Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In Which a UFT Unity Member Lectures Me on Democracy

Here's something I posted on Facebook:

They just voted a dues increase for AFT. There are exactly seven people chosen by UFT high school teachers to represent UFT high school teachers. I'm one, and another, Jonathan Halabi, is seated at my right. Five are in New York. Zero got a vote.

A Unity person took exception that that, saying that the union selected other members to represent us at the convention.  I pointed out that the high school teachers did not choose those people. As James Eterno points out, UFT high school teachers number more than the entire Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. The number of people at this convention selected by UFT high school teachers, again, is precisely zero.

I'm pretty sure that represents taxation without representation. In certain circles that has been referred to as tyranny. My Facebook friend pointed out the name of one person I know who voted for him, but did not seem to grasp that one person, sadly, does not constitute a majority when we're looking at a pool of 20,000.

Not only that, but since he brought it up, I watched the controlling AFT Progressive Caucus meet last night. I'm not exactly sure why they chose to meet in the same room as the actual convention, why that's appropriate, or why they didn't choose to meet in private. But what the hell, I was there, Randi was talking to people in the press, and I listened.

The man running the meeting promised it would be short. He said we're voting up on this and down on that. He said this thing, we have no position, and therefore you may vote as you wish. It was unbelievable.

Truth is stranger than fiction. but it is because truth is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn't. ~Mark Twain

I wasn't paying attention that closely, but another thing the leader mentioned was that UFT had 100% enrollment. Think about what that suggests--that our alleged representatives have not only signed a loyalty oath to do whatever UFT leadership instructs, but that they also sit at AFT and do as they are told as well.

So this guy, who is not a high school teacher,  is suggesting to me that he represents us. Sorry, but in a democracy, we choose the people who represent us. I watched the President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers speak in support of Hillary today. We, the high school teachers, who number more than his entire union, have no vote or voice in the national union we support with our dues.

In fact, even the High School Vice President we chose, James Eterno, is not our Vice President.

You tell me how that remotely resembles democracy.
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