Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Money Go Round

By now you've read part-time UFT President Randi Weingarten's letter about belt-tightening. Some days, though, you wonder just what the heck those Unity patronage employees do every day, when they aren't chasing cartoon characters around.

So go to the LM2 page, at the Department of Labor, type in 063-924, for the UFT, and you may learn some new things. The 2008 report indicates dues and agency fees of $119,808,331. Yet when you look at "representational activities," the figure drops to $19,289,822. I don't have my calculator handy, but that's well under 20% of dues going toward representing us.

Sure, Ms. Weingarten needs a chauffeur-driven SUV, and Leo Casey needs time to check whether or not he got a teacher award a few decades back, but what on earth are they spending that money on? Well, Ms. Weingarten and her minions had to check out Green Dot schools, of course, so they could bring their "no-tenure, no-seniority rights" style of administration to the Big Apple, and I can't imagine her chauffeur driving all the way to the left coast.

The Green Dot operation involved a firm called Strook, Strook and Lavan. They represented our interests in no-tenure, no seniority to the tune of $658,468. It's eye-opening to learn just how much Unity patronage employees will spend to encourage such things.

And there is entertainment. I mean, you need a break after sitting around the UFT office all day. So there's $54,100 to Regal Cinemedia. Clearview Cinemas is a bargain at a mere $12,045. And you get a powerful hunger sitting around that office, so you need to spend $7,523 at the 86th Street Meat Market. No 4 dollar school lunches for you.

You need to be in good shape to work for Unity. That's why you spent $41,750 at the Brooklyn Baseball Company. And, of course, you need to see how the pros do it. That's why you spent $24,215 at New York Mets group sales. And don't forget the Yankees either--it's the last year at the old stadium, so you spent a mere $9,054 on the Bronx Bombers. After all, it's harder to park over there. But you managed to spend $83,682 on the Central Parking System.

You don't want your patronage employees to be bored with that building, so you spent $11,997 meeting at the Marriott. Then you spent another $269,058 meeting there again, I suppose. Not to slight the NY Hilton and Towers, you spend another $619,849 over there. The Sheraton is a relative bargain at $286,148.

You get powerfully tired, what with all those meetings. So you spent $93,484 at the Coffee Distributing Corps.

As for me, I hope against hope that the UFT aristocracy drinks enough coffee to wake up and start looking out for us again. If you're feeling ambitious, check out the report yourself and let the world know what else Ms. Weingarten and her merry band are up to.

Thanks to Juanchito
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