For those who might have read my recent posts concerning the upcoming NYSUT elections and have interpreted my writings as an endorsement of Unity and not Stronger Together, well you are wrong.
Though I and The Crack Team disagree with ST's tactics, we here at SBSB hope that ST comes out victorious at the RA at the posh and quite expensive New York Hilton April 7-8.
But something reaks within the upcoming NYSUT election and the smell is permeating from Unity. Read on. Be patient.
Several sources reached out to The Crack Team and suggested that we read pages 67-8, and 114 from "Teachers United: The Rise of New York State United Teachers." We did.
Though we didn't read it all, we did read the pages that were suggested. We read how in 1972 Long Island assemblyman Charles Jerebek was attacking our profession. How the UFT, while quite powerful in NYC, was weak within the confines of Albany.
There was a lot of bad blood amongst the teachers unions of New York State. The UFT was aligned with the AFT, upstate with the NEA. Albert Shanker knew that to have clout in Albany the disparate parties must join together.
Shanker reached out to then Yonkers Federation of Teachers president Walter Tice. Shanker shared with Tice how the Albnay politicians played one group off of another. In unity (pardon the pun) there was strength. Not only will this reconciliation help NYC and upstate teachers unions, but help the thousands of fence sitters organize as well.
But, and this is what brings us to 2017, there was something more. Something that was never memorialized, something that was never put in writing, but initiated by Shanker.
There is (or maybe now WAS) a gentleman's agreement that a UFT member will never, ever run nor be president of NYSUT (Again, this is from several well qualified inner sanctum sources). Today in 2017, with the nomination of Andy Pallotta, that agreement as the same worth as a $3 bill.
Look back to the forming of NYSUT. There has never been someone from the UFT as president. Why is this year different? Why now?
Chances are, the way the election and it's process is stacked, the UFT/Unity backed candidate will win. Yes, Karen Magee was the pre-ordained UFT/Unity candidate but she showed to much independent thought (especially when it came to testing) that she was "promoted" and asked to go away. And besides, Karen was not a UFT member.
Could the UFT/Unity machine had selected someone other than a UFT member to run as president of NYSUT? Surely yes, but that would run the risk again of someone exhibiting independent thought. So what to do?
Violate the gentleman's agreement that Shanker made and insert someone you can control. Someone who will tow the party line. Someone who will ask permission first then speak.
Shanker must be rolling over in his grave right now.
With the shitstorm on the education horizon. what with HB-610, a rehearing of Friedrich's, Betsy DeVos, Trump, Cuomo, why the hell is UFT/Unity so tone deaf?? If they are so desperate to keep power isn't the easiest method to that end to work for the betterment of it's members instead of power grab after power grab? Aren't we a better union and able to serve our core constituents (our students) more appropriately when there are more voices and more ideas and coming together in a natural, organic method?