Archives For November 2015

There are few unions in North America which has as proud a tradition of struggle as the Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico. The FMPR, after battling for autonomy from the AFT, lead a 2008 strike that, among other things, kept the island free of charter schools.

FMPR marchaThis week, the FMPR (along with other teacher organizations) helped lead a massive one day strike, protesting austerity and privatization and the territory’s education “reform” plan in the context of its debt crisis.  They are in the course of rebuilding their organization after a series of attacks, including government decertification, raids by SEIU, and firing of its executive committee from their jobs as teachers.  MORE is proud to announce that we are supporting the FMPR in its fundraising drive with a $200 contribution, even though we are in the midst of our own fundraising campaign for the UFT elections.

Please consider making your own contribution and circulating this fundraising letter to your coworkers and fellow unionists.  This is an important effort to build concrete solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are examples of the kind of struggles that we need to wage in order to win.

FMPR viejo san juanCheck can be sent to:

Federación de Maestros de PR
Urb. El Caribe
1572 Ave. Ponce de León
San Juan, P.R. 00926-2710

¡La Lucha Sigue!











Join us at our general meeting this Saturday 11/21 from 12-3pm to help us plan our election campaign and organize chapters near you to fight back for a better union.

Yaya Network 224 West 29th St midtown NYC (14th floor)

Sign up to run with MORE in the Spring 2016 elections as a state (NYSUT) and national union (AFT/NEA) delegate.
What do you have to do to run for AFT/NYSUT representative on the MORE/NewAction slate:
download form here, Scan the form, complete it, take photo/scan, send back
  • Get UFT members  to sign your petition.
  • Help distribute MORE election literature in your school

100 signatures are needed on the petition to get on the ballot as an AFT/NYSUT representative to national and state conventions. The process of getting signatures in the schools is a way to engage members about the UFT election and MORE. It is understood that it is not always easy to get 100 signatures in smaller schools. MORE and New Action (another opposition caucus that we will be running with as a joint slate) will hold signing parties to help make up any shortfall. Petitions will be made available in January or February  and you will have 3 weeks to gather the signatures.

You don’t have to join MORE to run for AFT/NYSUT delegate, although joining would give you voting rights in MORE for the next year and help our campaign efforts. Even a small donation to the election cause is welcome.

What do you have to do if you win?

Don’t worry – you can’t win! The way the UFT election process was set up by Unity caucus is to ensure they remain in power.
In the UFT oligarchy it’s winner take all. Unity’s Winner-take-all disenfranchises UFT members not in Unity caucus. 

In a democratic union, MORE’s percentage of the vote in the 2013 election would have given us a share of these 750 delegates. But the more than 5,000 people who voted for MORE in the election have no representation at the AFT and NYSUT representative assemblies. Our dues are used for delegates to attend these union conventions that Mulgrew and his Unity caucus dominate.

We Still Need Your Vote

MORE will be putting forth some proposals in the election to  change how these representatives are elected to remove the “Unity is the sole option” process. There is a good chance that the MORE/New Action slate can win the 7 high school executive board seats which will allow us to advocate for making our union more democratic, but Unity will still have a majority of the executive board. Every vote for MORE/New Action is a message to UFT leadership that we want more member voice in our union.

Why run?

The MORE members that run the better. By running in the election you are helping us build the kind of bottom-up movement that we will need to change the UFT. You will help us spread the word that there is an alternative to the UFT status quo. It will send a message to Unity that the undemocratic system must change. It will allow MORE to advocate for change by showing that hundreds of UFT members ran with us and need to have representation. This will also help you get members in your school interested in the election and more involved in the UFT.

Download form here
Scan the form, complete it, take photo/scan, send back to



At the November Delegate Assembly, Unity and MORE both had separate resolutions supporting Buffalo public school teachers who could be terminated without any due process, because of the new state receivership law.  MORE’s Mindy Rosier, delegate from PS 811M, suggested that we withdraw our motion so we can work together with Unity Caucus to come up with a bipartisan resolution. Unity agreed to this.

