Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weingarten, Mulgrew, Magee Met Personally With Cuomo In April

Jimmy Vielkind at Politico NY:

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, several weeks before re-introducing legislation to grant financial assistance for parents whose children attend private and parochial schools.

According to newly posted schedule records, the Democratic governor huddled with the Catholic prelate as well as with James Cultrara, the Catholic Conference's top education official, and Anthony de Nicola, a fund manager and board member of the group that pushed for the tax credit, on April 13 at the cardinal's residence in midtown Manhattan. Cuomo later held events around the state to rally support for the tax credit, which lawmakers did not enact.

The schedules also show:

-- Cuomo met with a trio of teachers' union leaders, Karen Magee of NYSUT, Michael Mulgrew of the UFT and Randi Weingarten of the AFT, on April 10, and again on April 22. The unions were vociferous opponents of the tax credit plan.

No word on what was discussed at those meetings.

Was it just about the tax credit plans?

Or was the rest of Cuomo's education reform agenda devised to "break" the public school system discussed as well?

In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter because we know what the outcome was:

They weren't terribly successful at much other than holding the line on vouchers (which may have happened because voucher proponents overplayed their hands anyway.)

Cuomo got pretty much everything else on education that he wanted.


  1. Our unions and their leaders are lame. Teachers have lost on every major issue for years. We are being suffocated right now. Our unions have blown through tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions, supporting dozens of politicians that screwed us last March 31 when they voted to support a reprehensible evaluation system and added another year of probation for new teachers. I hope the courts rule against the dues checkoff and the agency shop fee.

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  2. The uft guild is dead bring back the nyctu!

  3. Who is this anon calling for the NYCTU? Hats off to you, brother. I feel it, too. And, yes, I usd to fear "Right to Work;" but, now I think it will be the shot in the arm that our dead union needs.

  4. Union leaders have become insiders--either aligned with those in power--or bought off by them. They want to play an insider game--hanging out with leaders--rather than fighting fro members. We need new insurgent leaders not the old lame insiders that sell us out so often!

  5. A statewide strike is the only means to turn this situation around. Also, why would any local union leader ever sign on to an APPR agreement that is 50% based upon Vamboozle? Time for membership to seize the power!

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  7. Definitely time to strike. Probably rolling strikes, statewide like they just did in Washington, Obviously, will start as a wildcat strike (as the Postal Workers did in the 70s). We should push this at the DA, which meets a couple weeks before the Regents November meeting. No more rating Ts on test scores. It's been a disaster for teachers and students. It is an incredibly wasteful use of school funds yielding nothing useful. It's a voodoo policy designed to enrich consultants which creates a polluted climate. It needs to end. Membership will no longer stand for it. Nor will parents. If we can't tell the parents in NYC about their rights to opt-out, then we should at least tell them at the picket lines.

  8. Mulgrew should be dragged out of 52 Broadway on charges of stupidity.

    It would be great if we stormed that place and get those morons out ASAP.

    Nothing will happen most teachers are sheep!

  9. Something happened in Seattle. Something happened in Chicago, Time to get fired up and do something here. You won't get Mulligan out of office. But, we can make him irrelevant.

  10. We all need to just go to 52 Broadway and storm a CL or DA meeting and just call him out on his bullshit!

  11. Obviously we have been attacked and demeaned and undermined and, and, and.... But, how much power would any union have if there was no agency fee, yet it was obligated to represent and defend the free riders who want all of the benefits of a union but don't want to pay for their share. The Districts would love to bargain against a union that is losing members, yet has the full range of legal obligations to dues-payers and non dues-payers alike. Losing agency fee would be a disaster for everyone who believes in concerted action! As for striking, has anyone heard of the Taylor Law? Two for one? Extra fines for rolling strikes? The tide of public opinion is turning in our favor again. But for how long if we strike?

    1. The only concerted action I see is Mulgrew and Unity selling-out teachers on a regular basis. There are about 6 people out of 70 in my school who would continue to pay union dues if given the choice....and fear mongering won't change our minds. We've had it with the UFT and their weak ass ways.

  12. Your comment offers nothing but fear. So, we are to stay in a state of defeat? Giving away the terms of our hard faught job protections at every turn? Subjecting ourselves to an evaluation system that is capricious and vindictive?

    I've known many a teacher who, despite the Taylor Law, went on strike for far less than we are putting up with. We are the biggest local in the country. As such, our cowardice is setting the tone which enboldens these attacks. It needs to stop, punishment be damned.

