Sunday, May 01, 2022


I am making yet another pitch for UFTers to vote in the UFT election. Now is the time to complete and send in the ballot. If you want to democratize the UFT, vote for the United for Change slate. It will be the same old Michael Mulgrew-Unity concessions unless you and your colleagues vote for a better Union by casting ballots for United for Change. Mulgrew has already tipped his hand that healthcare concessions are coming. We collectively have the power to stop him but you must act now.

If you have a ballot sitting at home, it must be received by May 9 at the American Arbitration Association. Please fill it out and mail it back today. An X in the United for Change box is all you have to write. Then put the ballot in the secret ballot envelope. Next, place it in the postage paid envelope, and put it in a mailbox. 

Watch our how to vote video that our daughter Kara directed if you need a lighthearted how to vote message. You can also see our experienced presidential candidate, Camille Eterno, featured back in 2005 on channel 7 opposing that terrible contract.

Please ask your colleagues if they have voted and encourage them to vote and send the ballot in.

This is from UFT Solidarity, one of the United for Change groups:


Anonymous said...

I hate your politics but I voted for your team anyway. Medicare Advantage was my reason.

Anonymous said...

A vote for Mulgrew means you want Mulgrew to make concessions on health care costs and you will accept another bad contract that does not keep pace with inflation.

Good luck paying your bills with low wage increases and high inflation!

Anonymous said...

I'm voting for Unity. I think UfC would be chaotic and unable to deliver on promises.

Anonymous said...

6:49: You just described Unity.

ed notes online said...

If UFC delivered on no promises, that would put us even with Unity which doesn't even bother to make promises, but a hell of a lot of excuses.

Anonymous said...

James....or anyone....

I may need to get a leave of absence for restoration of health May through June.

If I get it, can I come back July 1 and collect my Summer pay, and retire Aug 31? How would a two month medical LOA(May/June) be worked into my longevity/Retirement calculation? Is it calculated as two months of zero pay for my FAS calculation (a disaster...). or is it not calculated at all?

Anyone's thoughts would be helpful

James Eterno said...

We need more info to give an opinion. Not sure a blog is the right place to get this advice. Certainly, you should call the UFT and speak to a leave specialist and get a pension consultation. Email us off list at to discuss more.

Shelley said...

I read, bemused and a bit embarrassed for him, Arthur Goldstein's "I'm Running with (and Voting for) Unity" (Monday, April 18, 2022) and it got me thinking about how anti-union the UFT has become, how it has devolved into an Un-union, a mere service provider and an ultra-concession bargainer.

An effective collective bargaining, as Arthur sees it, is an orderly, unified retreat that protects as much of the gains the union has made and concedes those the city wants in order to keep all of the unions at the table.

He argues that the opposition, UfC, in attacking the 17-years ago contract-- a contract he didn't vote for but one that Unity bargained for and made, and one he says he can live with--was a good deal he couldn't vote for because had the UFT bargained for a better deal it would have screwed other city unions.

The circumlocution of his argument is worthy of his President, Mulgrew.

He goes on to argue that opposition to the untra-concession bargaining of Unity is just squawking, that, like one who practices the politics of withdrawal, he has come to accept not only that Unity will keep its rule but that the opposition will find it an arduous job were it to, by some chance win the election, and therefore he will simply do his bit y helping members one a t a time.

Let It Be it seems is better than Let It Bleed. And for Goldstein & Co. and those who listen to their words of wisdom, nothing will change if we simply Let It Be.

But we need change and the opposition are fighters who will make it happen.

Vite UfC.

Anonymous said...

I'm very curious as to how UfC is going to make all these wonderful things happen. Like in contract negotiations. When the city says no to a big raise, what are you going to do? In 2005, Bloomberg was pushing us to strike, which is very damaging for everyone. We mobilized the members, had rallies around the city, wrote to everyone. Called in markers. But, the mayor would not budge. Finally we got a deal which had several bad provisions, but preserved our basic rights, gave us decent money, and prevented a damaging strike. Critics point out that we lost the right to grieve letters in file. This is not totally correct. We can still grieve very damaging letters. But we stopped the mickey mouse nonsense that kept all of us busy over a few stupid words. We lost seniority transfer, but now teachers of lower seniority can transfer more easily. The old system only benefitted those of 30+ years. The mayor created the ATR pool, but that had nothing to do with the 2005 contract. He could have done that anytime. Had he fired ATR's, that would have killed the union and we prevented that.

Anyway, what magic formula will Camille bring to the table when the city says no?

James Eterno said...

The city will say no for sure to almost anything we ask for. I agree.

