Why We Need MORE

March 2, 2013 — 29 Comments

A MORE member and campaign volunteer shares her experience

As an activate participant in our UFT MORE Caucus I volunteered my time after school to place MORE leaflets in the mailboxes of teachers within the NYC public schools This would permit the teachers, and staff to have a CHOICE to allow them to make an educated decision for the upcoming Spring election and to have representatives that are in favor of having a fair and just contract, enforce a democratic process to our members, to have a voice in their school and community and most of all having our students in the fore front of all of our decisions. My experience, as I placed MORE Leaflets in NYC public schools within my own community in South Brooklyn, I have had quite a different encounter at each school!

The familial, safe, and comfortable atmosphere within the three elementary schools, was conducive to the students learning environment and was evident on the beaming happy faces of the staff, teachers and most of all the children!

I displayed my ID, signed in and presented my letter from the UFT to security, stated my intent and my letter of approval to submit campaign literature into the members mailboxes. I was directed to the main office where the mailboxes are located. As I navigated my way through the building, I observed teachers speaking with parents, assisting students with homework or assignments, discussing lessons and changing their print rich hallway boards and classrooms. All of these activities were after school hours, and I was personally assisted by a staff member and brought to the main office. I spoke to a UFT rep who was there about the importance of an alternative to our UFT, and was encouragd to place the leaflets in our members mail boxes. I met some teachers and had a lovely,civilized conversation about the importance of MORE. 

My experience was similar with the other two local elementary schools, and I was able to place information about MORE into our union members mailboxes. It is essential in a democratic process for our teachers, staff, parents, students and community to be informed about an alternative in our union that has their best interest to motivate and activate positive change

Expecting the same warm, comforting and familial culture I had at the elementary schools I was in for a rude awakening! As I approached the building of a local intermediate school there were three young ladies waiting in the frigid winter weather to be picked up from school, and it was evident that once school is over there is no turning back, the building became an empty abyss, void of students, teachers or any evidence of life within this social institution. I showed my ID informed security of my intentions to place UFT leaflets in the members mailbox, signed in and was directed to go to the main office which was 100 feet from security. As soon as I walked into the main office, the mailboxes were immediately to my left and I began placing our MORE leaflets in our members mailboxes. Within minutes the principal came up to me infuriated, agitated and in a condescending tone with pointed finger demanded what I am doing. I calmly stated why I was there, showed her the letter stating as a UFT member I am authorized to place information in our members mailboxes. She then stated ” This is MY HOUSE and no items go into the mail boxes without my authorization” I showed her the MORE flyer in which she read, I requested she make a copy of my authorization letter and I will contact my UFT representative so I may place the leaflets in the mailbox. She stated again this is ” Her House!” and removed the leaflets I had already placed in our members mailboxes I then assisted her in the removal of our MORE leaflets, and I stated I will come another time with her being notified prior to my arrival. She was clearly agitated, and request I leave flyers and she will have her UFT Chapter Leader place them in the mailboxes, I left a few and when she saw the small pile stated I have “60 teachers you certainly do not expect ME to make copies” I stated ” I would not expect her to do anything of the sort!”. She then used an analogy(with a condescending, pompous tone and finger pointed) stated I would not be allowed to go into her home and place items there what makes you think you can do it here1. I left a few flyers, thanked her for her time, and contacted my UFT immediately after this hostile confrontation. I intend to go back to that school, with MORE flyers, it seems to me that the public schools with hostile, agitated, unfriendly and even barbaric administrators are the schools that are in MOST need for MORE. The schools that have this type of environment are not conducive to teachers, staff, community and most of all our students!!! Our young people require MORE…expect MORE and demand MORE for a dignified, safe, decent, friendly and academic environment that is best for them.

Our schools are there for our children! As an educator, parent and a member of this community I look forward to a future with MORE that is best for our parents, community and most of all OUR CHILDREN!!!

We must have change for a better future!!!

