Not being a licensed psychiatrist I can only offer a layman's opinion, but something seems to happen once a person becomes a union official. You immediately enter another world, completely detached from the reality of rank and file teachers. Mulgrew's e-mail is evidence of this phenomenon.
The No. 1 issue right now for every teacher in the state is the looming teacher evaluation law that increases the use of one-time test results; utilizes administrators completely unfamiliar with us, our schools, students, dynamics, etc.; strips our unions of some rights to collective bargain; disturbs long established tenure regulations; undermines tenure protections; demands all of us with permanent teacher certifications to re-register them with the same state office that issued them in the first place, etc.
I don't give a damn about classroom supplies when my very livelihood is being threatened and useless union officials like the crews at the UFT and NYSUT are standing by seemingly helpless.
Another commenter's take:
I would like the choice not to be evaluated with junk science and student test scores. Keep the money, put it toward fighting Cuomo and the deformers. Heck, use it to do anything!!! Our union just gets steamrolled by everything. Everyone just lies down and takes it, after the steamroller passes you see that Cuomo is driving and Mulgrew has his hands around his waist. There are corporate deform sponsor stickers all over that thing.
Classroom supply money?
Sure, it's swell.
But given all the stuff going on in the education world, it surely is not what I want my union leadership focused on right now.