Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Mulgrew Affair, The Infamous 2005 Contract, And The ATR Crises. Is There Really A Connection? I Hope Not.

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.

ATR Crises: 

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.

Emma Camacho-Mendez:

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?

Conclusion:

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".










21 comments:

NY_I said...

When exactly in 05 did the tryst occur?
June 2005 looked good for the UFT, with a strike possibly on the way.
(See the wikipedia version of that time: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randi_Weingarten#Union_career)
Something went terribly wrong by October 1, with the infamous 2005 contract.New York City Eye. The negative goods on Weingarten cannot be her thin education resume (mere 4 and a half years of full time teaching) because her predecessor had even fewer years of full-time teaching.

Michael Fiorillo said...

UFT leadership sell outs and concessions predate this alleged affair and the 2005 contract by years.

Unless Bloomberg can employ a time machine, how does this story explain the UFTs acceptance of mayoral control, which has been the primary vehicle for undermining the union and the public schools? How does it explain Weingarten's caving in before virtually everything the privatizers seek, whether it's school closings, charter schools, smooching with Bill Gates, merit pay, or the overall acceptance of the premises of corporate ed reform?

If anything, someone (though not me) could argue that this headline, following as it does upon the union's lawsuits to stop the school closings, is an attempt to undermine Mulgrew because he isn't playing along with the deformers, and thus had to be cut down by personal scandal.

Come to think of it, I think I just wrote the outline for the script at the next Delegate Assemby.

ed notes online said...

The UFT sold out long before this event. Randi could have easily dumped Mulgrew and found a replacement.

Anonymous said...

The affair did happen.

Anonymous said...

Michael F. is right. Mulgrew wasn't even vice president when most of the 2005 stuff was happening. The only question is whether or not the woman got a UFT patronage job for sleeping with him. That would be a problem but good luck proving that.

Do you think Randi and company would have promoted him to vp in the middle of all of this if it was a liability? Come on now.

Anonymous said...

Great point, Michael. Further we should be suspicious of all outsiders who attempt to weaken our leadership during the time of unprecedented attacks against labor on a whole. We should stand together against the media machine that has consistently tried to destroy reputations and careers without proper facts. We outright reject their attempts to do so.

Anonymous said...

I thought Mulgrew came out of nowhere when he became president. If any of this nonsense had any validity do you think that possible exposure (by making him President) makes any sense. Also, the thought that the DOE worked with the UFT on a coverup is perposterous as we can't work on anything together. Don't you think the DOE would have run with this by now?

Anonymous said...

This is just what the DOE wants. Divide and conquer. So much of the rumor is incredible that an answer is almost not justified. Just go to the UFT website and check out Emma Camacho-Mendez bio and you can see that she did not just come from no where. She was a delegate to the Delegate Assembly and a Chapter Leader just to mention some of her union background. The Post should get the facts before they spread vicious lies.

Chaz said...

To all:

I truly believe that there is no connection between the alleged Mulgrew-Camacho affair and the infamous 2005 contract. However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that the rumors of this affair was known to me as far back as 2007.

Chaz said...

By the way, where were all you anonymous "divide and conquer" commenters when I and 15 other teachers were unfairly vilified by the news media? I didn't hear from any of you or for the union leaders for that matter on giving statements supporting us. Instead there was dead silence.

Now you bring up the "divide and conquer issues because it is now about our union President? I guess it is really "Animal Farm" when some union members are more equal than others.

saddleshoe said...

Chaz,

This is funny, but also ridiculous.

Here's how that last contract passed:

Young teachers wanted a raise.
Retiring teachers also wanted a raise to boost their pensions.

High school teachers got squeezed, especially those with between ten and fifteen years in, in their late 30's and early 40's -- too young to retire, too firmly invested in adult life to feel the benefits of a minor raise. (By this I mean, no longer living in apartment shares, some with mortgages, many with kids.) I voted, "No," as did everyone I know and have met at the high school level.

How do we stop retirees and young people from squeezing out the middle again?

Chaz said...

Saddleshoe:

First, let me say it is good to hear from you after a long absence. I hope everything is well with you?

Second, you are correct about the 2005 contract. However, there seems to be an unseemly issue to the federal lawsuit and I hope it turns out to be unsubstantiated.

former teacher said...

Saddleshoe,

Can you explain why the high school teachers got squeezed- not elementary or middle? I am a high school teacher and I agree with you but I do not understand why the high school teachers are taking the brunt of this?

NY_I said...

The core issue is that Mulgrew appears to be in a quid pro quo with his former principal.

As I said in my update, "So, Mulgrew had the goods on the principal, who kept hush-hush. Again, this cuts to the core of how this is a valid political story. Just how can you go toe-to-toe with opponents when the opponents have you in mutual agreements to keep hush-hush?"