Colleen M. Adrion

Educator Leon M. Goldstein High School

We have an update; the writer went to the same school again this past Friday to distribute literature. Security called the principal and refused entry. The principal came to the door and said, “I can’t be bothered with this”. She walked away and came back with a person who identified himself as the chapter leader. The chapter leader said he would distribute the material. Our volunteer politely declined asking that she do it herself, he once again said “no” and our volunteer promised to be back. There have been reports that this chapter leader is affiliated with another caucus, if this were the case it would be an unfortunate obstruction of union democracy that all our UFT brothers and sisters frown upon. We have notified UFT election personnel, they have been very receptive and said that she would be allowed entry soon because they were alerting the Office of Labor Relations.

No matter what caucus the chapter leader is part of, if any, there should never be a reason to obstruct democracy. Chapter Leaders knows full well that any UFT election representative has a right to access our member’s boxes during the election. Hopefully this issue is solved soon. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case; school administrators throughout the city have denied access to our election volunteers. MORE is calling on our UFT leaders to instruct the DOE/Chancellor Walcott to send out a notice to all principals that any UFT member should be granted full access to members’ boxes during our election season. In the spirit of fairness and democracy we hope the UFT leaders will comply and request this immediately.

If you enjoyed this please read other testimonials on why members joined MORE

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29 responses to Why We Need MORE

  1. 

    I think I work at this school. Anybody who knows “her” will know right away who she is from her “my house” comment. If this is my school across the street from the park don’t count on the uft rep there putting those flyers out. He is in her and Unity’s pocket. Please place them yourself. I would have but am new here and would be gone in June if I made waves.

  2. 

    I’m sorry you were treated badly. It is ridiculous that people aren’t being allowed into mailboxes. That being said, how is MORE going to prevent DOE from hiring mean people? This seems like a case of you running into a narcissistic control freak of a person, not terribly unusual when dealing with this Administration. I don’t see how you blame the union or by implication Unity Caucus for the character flaws of an individual. If you called the District Representative then and there and he refused to square the situation for you, then you would have an argument, or if you asked for the Chapter Leader you identified as Unity and he refused to help you. And you seem stunned that people left the building after school was over?

    • 

      Clearly your sense is not common enough. There’s a slew of Unity chapter leaders who do more to stop distribution of literature than principals do. Names and numbers are being compiled for publication. And what would MORE do to prevent DOE from hiring and retaining mean incompetents? Certainly MORE than Unity is doing, which is nothing. Maybe MORE would not have such a cozy relationship with the CSA — a message like : “warn your members there will be attacks coming by the UFT on your phony union if you can’t keep some of your members in line. Weekly articles and press conferences highlighting these principals. Links on the web site. Making it clear that their names will be such mud that if they hope to rise a google search will turn people sour on them. Make them pay. Support teachers like Portelos in their law suits against people who destroy careers. See anything you like yet? Really, Unity defense is becoming laughable. You ought to take it to a comedy club.

      • 

        First of all, slugger: you expect the UFT to open up itself to all kinds of lawsuits by publishing things about principals they might not be able to prove? Threaten to make them pay? What should Mulgrew do, order a hit? Second: anybody who is pulling stuff out of mailboxes is not just a lousy chapter leader, but a lousy American. It’s undemocratic and frankly stupid. And not doing his job, because if you are doing your job as chapter leader you don’t have time for anything like that. Nowhere is this sanctioned by the leadership, if there are a few idiots out there who do this it should be reported. Third: in what business or agency do you know where the employees hire their bosses? How many people won’t file grievances under any circumstances, handicapping both the chapter leaders and the leadership from taking steps? Say to the chapter leader, make the problem go away, just keep my name out of it? The fault sometimes lies not in our stars but in ourselves. You might want to talk to some of your own MORE leaders – I can recall one of your chapter leaders from the Bronx who was heavily supported by the leadership, and indeed, with a lawsuit. Get your facts straight instead of ranting. And, to quote one of your own MORE leaders, you are quite a wordsmith. I’ve yet to see a cogent plan to combat any of the issues your or your fellow MORE members bring up, just vague wish fulfillment – MORE will do better, MORE will fight, MORE will stop school closures, blah, blah – HOW?

