Friday, February 12, 2016

You Want My Dues. Then Stop Selling Us Out And Do The Following!




















Unless you have been hiding under a rock and far too many teachers do so.  There is a UFT election coming up.  The four UFT caucuses are "Unity", MORE, New Action, and Solidarity. In this round MORE and New Action will be nominating a joint slate.  Regardless who wins, if the union loses Friedrichs, dues will no longer be mandatory.  However, for the winning caucus to obtain my $1,300 dues they must first do the following:

  1. No top-down management where member interests are now ignored and even ridiculed.
  2. Making ATRs whole again, no more second class citizen crap.
  3. Show that its teacher justice and stop muddling the message with the social justice bullshit.
  4. Democratize all positions above Chapter Leader in a secret ballot.  No more appointments!
  5. Require the DOE to honor the contract when it comes to travel hardships, reassignments, and rotations of elementary and middle school teachers in the ATR pool.
  6. Demand a fair and impartial investigation.
 My requests are simple and most members would agree with me that we need a more democratic and responsive union.  No longer should our union leadership sells us out every disappointing contract. Remember, the union who most closely meets my six items above will be getting my vote in the upcoming elections and the dues that come with it.



 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"stop muddling the message with the social justice bullshit."
Rally all the people who are pro-segregated schools and pro-racism.
Well that leaves MORE out - have fun voting the other caucus.

Bronx ATR said...

I said almost the same thing to a Unity person today. Solidarity is the caucus that I support and that will be getting my vote. If you're an ATR there's no other logical choice.

James Eterno said...

"Show that its teacher justice and stop muddling the message with the social justice bullshit."

A union's main mission is to back its membership. No argument there.

Issues that are of primary importance to us such as lower class size are social justice issues that would also help in our goal of fighting for the members. Without support from the parents, students and the communities, it will be kind of impossible to achieve our goal of teacher justice.

Teachers v the world will be kind of a hard fight to win. Check out Seattle and Chicago for examples of militant teacher unions working with the community to improve teaching and learning conditions for their members and the kids.

As for ATR's, the predecessor caucuses to MORE were ICE and TJC. We were opposed to the creation of ATRs from the start and took the lead in fighting the 2005 contract that ended seniority transfers and preferred placement for teachers when schools were closed. We got the union to finally stop supporting school closings. We have many experienced candidates who have strong records of accomplishment as leaders who are now running with MORE.

Anonymous said...

Solidarity has my vote to accomplish these benchmarks.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the constant social justice stuff is so annoying. Our activist leadership cannot even comprehend that some members are patriotic Americans who hate communism and diluting ourselves with mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Your notion of bullshit is inadequate. Teachers are human beings first. You obscure this fact and encourage a guild mentality unworthy of unionized workers. If the condition of social justice is ignored, even if we get salary increases and so on our lives as people will be miserable. Corporatism or economism like this will only stir resentment against teachers and create a receptive audience for scapegoating. Also, where do you think the coercive managerial styles that we suffer under come from?

Chaz said...

Anon 10:32

A union should represent member interests. In this case small class sizes, ironclad "due process rights", teacher control of the classroom, adequate resources, and health and welfare along with salary increases.

Supporting groups like Al Sharpton and other fringe groups without member support is simply arrogance. Furthermore, while diversity is commendable, in reality it cannot be achieved without quotas that allow inferior talent to leapfrog over more qualified educators. Finally, the restorative justice approach is a joke and is used by schools to greatly reduce suspensions without-solving the root case of the issue, providing wraparound support which requires an influx in cash.

Bronx ATR said...

Everyone must remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? You can't reach self actualization until your Physiological, Safety, Belonging, Esteem needs are met first. It goes for individuals,and I also believe for our profession. Most, if not all,of those needs are taken away when a teacher is turned into an ATR. Most of won't consider the plight of the Mt.Graham Red Squirrel, not because we're bad people but because we're an endangered species ourselves.

Anonymous said...


"A union should represent member interests. In this case small class sizes, ironclad "due process rights", teacher control of the classroom, adequate resources, and health and welfare along with salary increases."

I agree with this, but what do you think enables these rights? We do not get these protections in a vacuum. There needs to be considerable public support. This necessitates engagement with broader issues. Why should teachers get x, y, z when other members of the working class do not? Our only defensible response to this is to affirm that everyone deserves due process and so on, and to do what we can to help. If we don't, we are inevitably scapegoated and our fellow workers are somewhat justified if they believe it.

SPED4LYFE said...

