again. They have some really good trade unionists. Very happy to be working with them like in the olden days.

The only choice in this election for someone who wants to change the UFT is to vote MORE-ACTION's full slate of candidates for reasons listed in the original post that have not been refuted.

Anonymous said...

"We were more interested in the unionist experience of Greg Destefano, Arjun, Doug and Paul Milstein etc."
All of whom are running with MORE/New Action, not Solidarity. Apparently they had no interest in you.

ed notes online said...

A perfect example of Portelos Truthiness. There are so many distortions and dissembling in this comment that is so revealing about how you operate. Tell 10% of the story and leave all the gory details that make you look bad out.

Have you mentioned yet how a few weeks ago you showed up unannounced at Shulman's front door and stood there for 45 minutes - what begging him to - what - join Unity in allowing you on the ballot - he wouldn't let you in -
Pretty interesting that it was Unity that seemed to want you on the ballot and it was they that insisted giving you a 2 page ad in the NY Teacher which you were not entitled to. Why not play the tape of that incident?

I have the full story of your involvement with New Action from back in 2013 when you wanted to run on both MORE and New Action slates and I told you we didn't allow that as long as they support Mulgrew. And through the days before you left MORE - because MORE wouldn't work with New Action. You so desperately wanted to work with them and sucked up to Shulman and Jonathan even though you knew full well about Shulman's salary all along. Suddenly that morphs into it was all about the other guys - pretty much all of whom are running with which caucus this time? Not Solidarity.

But if Shulman and Jonathan had agreed to run with Solidarity as you stated openly you were aiming to do - all this bullshit about Shulman's salary would suddenly go away. I remember Mike mocking you at a DA as you scurried up the stairs to huddle with them after the MORE reso on ATRS

I love my exact quote from Leonie's dinner- taping every conversation again? You left out that I told you that over time things could be repaired with people if you let things gell -- New Action was a problem in June because they were still aligned with Unity. Solidarity was not an issue until you put yourself out at the presidential candidate and demanded we all support you. You even announced at that ICE meeting in the diner that you were meeting with New Action the next week to gain their support for you as president.

No one was tougher on New Action than I was since even before they worked with Unity. And before you "exposed" the salaries of New Action Ed Notes was doing that for years.

MORE made a decision from it's first days - no cooperation with New Action under any circumstances until they came back to the opposition.

So while on MORE steering committee you decided to individually go against that policy by sending an email to Greg talking about working together with them and when Greg asked you if you represented MORE or yourself your response was "I am on MORE steering" which triggered my WTF response especially since we had been talking for years about how New Action had to be removed from the ballot as a 3rd choice and how we had to build one opposition caucus to Unity no matter how hard that would be. For me that was the day I became clear about how duplicitous you were and lost my ability to have any trust in you.

Then you pretended not to be aware of the meeting between MORE and New Action in Nov. 2013 which I had made available online -- you accused me of making that up and then said you had missed the email I had sent out. And how on that tape Julie and I made it clear to New Action that the day they abandoned Mulgrew we would work with them - and I made a very specific appeal to Jonathan - that together we could truly challenge Unity -- in fact I walked out of that meeting with some optimism that we could heal the rift one day - and despite your efforts to force MORE into an alliance with New Action at some point.
I believe MORE has made the correct decisions with respect to New Action all along. Refuse to work with them while they support Mulgrew and work with then when they don't.
The funniest thing is that you made the exactly opposite decisions- try to work with them while they supported Mulgew and attack them when they abandon Mulgrew.

James Eterno said...

Very direct Norm and complete.

Anonymous said...

Norm, it's not at all clear what occurred on Shulman's doorstep.

Francesco Portelos said...

Norm, you weren't at Shulman's house. I think he's a weasel and wanted to look into his weasel eyes, not vague texts he was sending me. I wanted to know who he was working for. I know Unity, but who exactly was he answering to. I presume Leroy Barr. I called him out on working with UFT Solidarity initiatives for months and then pulling away with no disagreement or argument. He didn't deny.

"I believe MORE has made the correct decisions with respect to New Action all along. Refuse to work with them while they support Mulgrew and work with then when they don't." -Norm

Now let's hear the theory as to why MORE wouldn't work with Solidarity. From our inception, before working with New Action and before talking about election, we were called "rivals" and "enemies." You and Arthur were quick to stir up rumors about Solidarity's intentions. Maybe that's what scared you guys. A group that was covering the many issues you weren't and never will.

We don't expect MORE and New Action to collaborate on anything with us that will actually help members. Such as our

NYC Education Empowerment Forum 2016 - Battling Corruption & Harassment LIVE
New York, NY | Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School
Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Francesco Portelos said...

You've become a big disappointment James.

Pete Zucker said...

James is a disappointment? Portelos shows up at someone's house and he still can't see the stalker in the mirror?

no longer confused in brooklyn said...

