Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mulgrew on Who Will Be Punched in Face, and When

Good morning dues payers. It's me, Mike Mulgrew, your president. A lot of you have been asking about my remarks at the AFT Convention a month ago. Though we live-streamed them, we didn't really think anyone would watch outside of the convention. We made it a point not to post my remarks over at the AFT website. But that darn Norm Scott came to the convention and filmed the whole thing, including my remark about punching anyone in the face who tried to take my Common Core.

That darn Zephyr Teachout is out badmouthing Common Core. I've got an entire team of UFT employees examining the issue of whether and when I'll have to punch her in the face. Frankly, we're hoping this whole residency thing will blow over, because if I punch her in the face without punching Cuomo in the face it will look like an endorsement. We're hoping to sit out this race and just let AFL-CIO endorse. 

A lot of people have been asking why I didn't punch anyone in the face when we went six years without a contract. For example, I could have punched Mayor Bloomberg in the face. But in solutions-based unionism, you have to look at the consequences. Mayor Bloomberg has a whole lot of money, and could have tied us up in court for a long time. Had I punched him in the face, I would have spent a lot of time in jail, sorely limiting the number of people I could punch in the face. And even if I'd punched them ALL in the face, I'd only have an hour of daily yard time to push them in the dirt. It just wasn't practical.

That's why I made it a point to tell the delegates I'd punch them in the face. Now you have to understand we were only in LA for a few days, so there wasn't a whole lot of time for face-punching. There are a lot of people in the Chicago Teachers Union, and while I'd certainly like to punch them all in the face, I'm not traveling to Chicago simply to do that. That would run at least 500 bucks of your dues money, even if I were to fly Spirit Air or some such thing. And that's not counting whatever the Hilton is charging this week. Just a weekend could run you duespayers 1500 bucks easy. Don't even get me started on that $12 draft beer that you pay for!

Sure, the Chicago teachers were at a parade or something yesterday and I could have punched an awful lot of them in the face, but I was here in NY, saving your dues. Anyway I have Saturday morning earmarked to watch pro wrestling. You'd be surprised at how many talking points you can draw from pro wrestling if you pay attention.

The NYC delegates need to know I will punch them in the face if they oppose Common Core. Since they've all signed loyalty oaths, it's unlikely they would do such a thing. In solutions-based unionism, you value your time. So since I threatened to punch people in the face for doing something they were highly unlikely to do, it's kind of a win-win. Now there are naysayers who will ask, "Hey Mike, why'd you bother to spend two million dollars in union dues to fly 800 people to LA when they aren't even free to decide how to vote? Couldn't you simply have gone yourself and voted 800 times?"

Now that's a good point. But in solutions-based unionism, when you threaten to punch thousands of people in the face, it's less likely you'll have to follow through when you have 800 people behind you. It's a practical thing.

Now a lot of city teachers oppose Common Core, and the overwhelming majority haven't been invited into our Unity club, and thus haven't signed the loyalty oath. This is a problem, largely because of logistical issues. For example, if I were to visit large schools in order to punch members in the face, I wouldn't be able to push them into the dirt unless we happened to be outside. Also, quite a bit of schools are surrounded by grass, and I'm not sure pushing them in the grass will suffice.

But anyway, I won't have to negotiate a contract for at least another few years, so if you oppose Common Core I will be free to punch you in the face sometime soon. Try to have your chapter leader get me into your school, and I'll punch all who need punching. I realize this will take up quite a bit of my time, but a promise is a promise.
blog comments powered by Disqus