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!


Anonymous said...

I'm shocked.

Not because you are supporting Eterno (I wasn't sure which way you would go).

No, I am shocked that you trust a report off of Gotham Schools, especially when the entire story amounts to "anonymous sources say there have been talks."

I'm also curious how you relayed your suggestion about PERB, and how you know it is being ignored.


Pogue said...

Sometimes trust can get confusing when you don't think your Union leadership has done enough for, nor supported, nor defended their constituents. Rubber rooms, ATR's, mayoral candidates unchallenged, school closings. Poor treatment and being attacked by the media and others doesn't shock teachers anymore. It's the lack of support from Union leadership while this is all occurring that shocks us the most.

Vote ICE.

Pete Zucker said...

JD, I don't necessarily trust Gotham Schools. I think it is a trial balloon floated either by the DOE, or the UFT. In all honesty I think it is the DOE, but I can't be sure. But one thing I do know. We can't trust Mulgrew nor the current leadership of the union to do the right thing. Plain and simple as that.

Vote ICE!!!

NYC Educator said...


You've utterly persuaded me.

Vote ICE!

Anonymous said...

As I informed ED Notes, Mike Mulgrew and Leo Casey came to PS 188 today not to visit the union members but the union busters of the charter school - Girls Prep. Whatever the intent of the visit, no staff members were not told of this visit nor were they offered the opportunity to meet with these gentlemen so we could ask questions and get some reassurance. Is this leadership? Hell no!! We are voting ICE

Invictus said...

History of the past 5 years speakers volumes about what the current leadership and its philosophy is all about. All the talk about "inexperienced" "opposing everything" about ICE-TJC by the same those in the status quo is simple fear mongering.

It is dangerous to have a leadership that does little for those most embattled and allows the enemy to get so close to the beating heart of the organization...especially if the only thing they can argue FOR their position is the ineptitude, and inexperience of the other side.

I support ICE-TJC and many people I know seem to think the same. We need to shake those people asleep at the wheel, before they crash the bus.

Chaz said...


I know you are running and will gladly vote for you because you really care about the members and you still teach in the classroom. However, it doesn't concern you that no changes have been made except at the top of the "Unity" ticket? Where is their accountability?

As for the other issue, I did email Mike Mulgrew and he dumped me onto a lackey who told me the union won't take it up with PERB despite the PERB decision on Long Island. umbelievable!

Anonymous said...


I understand your points, and certainly you have the right and obligation to examine, think, and decide.

I obviously would have liked you to decide otherwise, but differences/disagreements happen. I get it.

I don't get the Gotham Schools part... I'll believe that when/if something more reliable turns up.


Anonymous said...

I have never voted in a UFT election during the 11 years that I have taught in NYC. However, seeing the complete nightmare that has developed due to the last contract, I have two words in mind: VOTE ICE!

Chaz said...


That is the point. Once burned twice shy. We still have the very people who are masters of the secret deal in charge. Why wouldn't I believe the Gotham News?

Anonymous said...

Mike Mulgrew still thinks that Klein "mismanages" the school system. My vote is for ICE!