IANNUZZI ANSWERS MORE-GOLDSTEIN-DIMINO CALL FOR NYSUT DEBATE; MULGEW IS SILENT
Commentary by James Eterno
Jamaica High School Chapter Leader/
2010 ICE/TJC UFT Presidential Candidate
The email below was sent to NYSUT President and Stronger Together leader Dick Iannuzzi, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Revive NYSUT from several of the candidates running for office in the first ever contested NYSUT election. We are asking for a debate or some kind of open forum in New York City before the April 5 election. As you can see, President Iannuzzi has responded. We are still waiting to hear back from President Mulgrew.
I never received an answer when I asked for a presidential candidate forum before the UFT election in 2010. MORE caucus didn’t get a reply when we requested a debate between Mulgrew and MORE’s Julie Cavanagh before the 2013 UFT election. Would anyone be surprised if we don’t hear back from our UFT President now?
Yes, we understand President Mulgrew is a very busy person but when something as important as the leadership of our city or state union is at stake, don’t you think we at least deserve a response?
The lack of a reply now is especially baffling since there have been numerous candidate forums all over NYS the last few weeks ahead of the NYSUT election. I reported on one such forum that took place on Long Island a couple of weeks back.
Why is Mulgrew, and the NYC Unity Caucus he leads, so afraid of open discussion? Perhaps the fact that members of his caucus are obligated to support caucus positions in public and union forums means the leadership does not feel the need to discuss anything. I have reported repeatedly on President Mulgrew stifling dissent at UFT Delegate Assemblies.
We can only hope reports are right and some of the NYC Unity people are willing to open up their minds and vote their conscience.
Our letter to Iannuzzi, President Mulgrew, Stronger Together and Revive NYSUT:
Dear Brothers Iannuzzi and Mulgrew,
We are NYSUT members, teachers, UFT Chapter Leaders and Delegates, and many of us are members of the MORE caucus (Movement of Rank and File Educators) in the UFT which received over 5,000 votes in our first run for local office in 2013. Our caucus received over 40% from high school teachers. We are running to represent New York City educators from the UFT as NYSUT Board of Directors and Executive VP.
We write to you today concerned that districts all over our state are holding forums with candidates from their respective districts and those running for officer positions.
In the spirit of democracy and transparency we are requesting a forum at a neutral Manhattan location open to all UFT and NYSUT members, including NYSUT delegates from the UFT and the media. We believe the members of Stronger Together, Revive, and our independent slate of eight members ought to be able to express our vision for state union leadership to our members.
We look forward to hearing your response as soon as possible and working together to plan this event!
Teacher/UFT Chapter Leader P.S.15
Teacher/UFT Delegate P.S. 321
Teacher/President of Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association
Teacher/UFT Chapter Leader Jamaica High School
Teacher/ UFT Chapter Leader Francis Lewis High School
Teacher/UFT Chapter Leader The Earth School
Teacher/UFT Chapter Leader I.S. 49
Teacher/UFT Chapter Leader Leon M. Goldstein High School
The response from President Iannuzzi:
Dear MORE Caucus Candidates and others:
Thank you for reaching out with your concerns and proposal.
NYSUT is committed to running a transparent and open election in accordance with the law and is willing to collaborate in any way that would provide opportunity for the voices of all statewide candidates to be heard consistent with not violating the law. As the head of the Stronger Together slate, I can assure you that this is our position as well.
I am forwarding your email to NYSUT’s General Counsel and Elections Committee for their input. I am asking Counsel to communicate directly with you and to copy me with their response.
President Mulgrew’s Response: