SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: 2022

Monday, September 26, 2022

EXCLUSIVE!! FIRST TIME PUBLICLY! Civil Complaint Against District 7 Superintendent Roberto Padilla

Back on July 3, 2022, I introduced to those who read this blog the new
superintendent and overlord of District 7, Roberto Padilla. Just last week, the rather "everything the DOE does is good" New York Post ran this story . The Post was inquiring on why a man with such a checkered past was hired as a superintendent. Soon, The Crack Team got cracking. 

The Crack Team at SBSB has received a copy of the complaint filed against new District 7 superintendent Roberto Padilla and the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. Click this link to read the entire complaint. 

But some highlights, or rather, the lowlights, of the complaint will be shared and deciphered here. But let's set the scene from the complaint...

In or about early June 2021, Defendant Padilla sent out a District wide announcement encouraging all administrators and teachers to attend ASU+GSV Summit (the "Conference"), scheduled for August 9 to 11, 2021 in San Diego. In an email from Defendant Padilla's office to the District advertising the Conference, it was described as, "one of the premier learning summits in the country," stating that applications were handled on a first come, first served basis. Plaintiffs separately submitted an interest form, each explaining how the Conference aligned with their school's goals and instructional focus, and why their attendance would add value to Newburgh.
So let's get this straight. The poverty level in Newburgh is at or below 84.5 percent. There is practically no tax base in Newburgh. Yet, a conference in sunny, oceanfront San Diego is a priority? This reminds me of how in the 90's District 7 went to some conference in Hawaii. 
Plaintiffs both were selected to attend the Conference, and submitted the conference costs of $3,000 which were covered by Newburgh, through their budgets. 32. Upon information and belief, approximately seven (7) District employees attended the Conference. Some of those who attended were also old friends of Defendant Padilla. 33. Upon information and belief, most of the Newburgh attendees stayed at the hotel designated for the Conference, the Marriott Marquis hotel, while Defendant Padilla stayed at a different hotel
Three thousand times 7 people attending is $21k. Did that include meals and the stay at the exclusive Marriott Marquis

But here comes something strange...
Plaintiffs received very little communication from Newburgh about what they could expect at the Conference, and the objectives of their attendance for Newburgh. There was no orientation for the Newburgh attendees, and no conversation about how to make the most out of their attendance by, for example, planning who would attend which of the over forty (40) daily events offered at the Conference. Plaintiffs were discouraged by the lack of interest in the Conference demonstrated by Defendant Padilla before and during the event
Was this a true trip for educational purposes or was it just an excuse to spend other people's money and/or do some skirt chasing? 
The night of August 8th, Plaintiffs arrived at a Brazilian steakhouse in San Diego's Gas Light District asking for "AJ," since Defendant Padilla told them the reservation was under that name. At the restaurant, Plaintiffs were surprised to find that "AJ" was the CEO of Innovare, an Ed Tech company that named Defendant Padilla to its Advisory Board in March 2021, and was planning to work with the District. Plaintiffs were confused that Innovare was hosting their group for dinner, and did not understand what connection Innovare had to Newburgh. It appeared as though Defendant Padilla had a close relationship with the Company, but no explanation was provided to the Newburgh group about Innovare's offerings, or why they were being taken to dinner by the Company
Innovare is an app that according to its website, "empowers education leaders to make data-driven decisions that positively impact students and communities." "AJ" is Adrian DeLeon, founder and CEO of Innovare. 

Several takeaways here. Should Roberto Padilla be on an advisory board that the Newburgh schools might be doing business with? And who paid for this dinner? If it was AJ is this permissible under NYS law? And if there were to be some business done between Innovare and Newburgh would it not be more feasible and ethical for Innovare to come to Newburgh? AJ could have splurged at the Denny's on Route 300 instead of the big bucks at the steakhouse. 
The following night, August 9, 2021, the Newburgh attendees gathered at a restaurant where Defendant Padilla had told them to meet. Once there, they were surprised to find that this dinner was sponsored by Rethink Ed, another Ed Tech company. 44. Diana Frezza, an Executive Vice President at Rethink Ed, was ordering food and buckets of sangria for the Newburgh team. Plaintiffs engaged her in conversation and learned who she was, but not why Newburgh was being taken out to dinner. At the end of the dinner, Plaintiffs returned to their hotel.
Drinking with subordinates is never a good idea. People can get stupid. 