  3. 
    Gloria Winograd March 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    All chapter leaders and Unity members, who attend the required meetings, have been made fully aware of the right of ANY MEMBER to distribute election leaflets into the mailboxes of members at schools. The indefensible behavior of one, clearly ignorant chapter leader, should not be blanket – blamed on the leadership of this Union; a leadership which works tirelessly on behalf of all of us. MORE may not agree with the positions and actions taken, but it is shameful to demonize our leadership from within, questioning their integity, committment and motives . We have sufficient and well funded adversaries for that. These adversaries outside of our Union, such as E4E, Michelle Rhee, our Mayor, Students First, must be jumping for joy and licking their chops at the vitriolic rhetoric from MORE against Unity. They will certainly try to use it to their advantage. REMEMBER what THEIR agenda is: destruction of public education in favor of privitazation; weakening and ultimately erradicating unions and the right to unionize; making our schools into a market-oriented/assembly-line workplace where the rights of educators are denied and children are seen as products and test scores, rather than the precious human beings they are. PLEASE – agree to disagree, but do it with respect and dignity. Do not make your words destructive to our collective goals and fuel for the fire of our true adversaries.

  4. 

    So we have a confirmed case of a UFT chapter leader of unity working with the principal to ensure that we do not have democracy, and 2 people took time out of there busy day and defend this Vichy representative of our union. Have you no shame. How desperate are you that you will sell out our members, students, and communities to show your loyalty to the failed leadership of Mulgrew. Please MORE save us from these traitors, they know not what they do.

    • 

      What makes you think that the chapter leader is preventing the distribution of literature? The article said nothing to indicate the Chapter Leader is Unity. However , if that is the case, I see it as a Chapter Leader well trained by the union. Another indication that the Mulgrew leadership works to make sure the membership is well represented.

  5. 

    To Commonsense and Gloria,

    The article under which you are commenting is pretty clearly criticizing a principal, not a Chapter Leader and not Unity.

    Commonsense, you ask how will MORE prevent the hiring of narcissistic or mean principals. It is a valid question, one that concerns many of us. Since Bloomberg, we have been subjected to a new generation of malicious and incompetent administrators. There a few reasons for this. First, the small schools movement has created a need for more administrators. The pool of talent from which to choose these administrators has gotten shallow because of this. Second, and related to the first, the pool of experienced educators that used to provide tomorrow’s school leaders has been decreasing. In 2011, over 60% of NYC teachers started their careers under Bloomberg. Third, thanks to the last few contracts, administrators have more power now than at any point in recent memory.

    Therefore, the phenomenon of the maniacal principal is not due merely to character flaws of the people taking those jobs. If that was the case, then there is nothing anyone can do about them. Back in the days when there were fewer principals and they rose through the ranks as veteran educators, there were still maniacal principals. However, I think we can both agree that bad principals are more of a problem now than ever before.

    What would MORE do about this? Maybe they will fight to prevent schools from being chopped up, thereby reducing the need for more administrators, thereby helping to stop the pool of talent of getting any more shallow. Perhaps they would fight for a more fair contract, one that does not make principals God Almighty in their buildings. Perhaps MORE, much like the Chicago Teacher’s Union, would fight for a better career ladder for veteran educators so that they would have a better opportunity to become tomorrow’s principals. No more Leadership Academy and Tweedie drones.

    And Gloria, I have said this on many occasions, but criticism of Unity, Mulgrew and company is healthy. I don’t see how Unity or any of our union leaders were disrespected either in the post or the comments. All too often, people throw around this idea that any criticism of Unity only helps the reformers, implying that MORE are traitors, implying that MORE shut up and never criticize anything the union does for anyone. It wears real thin after a while. There have been countless times on this blog where Unity supporters have done this. MORE will not be silenced with threats of being labeled as traitors. Mulgrew is not George Bush and we are not the Dixie Chicks.

