Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Unity vs. the Nazis

Unity patronage mill workers have a lot on their plates. First of all, imagine all the work it takes to manage two pensions. Also, UFT HQ is now open an entire extra hour a week. Finally, they need to write all those columns on Edwize letting us know what a great job they do.

The Unity employee who runs Edwize claimed no one gets paid for writing those columns. But if Leo "6-figure" Casey, for example, spends business hours sitting in the UFT building, making 50% more than any working teacher, and writing for Edwize, it seems to me that we are paying for whatever it is he does. After all, Mr. Casey's salary comes directly from our dues.

When mere rank-and-file UFT members comment on Casey's columns, the ones we're paying him to write, he can't be bothered responding. If pressed, he may say things like "Now let's answer some real questions, " or "How dare you ask me questions during the week of my relative's birthday?" as though UFT members had such occasions marked on their calendars.

Mr. Casey responds to folks like Eduwonk, or Joe Williams from The Chalkboard, or Mike Antonucci from Intercepts, because their opinions, apparently, are important. Perish forbid that people who aren't on potty patrol criticize the great and powerful Unity monopoly. As mere duespayers, though, why the hell should he care what we think? Make no mistake, that's the message.

Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Casey pays very close attention to opposition voices. When the United Teachers Party, or UTP, started a website a while back, he was outraged by their iconography. Eagles! They must be Nazis! Also, they'd originally featured a quote from Charles Lindburgh. Egads! Further proof! And they'd used a clenched fist! That clearly supported skinheads (notwithstanding its use in traditional militant labor images).

The UTP look, actually, including the eagles, was based on the United Farm Workers site. That did not deter the dogged detective work of Unity, though. The fact that not one word the UTP had written remotely hinted at a Nazi philosophy was also neither here nor there.

The intrepid Mr. Casey went on to discover not only the offensive use of eagles, but that ICE had linked to the UTP website. How dare a UFT opposition party link to another UFT opposition party! This proved that ICE was no good either. After all, not only did they question Unity, but they were clearly in cahoots with the Nazis!

So remember, the next time you wonder why the hell you're paying 6-figure Unity hacks so you can get potty patrol, extra days, extra classes, and unpaid suspension based on unsubstantiated gobbledy-gook, all for less than cost-of-living, bear in mind that's not the only thing you're paying for. For no extra charge, you're protected from the Nazis!

In response to an important critic (a non-duespayer, of course), Casey complained this week that Bloomberg imposed a pattern negotiated by another union.

To me, that was an odd complaint, considering that the UFT had gone to PERB with full knowledge they'd endorsed pattern bargaining, and full knowledge of what the pattern happened to be (5% over three years, one being for givebacks). You'd think they'd know better. I did.

But little did I know they were fighting the Nazis! How could they bother negotiating a decent contract when they were on such a vital mission? After all, what's a 20-year contractual setback when one considers Unity has gone back and re-won World War II single-handedly? How can you greedy teachers fret over making mortgage payments when your very freedom is at stake?

Thanks goodness for Leo Casey, and the heroic Unity party. I hope they all enjoyed the AFT convention we just paid to send them to, unmarred by a single solitary voice from the 40% of teachers who oppose them, those Nazi bastards.

Update: The UTP website reports that a complaint about their iconography and such was made to the Anti-Defamation League, and found to be without merit.

Thanks to Norm and Advisor
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