Friday, March 10, 2017


Blue Collar Buzz is a program presented by LaborPress. It is heard on AM 970 the Answer on Sunday evenings from 9:00 P.M. until 10:00 P.M. This Sunday's show will have as one of its guests Teamsters Local 808 Secretary Treasurer, Chris Silvera. His position on labor militancy has a great deal in common with what we have been saying on this blog for over a decade.

*Teamsters Local 808 Secretary-Treasurer Chris Silvera
“Right now, we are just an appendage to the Democratic Party — and we’re about to kiss up to the Republican leadership.”

“Militancy is important. We haven’t dealt with Striker Replacement legislation since Al Gore. We haven’t been able to get the Democrats to give us the Employee Free Choice Act. We haven’t been able to get any politician to be willing to bail out the working class with these pensions. We have not been willing as a country to do anything for these people — but we can do it for banks, we can do it for corporations, but we can’t do it for people.”

Hear-Hear brother! We're only going to move forward by acting like real labor unions again. We need to stop playing defense and go on a major offensive.

Meanwhile, the seven UFT High School Executive Board Members wrote an email to union leadership demanding that they publicly support JHS 145 in their fight to stay open and the Chapter Leader of Central Park East 1 Marilyn Martinez as she battles 3020a (dismissal) charges.

March 9, 2017
Dear President Mulgrew, Vice Presidents Alford, Hinds, and Mantell and Assistant Secretary Barr:
As you know, our union, and the labor movement as a whole, is under major threat by the anti-labor initiatives promised by the Trump administration, as well as by the inevitable return of a case like last year’s Friedrichs to the Supreme Court.  
In such an environment, it is crucial that the rank and file members of our union see that the UFT is at the front lines fighting to defend members publicly at every available opportunity.
There are two important opportunities to do so in the coming days that our union leadership must act on.
First, the Chapter Leader of Central Park East I, Marilyn Martinez, is facing 3020A charges which are clearly retaliatory from the abusive principal Monika Garg.  Fifty parents and UFT members attended the first two days of hearings last week.  We ask that you or Elementary Vice President Karen Alford attend the final day of the hearing this Friday, March 10 in order to send a clear message to the DOE, the arbitrator, and UFT rank and filers that the UFT supports this chapter leader. We further ask you to offer the assistance of the UFT press office in publicizing this defense.  We further ask that you intervene personally with the chancellor around this case. If we do not defend our chapter leaders publicly and strongly, we may soon not have a union to defend at all.
Second, JHS 145 in the Bronx is facing a closure vote at the Panel for Educational Policy meeting on Wednesday March 22nd. The largely immigrant school community has mobilized to oppose the closing. As unionists committed to defending public education, we must join our voices with those of parents, students and teachers in opposition to this proposed closure. The Delegate Assembly scheduled for that day should adjourn early to allow Delegates, Chapter Leaders and the union leadership to attend the nearby PEP Meeting en masse.
In Solidarity,

UFT Executive Board members high school division
KJ Ahluwalia
Arthur Goldstein
Ashraya Gupta
Jonathan Halabi
Marcus McArthur
David Rosen
Mike Schirtzer

Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE caucus UFT)
New Action Caucus UFT

Great email folks. A union that operated like a real labor union would not even hesitate to use the full weight of the Union to publicly support these members and their friends. Chris Silvera of the Teamsters noted labor's lack of militancy problem quite well. I wonder what the UFT leadership's response to the High School Executive Board' s email was.

Here is Gloria Brandman's latest Facebook post on today's Marilyn Martinez hearing.

Gloria Brandman They are not letting anyone else into the waiting room because there are too many people here!!

Mike Schirtzer from MORE texted this: At 3020a today for the CL 80-100 supporters, including some MORE and a couple of NAC retirees. No decision yet. No UFT leadership.

Image may contain: 30 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor


Anonymous said...

I have been through a 3020 a hearing and barely escaped dismissal because of an arbitrator who previously worked for the DOE. At that
5-months long trial, the DOE had only one witness who did not help their case. However had it not been for the testimony of students who spoke truthfully about how, as a teacher, I changed their lives, I would surely have been dismissed.

I am now an ATR. Please let me know what I can possibly do to help Marilyn's case.

Anonymous said...

Why should UFT members even have to ask for support in two case like this?! It tells me the UFT is working with, not agains,t the DOE - even when it's blatantly egregious and against its own members. Nothing will ever improve with Mulgrew and Unity at the helm.

Anonymous said...

Because the UFT is corrupt, and they defend bad Principals so they can go after teachers with integrity.

Anonymous said...

They like to target ATRs also.