Portelos - I initially supported Solidarity but the more I saw you the more it became clear you tell half and quarter truths. You don't answer the questions about working with New Action while they supported Mulgrew and complaining about MORE's refusal to do so and now you turn around and attack New Action for doing the right thing. It is obvious that you would be praising Shulman if he had decided to run with Solidarity no matter what his salary. You don't even bother to answer that.

Anonymous said...

You yourself charged New Action and MORE with making an issue of your lack of reaching 40 and claimed that Unity wanted you on the ballot and was willing to bypass the 40 candidate limit. Ray Frankel according to you said she assumed they would ignore the rule the election committee voted on.

Sure looks like you and Unity vs MORE/New Action to me.
Unity gave you 2 pages in the New York Teacher? Unprecedented since in the past non-caucus candidates received only a certain number of words.
Did MORE and New Action examine whether you got the 1200 signatures you claimed? They should have challenged them. Unity certainly would never do that since they wanted you on the ballot to split the vote but were too embarrassed to violate their own rules on their own.
Did you fail to live up to your promise to create another slate?

Looks like they may have been onto something about a deal.
And you think it makes you look normal to show up at someone's house unannounced? Look in the mirror and see the real weasel.
A vote for Portelos is a vote for Mulgrew - and for lunacy.

Anonymous said...

Here is a theory why MORE didn't work with Solidarity. You're a prick.

Anonymous said...

James. Slit your wrists. Porty is disappointed in you.

Anonymous said...

"The funniest thing is that you made the exactly opposite decisions- try to work with them while they supported Mulgew and attack them when they abandon Mulgrew."
Point well taken.

Anonymous said...

Porty is the Donald Trump of the UFT. Whining about everything and how wronged he is. When he made the case against his school administration and the DOE everyone supported him. Since then almost everyone has abandoned him. How did he lose this universal support? Because he did the same thing to them. He bragged about his taping people. Now no one wants to engage in a conversation with him. Or email him because he will twist an email into something else and make it public. I bet that is why MORE won't respond to anything from Solidarity. Porty must have created such mistrust when he was in MORE. Look at his "quote" from Norm at an event in June and he is quoting word for word 9 months later? Norm, did that conversation take place the way Porty said? And why did you even talk to him since you knew he would use what you said?

Francesco Portelos said...

It wasn't New Action's support of Mulgrew that was on our mind. Remember, they approached us. "Francesco, would you and your group be willing to meet with Mike, Paul and I at Miller's Ale House?" Ruth Fabester will tell you that the first question we asked was about aligning with Randi and later Mulgrew.

Shulman's explanation: "We were under attack by Guiliani and then Bloomberg. Randi came to us and states we need to work together and we are not far off from what each group wants." Something like that.
Then they followed by saying maybe it wasn't the right choice and for the first time we heard evidence that they might be cutting ties with Unity.

When I asked about payments to them as exec bd members, they said exec bd didn't get paid. From that point, to about last week, it was unknown that Shulman was getting $15,000 from the UFT. What was apparently clear to UFT Solidarity and I was that New Action was "aging out." No real influx of new activist blood. They use the same words. I think Eric Severson was the youngest we saw in New Action. He also attended MORE meetings, but thankfully, in the end, he made the decision to run as UFT Solidarity's VP of Special Education. Something that's very telling as he is a chapter leader who tried all three groups.

Either way, we were looking to build relations with both New Action and MORE. What's wrong with that?

As time progressed MORE still played ostrich and bashed our rallies with New Action. Do you know who the first person to mention "Portelos" and "UFT President" in the same sentence was? It was New Action, but not specifically Shulman. In fact election talks with New Action began right after MORE's Mike Schirtzer bashed Shulman 2 times in the same day at a delegate assembly. Shulman and I went for coffee across the street. "Mike, I know you have more to lose here with your having seats and all, but -" to which he interrupts with "It's not about seats, it's about doing what's right."

Stop. Let's look at the situation here. Is "this feuding" what's right? What's right for the members and students?

A possible scenario is that the groups knock each other out, Unity has full control Exec Board and the only one in opposition to win is....Michael Shulman. He'll continue to collect his $15,000 and maybe more. Hence...the weasel.

Former NY Teacher reporter Jim Callaghan wrote to me last week about Shulman:

"Sleaze. Randi gave him a job after he spied on his caucus."

"Like Ron Isaac....75k a year for seven years doing no work"

"We never knew what Schulman did."

"Shulman is right out of MAD magazine spy vs. Spy. I never believed a word he said."

My visit to Shulman's house? He asked me to come in, but I was double parked. I explained what was said above.

Speaking of Shulman's house, let's talk about how at a New Action meeting where his own members were talking about discussing working with Solidarity. What did Shulman the leader do? He screamed, threw down his phone and stomped up to his bedroom and locked himself in. Why? Well, if his group united with Solidarity, he would feel the wrath of Leroy Barr. That's why.

