Thursday, March 15, 2007

Don't Forget to Vote

Several days ago, I ran a post which did not much please Jeff Zahler, assistant to UFT President Randi Weingarten and head of the Unity Caucus.

Mr. Zahler characterized allegations made in that post as "fiction" and stated categorically that "the union would not tolerate" this sort of thing.

It's been an interesting few days, though. First of all, I've now heard the story about Tom Pappas' son-in-law being involved in a UFT real-estate purchase from two other sources. If Mr. Zahler is concerned about this story, he's in a perfect position to get to the truth about it. I certainly hope he follows up.

I've been told that the story of the UFT dumping computers and furniture onto the street was covered by the New York Post, and that it was an embarrassing moment indeed for the union.

Anyone can see that the UFT has a new logo, and it's certainly within Mr. Zahler's purview to find out how much it cost. I mean, if the UFT President's assistant can't get his hands on that figure, who can? Please share it with us, Mr. Zahler.

Is New Action really independent? Well, it's hard not to notice that their love for UFT President Randi Weingarten materialized at precisely the moment their leadership all got patronage jobs. I just finished watching Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth. He spoke of a guy who worked for the government, and got a gig with Exxon-Mobil the day after he retired. He offered a quote from Hampton Sinclair--"It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on his not understanding it."

New Action claims to have opposed the 05 contract, but they publicly embrace the person who brought it to us, and their primary leaders were part of the committee that unanimously endorsed it. I believe I voted for them last time, before the 05 contract, when I didn't know any better. I absolutely believe many, many of my colleagues still don't.

The poster who used my real name on this blog was one "Harold Spinner." Mr. Spinner appears to be the alter-ego of "redhog," who's paid to write for the union paper when he's not on the net. Redhog wrote "I have never used the Harold Spinner name. You did not match IP numbers." If you click on the pictures here, they'll become clearer, and you can check the IP numbers for yourselves.

Does the UFT demand truthfulness in those who write for us? It certainly doesn't appear so.

It's one thing to pay people for their services. It's another to have a veritable army of people (like every single member of Unity) who have signed loyalty oaths to a political caucus rather than rank and file. There's a distinct difference between "paid" and "bought and paid for."

We need real teacher voices, and real voices of opposition to maintain the health of our union. I'm told the voices that warned Randi Weingarten not to go to PERB in 05 were those of ICE. Every day, as I patrol the halls, I wish she'd paid them more heed.

The only genuine alternative voices I hear are those of ICE and TJC. If you're tired of being snookered by patronage employees who care about nothing but their second pensions, let the union know with your vote.
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