So let's turn our attention to some of the proclivities that Roberto Padilla has with women. 
XXXX was sitting on a couch alone when Defendant Padilla sat down right next to her, despite there being other seats available. Defendant Padilla sat on her right side, putting his arm around XXXX, and rubbing his knee against her knee. Padilla had been drinking whiskey cocktails throughout the evening. He appeared intoxicated and was touching her inappropriately. XXXX felt uncomfortable and scared. 
Not cool. One is a supervisor, the other person, a subordinate. Fraternizing with your subordinates is not good and if it has to happen being infused with alcohol is not a good idea. And geez, what is wrong with just having a beer or two? 
Defendant Padilla appeared to grow increasingly intoxicated as the evening continued. Defendant Padilla began commenting on the couple (a male and female) romantically sitting on the couch across from them, stating "we're going to be sociologists." Padilla commented that he and XXXXX were "cock blocking" the couple, meaning their presence was preventing the couple from engaging in sexual activity. Padilla then went on to make sexually explicit noises, orating "a little radio show," creating his own description of the couple's public displays of affection. Padilla then began hypothesizing as to the likelihood that the man would "get lucky" that night.
Defendant Padilla scooted his body towards the front of the couch so his foot was touching Plaintiff XXXXXX's foot. Defendant Padilla then began running his foot across Plaintiff XXXXXX's foot. Plaintiff XXXXXXs legs were crossed at the knee, and Defendant Padilla kicked her foot which made her legs uncross. Plaintiff XXXXXXwas aghast, realizing that her boss was suggestively touching her. 

Defendant Padilla then started talking about XXXXX's tattoo, and he touched her back, slowly tracing his finger over the image of a bird that is part of the tattoo, commenting on the birds "big red ass." 56. XXXX was horrified by Defendant Padilla's comment and by his inappropriate touching of her back. The bottom of the bird in XXXXX's tattoo was not visible, and the bird is dark grey, not red.
And this is the man that is to lead the students, the community, and the teachers of District 7? A man that has no qualms about acting inappropriately with female subordinates. A man who can not control his drinking? A man that appears to have no ethical standards either with subordinates or companies that Newburgh schools do business with? 

Can the the stakeholders of District 7 expect the kind of hijinks that Roberto Padilla exhibited in San Diego? My son is in a frat and everything I just read in the complaint seems right out of a frat house full of twenty somethings. 

District 7 deserves way better. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

The Bullshit Meter

 So last when I blogged I shared how I got written up, with a week left in the school year, for telling a student that I will call home. Today I would like to share the contents of the letter to file I received from Numero Uno. Please be sure you are sitting whilst reading. 

I conclude that you exercised poor judgement in responding to the situation. Specifically, you did not make an attempt to address the female student's discomfort with your proximity.

As I wrote on  July 31...

Immediately the student talked to me as if I were the child. "Move away from me," "I don't want you behind me." For some dumb reason I assumed I am the teacher and the student is a student. I decided not to move due to the belief that once I walked away the student would revert to using the time for socializing instead of classwork. 

However, I wonder if I was part of the favored gentry or a boxer if this would be a problem. 

The letter continues...

Additionally, as an intimidation tactic, you publicly announced to call the student's mother potentially causing her embarrassment.

Intimidation tactic? Anything negative we say to a student can be called an intimidation tactic."I'm changing your PBIS card." "You can't go outside for lunch." "You are on timeout." 

And it goes on...

You are reminded of your obligation to maintain an environment of rapport throughout our school community. Please be advised that this incident may lead to further disciplinary action including termination of your employment.

Blah, blah, blah.

Fuck it. The letter went to my file as an excuse to get rid of me. I get it. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Calling Home Can Be Career Ending

 On or about June 13, 2022, I received a 48 hour notice to meet with my principal concerning..."VERBAL ABUSE." For several days I wrecked my brain trying to figure out what I could have said. My erstwhile chapter leader assured me not to worry. That if this were real verbal abuse OSI would be taking the lead. 

So we finally meet and I find out what I am being accused of. Before I continue be sure you are sitting down and/or holding onto a loved one. This will be quite shocking to the system. 

I was accused of telling the student that I will call her mother. This shit cannot be made up. 

I told the student I would call the student's mother. Oh the humanity.

All this happened on May 5, 2022. It was a sixth grade class. The students were doing independent work, and I was doing what any teacher would do. I was walking around helping and supporting students. However, this one particular student was not doing the work assigned and instead using the class time as a social gathering with students sitting nearby. 

I decided that since I am the educator and the adult I would do what I learned many years ago. Non-verbal communication. I just walked over and stood behind the student to facilitate the student getting back to work and to end the socializing. 

