Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Vote For James Eterno Since Michael Mulgrew Has Failed My Leadership Test
Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I do not belong to any UFT caucus and will vote for the person and not the caucus. However, after seeing some very encouraging signs that Michael Mulgrew was not that appeaser, Randi Weingarten, I have become disappointed that Michael Mulgrew, despite the rhetoric, represents the same old "Unity" caucus politics. Therefore, I now have decided to vote for James Eterno to lead our Union back to the militancy of Albert Shanker and away from the appeasers that inhabit the "Unity" leadership. Here are the three tests the Michael Mulgrew has failed and made my choice for me .
No Change in the Failed Leadership:
I was shocked to see that the same old tired and disconnected leadership surrounds Michael Mulgrew despite private assurances that significant changes would be made. In particular, the retention of the "Unity" apologist and propagandist Leo Casey who cares more about Darfur and Mexican teachers than his own teachers in the trenches. It was Leo Casey who tried to bully and insult teachers who objected to the disastrous 2005 contract that resulted in the ATR crises, overcrowded "rubber rooms", loss of seniority transfer, three month unpaid suspensions based upon hearsay, and lack of grievances to Letter-to-the-File (LIF). For people who forgot Leo's defense of the indefensible 2005 contract you just need to read his article and the responses here. While I do admire and respect some of the "Unity" leadership I found their culture of unquestioning loyalty at the expense of the members is wrong, very wrong.. Therefore, Michael Mulgrew has failed test number one.
The Secretive Nature When Bargaining With The DOE:
When Randy Weingsrten was President of the UFT she would negotiate with the DOE and not include the affected members. Only a small group of her loyal inner circle were included and the result was usually not in the best interests of the members. Examples of this was the terrible 2005 contract, the ATR agreement, the "rubber room" agreement, the pension changes and the "fair student funding" problems just to name a few. Randi did realize that she needed to open up the next contract negotiations by including all caucuses and this has resulted in a more determined negotiation climate with no union givebacks. However, the Gotham News reports that Michael Mulgrew has secretly been negotiating with Tweed to streamline the disciplinary process. Were any of the people who deal with the "rubber rooms" consulted? Not to my knowledge. Here again Michael Mulgrew has retreated to the secretive negotiating process that has been a disaster for the teachers. . Therefore Michael Mulgrew has failed test number two.
Failure to Protect Member Rights:
Finally, I have asked Michael Mulgrew to have the UFT file a PERB complaint when principals fail to allow teachers take an "official business" day when meeting with their NYSUT attorneys that are related to DOE initiated legal action. The granting of the day has been a "long standing past practice" and PERB has already ruled in another union's favor on this issue. His response is to pass the buck and have his lackeys ignore the issue. Therefore, Michael Mulgrew has failed his third test and in my book three strikes and your out, as the President of the UFT.
Vote for James Eterno for President!