2013 UFT Election Results and Analysis

April 27, 2013 — 5 Comments

The Unity caucus has won the 2013 UFT elections. The Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) congratulates them on their victory, and looks forward to working alongside our union brothers and sisters to defend and improve our union and our schools.

The election totals, however, tell an important story about the state of our union. MORE members and supporters should be extremely proud of our results, but all UFT members have cause for concern.

MORE INCREASED THE OPPOSITION VOTE IN EVERY DIVISION

MORE members and supporters can be proud of the fact that MORE increased the opposition vote (previously ICE/TJC) in every division. Meanwhile votes for UNITY and New Action declined in every division. Compare this year’s results with those of the last election (see chart at the bottom). Most significantly, MORE ran neck-and-neck with Unity in the High Schools — with an elementary school teacher as our presidential candidate! We got 40% of the vote there, while Unity got 45%. We still have a long way to go, but MORE’s growth is the result of all the hard work of our members and supporters who carried petitions, distributed leaflets, and promoted MORE’s message far and wide — THANK YOU!
75% OF UFT MEMBERS DID NOT PARTICIPATE — WHY?
The majority of UFT members did not bother to participate in these elections. Out of 173,407 ballots mailed, only 43,138 were returned. When 75% of the membership doesn’t think voting is worth their time, that’s a serious problem. We can’t read the minds of those roughly 130,000 non-voting members, but we can imagine that frustration, demoralization, and basic alienation from the union at the chapter level must be ingredients in the explanation. While public education is facing an historic crisis, our union has thus far failed to involve the majority of members in a struggle to defend our rights and to improve our schools.
The participation results, listed by division, are shameful:
                               Mailed  ballots           Returned ballots
High School:      19,040                          3,808
Middle School:   10,807                          1,879
Elementary:         34,163                          7,331
Functional:         51,040                          7,704
Retirees:              58,357                          22,462
Retirees contributed the majority (52%) of the ballots. Among UFT members who are still on the job, only 18% voted. When the active membership is less engaged in the life of the union than those who have stopped working (and, in many cases, live in other states!), that is cause for serious concern.
HOW CAN WE BUILD A STRONGER UFT?
MORE wants to invite UFT members — whether they voted for us or not — to join us in the struggles ahead. We’re going to have to organize fights against cookie-cutter evaluation rubrics (such as Danielson), against the plan to tie teacher evaluation to high stakes standardized test scores, and in defense of basic protections such as tenure.
In this election, most UFT members did not vote for any group. But everywhere we go, we find educators and other school-based workers are responding to MORE’s basic message: we don’t have to lie down and accept the logic of corporate education reform. We can and will stand up and fight back!
Join MORE at our next city-wide membership meeting:
Saturday, May 11
12 to 3pm
224 West 29th Street, 14th Floor
CHART: VOTING SHIFTS FROM 2010 TO 2013
slate votes only * remainders are split ballots
Elementary Division
                                    2013                                                        2010
MORE                       1,140                                                 703 for ICE/TJC
New Action              534                                                    978
Unity                          5,111                                                7,761
Middle School Division
MORE                       398                                                  248 for ICE/TJC
New Action             161                                                     421
Unity                        1,185                                                 1,981
High School Division
MORE                       1,430                                              1,369 for ICE/TJC
New Action             452                                                  774
Unity                         1,592                                              2,595
Functional Division (non-teachers)
MORE                       951                                                 708 for ICE/TJC
New Action             754                                                  1,175
Unity                         5,167                                              7,337
Retiree Division
MORE                       1,490                                             1,037 for ICE/TJC
New Action              1,880                                            2,234
Unity                          18,155                                          20,744
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5 responses to 2013 UFT Election Results and Analysis

  1. 

    Attention Math teachers: Mr. Mulgrew is claiming a total of 84% of the vote cast. Removing retirees ( like me) from the equation, what is Mr. Mulgrew’s % of the total vote cast among CURRENTLY ACTIVE NYC educators considered separately?

    Yes, I can do the math, but not as quickly or easily as you can.

    Also… if I have this right, it’s ( in 2013) 25% total “turnout” ( including retirees) and 18% amongst “actives”, considered separately. How does this compare with the same two figures in 2010?

    • 

      Excellent point Paul.

      We will be publishing some graphs later this weekend.

      • 
        SIXfigureSALARY April 28, 2013 at 4:47 am

        75% OF UFT MEMBERS DID NOT PARTICIPATE — WHY?

        Seems to simply reflect turnout for elections in government. But keep making your lemonade. I hope it settles your stomachs and your minds.

  2. 

    With growing numbers like this for MORE, imagine what an actively engaged body of active teachers could bring forth. I see much, much more for MORE next time around! You all should be extremely pleased with what you created and you will become the beacon of hope as teachers awaken to the fact that there must be change!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Building fighting teachers’ unions | Social Awareness - August 8, 2013

    […] success in Newark came just a few weeks after their counterparts in New York had an unexpectedly strong showing in elections in the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the largest and dominant local of the AFT. […]

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