Saturday, December 30, 2017


I often wonder when I write the blog who is reading it. Sometimes, I am a little startled that we go beyond the target audience: UFT members, other public school teachers, public school activists and union supporters.

One of our readers who has commented a couple of times is libertarian Mike Antonucci who to me is quite anti-union and particularly against the teachers' unions he follows religiously. Norm Scott often cites Antonucci to see what the other side of the political spectrum is thinking. Mike and I have one point in common: We both don't think much of our union's leaders.

Anyway, Mike did a "Top Ten Most Memorable Teacher Union Quotes for 2017" for a cite I care not to link to and guess who made the list? The ICEUFT blog was right there at number 8. I don't know whether to be satisfied or enraged but here is the quote that made this top ten list:

 8. “[UFT’s ruling Unity Caucus] will come out and call anyone pushing a fragmentation drive real nasty names long before it ever got to the stage where there is a new union. I would expect they would say anyone signing or spreading a petition to make a separate bargaining unit was Hitler, Mussolini, the devil, and maybe Stalin all rolled into one.” — James Eterno, United Federation of Teachers chapter leader, curbing any enthusiasm for the idea of splitting off a high school teachers union from UFT. (Oct. 5, ICEUFT Blog)

Well no Mike, I am not trying to curb any enthusiasm for splitting off a high school teachers union. I'm being realistic. I want people to know what they are up against in challenging the Unity Caucus. I would be enthusiastic if there were enough teachers who wanted to activate themselves to defeat Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus at the ballot box or if a sufficient number of high school teachers (over 6,000 out of 20,000) were willing to sign petitions to start a separate bargaining unit for high school teachers.

Mike Antonucci does have a sense of humor. The other time he linked to us was when the AFT endorsed Hillary Clinton back in 2015. The ICEblog said back then: "AFT President Randi Weingarten's Executive Council coming out for Hillary was about as surprising as a 7-eleven store having a slurpee machine."

OK, so I admit I do like when someone gets my sense of humor. Randi once criticized me at the Executive Board for my sarcasm. I guess I should be happy to be cited by anyone, even the right wingers, but why can't more of our target audience hear us and rise up to overthrow the Unity Caucus machine? That would make me one of the most fired up people on earth.


Anonymous said...

Janus will shoot the union in the foot without petitions. I always read you.

Abigail Shure

James Eterno said...

Ms Shure, You are surely part of the target audience. Janus may shoot us a little higher in the body than the foot.