Although MORE and Solidarity will most likely lose to Unity, Solidarity is getting my vote. School discipline is the worst I've ever seen in nearly 20 years from a top down social justice mayor. Unity is completely corrupt. Danielson, common core and multiple observations must go and seniority transfer must be brought back. I'm sure once Unity wins; again, they will ignore all of our demands. The only way Unity will listen is if we stop feeding them. So if the SCOTUS does away with mandated dues payments with a "heavy heart" I will defer my dues to WEINGREW until they begin to listen to its membership. This is the message that both Solidarity and MORE should encourage of its members and followers. Then maybe we will get "A seat at the table"

Anonymous said...

Since there is no concrete definition of "social justice", there can be no consensus as to what exact violations of "social justice" a teachers union should support, if any. Giving such latitude to a union caucus to decide what constitutes "social justice" and therefore what causes of "social justice" to support with union money and resources would be completely stupid and begging for abuse.

Supporting various "social justice" causes has NO PLACE in a teachers union. Teachers walk into classrooms to teach students, whose various problems were not of that teacher's making. Teachers certainly attempt to identify and ameliorate students' personal problems, but to bring about a total change in the students' lives is beyond the scope of the job. In order to do what IS the scope of their job---teaching---teachers need the support of a union whose raison d'être is to take care of the teacher. That is the reason teachers pay dues. If teachers feel that a particular "social justice" cause needs their support, they are free to make private contributions to it. Other teachers who do not feel that need should not be forced, by virtue of a "social justice" supporting caucus, to have their dues monies, UFT employees' time, and other valuable resources divided between helping teachers and addressing "social justice" causes.

MORE may have some positive attributes, but they have let us all know loud and clear that theirs is a divided attention. Teachers' rights would be competing---in their own union!---for time and money with "social justice" causes. My own reply is, "No way can I support that." Neither could any teacher in their right mind support U-nity, that festering cauldron of corruption which has only the utmost contempt for the very people it supposedly is sworn to protect and who fund it. U-nity reminds me of a cadre of thieves, informants, petty dictators and criminal collaborators. Its stench reaches to the far heavens. Anyone who could vote to continue the reign of such a perfidious, venal group of scum must have a severe case of masochism.

Therefore, I support Solidarity. Long before they sought official office in the UFT, they were reaching out to educators with informative meetings, help with personal school problems and webpages filled with useful nuts and bolts resources.

Anonymous said...

Solidarity is the Donald Trump Caucus.

SPED4LYFE said...

That is the reason teachers pay dues. If teachers feel that a particular "social justice" cause needs their support, they are free to make private contributions to it. Other teachers who do not feel that need should not be forced, by virtue of a "social justice" supporting caucus, to have their dues monies, UFT employees' time, and other valuable resources divided between helping teachers and addressing "social justice" causes.
Very well put Anon 8:23, very well put! As a matter of fact the whole post was quite succinctl in its summation of the frustrations felt by many who are outside of the Unity, establishment gravy train, the willfully ignorant and uninformed majority and those who aren't a part of the intellectual elite who still rally around the stale Marxist ideals of the Ivy League towers of education that always prove better in theory than in reality. Teachers concerns first, foremost and always! After all the T in UFT stands for TEACHERS not Trotskyites

The Veteran State Employee said...

Those eagerly anticipating the death of union power via the Friedrichs (v California) case will be sorely disappointed.

The death of Justice Scalia means the court will most likely be deadlocked 4-4 and thus the decision of the lower court stands. This is absolutely huge as AFT, for example were bracing for a devastating loss.

Any nominee by President Obama (if confirmed) would most likely oppose any similar case finding its way to the court.

Anonymous said...

I would be satisfied if the Union ONLY worked for things directly affecting us on the ground. For example, class sizes, working conditions, salary, due process, supplies, etc.

I do not want the union to be an endorser of politicians. So what if the majority likes Hillary or Bernie? What if I like Trump or Kasich? By endorsing politicians, where is the 'inclusion' and 'respect' for me on matters that are outside the role of a proper union?

I pay dues so my union can keep my small-minded tyrant of a boss off my back and make sure I don't have 50 to a class and have supplies with which to teach. I do not want a union that goes outside those bounds to become a 'movement' getting involved with the wider issues of society. That is WHY YOU HAVE POLITICAL PARTIES! Go join them in your off hours.

Anonymous said...

With Justice Scalia RIP...Frederichs decision is delayed?

Anonymous said...

Although I know we need a better union our dues go to our welfare fund which provides our prescription, optical and dental plans. I think we are biting off our nose to spite our face if we stop our dues. And the union does provide some protection against tyrannical administration.