Immediately the student talked to me as if I were the child. "Move away from me," "I don't want you behind me." For some dumb reason I assumed I am the teacher and the student is a student. I decided not to move due to the belief that once I walked away the student would revert to using the time for socializing instead of classwork. 

The attitude continued. I said if this continues I will call home. Something I have heard and seen in the school all year. Even by the favored gentry. Even the Heavyweight Champion of the school. 

So the meeting was on a Thursday. I wrote this piece on June 19, 2022. Two days later, June 21, 2022 as I was leaving at 2:40 PM EDT I was asked by a secretary (who felt horrible) to sign a letter to my file. I said that I have to get to my per session position and wished to go over the letter with my chapter leader (She was not in that day). I also mentioned I have 24 hours (I could be wrong) and will take care of this matter the following day. 

The very next morning I get called in to meet with Numero Uno. Numero Uno admonishes me for refusing to sign. I never refused to sign I told Numero Uno. I just wished for time to digest and take in the letter (I did make a photo copy). I did bring up that in the letter Numero Uno wrote that I was trying to "intimidate" the student. SMFH!

Have you ever read Chancellor's Regulation A-421? It is so vaguely written that anything can be considered verbal abuse. 

A. Verbal abuse1 is defined as language (written2 or oral) about or directed toward students, that: 

1. Belittles, embarrasses or subjects students to ridicule; or 

2. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance or ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program, school-sponsored activity or any other aspect of a student’s education; or 

3. Has or would have the effect of unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being; or 

4.Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his/her physical safety; or

5. Reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause physical injury or emotional harm to a student.

Where is the line drawn? What happens if I'm talking to a student about baseball? The student tells me they are a Mets fan and I say I am a Yankees fan? Or that the Yankees have owned the Mets for years in New York. Could I be written up?

Can a teacher be written up for telling one student that he or she needs to improve? Or by telling a student that their behavior will keep them in at gym?

What of using ClassDojo? What of any in class behavior chart? 

Funny how Numero Uno decided to write me up while my return to the school was up in the air. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Meet the New District 7 Overlord and Superintendent

Change is in the air. A new superintendent is coming to District 7. Gone is Robert Alvarez as he moves to take the reins in District 15. I had not had much contact with him but the time that I did he came across as an honorable and respectful gentleman. I know of one former SBSB groupie that will miss him. This former groupie as no patron left. 

Who is replacing him? One would say someone with an impeccable record. One who has no baggage, no proclivities towards lascivious behavior. Remember. This is the district that in the nineties went on educational trips to Honolulu and Las Vegas. 

The pick for Superintendent is Roberto Padilla, formerly superintendent of the Newburgh City Schools. Padilla though has some issues. He has been accused of inappropriate touching of several female staff members on an excursion in San Diego in August of 2021. 

According to the Albany Times Union, Padilla was suspended on August 20 of that year and eventually resigned on December 23, 2021.Padilla stayed on payroll with benefits for two years. 

What is Padilla accused of? As reported by Chalkbeat, two Newburgh City school employees claim that Padilla; 

Padilla greeted one female staffer with an extended hug, wrapping his arms tightly around her body, the lawsuit said. 

Later that evening, he sat next to her, put his arms around her, and rubbed his knees against hers. According to the lawsuit, he then started describing a couple sitting across from them who were showing public displays of affection. 

Padilla made sexually explicit noises, the suit said, and he hypothesized whether or not the man would “get lucky” that night. 

“Padilla commented that he and Walsh were ‘cock blocking’ the couple, meaning their presence was preventing the couple from engaging in sexual activity,” the lawsuit stated.

 Later that evening, when a co-worker mentioned a staffer's bird tattoo, “[Padilla] touched her back, slowly touching his finger over the image of a bird that is part of the tattoo, commenting on the bird’s “big red ass.” The bird is dark gray, not red. The staffer was wearing a red dress, the lawsuit stated. 

At another point during the same evening, Padilla sat across from one of the women and started to run his foot across the woman's foot, the lawsuit said. When she moved away, Padilla smiled. 

Soon after that, Padilla was at the bar while the woman was heading to the bathroom when he grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her close to him, making their bodies touch. When the woman was about to leave the bar, Padilla said to her “you can’t leave without giving me a hug.” 

On their walk back to the hotel, Padilla insisted the woman ride a Lyft scooter with him. Imagine a teacher doing this during a conference, or even a round of drinks after work? There would be an epic shit storm. 

But wait! There is more! 

Independent investigator Louis Patack found that Padilla sexually harassed one of the women in violation of New York law, according to court documents. A second investigator, Melinda Gordon, was hired to investigate the other woman's complaint, and she found that Padilla appeared to violate federal Title IX law. The findings by the investigators were never publicly released, but the lawyers representing the women obtained heavily redacted copies after filing public records requests, according to their attorney Alex Berke. 