Resolution in Opposition to Receivership

November 12, 2015


WHEREAS, New York law establishes Receivership for schools that have been or will be categorized as persistently failing and struggling and that these schools are identified as the schools in the lowest 5% state-wide on NY Common Core assessments will mean there will always be failing schools and schools in Receivership; and


WHEREAS, Receivership uses developmentally inappropriate and unreliable Common Core aligned test and punish and evaluation regimes to categorize failing schools; and

WHEREAS, certain New York State United Teachers Locals have taken strong positions against the Common Core Standards, and are encouraging parents and members to refuse the Common Core Tests used to place schools in Receivership; and

WHEREAS, 144 public schools serving mostly low income students from Buffalo to Albany, Utica to New York City, Yonkers to Rochester have fallen into Receivership; and


WHEREAS, Receivership law states that the Receiver “may abolish the positions of all teachers and pedagogical support staff, administrators and pupil personnel service providers” of any or all Receivership schools and can do so without cause, and require them to reapply if they choose; and


WHEREAS, Receivership requires a “Staffing Committee” to determine whether senior former staff at Receivership schools are qualified to return to the school and those who are not rehired from their school are denied “bumping/seniority rights” and must be placed on a preferred eligibility list regardless of their teaching experience; and


WHEREAS, Receivership further undermines collective bargaining by granting a Receiver broad power over budget, curriculum and programs, discipline, testing, class size, teaching conditions, length of the school day and year for each individual Receivership school; and


WHEREAS, Receivership denies due process and other forms of fair employment practices for educators and administrators by allowing the law and commissioner’s regulations to set up a timeframe and process for different agreements with each Receivership school that ensures these “agreements” give expression to the will of the commissioner without ever having to prove how imposed agreements will improve the quality of education; and

WHEREAS, Receivership law requires “failing/struggling” schools to improve in two years but provides ZERO/NO additional resources or funding to those schools; and


WHEREAS, Receivership does not address the great inequality in funding for urban schools, but rather Receivership doubles down on impacted districts by de-funding them year after year, labeling them failures and giving them one or two years to “improve” without additional resources in most cases; and


WHEREAS, UFT Vice President Janella Hinds testified strongly against receivership in Albany on October 14, 2015 stating in part, “What our schools need to make them better is the investment of proper resources—not receivers;” be it therefore


RESOLVED, that the United Federation of Teachers strongly opposes Receivership and encourages NYSUT affiliates to pass similar resolutions demonstrating solidarity against New York’s Receivership law; and be it further


RESOLVED, that the UFT will exhaust all legal means to change and to challenge in court any attacks on due process, collective bargaining and other fair labor practices that are a consequence of Receivership and urge NYSUT to do the same; and be it further


RESOLVED, that the UFT will develop a plan/outline to advise members on how they should respond to the demands of Receivership and educate and activate members about said plan while encouraging other impacted NYSUT affiliates to do the same throughout the state; and be it further


RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to all NYSUT Members and the entire New York delegation in the State Legislature.


Please join us as we work together to build a better, stronger union.

Thursday 11/12 6:00-7:00pm Post-Delegate Assembly Happy Hour

Blarney Stone

11 Trinity Place

Downtown, NYC (one block south of UFT HQ)

Friday 11/13 4:00-5:30pm South Brooklyn Meet-up

Local Diner in Bensonhurst Brooklyn

MORE’s Chapter Leaders and Delegates meet with members of nearby chapters to discuss common issues and organizing to deal with abusive administrators, micro-management, and other contract violations.

Email for exact location

Friday 11/13 3:00-6:00pm Bronx Happy Hour and Live Music

An Beal Bocht

445 West 238th st at Greystone Ave, Bronx NY 10463

Hosted by UFT Chapter and MORE members Michael Flanagan + Nate Schiavo. Become more informed union members. meet colleagues from nearby schools, and enjoy an after-school drink.

