Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Signing People Up

I've been using an app to get people to pledge to stay in the union. A lot of people in my building seem to know about Janus, and I haven't had to do a whole lot of explaining. I send a weekly email with links to articles about education, and I've focused a lot on Janus. I've had to stop sending my 400 plus member list via Gmail, and I now know that about 60% of my members actually open and read my email. This explains why some have never heard of it.

May is slipping away and I can't keep up. I There are 30 or more people in our school doing this job. I'm very proud of them, especially the ones who are actually doing the job. There are so many of them that it's impossible to keep track. But I kind of like doing it.

Do you know about the SCOTUS case called Janus?

Do you think it's fair that people should enjoy all the benefits of union without paying?

Can we count on you to stick with UFT once Janus passes?

The app words these questions better than I did, but that's essentially it. (They also ask if you're willing to receive texts or calls from UFT, but I don't care much about that.) At the training, we were told to approach people, ask how they were doing, focus on whatever the problem was and work toward some sort of solution. Likely any such solution would involve union. This is probably a good strategy for door knockers, who don't know you and have never, ever seen your face.

I don't think it's the very best strategy for dealing with people in your building. Everyone doing face to face in my school, for the most part, is in the same department as the people they're facing. I certainly hope we know each other better than having to introduce one another and find out what's bothering the other person. If we don't know one another better than that after working together for months, years, sometimes for decades, there's a deeper problem, likely one with our culture.

I've been walking up, starting a conversation, and going right into it. I've gotten some very nice compliments about my newsletter. Evidently, not all chapter leaders are insane enough to do this every week. It's important, though, for those of us who obsess over education to share what we find out there.

It's my goal to sign 100% of the people in my building for union. I honestly don't understand how you go to work every day in a big building and say, "Screw you all, I'm not paying." I would feel pretty uncomfortable. I suppose you can go the other way, get no one to pay, and say, "Screw every other building in the city, our school isn't paying."

I'm pretty sure the Koch Brothers will put out a whole lot of propaganda saying you can give yourself a raise, or whatever. I guess you can take the $1400 and buy yourself some thing or other. That's pretty short-term thinking, though. With all its flaws, the UFT is all we have. We can work to make it better, or we can abandon one another and hope for the best.

The latter alternative, given what's happening in West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and half the country does not much appeal to me. With all our complaints about UFT, we're much better off than they are. With no union, we will be exactly where they are. If you think this mayor, or any mayor, will grant us raises just because it's the right thing to do, I have a historic bridge to sell you.

If you don't pay, you are essentially giving the Koch Brothers a very early Christmas present. You're giving Donald Trump exactly what he has wet dreams about. If that image isn't sufficiently disgusting, imagine what it will be like to deal with your Boy Wonder supervisor with no union behind you.

I know some people who probably won't pay. Some complain of one incident where union didn't help. I know how they feel. I try to help a lot of people. I'm very happy when I'm successful but alas, I'm not always successful. I always try, though. I try a lot of things. I seek advice everywhere. If one thing doesn't work, I think of another. Sometimes I fail. I don't like it, but I don't give up.

Almost nothing I do would be possible without union. Now that Janus is literally trying to destroy us I value it more than ever.
blog comments powered by Disqus