Thursday, April 08, 2010
With Michael Mulgrew's Election, I Hope The UFT Makes Transparancy & Protecting Their Members As A Top Priority
I congratulate Michael Mulgrew on his election as UFT President and now comes the hard part, making the union more responsive to the members. The era of union appeasement under the failed leadership of Randi Weingarten is now officially over and Michael Mulgrew can now put his stamp on how the union responds to both pressure from the outside and how it handles member needs. I have previously been impressed with Mr, Mulgrew's rhetoric and the pro-active lawsuits against the DOE. However, I voted for James Eterno because of Michael Mulgrew keeping the failed leadership that caused so much damage to the members during Randi Weingarten's tenure. Therefore, here is what I expect from my newly elected UFT President.
First, demanding the "City pattern" in the contract negotiations. That includes two 4% raises (minus 0.58% for gaining back the two days before Labor Day) with "no givebacks". Our negotiating committee worked too hard in resisting the outrageous DOE demands to destroy the NYC Public School Teacher to let three unaccountable Arbitrators under PERB to impose any "givebacks" as a condition to get the "City pattern". Any PERB recommendation should go through the same negotiating committee for approval and not the present leadership that was so instrumental in giving us the terrible 2005 contract. Any contract with significant givebacks should be rejected immediately!
Second, No more secret deals with the City and Tweed that are not brought to the members for review and comment. In Randi's tenure she negotiated many secret deals that did not involve member input. Many of these deals were not enforceable and the DOE ignored their obligations. Now we hear that Michael Mulgrew is secretly negotiating with the DOE on the "rubber rooms". Scary, since the reassigned teachers or their liaisons are not even consulted about their fate. Lack of transparency has always been a problem in this union. Is it little wonder when the union leadership fails to include the members that the decisions prove to disadvantageous to the members.
Third, more democracy in selecting District Reps, Special Reps, and High School Reps. The union policy of selecting, not electing people for these positions has resulted in a culture of loyalty to the leadership rather than the members they are supposed to represent. This has led to the perceived disconnect between the member needs and the leadership duties.
Finally, it is no secret that I expect Mr. Mulgrew to make changes in the leadership that owe their jobs to their allegiance to Randi Weingarten. Whomever ends up in the leadership positions should be people more responsive to member needs and not to their own political agenda. We need leadership that provides solutions not obstructing member rights.
I will be watching to see if Michael Mulgrew is his own man or just another "ass kisser" who puckered up his way to the top.