Gov. Andrew Cuomo today called the new president of the state’s teachers union after she was elected to the post over the weekend.
Karen Magee, the Harrison Association of Teachers president, said the Democratic governor called her this morning to congratulate her on the new post.
“He called to congratulate me. I’m looking forward to working with the governor,” Magee told Gannett’s Albany Bureau. “The governor is the head of this state and he’s important to us, but we’re important to him.”
Magee’s election was announced Sunday, and the Buffalo News reported late yesterday that Magee hadn’t been contacted by Cuomo and that the union isn’t expected to endorse him.
Magee said she appreciated the call and didn’t express concerns from members to him about his policies: “I wanted to keep the door open. It was the right phone call at this point in time.”
The union, which represents 600,000 teachers and school employees, didn’t endorse Cuomo in 2010, and it’s become increasingly frustrated with him and the policies in Albany—all of which led the union to oust long-time president Richard Iannuzzi.
This first phone call seems to me the perfect time to tell Sheriff Andy that NYSUT members around the state are disturbed by his anti-union, anti-teacher, anti-traditional public school/pro-charter school policies.
She could have set the tone, let Sheriff Andy know right from the start how pissed off NYSUT members are.
If she wants to keep things on an even keel for the first conversation, then say it nicely - "Thanks for calling to congratulate me, governor, but I must tell you the only reason you're calling me about my election at all is because of how mad NYSUT members are about the direction of education policy in this state..."
But to say this was not the right time to express the concerns her members feel about the Cuomo education polices?
Sounds to me like the tough-talking Revive NYSUT candidate-turned tough-talking NYSUT President is a lot more conciliatory toward Cuomo than the tough-talking Revive NYSUT campaign literature would have had us believe she was going to be.