Friday, October 30, 2015
The Failure Of Our Union To Make Life Better For Their Members. Part VI, Lack Of Democracy And Transparency.
In the final chapter of my six part serious on our union leadership's failure to improve the working conditions and gain respect for their members. We look at the lack of democracy and transparency that is an unfortunate trademark of the controlling caucus.This caucus is known as the "Unity caucus" and to get a paying position in the union or go on an all expense paid union junket, you must take a "Unity oath" that promises that you vote for the leadership position even when its against the best interests of the members.
The "Unity caucus" has dominated the union leadership since Albert Shanker and over the last two decades the trappings of union democracy has been eroded and in its place is an overly controlling and secretive leadership that ignores member needs and plays politics for their own gain at the expenses of their members. The "giveback" laden 2005 contract was a prime example of the betrayal of the union leadership. Despite widespread a anger and dissatisfaction Randi Weingarten and her cronies rammed it down the trouts of their members by danging money that barely exceeded the inflation rate for a longer day and extra working days. Moreover, the once democratically elected district rep was eliminated and appointed by the union leadership. Finally, the original ATR committee which consisted of Michael Mandel and Leo Casey didn't bother to talk to the ATR before they made decisions that affected them such as the useless weekly rotation that demoralizes ATRs.
Our union is the only union that allows retirees to vote and in the last election they made up the majority of votes. Is it any wonder they became the winners in the last contract? Getting all their retro payments upfront while active members get it in drips and drabs, assuming they don't resign, get terminated. or die. Is it obvious why the retirees voted overwhelmingly for the "Unity caucus".
Accountability is the buzz word in the education world. However, when it comes to the union leadership, they are not held to the same accountability as the members since they have effectively made real change impossible by allowing the retirees to vote and by ensuring that any opposition is silenced. Not a democratic union if you ask me and certainly not one that has their members interests in their cold hearts...
The five other parts of this series are as follows:
Part I, The classroom
Part II, The contract
Part III, The APPR
Part IV, The ATRs
Part V, PINI principals