Despite the widespread opposition to Cuomo's ed reform agenda, the UFT is getting the message out that this fight against the Cuomo reform budget is essentially lost because he can stick whatever he wants into budget extenders and force the Legislature to take it wholesale or shut the government down.
A colleague at the UFT dog/pony show against the Cuomo reforms that was held in Brooklyn last night said that was the takeaway from the forum.
Mulgrew has issued the same message at the DA.
That's the voice of surrender.
I'll have more on this later, but for now, let's just say, if a governor with 47% job approval rating and the fewest votes of any reelected governor since FDR in 1930 says take my agenda 100% or I'll force a shutdown, he is vulnerable politically to charges of authoritarianism and overreach.
This is especially so since the heavy-handed tactics aren't sitting well with members of either party in either the Assembly or the Senate.
Alas, it does not seem the UFT wants to take Cuomo on at that level in this fight.
Instead they keep reminding members about the budget extender tactics Cuomo can push, saying that, in the end, it's pretty much a done deal.
One might almost wonder if the real deal was done last Friday when Mulgrew and Magee secretly met Cuomo's people for "discussions" and now they're just playing out the string to make things look right for the rank and file.
But a guy who wants to punch anyone who takes his Common Core away and says the union can't fight against standardized tests because parents wants tests would never sell us out in private while putting on a dog/pony show in public, would he?
I mean, they wouldn't just be putting on a show for us, right?
Of course they are.
If they really meant business, they'd be running ads saying
"Governor Cuomo says he wants the Legislature to accept his unpopular education reform agenda wholesale or he'll force a government shutdown. When did we elect a king in New York State? This governor has a 47% job approval rating and was reelected with the fewest votes since FDR in 1930 - he doesn't get to dictate to the people of this state and their elected representatives like he's the Sun King."
But they're not running ads like that.
Instead they're telling the rank and file at these UFT forums and the DA how hard the fight is going to be, how much power the governor has through the budget extender, signaling that defeat is coming.
Of course the fight against Cuomo is hard - the UFT and NYSUT are barely fighting it, running lame ads, doing all they can to avoid REALLY taking Cuomo on.
Try running the ad I just wrote above across the state and see how the governor reacts.
Even better, run it for a few weeks and see what happens to his poll numbers.
I'm going to tell you, folks, the more I hear out of Mulgrew and the UFT, the more I think the "compromise" with Cuomo has either already been done or is close to being done and the forums and the rhetoric are just part of the show to fool the R&F into thinking the war's still on.
The fact is, the war between the unions and Cuomo was NEVER on because these people running the unions don't want a war.
They like testing, they like Common Core and they like reform.
They're simply negotiating the terms of exploitation and surrender while sucking up their double pensions and other union perks and putting on a show for the rest of us.