Tuesday, July 19, 2016


There is some news coming out of the AFT convention and it isn't being made by Randi Weingarten or her devotees. It is from one of Norm Scott's reports over at EdNotes.

I think the world of Norm because he has been retired for years and does not have to stay involved in union politics but he does and he does it because he believes in the cause of unionism and public education.

With that said, Norm and I have had many disagreements through the years, mainly on the issue of social justice unionism. I have sat through many fruitless discussions in MORE and ICE maintaining over and over again that the UFT-AFT in many ways are decent as social justice unions. I have continuously argued that attacking the Mulgrew-Weingarten Unity leadership on the lousy contracts they agree to with worsening working conditions is a much better way to win over the demoralized teachers in the schools. Norm and I have had countless private discussions on this topic too. Today it seems Norm may have conceded some ground.

From Norm's Ed Notes:

Lots of good stuff around the race issue. Executive Director of Color of Change is speaking -- and there's a rally and march today at 4PM around the shooting here a few weeks ago.

Am I at a MORE meeting instead of the AFT convention?

As James Eterno always says - it is hard to out social justice Randi - at least on the surface. There are also a hell of a lot of black Unity delegates here who must roll their eyes when white people in MORE run against them as THE social justice caucus.

He is now introducing Patti Crispinio as leader of LGBT community OK - I can say stuff about Patti's history as a Unity --- I won't use the word today in the spirit of the day because I support Patti's efforts in this area. I'm feeling the Unity.

Patti makes a great speech -- and introduces Kimberley Colbert, a St. Paul teacher at the school attended by Philado Castile, whose family Hillary met with yesterday before her speech. Kimberley lays on some heavy stats on the toll on black lives. She tolls through the cities that have had mass shootings as funeral music plays and reps from those cities come to the mics and say the names of the city out loud.

Some real in depth talk of white privilege - heck, is Unity/Progressive Caucus matching MORE on race issues? I think that is great - let them also be the social justice caucus of the UFT and the AFT -- their problem is they don't do the other stuff they should be doing real well - like defending the contract.

I have a three word response to the line about Unity's problem being not defending the contract:


That is why we just won the high schools in the UFT election. Make no mistake about that.


Anonymous said...

21 arrested as teacher activists took to Mpls streets. Typical stupid teachers. Supporting the wrong people, with my dues.

Anonymous said...

As Chaz always maintained its about teacher rights not muddling the message with the social justice crap.

James Eterno said...

I have no issue with any union taking social justice stands. It is part of what unions do. My concern is when that becomes the primary focus of the union at the expense of looking out for the working conditions of members.

Chaz said...


I agree with you. However, until our union (both Unity and MORE) make teacher justice their prime objective, the social justice issues are not only a distraction but takes away our energy to make our profession great again.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I have a big problem with it. Considering Al Sharpton, and the BLM approach to killing cops and white people, I think its disgusting. Also, of course, consider the abuse teachers take in schools. UFT, as usual, in the wrong place. But I guess we are lucky to have jobs and we got our number 1 priority, an increase in teachers choice.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with AFT standing up for young people who have been killed. I have a big problem with them not standing by us teachers.

Anonymous said...

Many who have been shot by police were repeat criminals who resisted. If police are wrong, I agree with you, but most of the time, criminal is criminal.

Anonymous said...

These kids were recently public school students. Some of the teachers knew them.What are they supposed to do? Check their disciplinary record. Come on now.

Anonymous said...

Not including the teacher...Just saying, in most cases, cops acted justly.

Anonymous said...

Problem with supporting groups like BLM is that you are forced to buy into the Michael Brown hoax (i.e. 'gentle giant', 'hands up don't shoot' ,etc ,etc); the 'more black men are killed at he hands of police than white men' canard; 'black and white and Hispanic and Asian police are racist again young black men'; and a whole host of other irrational and divisive lies.
On top of that, you wind up supporting irrational and false narratives actually rejected by the vast majority of level-headed teachers. That support diffuses and diverts the focus of the AFT and undermines its credibility to its own dues-paying members.