In an interview in Capital Pro, NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi says directly that the challenge to his presidency is nothing more than a UFT power grab.
Speaking about the April election (Iannuzzi) told Capital on Monday that the race "is not about policy. It's about concentrating power and potentially limiting voice."
He said Andrew Pallotta, his No. 2 who is spearheading a slate of candidates running against him, including presidential candidate Karen Magee, is "a U.F.T. selection," referring to New York City's teachers' union, the United Federation of Teachers. Pallotta was a U.F.T. official before coming to NYSUT.
"I get that. I respect that," Iannuzzi said. "My job, my responsibility is to be sure that any group of elected officers represents the entire state, and that's what I plan on doing."
I would so enjoy seeing Iannuzzi win and then watching what he and his team would do at NYSUT without being tied to Mulgrew or Randi Weingarten. It would be a whole new world.
Norm Scott at Ed Notes:
my contention that she is behind the entire thing. She contended the AFT was neutral -- note she said AFT not her -- parsing, as usual.
This is the same Randi who bought off the opposition in 2003 so they would not run a candidate against her and had her Unity Caucus attack ICE as her successor had them attack MORE for "being divisive" for criticizing the Unity led leadership.
Read the comments below from Andy Pallotta. Let's see now, Andy goes from being District 10 Rep -- a mid-level UFT/Unity Caucus functionary to NYSUT VP under Randi's watch as UFT President before she went to the AFT. Does anyone think he just decided that on his own? Does anyone think he is making this move on his own?
Check out this criticism of Iannuzzi --
For example, critics have argued Iannuzzi's push for a vote of no confidence against Education Commissioner John King came too late and was in reaction to the upcoming contested election.This is the RBE argument that in this world up is down when we hear Mulgrew praise King to death but not supports the argument that Iannuzzi should have called for no confidence earlier. Has Mulgrew put forth such a resolution to the UFT? Call me when he does.
As I tweeted back to Randi -- we have observed the UFT/NYSUT/AFT machine in action for over 40 years and that top-down control set up by Shanker to Feldman to Weingarten to Mulgrew has not changed one iota. The UFT tail wags the NYSUT dog and that combination wags the AFT. Why she and Mulgrew would decide to blow up NYSUT over Cuomo is beyond me.
And finally, NYC Educator:
Here's what NYSUT has done lately--for one, it's not at all clear they're planning to endorse Governor Andrew Cuomo, the guy who came into office swearing to go after unions. They're also taking a strong stand against Reformy John King and Common Core. Where have these people been all these years, as teachers have wondered what the hell was going on?
That might be a question "Revive NYSUT," the new group that wishes to upset NYSUT leadership is asking, but it isn't. Actually Revive NYSUT is sitting Executive VP Andy Palotta and a bunch of people he's recruited to defend his visionary decision to spend thousands of dollars of our money buying a table at some Cuomo fundraiser.
After all, it's important that our union leaders hobnob with top Democratic officials. Actually, that's true, but it's not necessarily important that we give them money before they come up with positions we support. We live in a state where teacher and parent concerns are routinely ignored, where John King and Merryl Tisch tour the state and hear nothing but criticism of Common Core, and where they mutter little things like we might tinker with this or that, but we're staying the course.
That's unconscionable. We, as teachers, have the very same interests that parents do. We serve the same purpose--helping public school children.
I don't know where NYSUT's newfound social conscience came from, and I don't care either. The fact is they are right. They are not only right, but they are on the right side of history. American parents are not going to stand for the baseless nonsense and endless testing that is Common Core. New York parents have heard enough from Reformy John King and Silent Merryl Tisch. We know what's good for our children, and we need advice neither from them nor their army of privately paid interns, accountable to no one.
Revive NYSUT is a misnomer. NYSUT has revived itself. It's our job to keep it alive. And it will be a tough job indeed, with 40% of NYSUT delegates being instructed how to vote by UFT leadership, which appears to believe the only good NYSUT is a dead NYSUT.
Doubtless a future Unity meeting will entail telling 800 of the 2000 NYSUT delegates how to vote, and will make absolutely sure folks like you and me get no representation whatsoever. Because that's what passes for democracy in our UF of T.
Weingarten can talk about this being "vibrant democracy" all she wants - it's a power grab, with her fingerprints all over it, although Mulgrew and his UFT cronies are making the moves.
And as I noted on Sunday, this is all about Weingarten's self-interest, her staying relevant with the statewide Democratic Party (i.e., Andrew Cuomo), her maintaining her power, privilege, access and influence.
It's good to see so many recognizing this Revive NYSUT jive for what it is - the Mulgarten contingent looking to clamp down on dissent and keep the pro-reform Andrew Cuomo happy and healthy in campaign cash.