Leaders of New York’s teachers unions huddled with Gov. Cuomo’s aides just days after launching a hard-hitting media and grass-roots campaign opposing his education reforms.
United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew and his state counterpart, Karen Magee of New York State United Teachers, met with the aides in Albany last Friday. Cuomo did not attend.
The union leaders said the talks were not unusual and insisted they were not pulling back on their TV ads and social-media outreach attacking the governor’s proposals to strengthen teacher evaluations, streamline disciplinary hearings and expand charter schools.
“We talk to elected officials all the time,” said UFT spokeswoman Alison Gendar. “We . . . are engaged in the largest grass-roots campaign in recent memory to empower teachers and to protect our students.”
NYSUT rep Carl Korn added its campaign is “accelerating.”
Cuomo’s office declined to comment.
I don't buy it.
Union functionaries say the ads haven't been pulled - fine.
The bigger problem is the "secret meetings" between Mulgrew, Magee and Cuomo's aides.
The kind of thing that comes out of these "meetings" between Cuomo's aides and the union leadership is surrender.
That's what happened in February 2012 when Cuomo, Mulgrew and former NYSUT President Iannuzzi announced the APPR deal.
That's what happened in June when Cuomo, Mulgrew and Magee agreed to the CCSS test safety net deal that Cuomo later reneged on.
If the unions were really "accelerating" the war against Cuomo, they would be running better ads than they are, ones that go to the core of the problems with Cuomo's reform agenda (like this one) and they wouldn't be having secret meetings this early in the budget negotiation with Cuomo's aides.
Cuomo's under assault from all sides over his education agenda (see here and here.)
He has a job approval rating of 47%.
He CAN be beaten totally and utterly in this fight.
But surely the unions are not looking for total victory if Mulgrew and Magee are already sneaking in to have talks with Cuomo aides.