Tuesday, April 09, 2013

My Latest Unity-New Action Mass Email

Today's mass email complained bitterly about receiving mass email. In fact, it compared mass email to spam. The fact its sender was doing exactly the same thing was apparently not relevant. Actually, this too came from someone I know and like. Yet it was riddled with misconceptions.

One thing that was true was that there are indeed Unity-New Action people who work hard. You'd have to be a fool to say the union, dominated by Unity-New Action,  never done anything of value or fought for anyone. I've got someone from Unity trying to help a colleague in deep trouble right now. I can't predict the outcome, but I've got faith this person will do all she can.

But there were other statements that were questionable, at best. The first was that this CL was Unity by choice. Now I'm certain this CL chose to be Unity. However, that choice is only extended by invitation. If they don't ask you, you're out. In fact, it wasn't until I started this blog that I even knew anything of Unity practices. I went 20 years without ever having much thought of it.

The other thing I questioned was the story of how this CL toiled away at a UFT job. In fact, UFT jobs are offered only to UFT-New Action members, with one solitary exception I know of. These jobs are clearly given as patronage, or James Eterno would be somewhere working for the union even as we speak. This is the same thing that governs who attends conventions. We speak of union democracy, and of voting, but who actually knows who the hell the 750 names on the ballot are? I've certainly known Unity chapter leaders who were largely asleep, and who did little aside from attending these conventions.

Somehow, the letter failed to mention the fact we'd supported mayoral control twice, enabled the miserable ATR brigade, failed to snag the pattern raise just about every other city union got between 08-10, or signed on to a junk science evaluation system that will almost certainly hurt working teachers. Perhaps the writer simply forgot.

Personally, if I could help the union, I'd do so without hesitation. I was once asked to train for a union job that never materialized. But I thought I could be of service, so I went for the training. I was quite surprised they even asked me to do that. I heard shocking things from other students in the classes I attended. I have no idea why they picked me, but I can assure you some people were not picked on merit.

In any case, I now expect to receive mass email from Unity every day of the election season protesting mass email. Few things could be more absurd.

And here's the bottom line to anyone sending mass email to chapter leaders--I very much doubt a single chapter leader anywhere will be swayed by campaign email.

I know I won't.
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