    • 

      A few points: a career ladder has been a goal of the UFT since, I believe, before Sandra Feldman, where senior teachers essentially spend the latter parts of their careers with a large mentoring load and a lighter teaching load. The Lead Teacher was one step towards this. C 6 was another step towards professionalizing teaching. As far as veteran teachers becoming Principals, most really excellent teachers want to remain teachers because it is a labor of love for them. Most don’t want to go over to the Dark Side. I do agree we need more experienced Principals to replace the Clone Army of Leadership Academy Stormtroopers. The problem there is Bloomberg in the here and now, and the corporate Ed Deform movement for the near future have every incentive to keep hatchet men on post. They don’t want educated experienced Principals any more than they want a veteran educator as a Chancellor. As for the CTU, their salary, benefits, and job security lag behind the UFT, and it is actually legal for them to strike for economic reasons. Another point: the title of the post was Why We Need More, not When Principals Attack. The reader is encouraged to draw the inference that the schools where the author visited first were great places, and they were open to MORE ideas. The Bad Place where no one stayed after school and the Mean Principal was where the Unity Chapter Leader was. Why would she need to visit the school if the Chapter Leader wasn’t Unity, or was non-aligned? If it was a MORE school, the Chapter Leader would be handing out the MORE literature, and she wouldn’t have had to go, right? The implication is that a Unity person, in general, wouldn’t distribute the literature. After all, that is what the MORE posters Mike and Tommy got out of it, isn’t it? Many Unity Caucus members make sure that people and schools are defended, know their rights, their benefits, prepare pensions, on and on, and it does indeed get tiring to hear that all of them are Vichy, in the pocket of their Principal, detached, uncaring, etc. It wears thin after a while.

      • 

        If a career ladder has been a goal since before Feldman, where is it? To my understanding, there was more of a career ladder in the days of Shanker. It does not speak well for Unity if they have wanted a career ladder for that long and don’t have it, or that we used to have a better career ladder that has now been eroded. Either way, it reflects poorly on our union leaders. Master/Lead teacher position, C6 (which is a burden more than an opportunity) are symbols of how far the union has fallen more than opportunities they have won for the membership.

        The fact that Bloomberg has been allowed to get away with that much is an issue. UFT supported mayoral control, STILL support mayoral control even now when it is politically unpopular, and this has been the number one reason why we have maniacal principals. He has the power the close schools and pretty much act like God Almighty. This type of unaccountable power has trickled down to the administrators. Maniacal principals will not go anywhere until Mayoral Control does.

        The CTU benefits lag behind ours because they had a Unity-like leadership for decades. CORE has only been in control for less than a year, so you really can’t pin the poor conditions over there on them. It is like Republicans blaming Obama for the bad economy in his first year as president. The contract CORE got last year was an improvement, however modest, on what has come before. When was the last time Unity negotiated a contract that was a step-up for the membership?

        To say that the article’s title infers an attack on Unity is a bit of a stretch. People can interpret things how they want but my reading made it clear to me that the story highlighted a maniacal principal. We could need MORE so we can have the power to stand up to such people, since Unity has been the caucus that has allowed these principals to get out of control. It does not necessarily mean that the particular chapter leader is Vichy. It could mean Unity as a whole has created the conditions that make these types of administrators possible (like through their continued support of mayoral control).

        There might be Unity members who inform teachers of their rights. What good is that when those rights have been hollowed out? I have seen more Unity members do absolutely nothing to help teachers in distress. How many teachers who have faced the 3020a process have felt the union was on their side. Teachers in trouble routinely tell me that they get YELLED AT by the folks at 52 Broadway when they call for advice on how to protect their careers. I have yet to hear a teacher say they were made to feel better or even treated with dignity when they were down-and-out.