MORE, you can keep Michael Shulman "The Trojan horse of UFT politics."

James Eterno said...

Mike Shulman and I have had our differences over the years but calling him a weasel, a Trojan horse and suggesting that he is hiding his UFT salary are hits below the belt. I left New Action over their agreement not to oppose Weingarten and things got pretty heated for a while. I was not happy with their deal and called it a corrupt bargain. I felt the deal was corrupt but not the people. I never lit into any of the NAC people personally. Most of us stayed on speaking terms. They believed in what they were doing. For Shulman to break with Unity now takes some courage on his part because his union job might be in jeopardy.

I am having enjoying working with the NAC people on the election campaign just like in the olden days.

As a member of New Action during the days when they were negotiating their deal with Randi, Shulman was open and above board about what he was doing and was not spying on his own caucus.

Shulman has always been a strong union supporter trying to do what is best for union members. I respect Jim Calaghan but I don't recall him ever being at any of those meetings when Mike Shulman told us exactly what he was doing with Randi.

Francesco Portelos said...

Can we just clear up one more thing?

Unity cut ties with New Action, not so much the other way around.

The New Action/Unity UFT Organizing committee was replaced by the new, Unity only, Chapter Advocacy Team headed by Paul Egan. New Action was cut loose to float on their own.

Anonymous said...

Does Shulman still have a union job? I believe so. Maybe they were not dumped then. Did you see Unity tell them they don't want their support in the election? Did Unity say no more executive board seats for NA?

ed notes online said...

More misleading half truths was from you. Shulman's salary was well known for years so pretending you suddenly found out is a joke. I cut and pasted his salary from the lm2 years ago.
You approached new action in that email to Greg in july 2014 when you were on more steering and Greg cautiously asked you if you were speaking for yourself or for more and you replied you were on more steering. As usual misleading. That caused me to go ballistic on you for violating more policy. And you claimed you didn't know it was more policy. And I pointed you to the audio tape from nov 2013 and how Julie and I were instructed to say there could be no joint ventures till they left unity. You claimed to have missed those emails with the link to the tape and didn't know it was more policy. Then you kept raising working with new action and why more cant change policy in badgering email after email trying to force us to revisit an issue that had gone through endless discussions back in the fall of 2013. When you don't get your way you never stop. (And just of many reasons no one in more wants anything to do with you). And then there was the tine in the 2013 ejection when you asked me why you couldn't run on both more and new action slates.
In my explanation I mentioned the Shulman sAlary as an obstacle plus all the other new action salaries. We had numerous conversations about new action - maybe even at some of those dozen times me and other more members came to your hearings to support you. I think at one point I counted 6 or 7 of us there to stand with you. But you know. More never helps anyone.
You are right about one thing. Unity ended the organizing unit Randi had set up with new action. It was a mutual parting because unity no longer needed new action to divide the opposition. They had you to play Shulman but without the Salary which if Randi had given you that job you asked for you would have had. Randi put a higher value on Shulman than you.

ed notes online said...

And to James. Many people in ice were extremely bitter towards new action as we formed ice in reaction to the deal with unity. But despite that we asked new action in 2007 to rejoin the opposition by running with ice and Tjc but they said no. So we always had a core principal to work with them despite the past once they left unity or unity left them. I don't really care which came first the chicken or the egg. For me it was a priority to either see new action disappear or make the new action brand which once had value - even witness the high number of retiree votes in 2013 from people who still remember them - return to an unambiguous opposition mode.

Anonymous said...

As a long time observer of UFT internal politics and a MORE supporter I still don't trust Shulman or New Action. They put out something that defends their actions of the last 10 years. It was funny to read. If New Action wasn't basically a group of retirees MORE should not assume there would not be another turn around in the future. Unity abandoned them because they barely got enough votes to help Unity keep the high school seats last time and figured this time it wasn't worth keeping them. On the other hand what did Unity have to lose in keeping them on board? The main thing was to have a second opposition on the slate. Once Portelos jumped in they figured they were assured of that and that may have helped them push New Action off the ledge. But then who would have figured that Portelos with all that noise would not be able to figure out how to make sure to get a ballot line? He was competent enough to get the signatures he needed to get himself and his other officers on the ballot though some people think that doesn't make sense. How do you get 1200 signatures and can't get enough of them to sign petitions for 40 people? In the end, Unity's dumping of New Action after expecting Solidarity to function as their Trojan Horse may turn out to have been premature unless Solidarity pulls enough votes to keep MORE and New Action from winning the high schools. New Action has always put a priority on being on the executive board. If Solidarity doesn't show enough legs in the election to hang on for the next time, another deal with New Action and Unity is never off the table.

Anonymous said...

NAC ain't going back to Unity. Not in the Mulgrew era.