Facebook Link Here

Saturday 11/21 12:00-3:00pm MORE General Meeting UFT Elections

Yaya Center

224 West 29th st (Btwn 7th and 8th ave)

14th Floor

Midtown, NYC

All NYC educators and supporters are invited to participate. Let’s send a strong and clear message to the current UNITY leadership that we are not settling for the status quo. We want MORE from our union and as MORE’s membership continues to grow, we come closer to achieving our goals.

Agenda will include: Formation of election platform, nominations for divisional and VP slates, report back from State of the Union/State of our Schools Conference, help with our Get Out the Vote Campaign and more!

Please rsvp no later than November 16 if you need childcare.

Facebook link here







Thank you to everyone who attended the State of our Union / State of our Schools conference on Saturday, October 24th. 

More than 170 UFT members, parents, and students attended the conference which launched the candidacy of Jia Lee for President of the UFT. Jia will top the MORE/NA slate in the 2016 union elections.


Please consider piloting our survey on the “State of our Schools” and attending one of these followup meetings
  • November MORE General Meeting – Saturday 11/21 12pm-3pm – YaYa Network (224 w. 29th)
  • Platform Committee Meeting – Wednesday 11/11 6pm (CUNY Grad Center, 365 5th Ave.)
  • Divisional Committee Meetings to shape our slate (RSVP to for location):
    • High School – Wednesday, 11/11, Time TBA
    • Middle School – Wednesday, 11/11, 10am
    • Elementary School – Sunday, 11/8, 10am
Fed up with overcrowding, underfunding, and overtesting, educators are coming together with the community to take back their union and bring change to their schools.

“Our schools are in crisis, in large part part because our current union leadership is complicit in bad policy and continues to tell us that this is the best they can do….

It’s not the time for us to re-negotiate what has already proven to be disastrous. It’s time for teachers to come together with the community and chart a new course for our union. We are going to take back our union and lead a fight for the schools our children deserve,” said Jia.

Saturday’s conference was the first step in defining a platform for the upcoming UFT election. Look at your emails in the coming days to see a summary of the suggestions generated at conference discussions ranging from “Bringing Democracy to the UFT” to “Making Black Lives Matter in Education.”  Also, check out the video of Lauren Cohen’s powerful plenary speech on our blog.

Conference participants debated important issues facing education at 18 different workshops
Lunchtime meetups amongst local organizers led to important conversations about how to change the future of our union

Jia Lee talks about defending public education to a parent and student at her school who were pushed out of the Moskowitz Success Academy

Continue Reading…


By Norm Scott

MORE’s Lauren Cohen told this incredible tale at MORE’s State of the Union event on October 24, 2015 of her years spent under the rule of one of the worst and abusive and bullying principals in this city and how she emerged from the depths after meeting up with people from MORE at the first MORE State of the Union in March 2012.

This is a lesson for every union leader and people who work at the DOE – how a top-level teacher can almost be destroyed when a lunatic principal is allowed to run rampant. (That same Leadership Academy Principal rubber-roomed one of our older ICE leaders who was the chapter leader).

We’ve witnessed Lauren’s remarkable growth as a leader (don’t be surprised to see her run for UFT president one day). She is now chapter leader at her school.

MORE current presidential candidate Jia Lee came out of the same cauldron of horror at that school and took on the dangerous job of chapter leader when the ICE Chapter Leaders was forced out  – and a lesson — many younger teachers facing these bully principals and remain in the system can find their way – and one of the first lessons is to get away from these awful principals as soon as you can to live so you can live to fight another day.

Lauren is  one of many next-gen union leaders who have found strength and support in a group of like-minded people like those in MORE.

In April 2014 Lauren Cohen got up in front of thousands of delegates at the NYSUT representative assembly and stood up to the bullying of Unity Caucus who booed her vociferously for mentioning the loyalty oath.

See this video of Lauren Cohen’s speech at NYSUT RA, April 2014 and think of that young woman practically broken not too long before — and also think that Unity Caucus/UFT leaders have done nothing to protect the teachers at this school: