We have a breakdown of the New York State United Teachers election from last Saturday's Representative Assembly. Votes in the NYSUT election are weighted. I can't begin to explain how it is done but can say Unity won big in the election. That is not good news for teachers but these figures reveal a great deal about the state of our statewide umbrella union.
Here are the results:
Office-Candidate Name- Results- Percentage:
President Andrew Pallotta 255,356.0627 74%
President Michael Lillis 90,673.7738 26%
Exec. VP Jolene DiBrango 247,856.8425 72%
Exec VP Bianca Tanis 94,339.2187 28%
1st VP J. Philippe Abraham 244,455.4361 71%
1st VP Megan DeLaRosa 98,441.0310 29%
2nd VP Paul Pecorale 303,043.1747
Sec. Treasurer Martin Messner 251,302.1856 74%
Sec. Treasurer Nate Hathaway 90,263.4510 26%
If we look at our analysis from the 2014 election, the number of weighted voters this election is a little higher than last time (346,030 total for president compared to 328,014 for president in 2014). Unity did much better compared to 2014 and Stronger Together lost a significant number of votes compared to 2014. I was warned by two people in the know that this was going to happen.
In 2014 the UFT made up 34% of the total number of voters. If we assume a third this time, that makes 114,190 from the UFT. Take away those 114,190 UFT votes (they all vote as one) from Pallotta's total and Pallotta still has 141,166 votes while Mike Lillis keeps his 90,674 votes we can assume all came from outside of NYC. It is competitive without the UFT but Pallotta still wins a majority of the non UFT votes.
Unity's reach is mind boggling considering how badly things have gone for public schools over the last few years.
In fact, the percentages in the NYSUT election are remarkably close to the 2016 UFT election where Unity received over 70% of the total vote. However, there is a robust opposition at both the city and state levels that represents tens of thousands of NYSUT members. That is a decent opposition base.
Stronger Together had an uphill struggle for sure at NYSUT with the Unity people in NYC all voting as one. ST did what they could but the Unity machine is as strong as ever, if not stronger. As stated above, this is not good news for all of us as Unity's concessionary union strategy has not led to much in the way of improvements for any of us.
As for the future, Mike Schirtzer, who sits on the UFT Executive Board representing the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) and sat on the Stronger Together Executive Board also representing MORE, told me recently that the main opposition to Unity are MORE-NEW ACTION's seven High School Representatives on the UFT Executive Board. I think we can add to that opposition many small locals around New York State who voted against Unity at NYSUT. Also, a majority (52%) of the union locals in NYS (smaller unions) didn't make it to NYC for the Representative Assembly to vote. Maybe, some of them are with us.
Now, can we please all work together?