The Tangled NYSUT Web
The NYSUT drama continued to roll on this week. It is quite a nuanced debate, particularly for those people who aren’t familiar with the inner workings of the statewide union. We’ll try and connect some dots for you…
Earlier this week former Executive Vice-President Alan Lubin wrote a letter backing Pallotta. Lubin clearly made a significant attempt to put to bed the notion that this is a “UFT take over of NYSUT”. He made the point that the UFT would only hold two of the five officer positions. He failed to make the point that all of the officer positions would be hand picked by UFT/Unity hack Andy Pallotta. For those people who have believed that Lubin has always been the one pulling the strings of Pallotta, this did nothing to silence them.
Yesterday Revive NYSUT posted an endorsement from UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “We support the Revive NYSUT Unity slate. We have heard the voices from locals across the state and agree with their call for change.” Two days earlier, in a
love letter to Governor Cuomo letter to his members addressing Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal, Mulgrew said “The governor’s budget proposal is a good start for the legislative process, one that puts the needs of New York’s children and educators at the center of the debate.” This is the same Mulgrew whose UFT DA last week refused to rule out a Cuomo endorsement. For people who believe that Pallotta’s slate wants to endorse Cuomo, the Mulgrew endorsement was more fuel for the fire. Revive NYSUT claims to promote “grassroots unionism”. I wonder how they felt about Mulgrew’s refusal to debate his opponent last spring, a true grassroots unionist, Julie Cavanagh.
Today, over at Ed Notes Online, Norm Scott continued his brilliant coverage of this topic. Scott received a copy of a letter sent from UFT rank and file members to NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. In it they say…
The influence that the UFT has on the decisions of NYSUT must be countered. Andrew Cuomo is not a friend to teachers. Andrew Cuomo isn’t even close to being fair to teachers. If Michael Mulgrew wants to support Andrew Cuomo, he should do so by writing a personal check. We are certainly not the only UFT members who feel abandoned by the UFT. It is time for NYSUT’s locals to unite against the useless behemoth of a local called the UFT and take steps to protect the hardworking teachers of NYS.
One of the teachers who sent that letter, Roseanne McCosh, also had this to say…
I worked with Andy Pallotta when we were both Dist 10 chapter leaders and I continued as chapter leader while he was the Dist 10 rep. I am no longer chapter leader but I was replaced by someone strong and on the right side of the issues.
On a personal level I have a lot of good things to say about Andy. But this UFT/NYSUT situation ain’t personal— it’s business, and I completely disagree with Andy on how vehemently we should be fighting those looking to eliminate teachers’ unions and wreak havoc on the day to day conditions under which we must try to teach. I spoke with Andy this past summer and expressed my frustration with the lack of leadership on tackling Albany and the DOE head on. Andy’s a peacemaker. I’m a fighter. We disagree on tactics. He had a VP from the UFT call me (For the life of me I can’t remember her damn name) and I was given lip service that the UFT was on top of this whole eval system. I knew I was being placated and ended the conversation noting that time would tell how ahead of all of these issues the UFT would be in the months to come.
To get an in depth look at the evaluation system that the UFT was “on top of” you can take a look here.