send them to Buffalo. It's important they confer with NYSUT, to build upon their past decisions. Their most recent, of course, was to oppose Cuomo after he was elected and in office. It turned out their big plan for the gubernatorial election, doing nothing whatsoever, did not prove to benefit us. Apparently Cuomo does not care for unions. There was a small clue, when he ran four years ago and said he would go after unions, but our leadership does not like to rush into decisions.
For example, when mayoral control proved to be an unmitigated disaster, leadership backed its renewal. Because you never know whether someone like Bloomberg might wake up and say, "Hey, I'm going to stop representing my BFFs and maybe appoint a chancellor who actually has experience in education." Of course that didn't happen, but that isn't leadership's fault. Nothing ever is.
And of course their brain trust took a pattern that was 4% a year, and cleverly managed to manipulate it until it was a far more attractive 2% a year. That is, of course, unless you are one of the many unions that actually got 4% a year. As a result of the UFT's brilliant negotiations, they will all get 10% over 7 years. Mulgrew got quite exercised when James Eterno told the DA that this was the lowest pattern in history, going so far as to turn off his microphone (another great moment in UFT democracy), but it's the lowest pattern in the thirty years I've been doing this, and I've yet to hear an actual retort from leadership. Fortunately for them, since they turn off microphones they don't have to bother answering questions.
Now those 800 loyalty-oath bound Unity Caucus members will have to go to Buffalo, and do the hard work of whatever the hell it is Leroy Barr says they have to do. They may have to go to meetings, or sit on the floor. This is a great ordeal, according to the comments on the ICE blog. Apparently it's backbreaking work doing the bidding of leadership. But without them, who would fail to support Zephyr Teachout? Who would sacrifice their time to fly to California on our dime and cheer Mulgrew as he threatened to punch our faces and push us in the dirt? And, for goodness sake, who would ridicule those who disrespected our good buddy Bill Gates when he served as AFT keynote, just before he publicly attacked our pensions?
These people do important work. If they weren't out supporting junk science evaluation, Common Core, mayoral control, scuttling the WFP nomination of Zephyr Teachout, failing to endorse her in the Democratic Primary, endorsing a mayoral hopeful who publicly announced that we couldn't afford to give UFT members the raise most city workers got in 2008-2010, who would do these things? Who would work to sell a contract that offered our most vulnerable members second-tier due process?
Thank goodness we have these people in position to take trips, stay in hotels, go to restaurants, and aspire to patronage gigs. Thank goodness we have these people to support positions that hurt public school children, parents and teachers.
Because I sure as hell will never do it.