The UFT wasn't the only union to pull the strings for Cuomo - other unions that threatened the WFP with destruction over the Cuomo endorsement included 1199 SEIU, HTC, the laborers, RWDSU, the Teamsters and TWU, the union that Cuomo just "negotiated" a contract agreement for.
And what did the unions get back in return for trying to ensure Cuomo doesn't have a third party candidate on his left calling him Republican-Lite all throughout the campaign and taking double digits in support from him come Election Day?
Empty promises, that's what:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Working Families Party’s leadership have reached a tentative agreement that could give the incumbent Democrat the labor-backed organization’s ballot line, according to sources familiar with the agreement.Keep in mind Cuomo has wanted a Republican Senate throughout his tenure so he could push through his Wall Street-friendly policies, and while he may promise to back a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate as part of this deal, his priorities of having the Senate stay the place where he can push his Wall Street-friendly policies remain.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cuomo would support local control for a minimum wage increase — a proposal he has previously opposed — as well as back a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate.
An additional source on Friday evening added that the situation remains fluid, and Cuomo must convince the WFP’s state committee he is firmly behind a variety of issues, including fully funding the Campaign of Fiscal Equity agreement as well as other measures such as decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana and backing the women’s agenda, a package of bills the governor first introduced in 2013.
Don't be surprised if he doesn't work all that hard to knock off Republican State Senators or push the Independent Democratic Caucus Dems back into the full Democratic fold.
And if the Senate doesn't turn, then the rest of that agenda he promised to push goes nowhere and Cuomo blames it on the State Senate he didn't do much to push toward full Democratic control.
In short, the unions and WFP got nothing politically out of this deal with Cuomo, though I would expect each of the unions involved will get something contractually out of Cuomo as payback.
For teachers, that means some lame change to APPR that will be in the end meaningless because Cuomo doesn't really want to make any changes to the system and still intends to run for president in 2016 or 2020 touting his education record and his APPR teacher evaluation system.
The union leadership sold you out, folks, and they sold out the Working Families Party as well and exposed their true priorities in the deal - maintaining their own power, privilege and access.
There will be some talk from Weingrew later on about how they refused to have their unions endorse Cuomo and in that way showed how they were standing up to Cuomo over his education policies.
That talk will be a snow job because the real sellout was done this week when the UFT leadership (with the total okay of the AFT leadership, to be sure) helped to engineer the WFP endorsement of one Wall Street-friendly Andrew M. Cuomo for a second term as governor.
All I can say is, let's see if we can get the Howie Hawkins/Brian Jones ticket into double digits this November.
And in two years, let's mount a challenge to Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership and try and put in some people who have the interests of their members at heart and not their own power, privilege and access.