For years I've been reading rationales on why it's unhealthy to disagree with the union. It makes Bloomberg happy when you disagree. You're emboldening our opposition. We need to put on a united front. These arguments become particularly strident during union elections. Yes, of course you have the right to your opinion, but for goodness sake, don't ever let anyone know what it is!
In fact, to further bolster that argument, the UFT has created a fake opposition group, specifically for the purpose of making the union appear less monolithic than it actually is. That would be New Action, the opposition group that politely endorses the Unity presidential candidate, so that Unity will cross-endorse a small group of their people. This has the added bonus of more or less hobbling any real opposition, who can be shut out altogether of all union decisions. Go screw yourselves, and for goodness sake, please do it quietly.
For the love of Pete, don't oppose mayoral control. Sure they've closed every comprehensive high school in the Bronx, and sure plenty of small schools can't even muster someone to stand for chapter leader, but at least every damn person in the building pays UFT dues. Unless it's a non-union charter. But don't oppose charters, because we've supported them. In fact, we've not only created one of our own, but also colocated it, so don't oppose colocation either. Bottom line is we support this stuff, so it behooves you to behave as though you support it too.
And keep your mouth shut about rating teachers via junk science, because we also support that. We've created a great law to enable it, and we get to negotiate how it's carried out. Wasn't that brilliant of us? Except, of course, that we didn't end up negotiating anything whatsoever--we had John King decide, so don't oppose that either. After all, we say he's impartial, and that ought to be good enough for anyone.
So have fun, ATRs, as you travel school to school, week to week. Sorry we gave up your seniority rights. Too bad if no one picks you up, and too bad if you get discontinued for no reason whatsoever. Just sit down, shut up, and don't complain. Ever. Sorry you can't grieve that letter in your file simply because it's totally false. Smile while you patrol the halls, the lunchrooms, and the bathrooms because it's all for the best. Don't be a Gloomy Gus. Because complaining is bad.
Unless of course, we decide it's not. Now we want to torpedo the President of NYSUT, Dick Ianuzzi, and that's OK. There's no problem being opposition as long as we are the opposition. You see when we oppose leadership, it's a good thing. Our opponents are not emboldened when we oppose leadership. They are only emboldened when you oppose leadership.
Views expressed herein are solely those of the author or authors, and do not reflect views of my employers, the United Federation of Teachers, the MORE Caucus or any other union caucus.
Stories herein containing unnamed or invented characters are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.