      • 

        Assailed Teach: Let me get this straight: you prefer bathroom duty to a C 6? Master Teacher and Lead Teacher are the same thing? Getting money and time to mentor younger teachers is a bad thing, and not a step in the right direction towards establishing a career ladder? The primary blame falls on the CTU’s prior leadership and Unity, not the hedgefunders, billionaires, TFA, Michele Rhee and her ilk? Unity has fought hard for a long time with a hand tied behind their backs (draconian Taylor Law penalties for striking). The union has not achieved all of its many negotiating goals over the years because the opponents of Labor and teacher unions are committed to a full fledged assault, no expenses spared. Management goals over the Bloomberg years are not beating the UFT at the bargaining table as is the norm in labor relations, they seek the creation of an at will work force. The control the media and have unlimited resources. That they have not succeeded in destroying us is an achievement of the leadership. Also: Where did I say it was CORE’s fault they didn’t have working conditions equivalent to ours? I didn’t. “There might be Unity members that inform people of their rights” – this is extremely insulting to the chapter leaders and others who work to help people, especially at the school level where maybe you get a period off to handle the problems of many people. Comparing your leadership and the majority of chapter leaders to Vichy, a government that handed thousands over to the camps and if events fell differently would have handed my grandmother over to the gas chambers is disgusting. Whenever I see a Nazi analogy I know I’m dealing with someone who has no credibility whatsoever. It’s much the same when a Principal tells a teacher to do something onerous and for free, “it’s for the kids” – you lose the argument and any respect I might have had for your position. As far as my interpretation of the reason for this posting, the folks that have commented had similar interpretations, didn’t they?

      • 

        Commonsense:

        “Let me get this straight: you prefer bathroom duty to a C 6?”

        What is the difference? Where do you get the notion to imply that C6 is part of a “career ladder”?

        “Master Teacher and Lead Teacher are the same thing?”

        When did I say that? Is that even relevant to the central discussion?

        Getting money and time to mentor younger teachers is a bad thing, and not a step in the right direction towards establishing a career ladder?

        It is not a bad thing. It is a limited thing and becomes hollow when made part of a contract beset with setbacks. What good is a career ladder when around half the teachers are denied tenure? They will not make it up the ladder in the first place. How many other rungs in the career ladder has Unity helped institute? (We can leave aside C6 because that certainly is not a rung in a career ladder.) If the last ten years have seen a steady erosion of our protections on one hand and one or two career ladder provisions on the other, does this mean instituting a career ladder has been a Unity priority?

        “The primary blame falls on the CTU’s prior leadership and Unity, not the hedgefunders, billionaires, TFA, Michele Rhee and her ilk?”

        So then why did you mention that CTU’s conditions lag behind ours? That means that we in NYC only have better conditions because the hedge fundies and heir ilk have allowed us, no?

        I never blamed Unity for CTU’s poor contracts. They had a Unity-like caucus that ran the show for decades and negotiated away many protections.

        The implication of you mentioning the bad CTU contract was that CORE has failed to negotiate a good contract and we should wish to model ourselves on CORE’s leadership. Now when I want to place the blame for the poor contract on their Unity-like Caucus, you want to shift the blame to the hedge-fundied, as if their union had no role in collaborating with those hedge-fundies.

        “Unity has fought hard for a long time with a hand tied behind their backs (draconian Taylor Law penalties for striking). The union has not achieved all of its many negotiating goals over the years because the opponents of Labor and teacher unions are committed to a full fledged assault, no expenses spared. Management goals over the Bloomberg years are not beating the UFT at the bargaining table as is the norm in labor relations, they seek the creation of an at will work force. The control the media and have unlimited resources. That they have not succeeded in destroying us is an achievement of the leadership.”

        This is a familiar defense of Unity. It is a great defense because it does not really require proof. “Without Unity, things would have been much worse on us.” How do you know that? You cannot possible know what might have happened if the union took another course.

        We both know the 1% are out to destroy public schooling. What me, and many other teachers, are concerned about is the fact that Unity has been in total agreement with many of the bludgeons the 1% is using to do it. Charter schools? Check: UFT has their own COLOCATED charter schools. Junk Science? Check: Weingarten, Mulgrew have been enthusiastic supporters of testing, “value added” and judging teachers by there rubrics. Race to the Top? Check: Mulgrew was down with NY’s RTTT application from day one, even before the law was proposed.

