Sunday, August 17, 2014
UFT Leadership Spend Member Money On Questionable Causes.
Since the beginning of my blog, I have questioned some of the money that our leadership has given or spent on programs that many of the rank and file do not support. In fact, my very first blog post was about the non-educational programs that our hard earned money was going to and I objected to it since it was not going to further the education agenda which it should have gone to. Over the years, the UFT leadership has been using member dues and COPE funds for very questionable uses. Remember the very embarrassing quail incident? If that wasn't enough the UFT's Paul Egan, who caused the uproar, also gets paid a very handsome salary paid for by us. When I go to a UFT function, I get cookies and, if lucky, a wrap, not a $40 meal of quail and booze while picking up the tab for 24 of his union friends on our dime.
Now it seems that the UFT is spending our money on causes that I personally object to. The most egregious is being a co-sponsor of Al Sharpton's anti-police march across the Verrazano Bridge. The very same Al Sharpton who, in my opinion, is a racial arsonist. Yes, the very same Al Sharpton who falsely defamed a prosecutor of rape in the Tawana Brawley case and is anti-Semitic, who worked closely with Chancellor Joel Klein to attack teachers by agreeing with the Chancellor that the racial achievement gap was because of the schools and is a notorious tax deadbeat.
This is the very same UFT who refuses to go after vindictive school administrators because they are fellow union members, while supporting an anti-police march. Aren't the police officers fellow union members too? How can the UFT leadership talk out of both sides of their mouth and justify the use of the rank and file funds for this purpose?
A man I respect very much is Pat Lynch, the head of the police union, who is very upset with UFT President Michael Mulgrew and minced few words criticizing the UFT for the substandard contract the UFT negotiated with the De Blasio administration and the co-sponsoring the anti-police march organized by Al Sharpton. Rather than rehash what he said, you can read it Here.
That brings me to the UFT's COPE contribution that's supposed to be used for legitimate lobbying for the interest of its members. Over the years I have been increasingly disappointed in how our COPE contributions have been spent. When I first started teaching, my Chapter Leader, recommended that I contribute $5 a paycheck and that's what I did since I naively thought all the money was going to make our profession better. As I become more and more disenchanted with the union's priorities, I reduced my COPE contribution to $1 per paycheck. By the time I started my blog, I reduced it to the minimum $0.50. Once the Quail fiasco hit the newspapers, I realized that our COPE money was being misused and I stopped contributing altogether. I sent a letter to UFT headquarters to the COPE coordinator stating I no longer wanted to contribute to COPE and had my Chapter Leader sign the release form sent back to me and that was all I had to do.
Until our union decides to include the rank and file in how our money is spend, I will not give a penny to COPE and neither should you..