For Immediate Release
A group of active classroom teachers are challenging the current officers of the United Federation of Teachers in the upcoming union elections. Ballots will go out May 5th to all UFT members from the American Arbitration Association.
MORE, the Movement of Rank and File Educators, a caucus within the UFT, is campaigning on the dual platform of union democracy and social justice. Lauren Cohen, elementary school teacher and candidate for Vice-President of Elementary Schools said; “We need new leadership of our union that will engage our members, be more transparent, and work with the communities we serve to combat inequity and segregation.” Ms. Cohen points out that 60 years after Brown vs Board of Education, NYC schools are among the most segregated in the nation. She continued, “This has resulted in unequal resources for our public schools, a system of haves and have-nots.”
David Garcia-Rosen, high school dean and candidate for Executive Board, points to the failures of our union under current UFT President Michael Mulgrew “It is time for the teachers and students of New York City to have union leadership that fights for every student to have a world class education regardless of zip code. Time and time again Mulgrew and his Unity caucus have supported failed DOE policies that have turned NYC schools into test taking factories that have taken the joy out of learning and teaching.”
Mulgrew and the UFT leadership allowed the Deblasio administration to push a contract that did not retroactively pay women out on family leave and educators on sick leave. MORE’s Presidential Candidate and special education teacher Jia Lee said, “In a profession comprised of 76% women, the leadership has not fought for paid family leave. Participation at our union meetings by members with young children is nearly impossible. A step to democratizing our union can include something as simple as providing childcare at monthly union delegate meetings”
“Class-size are at record highs and teachers are micromanaged by administrators with very little classroom experience” Said Camille Eterno, high school teacher and candidate for UFT Secretary. The conditions of our public schools continue to deteriorate without out any response from the current UFT leadership. “Mulgrew has time for deals with corporate and political leaders, but not for teachers, parents and students. He won’t even answer our emails.”, said Ms. Eterno.
“We are in the schools everyday, we know our children, their parents, and our communities. Mulgrew and most of the UFT officers are too distant from our students ” said Mindy Rosier candidate for Vice-President for Education and special education teacher, “Our students who need the most, receive the least. We need a renewed effort by our union to make sure children with special needs are being served as they are entitled to, especially those in forced charter co-locations where rooms and resources are reduced. This adversely affects services our children need and that are mandated by law!” according to Ms. Rosier.
The members of MORE know our working conditions are our students’ learning condition. Unfortunately, Mulgrew does not feel the same: his support for common core standards, charter schools and high-stakes testing proves he does not work for the best interests of our schools.
To arrange an interview with Jia Lee who testified before a US Senate Committee on education legislation and Is our candidate for UFT President or for interviews with any of our candidates, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org