    The public supports working people at the moment. The recovery is beginning. Traditionally, this is when unions make gains. Yet, ours is poised to make none! It's time to through a statewide wildcat rolling strike when the new APPR is ratified in November, sooner if NYCDOE makes an abrupt but unprepublicized rollout as I suspect.

  13. We could start picketing, at least. Would build solidarity amongst rank and file. And, we would gird our loins for a strike.

  14. I disagree that my comments are driven by fear. The better course than self-inflicted wounds and danger to your livelihoods is to take control of your own local! Repeated posts, over and over, reflect discontent with the leadership and power structure of the UFT. Since we are our union, take yours back, then with your new power, join with the rest of us to remedy the system of evaluations. We can change legislative endorsements and alliances to individuals who actually support and value public education and educators, not just our campaign contributions -if you, with your enormous size can become a democracy. Strikes target the wrong enemy.

  15. Back room wheeling-and-dealing has gotten us to this point. You're suggesting we send a different Mulgrew to Albany and expect a different result. He'll be negotiating with the same people for the same stakes. The only way to change the stakes is to show that we will walk, en masse, if we don't see movement.

    A strike takes control of the narrative in from the press. The headlines will vilify us, but, the people will understand. In case you haven't noticed, there is strong support for working people right now.

    There is *no* hope of regaining control of our local short of completely dissolving it. Read Kahlenberg's bio of Shanker. I admire Al, but, he set up a system in the '80s whereby minority caucuses have zero influence. Weingarten furthered his reforms by making many previously elected positions into appointed ones. I have witnessed, first hand, the patronage that keeps everyone at 52 Broadway complacent. There's a book, called the Doctators Handbook by Buen De Mesquita, which describes the exact pseudo-democratic patronage structure that Mulgrew/Weingarten use to maintain their fiefdom. It's disgusting.

    The UFT is completely unresponsive. Their job is to maintain stability at all costs. Where has that gotten us? We have lost ground ever since Sandra Feldman left. Every single contract. No gains. None. Not one. And if you try to claim raises, I will say two things: 1). They don't keep up with inflation as stated by the Beige Book released by the NY Fed-which accounts for housing increases, the most significant expense for our members. 2) We gave up important clauses in our contract in order to obtain the neager/under inflation raises.

    We will continue to take losses so long as Ms. Weingarten thinks of politics before her members. Time to strike.

    1. Granted our opponents are entrenched in Albany.

      Granted we must work even harder to oust them.

      How does a strike lead to democracy in UFT or NYSUT or AFT?

      The enormous number of your Unity-bound delegates went to the RA two years ago, voted for the UFT Revive puppets and did not return for the remainder of the RA.

      The Unity-bound UFT delegates voted to defeat all of the proposed resolutions that were designed to instill some democracy in NYSUT at the most recent RA, then left. With the result that the RA ended for a lack of a quorum. (You can decide if that was a good or bad thing.).

      The new Revive blocked an attempt to endorse Teachout or Green in the gubernatorial election thereby helping to grease the skids for another Cuomo win.

      The Revive officers pushed for contributions to the same legislative cowards who betrayed us.

      Your numbers mean NYSUT dominates AFT.

      You have listed many betrayals of the UFT members.

      How can you take back your union?


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  17. A strike would create democracy by actively engaging the rank-and-file with one-another constructively (instead of against one-another). I have a colleague who participated in Seattle's strike, who once worked here. When in NY, this teacher's attitude was one of, "these lousy teachers, I'm the best. The union sucks, they never help." Just a short time in Seattle, and this teacher was talking about solidarity (a word that scares the crap out of NYC teachers). Things changed completely for this teacher who can now count on colleagues and a union that are united. This teacher is actually happy (and, yes, probably one of the "best").

    Parents brought the teachers lunch on the picket lines. The papers maligned them, but, nobody cared. The public was unswayed by the local corporate media.

    We are going to lose by playing small-ball. We keep losing, over and over. Until we engage in a shared sacrifice which brings us together, we will continue to be divided in a way that only serves our complacent union leaders and the privatizers.

    Again, it is impossible to dislodge UC given the structure of the executive board. So, a strike most come from the rank and file. Ideally it will be statewide. There are some whole districts that would participate. These districts should reach out to the dissident caucuses in NYC. The more communication that occurs outside of NYSUT/UFT the better.