Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Latest Unity-New Action Mass Email

I just listened to Keep ‘em Separated, by The Offspring, and I cannot help but to think of the contentious vitriol circulating about during this current election cycle.

Interesting to know what your spammers listen to. You can imagine how much I must care. Vitriol? Is that like when Unity-New Action types condemn MORE candidate Julie Cavanagh for staying home and taking care of her sick baby rather than going to a DA?

We’ve been fighting with ourselves for so long, and cutting down one another’s political party that we’ve hand delivered King Bloomberg the best present ever, a union that is weaker because of all our conflicts and battles. 

Doubtless we'd be better off if folks who disagree would just shut up and sit down. Is that why there was no debate between the candidates? Are we supposed to just assume that everyone wants the right thing?

I truly believe that the men and women who make up MORE are just as concerned with the vitality, future relevance and success of this union as are the Unity caucus members. And I wish the specific nature and intent of this letter was solely meant to address the strengths of our union, but I need to focus on the election that is underway. 

Wait a minute--you are going to disagree with someone? If we're going to disagree, why don't we just have a debate and discuss the issues?

I am not going to spend time finger pointing; that is counterproductive, childish and will ultimately lead to a greater chasm between all rank and file. 

I want you to remember he said that. We are not finger pointing. Finger-pointing is bad.

At this juncture, 

(That means now.)

...our union has so many other pressing issues, that it is an utter waste of manpower playing the blame game with one another. 

Again, no finger pointing. Remember that. We are too busy using our manpower.

We need to utilize our collective resources to contain and quell the ever-rising tide that is directed at the public school teacher. All of us have the same common set of adversaries, and they are the usual suspects: Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Eli Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates, KIPP, The Walton Foundation, and the list goes on, ad nauseam.

It does. And yet, Bill Gates was the keynote speaker at an AFT convention, and he gives money to the AFT.  We partner with him in studies that yield working teachers trashed in the media, with the NY Post labeling some poor woman the worst teacher of the year.

Fighting amongst one another will yield one outcome, a more disenfranchised union.  Please do not mistake my pragmatism for an irrational naïveté, I know that MORE will continue to challenge Unity; therefore leaving us all the more vulnerable. 

Wait a minute. That sounds like FINGER POINTING! YES! It's finger pointing, and you said that was bad

When a political party makes a power grab under the guise of reform, then we all have to ask what will the net effect be?  I'm sure our brothers and sisters from the Windy City truly believed that they too needed new leadership. What has their uprising gained for them? This is not a political cheap shot, but rather a political reality. They are weaker than before and they face the possibility of mass layoffs. 

And this, of course, is the fault of Karen Lewis and the intrepid CTU. It has nothing to do with the deterioration of working conditions under those who preceded her. I'm talking about the union leadership in Chicago that not only allowed ATR status for teachers, but also allowed them to be fired after a certain time period. In fact, this was happening well before CORE took over the CTU. I can only suppose our Unity spammer did not bother doing homework before sending this out. And hey, isn't that finger pointing again? And when you say, "the guise of reform," doesn't that mean your opponents are liars?

I'm not trying to use a cliché ruse to sway you with fear, 
Then why are you so blatantly misrepresenting the truth?  Here comes the important word:


I had a Shakespeare teacher in college who said that was a very important word. Once anyone says but, you can forget everything that preceded it. I tell my students when their girlfriends or boyfriends say, I really love you but, it's time to find a new one. Forget about love. And forget about all that nonsense about not tricking us too.

I just want all of us to be on the same page. A rebellion does not always yield the promises and guarantees that it is supposed to deliver. 

It's true. CORE cannot magically undo everything done by those who preceded it. Of course, they neither promised nor guaranteed it either. Naturally I'm too stupid to grasp the implication that voting for CORE was a mistake, so voting for MORE is also a mistake. So let's not even get into that.

Running a union of the UFT’s magnitude cannot be achieved through idealistic endeavors and misdirected angst. There is a certain degree of diplomacy, and politic savvy that is required, dare I say requisite. 
I'm way too dense to note this implies that MORE is a bunch of contrary yahoos who are too confrontational to achieve anything. I'm grateful the subtlety of this writer precludes me from noticing the continued finger pointing.

And that is why I believe so many of us endorse, and continue to support Unity.

Because teachers love mayoral control, patrolling hallways bathrooms and lunchrooms, and getting sent week to week from school to school when our schools are closed through no fault of our own. They love going almost five years without the raise virtually every other city union got.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the writer's groovy trips to conventions on our dime. I'm really glad we have people like him fighting for us, people who signed an oath to support whatever leadership supports without question. It's good to know there's no thinking involved, so there will be none of that awful finger pointing we hate so much.
If, from the last letter, you had asked to be removed and I did not comply; please do not interpret this second letter as an act of hubristic recalcitrance, there are just too many names attached to this mass e-mailer; I apologize for any inconvenience.

In other words, it's too much trouble for me to look up your name and delete it. I wonder why he's so goshdarn busy, yet can rattle these notes off at 5 AM. Actually I responded to the first email by asking where he got my email address. It was also too much trouble for him to answer. Today I wrote pointing out I'd never met him, that I regretted he was too busy to answer my email, and would he kindly refrain from using it in the future.

He wrote back offering to introduce himself. Oddly, I think I know this guy fairly well already. And yet, he still didn't tell me where he got my email address.

What we have here is a failure to communicate.
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