        Unity has proven that they are just as Neoloberal as the privatizers. In my opinion, they share the same assumptions as the Neolibs and have a similar agenda.

        “Also: Where did I say it was CORE’s fault they didn’t have working conditions equivalent to ours? I didn’t.”

        You did not say it, you implied it. If this is not what you meant and if you were trying to make another type of a point, explain it to me and I will withdraw the statement.

        “There might be Unity members that inform people of their rights” – this is extremely insulting to the chapter leaders and others who work to help people, especially at the school level where maybe you get a period off to handle the problems of many people.”

        I am a chapter leader myself. When teachers at my school have been in serious trouble, Unity has made my teachers feel worse. Either they have yelled at these teachers or let it be known that there was nothing they can do for these teachers. One teacher under investigation was even told by my Unity DR that she should look for another career, because she was going to get terminated (She did not end up getting terminated, btw.)

        Sorry, I have seen it in action too many times. The Chapter Leader before me, a Unity guy through and through, never even informed the staff about the previous UFT elections. (There were 2 in his long tenure.) The Unity Chapter Leader in Francesco Portelos’ school actively collaborated with the principal to destroy his career.

        Feel insulted all you want. Unity people have insulted me and many of my colleagues time and time again. The fact that I would even concede the point that some Unity folks MIGHT inform people of their rights is extremely generous of me considering my experiences.

        “Comparing your leadership and the majority of chapter leaders to Vichy, a government that handed thousands over to the camps and if events fell differently would have handed my grandmother over to the gas chambers is disgusting. Whenever I see a Nazi analogy I know I’m dealing with someone who has no credibility whatsoever. It’s much the same when a Principal tells a teacher to do something onerous and for free, “it’s for the kids” – you lose the argument and any respect I might have had for your position.”

        Oh boy, here we go. Being self-righteous feels good, does it not? It does not cost you much of anything and it is so easy to do. I used the term “Vichy” because it is shorthand that most people can relate to. I could have used “Quisling” but lost some people or “Benedict Arnold” which sort of has a different connotation altogether. I am Armenian and my grandmother came to this country 100 years ago to escape the genocide,,so save your indignation for someone who would be cowed by it.

        “As far as my interpretation of the reason for this posting, the folks that have commented had similar interpretations, didn’t they?”

        Um, how many people commented before you? ONE person. ONE person who said he MIGHT personally know the Chapter Leader of the school. The comments that came afterwards were shaped by that ONE PERSON’s comments. It is not a reflection of the point of the article at all. Yours and others’ efforts to tie this comment to the article, as if the article was an attack on Unity, are misguided at the least and disingenuous at the worst.

        I can’t help it if other people in the thread have done the same thing. If 50 million people say something stupid, it is still stupid.

        I still have yet to hear anyone make an argument that this article is the disrespectful, divisive attack on Unity that some are trying to make it out to be. I have seen many people imply this. I have seen people trying to turn this article into something it is not. I have not seen an actual argument in that regard, however.

    • 

      Assailed: Thanks for enlightening me as to the following: 1) you can read minds 2) everyone not agreeing with you is stupid 3) There is no difference between bathroom duty or common planning time 4) scapegoating an entire group of people is cool, as long as you are the one doing it. 5) Unity caucus ruled southern France during part of WW ll. Have a nice night.

  6. 
    Gloria Winograd March 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Please read carefully what I wrote. AGREE TO DISAGREE BUT DO IT WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT, using information and logic rather than personal attacks on people who believe in what they are doing just as much as MORE believes in what is is doing. Remember that after this election we will all still be together as members of one Union. We will all be fighting to save our schools and our profession. The big war will continue. We we allow ourselves to be divided and conquered?

