Open Contract Count For All

May 30, 2014 — 11 Comments

When MORE members reached out to the union leadership about observing the count of the contract ratification ballots, Leroy Barr the UFT assistant secretary and chair of Unity Caucus (the caucus of Michael Mulgrew), offered one observer per caucus of the UFT contract vote.

You should not have to be in a caucus to observe the count. We demanded the vote be open to all UFT members. Members of MORE are not special, we are all UFT. Although the Unity and New Action caucuses both support Michael Mulgrew we see no reason why they should receive special treatment either. MORE refused to send a special representative. Anyone who attends from MORE does so a a UFT member, not a caucus member, Every UFT member must be allowed to observe this critical vote.

In response to our efforts, the UFT leadership has offered to allow as many members who wish to observe the count. See the details below.  We hope that they will advertise this information at UFT.org and in their weekly email to chapter leaders, as we requested.

(Please note, that there are no special provisions for non-attendance days for this. So make sure to carefully follow procedures to request a personal day from your supervisor – if you call in sick when you are not sick you risk very serious disciplinary action). 

If you are planning to observe, please let us know by emailing MORE@morecaucusnyc.org. 

The following is a letter sent to Leroy Barr from MORE on Tuesday, May 27th, followed by Leroy’s response

Thank you for your call on Friday.  You offered to allow one observer from each caucus to the contract proposal ratification vote.

I have discussed the matter with the MORE members and we feel that this is not an acceptable proposal. Many rank and filers are interested in the outcome of the contract proposal ratification, both pro and con, far beyond the active membership of any of the caucuses. In 2005 the ratification was open to rank and file members beyond caucus representatives.

Making this vote less transparent only can hurt our union by creating suspicion of the process.  We should welcome the participation of rank and file members who are not involved in union politics. Don’t we want to be as democratic as possible about this? This vote is a once-in-a-decade decision that will have a major impact on educators’ lives.

We propose that the ratification be open to any member who is available and RSVPs, and that this openness be advertised on the UFT website and in the Weekly Chapter leader update.

Thank you and Solidarity.

Response (Thursday, May 29th)

As stated to you earlier, the AAA has limited space but you can invite as many people as you want. The observation room hold a maximum of 15 people. They will have to rotate in and out at 10 minute intervals if the room is overcrowded.

Their address is 120 Broadway and they are located in room 1B. The balloting process will take place on Monday June 2nd and Tuesday June 3rd between 10am and 5pm. They are only opening the outer envelopes on the first day to confirm that the ballots received are from eligible members. On day 2 they will actually count the ballots.

I look forward to seeing you there.

LeRoy Barr, Director of Staff, Assistant Secretary, United Federation of Teachers

 

 

About these ads

11 responses to Open Contract Count For All

  1. 

    Here is a badass teacher idea. Have the ballot counting broadcasting by streaming video on the UFT website in the members section. I do believe we would all “fit in the room” if we were watching remotely from our respective devices at a different locations. Looking forward to see how the UFT would respond to this idea. If they truly espouse transparency, this idea should bbe met with enthusiasm.

  2. 

    Does it really matter? The gullible membership shall vote to ratify between 85-90% of the vote tally. We need to have a separate bargaining unit for all members. In other words, secretaries, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses all need to be a separate entity. Before you start tallying, Unity Caucus has already amassed thousands of votes thanks to non-teaching personnel. Yes, these people do an excellent job, but should be represented separately. Does a secretary know about class size? Do teachers know about their peak loads of work? Of course not, and to be perfectly frank, neither does each really care about the other’s situation.

  3. 

    What does it matter? The votes would have been swapped out before being transported to AAA. I figure that’s why it was changed from having them mailed in to having them dropped off by the CL. Wonder where they went between the school and AAA?

    • 

      I find your comment to be untrue and insulting!

      I am a chapter leader and I work my hardest to gather information, from every side, to present to my members so that we are informed on all that goes on in our union.

      I made sure all my members had an opportunity to vote and provided them with accurate contract info. I walked from my school to the post office to ensure that my members votes and voices were heard in this process. To insinuate that I changed or “stuffed” the envelopes is insulting. Do not assume that CL’s did anything improper with the votes because that is not the truth. Wait, maybe YOU CHANGED the VOTES of your members and that’s why you assume so did others.

      MORE has done a wonderful job of putting wrong information all over and this is simply a continuation!

    • 
      Honest Chapter Leader June 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      I find your comment to be untrue and insulting!

      I am a chapter leader and I work my hardest to gather information, from every side, to present to my members so that we are informed on all that goes on in our union.

      I made sure all my members had an opportunity to vote and provided them with accurate contract info. I walked from my school to the post office to ensure that my members votes and voices were heard in this process. (All on my free time, with no compensation, when I could have been prepping my lessons and science lab for my students.) To insinuate that I changed or “stuffed” the envelopes is insulting. Do not assume that CL’s did anything improper with the votes because that is not the truth. Wait, maybe YOU CHANGED the VOTES of your members and that’s why you assume so did others.

      This website and members of this caucus have done a wonderful job of putting wrong information all over and this is simply a continuation!

  4. 
    real time educator May 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Teacher, your suspicions are simply offensive and disgusting! you speak like someone who is truly a hater and therefore a miserable person in life. Am I offending you? Too bad. As a chapter leader, I gave my members privacy and every free period I had to be available for voting. I took my time to stand on a 20 minute line in the post office to get those ballots mailed out on my time! I did not get compensated in any way and I’m sure that my other colleagues in this city did the same. Here’s a suggestion: If you’re not happy with something, get involved or get out! Stop complaining!

    • 

      As long as you take money, as in dues, one can complain as much as one wants. You’re the miserable person as you can’t accept criticism but must resort to insults.

  5. 

    Wow, RTE, that was kind of harsh, no? While I doubt what “teacher” is claiming happens, one must look at the actions of Unity over the years to wonder WHY people think such chicanery is plausible. One only needs to see the behind the scene machinations of President-for-Life Mulgrew this weekend at the WFP convention.

  6. 

    MORE should have been in court seeking an injunction for preventing a vote be taken before all issues have been resolved. As a retired pedagogue, I’m concerned about the health issues. A committee shall be set up to help lower costs. How? Rumors are rampant that this would involve everyone using mail-order to get prescriptions. Come on. Express-Scripts with their incompetence can’t handle the volume now. Imagine Medicare recipients being added? No one has an answer to this when I pose it. One of the best things about going on Medicare was being able to get medication from the pharmacy and not hearing:…And thank you for calling Express-Scripts after they fouled everything up!

  7. 

    Also, since retirees are affected by this contract, we should be allowed to vote. Those not receiving back pay due to their leaving the system before should be up in arms. This amounts to theft of services. Sorry to sound so blunt, but that’s exactly what it is. These people did work for money. You will never get rid of Unity Caucus until you DEMAND separate bargaining units for the various UFT membership. We also need term-limits for UFT elected people. Some people have been in their respective posts since Kennedy was president. When UFT people leave office, they should commit to teach in the schools for a period of at least 5 years. Let them work under the conditions they have helped to create. Does MORE realize that the UFT hierarchy has double pensions? How about the automatic 1% increases of dues periodically? These things along with class size and disruptive pupils are NEVER discussed. Why should they be discussed? Unity wins election after election hands down from an extremely gullible teaching force.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. What next after the UFT contract ratification vote? « Movement of Rank and File Educators - June 2, 2014

    […] ballots wait to be counted at the American Arbitration Association, much of the media as well as the union leadership anticipate the vast majority of UFT members will […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s