Saturday, December 01, 2007

What Do They Do All Day in UFT HQ?

Ya know, when you're a lowly teacher like me, you wonder what the hell it is that folks making twice our salaries over in UFT headquarters actually do all day. I mean, as far as I can tell, half the UFT budget, 40 million bucks a year, goes to paying their salaries, sending them to conventions, paying their limo drivers, and ensuring they go to a lot of gala luncheons. And honestly, I wouldn't begrudge them a single cent, a single dollar, if I were convinced they had our interests at heart.

So what do they do? Well, I know UFT Vice-President of Academic High Schools (the one that rank-and-file never voted for) Leo Casey spends a great deal of time writing for Edwize. From reading his pieces I've learned that everything Randi Weingarten says is brilliant, that more work for less pay is a fine thing, and that fewer opportunities for working teachers is the way to go on most issues. And he must be right, because Rod "The NEA is a terrorist organization." Paige says he's doing a heckuva job.

What else does Leo Casey do? Well, it appears he checks a Disney website regularly to make sure his "teacher of the year" award, the one he got a million years before he became a UFT muckety-muck, is reflected on the website. Look, there it is.

But alas, one day he checked and it wasn't there. Horrors! Did Mr. Casey call Disney and ask what was going on? No. He simply assumed it was a personal attack. Now personal attacks, to Mr. Casey, are unworthy and intolerable (unless he happens to be delivering them). But wait a minute. Look at what EIA Intercepts says:
Of the 25 honorees who signed the letter, Casey is the only one who is missing from Disney's web page. The letter lists the signatories in alphabetical order, giving Casey no special recognition as the composer of the letter.

Hmm...kinda makes ya think, don't it? But theres more:

Surprise! I only checked through "H" and I still found 14 other Disney honorees whose names, like Leo's, didn't make it to the new page. They are:

Karen Butterfield, 1993 honoree for Visual Arts
Colleen Mary Callahan, 1991, Performing Arts
Lauradis Cardet, 1990, Foreign Language
Todd Coleman, 1993, Early Childhood
Carolyn L. Cotton, 1990, Vocational Arts
Judy Darden, 1992, Early Childhood
Beverly Y. Davidman, 1994, Mathematics
Stephen Fox, 1991, Physical Education/Health
Katherine K. Fujii, 1991, Science
Rebecca Goldman, 1992, Early Childhood
John E. Guardia, 1990, General Elementary
Janet Walton Hayes, 1990, Physical Education/Health
Herbert Lee Holland, 1991, Performing Arts
Virginia Honomichi, 1991, Athletic Coach
I could have continued to "Z," but why? As far as I can tell, none of these teachers has reason to fear petty retribution from Disney, yet they, like Leo, are also missing. The fact that all the names are from the early 1990s suggests transcription errors, rather than some ridiculous conspiracy theory.

So, what can we conclude from this? Why does such a highly placed union official jump the gun and make such accusations? Why does he accuse opposition parties of Nazism? Why does he casually libel real working teachers? And why does he negotiate and unquestioningly support the worst contracts I've seen in my 23 years on this job? Why does the UFT Academic High School Vice President censor our questions rather than respond to rank and file?

Because he doesn't do his homework, that's why.

Now what message do you give your kids when they don't do their homework? And what message should we send UFT President Weingarten for placing someone like that in a position of so much power--and for regularly seeking his counsel?
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