I know I can't make resolutions for UFT-Unity. But I do wonder if Unity could give us a great big gift in 2015, other than a cushy job with a double pension in its offices in exchange for unwavering loyalty, what might it be? Some, I know, might wish for their COPE payments back. Some might wish for their UFT dues. Here, I differ. I have a different vision:
1. I wish Unity would send its representatives to find out what teachers really want--not just send its representatives to sell teachers near faits accomplis, such as seemingly sub-par contracts. After all, shouldn't they be representing us?
2. I wish Unity would allow all Union voting to take place in schools. It would greatly increase voter turnout. At present, less than twenty percent of working UFT members care to elect their representatives via snail mail.
3. I wish Unity would scrap the Loyalty Oath and the attitudes that give rise to it. I wish Unity would welcome opposing ideas, not as enemies, but as alternatives worthy of consideration. Many of the people who put forth opposing ideas are die-hard unionists.
4. I wish Unity would allow talented and highly committed individuals who love their Union to work in its offices without swearing an oath of allegiance, signing away their conscience or their right to represent a constituency.
5. I wish Unity would mobilize its membership more. We are a formidable force. We are NYC.
6. I wish Unity would wage war against junk science.
7. I wish Unity would cease bargaining and selling. I wish it would fight wars based more upon common sense and moral conscience.
8. I wish every Unity member who stood as a placeholder for Unity bigwigs at the AFT convention had spoken his own mind first, free from fear or "sycophanticism."
9. I wish Unity would stop selling membership measures based on fear. Go to the back of the line, "#151." "The cupboard is bare." When your Union feeds you humble pie, it begs so many other questions.
10. I wish Unity would stop compromising with people who would destroy us. We, on the front lines, bear the brunt of battle. We are not expendable, ATRs included.
11. I wish Unity would let high schools vote for their representatives as in the past, rather than the current policy of making the position at large.
12. I wish Unity would allow chapter leaders to once again elect district representatives. It seems more democratic.
13. I wish Unity would recognize that when less than twenty percent of its membership cares to vote in a time of crisis for public education, the very lifeblood of the union is endangered.
14. I wish Unity would recognize that its recent successful bid to increase the weight of retiree ballots, solidifying its own victory, seems overtly sad and pathetic.
15. I wish Unity would realize that in these important times, when the future of public education is at stake, the UFT has a very important role to play. If it falls short or turns its back on its rank and file, history will not be forgiving.