The Rubber Reporter's new details linked in my update reinforce the point about compromised leadership and restraint in advocacy.

UPDATE at NYC Eye.

Anonymous said...

First of all, this is all hearsay; when is a person indicted in the press by inuendos? This is just another way that Bloomberg and his henchmen are going after Mulgrew because he is standing firm on a recourse for teachers if they receive a suspicious or erroneous evaluation. Bloomberg wants to unequivically get rid of "teachers" even if a principal has a grudge against a teacher and gives the person a poor evaluation not based on their ability or merits. His ultimate aim is to privatize education and destroy the teacher's union.
Of course, the opposing groups to Unity are having a field day with this. If this was true, something would have been carried out years ago!
A level-headed Teacher

Anonymous said...

Very scary at this point in time to be a teacher. The mayor, newspapers and most of the public hates us.

I truly believe that Bloomberg, Klein, Walcott etc would go to great lengths to try to prove this if it were true.

Chaz, I give you credit for stating how we need to let facts and the truth come out before vilifying. Sadly, anyone can place any law suit

NY_I said...

The core issue is that Mulgrew appears to be in a quid pro quo with his former principal.

As I said in my update, "So, Mulgrew had the goods on the principal, who kept hush-hush. Again, this cuts to the core of how this is a valid political story. Just how can you go toe-to-toe with opponents when the opponents have you in mutual agreements to keep hush-hush?"

The Rubber Reporter's new details linked in my update reinforce the point about compromised leadership and restraint in advocacy.

UPDATE at NYC Eye.

Invictus said...

Saddleshoe 10:49, the reason why HS teachers were squeezed by the last contract is because the great majority of schools that were closed were secondary schools, therefore the great majority of ATRs are from secondary school. Some boroughs that were hit the hardest were the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and now, Queens, Staten Island not so much. Nevertheless, if you happen to be in a secondary school that is new, small or untouched by all the upheavals or part of a large and strong comprehensive HS in the outer areas of Queens, the storm might seem to be faraway BUT the storm is heading everywhere. Walcott announcing the plans of overhauling the Middle Schools also shows that not all grades are necessarily safe. Primary schools in stable neighborhoods seem to be the safest as parents are really involved if something of the sort would ever occur in their neighborhoods.

saddleshoe said...

Chaz,

Thanks. Worked all through last year, ended up nearly breaking down, and can finally walk more than a block after a day of teaching.

Former teacher,
All I meant was, most of the HS teachers didn't vote for the contract, but we ended up suffering for it. I don't know if elementary school teachers are younger/leave more quickly -- why, as a group, they tend to vote for whatever the new proposal is, especially if it's money. But, if they are suffering, at least most of them voted for this change. Most HS teachers did not.

I hope that the justices in the courtroom can focus on the case and not anything else.

Anonymous said...

THE MULGREW STATEMENT YOU WILL NEVER READ:
“Today, on behalf of 150,000 educators in New York City, I am filing a lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch and the New York Post for libel.
We have had enough fake stories in this paper and Sunday’s article about an affair that never happened and a cover up that never happened is the latest in a series of attacks on teachers in general and unions in particular. This is not an attack on me- I have thick skin to go along with my thick skull.
This is an attack on everyone who works with our students.
As we know, Mr. Murdoch’s stock in trade in England is to hire people to pay off top government officials for phone records of the Royal Family and to blackmail others to get his way in business deals. His son has had to resign in the wake of this scandal and others are going to jail.
This practice of McCarthyism has no place in our city. I am ashamed to have taken part in similar smears when I was one of the directors of the “Weingarten for UFT president” campaign and we distributed a Red-baiting letter accusing her opponent, Kit Rachlis, of being a Communist. The author of the letter was Jeff Zahler who was promoted to UFT staff Director and later promoted to work with Weingarten in D.C and got his nephew Adam Ross a $190,000 year job at the union, even though there were 175 applicants ahead of him.
I am suing for $500 million but for myself. The money will go to our members who have not had a raise since 2007, which is NOT my fault- it’s Randi Weingarten’s fault because in 2009 she told me and other Unity Caucus members that Mayor Bloomberg promised us eight percent raises over two years if we stayed out of the mayor’s race. As we now know, what Weingarten really wanted was Bloomberg’s support for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha...Mcacarthyism has no place in our city....never heard Mulgrew say this about some of the teachers falsely accused oer brought to the 3020a hearing sham proceedings for microscopic reasons! Mulgrew, continues to be an ineffective leader...and this is going to hurt members and their views of th UFT (which are at rock-bottom already).