Open Letter to Mulgrew and Unity Caucus

June 24, 2015 — 2 Comments

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A flier attacking UFT members that are not in President Mulgrew’s Unity Caucus was distributed at the June UFT Delegate Assembly. This is a response by the members of P.S. 8 in the Bronx.

Dear Mr. Mulgrew and His Unity Caucus:

We the undersigned read your Unity flyer that was distributed at the UFT Delegate Assembly. We take the insults contained therein as further evidence of the disconnect that exists between working teachers on the frontlines of classrooms and UFT Leadership.

You claim that those of us who are dissatisfied with our union’s representation are “detractors” categorized as either “alarmists,” “oppositional” or “Monday morning quarterbacks.” You toss in a French phrase and a George Orwell quote as if they demonstrate deep intellect that somehow lends credence to your insult—as if George Orwell wrote to warn about the rebels in society instead of those in power desperate to take any measure to retain that power. If you’re going to quote Orwell, the following Orwell quote best represents the Unity Caucus, “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.”

To claim that we “never have led the fight against our enemies” is an inaccurate and disingenuous claim. Firstly, we are not in positions of leadership. More importantly we HAVE fought and ARE fighting our enemies in ways that UFT-leadership refuses to do such as writing our elected officials and challenging the absurd notion of tying our evaluations to test scores, challenging the reasonableness of the Danielson Framework which was never meant to be used as an evaluative tool, being actively engaged in the opt-out movement in our home communities, and rejecting the AFT endorsement of Hochul because we recognized that an endorsement of her was also a back-alley endorsement of Cuomo. We would also argue that challenging the Unity-controlled UFT that continues to disenfranchise working teachers is fighting the good fight.

Your claim that you know “better than anyone” because you “have been fighting these bad guys for over sixty years” is also inaccurate. You may not have noticed, but we most certainly have noticed, that for the past twenty plus years all you have been doing is ducking and weaving in the form of appeasement and as a result we, the working teachers, have been getting our derrières kicked while you remain in your ivory tower safe from all that we have been subjected to.

Contrary to the Japanese proverb you quoted, we definitely have a vision and we are taking action to see it materialize. We want a union run by those who have felt the pain of the unreasonable NYS teacher evaluation system and are committed to dismantling it and building a reasonable system in its place (and the MATRIX is not it). We want a union leadership that cries “foul” instead of “victory” when we have, in fact, been fouled.

Sincerely,

(64) PS 8 UFT Members

Roseanne McCosh                              Jemely Rosario                       Christopher Fusco

Lori Matta                                          Melissa Lugo                          Sebastian DiFatta

Cynthia Pacelli                                    Bridget Valvano                      Doug Sheeran

Stefanie Gotkin                                   Rosie Pichardo                        MaryAlice Moylan

Bernadette Centrone                           Michele Bombace                   Suzana Califano

Kate Mills                                           Mary Blastos-Chile                Christina Chiu

Justin Russello                                    MaryEllen Eager                     Monique Morales

Caitlyn Applegate                              Sandra Mejia                           Meredith Kertis

Amanda Hughes                                  Christina Rados                      Dawn Meron

Lourdes Sepulveda                              Jeanine Caughey                     Andrea Brown

Kellie Griffin                                       B. Wehr                                   Harold Beniquez

Gloria Jacobo                                      Vanessa Acevedo                    Theresa Rivas

Priscilla Roldan                                   Eudenis Estrella                      Renee Beckett

Z. Torres                                             Ivy Castore                             Nicole Sofia

Lynn Mccarthy                                  Nicole Reardon                       Joni Ernst

Lucy Lukaj                                          Greg Fusco                              Richard Moran

H.S. Lee                                              Theresa Rizzuto                     Rita Tynan

M. Lukic                                           Katrina Nrekic                        Audrey Lynch

Mary Mastrogeannes                         Stephanie Moran                    N. Mooddeen

Vicky Abbate                                      Christopher Saxton                 Tara Foley

A.M. Drain                                         Tara Foley                              Jorge Mejia

Eileen McArdle

 

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2 responses to Open Letter to Mulgrew and Unity Caucus

  1. 

    THANK YOU PS 8 TEACHERS FOR SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER!!! Mulgrew and his posse have turned their backs on union members for their own perks and positions; they represent the worst of a corporatized, sell-out union. Thanks to their playing ball with Management, in my personal case, I am retired, having served as an active delegate and, briefly, a CL, for over 30 years, while also being a dedicated Special Ed teacher. I lost all faith in the union leadership over the last few years, when they did not raise a hand to help me- or my colleagues- in the onslaught of a monstrous principal. Then they have the chutzpa to put out the self-congratulatory bullshit that is here reproduced, always patting themselves on the back- for what? Anything we have ever gained or held on to is because of GRASS-ROOTS ACTIVISM from teachers like you guys. Unity’ s “activism” is to sit on their hands and do zilch, until they are forced to do something out of sheer embarrassment from the examples made by individual members’ plights, and individual members’ courage. Unity is the DO NOTHING party!

  2. 

    This is an outstanding letter. Unity Caucus has been in power for far too long. They need to be term limited , as is the case with elected officials. Under Unity teachers have faced longer days, longer years, a virtual end of tenure, thousands of displaced teachers who have really been demoted to ATR status, harassment by Leadership Academy Principals who never taught, burgeoning class sizes, inferior new tiers and Unity Caucus ignores these major problems as well as the complete lack of discipline in many schools. Where are the 4 o’clock demonstrations of yesteryear to protest these problems? Unity must be made to return to the classroom and teach so that they may see the conditions they have helped to create. Ed Greenspan, retired teacher of 33 years. The favor of a reply would be appreciated. Feel free to publish this email.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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