Tuesday, August 14, 2018


The ICEUFT blog may look like a one trick pony the last few days as there has surprisingly been fairly extensive press coverage of Democratic primary candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon's campaign proposal to legalize strikes in New York State for government employees.

She has found a wedge issue where Governor Andrew Cuomo cannot out flank her on the left. The problem is union leaders to my knowlege are not embracing Nixon's proposal up to now as they should be. Do we need any further proof that these are company unions in bed with management?

The latest article is from the go-to civil service newspaper The Chief Leader.

Some main parts:

Jane Latour, a union activist and labor historian, said in an email exchange that Ms. Nixon’s message could resonate with some union members, especially “younger voters, fed up with incrementalism and looking for a fresh, direct-action politics.”

And Richard Wolff, an economics professor at the New School University, observed that European public unions can go on strike because authorities that punished them would quickly face a more-widespread strike.

“The right to strike is the closest thing to an equal playing field for employees and employers to bargain and negotiate,” Mr. Wolff said. “Without that right, employers have much more power to force their wills on employees. Public employees should never have been deprived of that right by the power and pressure of employers, public and private together. Bravo to all politicians with the courage to return the right to strike to public employees.”

I cannot overemphasize how important having the ability to withold our labor is for working people. We should demand that union leaders endorse this proposal as well as only supporting with UFT COPE money (voluntary political contributions) politicians who are on board with legal public sector strikes.

Maybe we should threaten a statewide action in support of Nixon's proposal.

More from the Chief:

In a phone interview, Doug Muzzio,  a Political Science Professor at Baruch College, said that after trying for months to find a wedge issue to set herself apart from the Governor, Ms. Nixon had finally got one with her call to lift the prohibition against public workers striking.

“The Governor has successfully adopted her other progressive policies and positions, which has muddied the distinctions between the two. But this [lifting the Taylor Law] is concrete,” he said. “Cuomo has been adept at adopting her other policies, but this is not going to be one of them.”

Mr. Muzzio continued, “This is likely to appeal to younger progressives who are in an economy where wages are stagnant, and then for them there’s also the issue of student debt. The other open question is whether it is wise or not.”

Nixon's proposal works for older workers too but can we force union leaders to get behind it? That is debatable. It is up to us to put pressure on union leaders to get us back the right to strike.


Anonymous said...

FACE FACTS: Every other municipal union in NYC has the backs of it's members. The PBA and UFA do not live in fear from the City of New York. Yes, their wages are not up to par with neighboring towns but they do live comfortably on a day to day basis and do not live in fear from the City of New York to mess with their lives. Compare that with the UFT where every teacher in this city has a target on his or her back. The bottom line is that even if the Taylor Law were to be abolished, I do not foresee the municipal unions of this city to go on strike at all other than the MTA who are more a State union to begin with. The public of this town will not back a strike in this day and age no matter how much we try to spin it.

Anonymous said...

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but if the Uft does not get behind this, it is proof positive that they are not a bona fide union. I need a reason to stay in the Uft, this gives me yet another reason to drop out. I can’t describe the anger I feel towards it. A fat bunch of clowns tooting their own horns.

Worst Nightmare said...

The UFT are wimps for not endorsing strikes. Company Union and sellouts.

Anonymous said...

Even if the Taylor Law were abolished, I can count on one hand the number of teachers in my school who would walk a picket line- and the UFT knows this.

Anonymous said...

The UFT reflects us - apathetic, weak, frightened and only concerned with money.

Anonymous said...

UFT wants seat at the table. They will NEVER strike.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Eterno said...

It might be time to end anonymous comments here or do more. Moderating the blog has become a full time job.

The same comment comes back again and again. You are interrupting my family's vacation.

I do this blog to give information and share my opinions on UFT, political and public school issues. Free exchange of ideas in comments have been welcomed but some keep crossing the line. Obviously, people have lots of frustrations so they are putting out things that are offensive to most of us while others make it personal.

Time to review everything.

Anonymous said...

You should do it. I had to do it. I had people writing unbelievable obscene stuff that had nothing to do with the post.

Anonymous said...

The legalization of public employee strikes would certainly shift more power to the workers. The current state of public school education work environment is in need of massive improvement. The profession is in danger.

Anonymous said...

James, thank you for sharing important information. You are appreciated even when some entries need 'monitoring'. Hope you continue to enjoy your family vacation.

James Eterno said...

You are welcome.