SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: What's Next for MORE/New Action?

Monday, May 30, 2016

What's Next for MORE/New Action?

So the elections are over. MORE/New Action scored a victory by winning the high school seats and Mulgrew and and Unity used their machine and our money to once again monopolize their power. Now what?

Some takeaways:

MORE/New Action has shown what can happen when there is cooperation between two caucuses.

Now that MORE/New Action will be there twice a month for exec board meetings no longer will things be done in secret and Unity now must explain, justify, and go on the record for it's actions.

With over 10k people voting for MORE/New Action there can now be true open executive board meetings twice a month. (Much more food will need to be ordered!)

MORE/New Action has laid a great foundation for the 2018 chapter elections as well as the 2019 UFT elections.

MORE/New Action can now show it is a force to be reckoned with.

The members of the high school exec board are above reproach and will work in an ethical and moral manner.

But as always there is work to be done.

During April vacation I handed out MORE/New Action fliers at two 6-8 Math scoring sites. I stood outside during their lunch and was able to engage the members. This beats just stuffing fliers in mailboxes. The personal touch is always the best.

There is still too much ignorance an apathy out there, particularly with the younger, fresher members. One member told me she voted, but when I asked for whom she said, "Oh, I checked Unity." Why I asked. "Because we just got the raise." Yeah, so did I, $89 a check.

Or you get "I like my CL," or "I don't want to get involved." Stuff like that. That is what we are fighting against.

Or here was one of my favorites from last week. A teacher told me she voted for Unity and when I explained the what Unity hasn't done she told me, "Yeah you are right, but sometimes you get to go with whom you know." Geez!

Worse, who, unless you have been active, knows Unity or MORE/New Action? There should be, not just ads in NY Teacher, but with the ballots should come a page explaining who is who.

This is not a time to relax for MORE/New Action. It is a time to continue to persevere and to build the brand. We have the foot in the door and a stool at the bar. MORE/New Action has a lot to be proud of and let's bask in it but know we have a lot of work ahead. It can be done.

My two cents. MORE/New Action should keep a "shadow union" and be there ready to answer back and to fight back when it disagrees with the path of the UFT.

Oh. One more thing. No more voting from retirees!!!

One suggestion for the future exec board meetings.. Would it be too much to ask for a omelette station as well as a carving station?


Anonymous said...

Are you saying that retirees will no longer be allowed to vote in UFT elections? If so, why not?

Michael Fiorillo said...

Retirees should be able to vote for UFT representatives on the Board of the pension fund, since those votes have direct impact on them. However, for retirees, who are no longer in the classroom and are removed from the day-to-day issues facing teachers, to be able to vote for candidates who will be making decisions affecting the wages and working conditions of those in the classroom is simply not fair, and makes the union vulnerable to the disconnect between the leadership and the rank-and-file that we now suffer from.

ed notes online said...

Unity will never allow changes to the retiree vote count. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to see a proposal to raise the number above 23,500 currently counted since over 24,000 voted this time.
I believe retirees should have seats on the ex bd and even elect a Retiree VP to the adcom - that should be the limit of their votes. They already have 300 delegates - or more - to the DA and occupy a number of AFY/NYSUT delegate positons. Those should be limited too. There is no future for the UFT going forward as the retiree factor will continue to grow - right now there are almost as many retirees in the UFT as classroom teachers. We intend to call for structural changes in the UFT and build a rank and file campaign.

Pete Zucker said...

Back in 2013 I was discussing the UFT election with a friend of mine who drives for UPS and happens to be a Teamster. When I told him that retirees get to vote in our elections he couldn't contain his astonishment and his laughter.

Got no problem giving retirees some seats on the executive board or having a retiree VP, but first ATR's must be properly represented and given a chapter as well as seats on exec board.