    • 

      Sorry Gloria I can’t be dignified and respectful because you have made a choice to blindly follow a leadership no matter what path it takes us down and it is hard to respect people who make that choice. What a wonderful world it would be if only you were really fighting to defend our schools and our profession. Were you in Seattle cheering Bill Gates and booing the real defenders of our profession who walked out? Did you back the UFT charter school when it took space in two public schools and do you back it now taking more space? I guess you call that defending public education. Did you support the UFT when it supported the DOE in closing schools? Did you oppose the leadership when it supported Joel Klein in bragging about high test scores before the roof fell in? The problem is that you will defend any policy coming down from the top no matter how bad it is. Unity puts loyalty above rationality. If they tell you day it night you would be out there with a flashlight.
      In fact Unity does more to divide and conquer than anyone. If one doesn’t agree heart and sole they are banished. You can’t attend a delegate assembly or a district rep meeting and not see how they are one way streets where the leadership puts down the word and the members follow.

    • 

      What personal attack? You let your words fly indiscriminately through the air, as if you walked into a middle of a Unity bash fest. Address the people, words, etc. that you feel are unfair personal attacks on Unity. I still don’t know to whom or what you are responding. Nobody said Unity is not fighting what they believe in. Where do you get that from? To me, you are attacking a bunch of straw men, especially since, in two posts, you have failed to make it clear to whom or to what you are directing your comments.

      • 
        Gloria Winograd March 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

        I am not talking about individuals. I am talking about the vitriolic tone in general. And, I suppose the ranting and demonizing about one incident, prompted me to reflect how sad it is to see how we attack each other with such venom. Now I have become the object of attack. I have expressed opinion. I will not respond to attacks and bullying. Finished with this blog, for now. Too much work to do.

      • 

        There are 2 different career ladders. One was for paras working their way up to teachers, one of the things Shanker — post 68 attempt to woo the black community — is proudest of. And rightfully so. I worked with many neighborhood people who worked their way up. Was a major source of new teachers with school experience that was replaced with teaching fellows and TFAs, which Unity did nothing to redress this sort of blatant and racist attack on Shanker’s baby and we can see the reduction in the black teaching staff. With great losses in the para ranks, also unfought, adding to this.

        The other Unity career ladder baby is the phony disguised merit pay of the lead teacher who we know get picked up idiot principals and admins not based on ability but on suck-up capability — not to say many are also good — but I honestly am not comfortable with people on a “career Ladder.” My career ladder was moving up from 4th to 5th to 6th grade. There was never a day in over 30 years that I did not want to be in a classroom and only when I was in the last 4 yrs of my career and having fought a principal who didn’t care a wit about technology for 2 decades did I take an end-game district job.
        So sorry, I’ve been dealing with the Unity machine of BORGS for almost 43 years and nothing changes. Hard to treat you guys with dignity and respect.

  7. 

    We ALL have the right to distribute campaign literature in the mailboxes. But that doesn’t mean that the chapter leader has to do it for you.

    • 

      Did we ever say that chapter leaders have to distribute our lit? What we ask for is to not have Unity CLs try to stop our people from going into schools to distribute. Over the years I had more trouble from Unity CLs than principals who often don’t give a crap. Try to tell us that some Unity CLs have NO interest in keeping our stuff away from the teachers in their schools and I know someone who will buy a bridge from you.

  8. 

    Sure Gloria. I guess it is a personal attack to ask you whether you did and whether you still do support a failed UFT charter operation that invades public schools while you claim to defend public education. Yes, there is vitriol when you support policies that lead to closing schools, including my own middle school that i was in the first class of and which was occupied by the UFT charter.

    • 

      Norm, To be clear: the union no longer helps paras become teachers?

      • 

        No, that is not what he is saying, He is saying the UFT did not stand up for the paras when laid off. He is also saying the UFT has been complicit in the disappearance of the black educator. It is the reason why neither the UFT nor the DOE keeps accurate records of the ATR crisis. If they did, they would leave themselves open to all types of discrimination lawsuits.

        Just like the article is not an attack on Unity, Norm is not saying the UFT does not help paras become teachers, just to be clear.

