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.
(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