Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 13, 2015

UFT Continues To Put On Dog And Pony Show Against Cuomo, But Signals They Expect Defeat

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.


  1. Aren't they paid by us to represent us? Without our dues, they shrivel up.
    How about a class action suit?
    I bet we could get many rank and file out for that.

  2. I said last week that there was a secret back room deal. The cards have been dealt and we are gonna get screwed again in a big way. We will be hearing horribble news in the next two months. If any UFT rep comes around trying to "sell" this crap, I am gonna call them out on it in a big way.

  3. There is nothing to "sell". We don't have a say in it. Sadly, we knew all this a long time ago. Our unions could be powerful, but they just roll over. I wonder what's in it for them.

    1. Oh, there WILL be stuff to "sell". Cuomo was meeting with top union leaders from the UFT/NYSUT. They met in secret. The result was that the unions stopped putting out anti Cuomo ads. Why would they do this unless they got a little "something". That "something" is probably raising testing to 35% of an evaluation insted of 50%. The "something" is probably a deal to get tenure extended to 4 years insted of 5. The UFT will come around to schools trying to convice everyone that the changes are not too bad considiring what Cuomo wanted at the start.

  4. This is a war they never had any intention of fighting, and that they not-so-secretly want to lose, since, as you correctly say, they believe in high stakes testing, Common Core and the premises of so-called education reform. Virtually every action or inaction of theirs in the current era demonstrates that. To the extent they ever do the right thing, it's based on a cynical calculation of how far they can go in selling us out without the risk of awakening an overwhelmed/demoralized/apathetic/politically unsophisticated (all of which cement their power) membership.

    Everything else they do is political theater (bordering on farce, really) and misdirection directed at the rank and file. Like the so-called reformers they identify with, they have little but contempt for classroom teachers, seeing us and treating us like saps and chumps.

    And if we keep on passively accepting such abuse and contempt, we're proving them right.

  5. I am assuming that the deal we get that "scrapes the skies" will look something like this.

    40% evaluations based on state tests.

    50-75 New Charters, but all of the seats reserved for upstate will be reallocated to anywhere in the state (meaning most will end up in NYC).

    4 Years of Effectives for tenure (or they keep the 5 years, but remove the 5 consecutive years language).

    Slightly more funding, but certainly not meeting the CFE obligations, and none of it specifically earmarked for things that matter (like class size reduction).

    Expedited 3020a (which the UFT will claim is a victory because people won't have to wait around to know their fates).

    I think we don't get the independent validators only because it is too expensive, and too messy (where will they find these people?)

    Bye bye public education as we know it.