      • 

        What paras? Sure those that are left. The UFT stood by while paras have been cut from all kinds of support roles. Note the drastic drop of African American teacher % of new hires since Bloomberg. UFT did pass a reso at the DA but that doesn’t reinforce a career ladder with few people to climb it. The move to the TF and TFAs was an hidden attack on the recruitment of people on the career ladder with lingo that verges on racism. The UFT sat by as one of the valued programs we all support was undermined. In an open market system which people will principals hire? Former paras who get some seniority or a TFA? From UFT- nada.

  9. 

    Here goes uncommon sense again. Let me point out that my views that Unity is Vichy are mine along and not of MORE or most anyone in MORE which is why your accusations about MORE are distorted. But when in Unity and you get thrown out for not pushing the party line I can understand your confusion that I can express my own minority point of view and still be a member of MORE.

    I have the advantage, or disadvantage, over some MORE’s of having 45 years of experience watching Unity in action — I was in Toronto at the 1974 AFT convention when Shanker screwed over his mentor Selden because he opposed the Vietnam War — remember that one? so I witnessed the growth of the monster from the early days. (I also was at the UFT Ex Bd meeting when they voted to support the invasion of Iraq and one Unity EB member threatened to take a New Action guy outside for opposing the war. I have a long memory and Ed Notes has published since 1997 so we have a very long record of Unity collaboration in ed deform — like supporting NCLB, RTTT, merit pay, charters, closing schools, the selling out of seniiority, etc. Note how you continuously ignore all the touchstone issues of collaboration — or as I often put it — a Vichy mentality.

    Vichy is a ref to people who collaborate on any grounds which Unity couches as evidenced by the comments on this blog as “You guys only want to fight them while we need to work with them.” The French experience is always an interesting historical analogy to a mentality of “do you want them running things when you can have we French take away your liberties instead of those foreign monsters (replace with your crying game of Bloomberg, corporate enemies who so many of you cheered in Seattle.

    Thus when we see UFT charters co-locating we are not calling anyone Nazis but viewing it as a Vichy mentality of “let’s be like them but we won’t be as bad because we are French/union”, anlagous to “the unions want to collaborate but the deformers won’t let them” — Randi’s often used word is collaborate —

    Now the French resistance fought both Vichy and the Nazis and we might certainly talk about whether that was the right thing to do though I would bet my family who never made it out of Poland or Germany would have preferred going down fighting. I had cousins who went into the forests to fight with the Polish partisans who made it to America and that is my model, far, far away from the mentality Vichy/Unity exhibits.

  10. 

    We have an update; the writer went to the same school again this past Friday to distribute literature. Security called the principal and refused entry. The principal came to the door and said, “I can’t be bothered with this”. She walked away and came back with a person who identified himself as the chapter leader. The chapter leader said he would distribute the material. Our volunteer politely declined asking that she do it herself, he once again said “no” and our volunteer promised to be back. There have been reports that the chapter leader is affiliated with another caucus, if this were the case it would be an unfortunate obstruction of union democracy that all our UFT brothers and sisters frown upon. We have notified UFT election personnel, they have been very receptive and said that she would be allowed entry soon because they were alerting the Office of Labor Relations.
    No matter what caucus the chapter leader is part of, if any, there should never be a reason to obstruct democracy. Chapter Leaders knows full well that any UFT election representative has a right to access our member’s boxes during the election. Hopefully this issue is solved soon. Unfortunately this is not an isolated case; school administrators throughout the city have denied access to our election volunteers. MORE is calling on our UFT leaders to instruct the DOE/Chancellor Walcott to send out a notice to all principals that any UFT member should be granted full access to members’ boxes during our election season. In the spirit of fairness and democracy we hope the UFT leaders will comply and request this immediately.

  11. 

    Assailed Teacher says…

    “The CTU benefits lag behind ours because they had a Unity-like leadership for decades. CORE has only been in control for less than a year, so you really can’t pin the poor conditions over there on them.”

    Wrong. CORE/Karen Lewis was elected three years ago and have been the CTU leadership since. Facts only please, stop the lies, half truths, and outright fibs.

  12. 

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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