Friday, April 29, 2016

UFT No Longer Supports Working Families

Our union backed the Working Families Party for a long time, but those days are over. The Working Families party supported Bernie Sanders, and the United Federation of Teachers has no use for anyone who doesn't do what they say. That's why every single person who represents us in NYSUT and AFT has to sign a loyalty oath

I was very upset with the Working Families Party in the past because they endorsed Andrew Cuomo. This was really a terrible move as far as I'm concerned, because I'm a working person and Andrew Cuomo hates me and everything I stand for. I mean, what the hell is the point of a party that declines to support someone like Zephyr Teachout against Andrew Cuomo? In fact, what the hell is the point of a union leadership that can't see the value of someone like Teachout?

In fact, UFT failed to support Teachout in her bold challenge to Cuomo in the Democratic primary. Perhaps they thought this would make Cuomo like us or something. Far from that, Cuomo went and pushed the most anti-teacher legislation I've ever seen, raising the percentage of junk science, adding strangers as observers, and placing schools under the threat of receivership. For this, UFT President Michael Mulgrew thanked the Heavy Hearted Assembly. 

Of course Randi Weingarten endorsed Hillary. This happened early, and it was based on what the AFT called a "scientific" poll. I haven't got the faintest idea what that means, and I've never seen the questions they asked. It was entirely predictable that AFT would endorse Hillary, and New York education bloggers were universally not surprised. I got onto an AFT call regarding the endorsement, and the very fist speaker happened to be a NYS Unity propagandist who'd written a really nasty article about me. Randi tweeted the piece, which was how I saw it. It called me a part-time teacher and a part-time union rep. Randi was OK with that until I pointed out it offended not only me, but each and every working chapter leader in the city.

Perhaps it was a coincidence this guy got called on first, and perhaps there was indeed a scientific survey randomly asking people their opinions. All I know is I work in the largest school in Queens, and no one ever asks me or anyone I know any of these questions. When teachers are polled and come out in support of Common Core, I can never find any teachers who agree. But what do I know? I talk to teachers all day long, and I guess the only way you can really be in touch with what's going on is sitting in an office in 52 Broadway.

But here's what's clear--UFT leadership cannot abide dissenting opinion. When Working Families decided to endorse a candidate that actually supported working families, that was the last straw for Michael Mulgrew and company. And while it's a great honor to financially support the Hillary Clinton office at 52 Broadway, a whole lot of politically active teachers I know do not support her. I don't know whether that office is paid for exclusively by COPE, but I do know my union dues keep the lights on over at 52.

It's a disgrace that once the Working Families Party takes a clear stand for working families Michael Mulgrew takes his ball and goes home.
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