The loss of seniority transfers, preferred placement for UFTers if a school closed, and the SBO Transfer and Staffing plan led to the closing school boom and the wild expansion of the ATR. We pleaded with Randi not to go to arbitration in 2004 and to just wait it out if we had to but she didn't listen. The city proposed an 8 page contract at the time which would take away just about everything. The UFT countered asking for next to nothing. Fact finders split the baby which we told Randi they would do. That is how abitrators operate and Randi let the center of gravity move way over toward management by going to fact finding.

There was no need to go to arbitration or agree to the report. Unforced UFT errors both times.

Teachers didn't need 30 years to transfer under the Seniority plan. That is just not true. The Seniority plan gave a safety valve out of tough situations, many with abusive principals.

Grieving letters in the file put a real check on principal power.

I agree a strike under those circumstances in 2005 would have been difficult by ourselves. At the urging of my friend Sam Lazarus, I raised the possibility of taking action with multiple unions. Randi told me she talked to the head of TWU Local 100 and that was the end of it. Yes, it would have taken something akin to a general strike to beat Bloomberg. Otherwise, we wait it out as we did the next time and then we conceded again.

Anonymous said...

From what I remember about seniority transfers is you could put in for one after you had 10 years in the system. You were given a list of possible schools you could transfer to. If you refused all the choices you had to remain in your own school and could not put in for another transfer for another 10 years. The transfer option was what kept me in they system years ago, but then we lost it 2 years before I would have become eligible. Whether we like it or not the nyc doe is one big company, so I can't see the harm of transferring teachers around. This whole thing from principals that they want teachers that fit their community is a bunch of bull not to mention discrimination. If you survived 10 years in the system, you're a good teacher and that is all that should matter.

Shelley said...

This is a false binary: either you vote for Unity and accept bureaucratic unionism which relies on legal processes such as grievances, arbitrations, and labor law to address issues or you strike.

James is right: the City will give us little or nothing and we will need to fight to get anything.

But the implication that a strike or general strike was or is the only alternative is false.

Unity's bureaucratic unionism, its ultra-concession bargaining erodes union power as the bosses are not satisfied with cuts in pay and benefits but push for a weaker union or no union.

Unity, of course, and the newspapers of record love to repeat this, has convinced its members that size matters, that the size of UFT and its money make it powerful, but the truth is that size and money make UFT weak as it uses it size and money to inflate its bureaucracy unionism at the expense of a solidarity defense of members.

A solidarity defense begins with members deciding what's important. This, as James and UfC have pointed out, can't work with Mulgrew in power.

Vote him out. A solidarity defense is a democratic one, one that requires a collective action by members.

If we don't do this we will continue down the path of lost wages. Our work conditions will get worse.

Vote for Change. Vote United for Change.

Anonymous said...

13 years with Mulgrew as the union president is enough. He has been an extension of Weingarten that created that poor contact of 2005-that gave away seniority, the useless Open Market Transfers and Hiring Halls— and the Absence Teacher Reserve.
Not too mention the 2014 contract featuring an extremely delayed retro pay over a 7 year period. And he is misleading retirees with this Medicare Advantage Minus healthcare situation— which he still supports until he says he’s not happy with the program. Murphy lost 20 points last spring’s election—and that is a big deal.

ed notes online said...

For 2:04 AM -- You get your summer pay pro-rated for every month you work so you would lose May/June. You should also consider retiring Aug. 30 as not the best move as you will lose the July/Aug pension checks and gain very little. As I said you get your summer pay even if you retire July 1 because you worked for that pay.
Let me address the ridiculous comments about UFC promises -- they are not promises that we will get all these things - they are promises we will use every vehicle we have to fight for these things which UNity doesn't do - or even make promises. Unity accepts the status quo. WE don't. That is our promise.
We also understand that the apathy that exists weakens us and it starts at the school level - it would take years to strengthen the UFT at its base --- this is a marathon not a sprint.
And one weapon in this struggle is to create space for more voices in the union even for those who don't agree with us. One party systems are stifling.

Anonymous said...

Shelley thanks for sharing the unhinged loser Arthur , his blog is atrocious. Scum.

Need people who are in the trenches 15 plus years battling for us I do agree with Ed there.

Sad part is we probably got paid retro with our interest they said we never had.3% raise is 1.5 billion, no chance city wants to shell that money out.

Anonymous said...

Ed notes is right about how to strengthen union but if the new caucus wins they need to stay away from causes that do not have a direct impact on teachers or they will begin to lose ground rather than gain it. Healthcare, salary, class size, cutting administrative bloat, putting up a real fight against abusive administrators. No matter our politics these are things we can all agree on. If UFC wants momentum, whether they win this time or not, they need to focus on things we all agree on. Unity can lose even if it’s not this time but you have to stick with basics we agree on in order to get into power.