MORE Calls on the UFT Leadership to Follow the Rules

December 10, 2013 — 5 Comments
"A say in the priorites of our Union? (UFT) Sure, we'd like MORE."

A plea for union democracy

Dictionary definition of debate:

To discuss a question by considering opposed arguments.

UFT Delegate Assemblies are awash in a sea of undemocratic procedures. One of the most egregious has been the abuse of the rules that govern debate. The leadership and its UNITY Caucus supporters have 100 minutes to present their case plus a 10-minute question period, with the President’s report taking up a good chunk of the time. Alternate voices have a 10 minute “new motion” period. But even those 10 minutes are encroached upon when the leadership uses the pretense of presenting its own “new” motions despite the fact they have the power to add them to the regular agenda. But they go even further by restricting or shutting down debate.

President Mulgrew is violating Robert’s Rules of Order overtly when he calls exclusively on supporters of motions. His argument that he doesn’t know where people stand when he calls on them holds little water given that most of the speakers are members of his own Unity Caucus and are often, in fact, UFT officials on the UFT payroll. His job as president is to alternate between those who are in favor and those who are against a motion. Therefore, after a Unity person motivates a motion, Mulgrew’s obligation is to call on someone opposed as long as someone rises and demands the floor at the same time as a friend of a motion. The Rules call, for not just one speaker on the other side, but half of them in every debate.

Delegates have seen this basic principle of democratic debate routinely ignored, often with only a one-sided point of view being aired. There can be no “union” without a democratic union. In the interests of having a democratic union that follows the rule of law and welcomes vigorous, open debate, we urge all union members to support a movement for a more democratic union. Let us begin this movement at the Delegate Assembly.

Question for UFT’s leadership at the Delegate Assembly:

Randi Weingarten recently wrote in an article titled “Time to End Failed Policies of NCLB & RTTT.” Will the UFT refuse to sign on to any renewals of RTTT in NYC?

Now that we passed a resolution to end high stakes associated with Common Core tests, what is our political follow up?

Are there plans for childcare at DA meetings?

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The Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

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5 responses to MORE Calls on the UFT Leadership to Follow the Rules

  1. 
    Adjlevin@aol.com December 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    teacher assaulted at Wings last month by students. anyone have info ?

  2. 
    Teach for Revolution! December 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Unity and Mulgrew, corrupt, corrupt, corrupt!

    • 

      Can we attempt to be constructive? If all we do is tear down our union leaders, we will not have the energy and solidarity to fight the real enemies.

  3. 

    Unity’s undemocratic rule extends to censorship of NEW YORK TEACHER and the so-called OPEN MIKE at the start if bi-weekly Executive Committee meetings. In the good old days anybody could speak at any meeting. But now nobody can speak more than once a term. What is Mulgrew afraid of–except dissent?

  4. 
    educator@yahoo.com December 20, 2013 at 7:47 am

    This is one piece of a larger picture. A critical and extremely detailed analysis of Bloomberg/Klein’s education policies just went up on Diane Ravitch’s blog http://dianeravitch.net/2013/12/20/tweed-insider-where-the-bloomberg-administration-went-wrong-on-education/

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