Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Weingarten And Mulgrew Look To Take Us Backward

If and when the pro-Andrew Cuomo forces backed by UFT President Michael Mulgrew and AFT President Randi Weingarten take over the NYSUT this weekend, the fight that NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi and others in the NYSUT leadership have shown against Andrew Cuomo, SED Commissioner King and Regents Chancellor Tisch in recent months will disappear, replaced by complacency with the education reform status quo.

That's what this internecine fight in NYSUT, pushed by Mulgrew and Weingarten at a time when teachers and the the unions are most vulnerable across this state, is about - the "collaborationist" union leaders at the UFT and AFT wanting to turn the clock back to a time when the union went along with whatever Andy Cuomo, John King, Merryl Tisch and the plutocrat who owns us all, Bill Gates, want in their education reform agenda.

The way the votes are calculated in this election, the Mulgrew and Weingarten forces of surrender have the upper hand and are expected to win pretty easily.

Given the track record of Mulgarten at the UFT and AFT, that's a very bad thing indeed.

Just recently we watched Randi Weingarten and Michael Mulgrew do NOTHING as Andrew Cuomo took Bill de Blasio to the woodshed over charter school expansions.

The NY Times reported that the de Blasio had no allies in the fight, not even the unions, and soon lost everything to Cuomo and the charter entrepreneurs.

Weingarten issued some muted jive on Twitter about how she criticized the budget, but the truth is, Weingarten and Mulgrew could have mobilized their respective unions to fight these charter giveaways that amount to an absolute right to expansion for charter entrepreneurs on the city's dime, but chose to remain effectively quiet in the fight - a fight literally created by Andrew Cuomo as a payback to his campaign donors.

Michael Fiorillo summed up the AFT/UFT response to Cuomo and the charter entrepreneur putsch like this:

Does this (mis)leadership ever fight anything?

So, the APPR deal, which never should have been agreed to in the first place, will be tweaked - which would have happened anyway, since the admins are being crushed by it - in exchange for allowing charters to run wild, which is guaranteed to reduce UFT membership substantially in the coming years, as the charter cap is enlarged or eliminated altogether.

I have said that the UFT is a dues collection agency, but I was obviously wrong, since a real dues collection agency would have a better sense of self-preservation.

Cuomo and his backers from Hedgistan must be laughing among themselves when they observe the rubes from the UFT; it's no wonder that, behind their occasional condescending remarks, they think of us as chumps.


These people are bought and sold. 
Weingrew thinks that the members will be mollified by a (five year late) contract - obtained while stabbing De Blasio in the back - despite the unending concessions (Common Core, APPR, VAM, charters run wild, etc) that he has made.

Are these people deluded, actually thinking they will organize charter schools? Or is something else allowing them to agree to the public school's and the union's eventual destruction?

That's the leadership we now have poised to take back control of NYSUT after Iannuzzi and others in the NYSUT leadership starting fighting back against the corporate education reform forces by issuing a no-confidence vote in SED Commissioner King, withdrawing support for Common Core and calling for an end to the "Sit and Stare" policies meant to harm children who opt out of state tests.

The Mulgarten forces of surrender aren't very good at protecting teachers because they don't care anything about that - they care only about maintaining their own power and privileges, maintaining their "seat at the table" with Andy Cuomo, Barack Obama and the plutocrat behind those functionaries, Bill Gates.

It's a shame that just when the NYSUT leadership started to show real fight against the corporate education reform forces, Weingarten and Mulgrew decided they needed to take the union backward.

But it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who is a faithful reader of this blog or Norm Scott's Ed Notes Online, James Eterno's ICEUFT blog, Arthur Goldstein's NYC Educator blog, or Chaz's School Daze blog.

That's what Weingarten and Mulgrew are in power to do - to make it look to members like they're fighting for teachers while in reality they cave on issue after issue after issue.

In my 13 years as a UFT member, I have seen my union "collaborate" to give up seniority rights, tenure protections (make no mistake, APPR does JUST that) and teacher autonomy while agreeing to a new test-based evaluation system so complex no one can explain it (and brag about how good it was!) and Teacher Data Reports that saw teacher's error-riddled test score-based ratings end up in the newspapers with their names attached.

That's the track record of the AFT/UFT Mulgarten forces of surrender and that's what they are about to ensure comes back to the NYSUT again.

God help us all if and when they succeed.


  1. TeachmyclassMrMayor(andyoutooMrMulgrew)April 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Funny, having that argument with a certain leadership person, on Twitter right now, how we are not helping ourselves by infighting. How leadership never plays offense. Only prevent defense...which any football fan will tell you, only prevents you from winning.

    1. Yeah, the solidarity argument is garbage. It means shut up and do what the leadership wants, that's all. Weingarten and her apologists sling that argument around a lot at the same time they talk about the "vibrant democracy" inside the AFT/NYSUT/UFT.

  2. Some people think Mulgrew allowed the charter deal in exchange for the pre-k. He thinks that some new teachers hired for the pre-k will join the UFT, allowing him to rake in more money in dues. All he cares about is collecting more dues money. Of course he overlooks the long term picture of tons more charter schools and a lot less dues payers down the road.

    1. That sounds about right. They care about maintaining dues money, if they lose some trad schools to charterization, they can make the loss dues money up with the added pre-K teachers in trad public schools.

  3. From Under The BusApril 5, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    I recommend that Backstabber Mountain be created with three statue heads on its face, Mulgrew, Weingarten, and Cuomo. Just the heads, due to impotence below the waist.

    1. I would argue they are not impotent below the waste but have been screwing us very, very well for their plutocrat constituency.

  4. The longer you participate in or observe the labor movement, the more you realize there are two sides: Them and Us.

    Mulgrew and Weingarten are Them.

    1. That's right - they're in place to manage the terms of our exploitation and make it palatable to us (or at least keep us from revolting against it.)

    2. Any NTU, UFT, AFT member who thinks workers' rights are being protected needs a psychiatric examination.

  5. Well, when will we stop talking about all of the things that are wrong with our so called "union", and actually DO something?
    How about teachers organizing a mass withholding of dues, along with demands for accountability and real transparency?
    So long as we talk and do nothing, there's no reason for Swinegarten and Shillgrew to change their ways.

  6. There are things you can do. Organize. You know the law calls for dues to be deducted. The only way to do something is to build an effective opposition. For better or worse, MORE is the only game in town that has the potential to accomplish that -- but active organizers are needed in every school in the city to counter the Unity propaganda machine --

    1. How can we get people from MORE to speak at our very rarely held school union meetings?
      It appears to me that most teachers aren't aware of MORE, at least at my school. And, how can we get the law changed about dues collecting?