The front page of today's New York Post has the headline "UFT Sex Scandal" . It claims that when Michael Mulgrew was the Chapter Leader at William Grady High School in Brooklyn he was having an affair with a married guidance counselor Emma Camacho-Mendez and were apparently caught in the school being intimate with each other in the 2004-2005 school year. The entire affair was covered up by the DOE, UFT, the Principal, and Custodian of the school. These allegations are contained in a federal lawsuit by teacher Andrew Ostrowsky. What is must disturbing is the lawsuit's allegation that the massive "givebacks" and long-term damage that resulted from the infamous 2005 contract was a result of the cover up of the affair.
First, let me point out that rumors, gossip, and hearsay are hardly evidence of wrongdoing and unless real evidence is presented, the benefit of the doubt should go to Michael Mulgrew and Emma Camacho-Mendez that their relationship was professional in nature. I should know since it was the very same rumors, gossip, and hearsay that put me in the "rubber room" for over four years. However, I must admit that there are some very disturbing concerns associated with the allegations made in the lawsuit since it might have affected all teachers because of the massive "givebacks" in the 2005 contract and that needs to be addressed by our UFT President.
The Infamous 2005 Contract:
Many of us questioned why Randi Wiengarten agreed to the massive "givebacks" in the 2005 contract for an average raise of 3.15%, which was less than the rate of inflation for the same period? Could there have been a connection between the alleged Mulgrew-Camacho scandal and the massive "givebacks" in the 2005 contract? We all know that the infamous 2005 contract was the basis for the worsening of the teaching profession ever since. You can all see what we gave back in my "Here comes the clowns" series
Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here. Did Randi Weingarten allow this terrible deal to bury the Mulgrew-Camacho scandal? What a chilling thought if true.
The elimination of seniority transfer rights and especially the excessing rules that required that a vacancy in the district be offered to an excessed teacher who has the certification in the field was a tragic mistake and an unforgivable "giveback" by Randi Weingarten. The result was an ATR population that have ranged from a low of 831 to a high of 2,400. With all the closing schools coming this year, the ATR population can explode to a new all time high of 3,000+! If the ATR crises has resulted from a cover up of the Mulgrew-Camacho scandal, then heads should roll at the union.
According to many sources Emma Camacho-Mendez was transferred and rewarded for her silence with first, a part-time union position under Mulgrew, no pun intended, and then given a full-time union position despite not having "union credentials". In other words she was not an active participant in union organizing or volunteering her time for union activities. How did she jump over all those other union people who spent time and effort for the union?
While it might be easy to connect the dots and show that a theory exists that the alleged Mulgrew-Camacho affair cold have resulted in the UFT being blackmailed by the City into the terrible 2005 contract, it still must be proven and I have only heard rumors, gossip, and hearsay not real proof and I hope what is printed and in the federal lawsuit is untrue. If any of the allegations does turn out to be true then it is time for new leadership to emerge since the old leadership rather protect their own at the expense of their members and that is a shame. Remember my first quote on this blog:
"A strong union represents the members in the trenches and not the interests of the people in power".