Friday, September 18, 2015
What's Next For The MORE/New Action Coalition?
Two opposition caucuses, MORE and New Action have stopped fighting and decided to "bury the hatchet" and run a joint slate in the 2016 UFT elections. This is welcomed news as the combination of the two caucuses will be a major opponent to the "Unity" caucus. In fact, its entirely possible that the combined MORE/New Action slate will capture the high schools, which historically has been more militant and has occasionally been lost by the "Unity" caucus. In fact if you go back to the previous election the combined slate had 1,890 votes compared to "Unity's" 1.592 votes. If this occurs this time, the MORE/New Action coalition will capture the high school seats.
However, there is a major problem with the above scenario that has the MORE/New Action coalition capturing the high school seats and that is the new UFT caucus, Solidarity. Yes, some people will call Solidarity "a one trick pony" and maybe their right but Donald Trump is "a one trick pony": and is leading in the polls for the Republican nomination. The Solidarity caucus has many of the 1,400 ATRs on their side and this new caucus has as part of its plank, ATR rights. That is ATRs to get back their "due process rights" and be back in the classroom and without these "flyby observations" by field supervisors. Moreover, many disgusted teachers who see little change in their appealing conditions are more likely to give Solidarity their vote as well. To ignore the Solidarity caucus is to ignore the very real possibility of this caucus taking enough votes away from the new coalition and eliminate a real opportunity to win the very important high school seats.
Worse, the "Unity" caucus may hold their collective noses and could offer the same deal to Solidarity as they did to New Action and siphon enough votes from the unified coalition to stop them from gaining the high school seats. I know, the UFT leadership hates the head of Solidarity but politics make for strange bedfellows.
Finally, I strongly suggest that the new MORE/New Action coalition reach out to Solidarity and include them in the unified coalition. Solidarity can be the spoiler and garner enough votes from the opposition to give "Unity" another victory and nobody in the three caucuses wants to see that.
For information purposes: I was a founding member of Solidarity but have since resigned and decided to become unaffiliated with any caucus. I just want the opposition to make real inroads against the "Unity" caucus machine.