And that is not all. Seems that Padilla is a little shaky as has been under investigation in the past, not too soon after he won Superintendent of the Year... 

...in spite of a 2019 Orange County grand jury investigation that looked into student attendance, athletics eligibility and the credit-recovery APEX program used by the Newburgh district. The grand jury found "systemic" failure in school district policies that included grade changing, manipulation of attendance records, and allowing student-athletes to participate in sports though their absences made them ineligible. 

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said at the time it represented a failure districtwide, "from the top down." No charges were brought against the district or any school officials as a result of the probe.

Seems a perfect fit, what with the grade changing, manipulation of attendance, etc..

This is the best Chancellor Banks can come up with? There were no other worthy applicants?Why does District 7 which is part of the poorest congressional district in the country get the worst of the worst? What example does Roberto Padilla set for the community, the teachers, and most importantly, the students of District 7? Is Padilla someone that we would want the children that we serve day in and day out to look up to? Of course not.

What is just as bad if not worse is the silence coming from 52 Broadway. Where again is Mile Mulgrew at being proactive and fighting for the community and UFT members of District 7? How is this acceptable? Yes, I know Mulgrew does not represent the community, but in a de facto sort of way he does. He is missing a chance to put the UFT and its overworked members in a positive light by defending the students. He is yet again showing that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

Let's just say that maybe Padilla didn't do any of this stuff or that there is a gray area somewhere. (I'm not saying there is) He just has shown poor judgement by being in a place with underlings where alcohol is being served. 


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Shit That Can't Be Made Up: Part 3,456,900 (Will Corey Hart Write a Song About This?)

 I wish I could make this shit up. This is so inane. 

Last month there was a mass prep that I covered. It was a beautiful outside. What a gift for the students as well as the staff covering the prep. 

The sun was bright that morning as it was glistening off the artificial turf that afternoon. I wanted to be ready.

And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can, so I can
Keep track of the visions in my eyes

Thankfully, I was prepared. I had my sunglasses with me. I never had prescription sunglasses before. But I went on Zenni Optical and found a great pair with a retro look.

A kind of glamour
You can lend yourself
Like dark sunglasses

I left my regular glasses in a bag upstairs in a classroom. When the mass prep ended I walked back into the school, up the stairs and down the hall to retrieve my regular glasses. Let me let all in on something. The sun does not shine inside a school building. However, due to the fact that I can't see very good without either my glasses or my contact lenses I erred on the side of caution and left my sunglasses on. Ostensibly I did this for the sole reason not to walk into a wall, to walk into or on a student, and basically to see where I was going. 

And I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can, so I can
See the light that's right before my eyes
 
As I am walking down the hall to the classroom where my glasses are awaiting me the nouveau junior administrator sees me and proclaims authoritatively ...
"Mr Zucker, teachers are not allowed to wear sunglasses inside."

She cuts my security
Has she got control of me?
 
I promptly replied that I was on my way to the classroom to get my glasses. Ten seconds after I gave that response I thought of a better. I should have immediately removed the sunglasses and walked face first into the wall. 

"But Pete," one reading this blog might ask, "Maybe she did not know that those sunglasses were prescription or that you were outside on a mass prep."

Yes, that is a lucid plausible argument to be made. However, I wear glasses every day so therefore should not one be able to infer that the sunglasses are prescription? Besides, if you are the nouveau junior administrator you should know when mass preps are scheduled. 
 
The Crack Team was quickly assembled and assigned to research Chancellor's Regs. The Crack Team unable to come across any regulation stating that teachers are forbidden from wearing sunglasses inside any NYC DOE building or property. The Crack Team also checked NYS DOE regulations and came up empty. 
 
One would assume that with everything going on within the schools of the NYC DOE a teacher walking down the hall, wearing sunglasses after being outside in the sun, would be way, way down on the priority list. 
 
I cry to you
I wear my sunglasses at night in school
I wear my sunglasses
 

 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Comedy of So-Called Comity

 One more thing I want to add in regard to my most recent blog post of June 9. There is one thing I did not get off my chest. 

This accusation...

that I have bad mouthed colleagues since 2016 every spring due to "getting phone calls every April and May like clockwork" that I have besmirched a colleague I work with "yet again," 

Completely unfounded.  There is no there there. 

Now the person that made this accusation has deemed it upon themselves to determine that there is to be a certain comity amongst teachers. My accuser is time and time again implying how I personally am destroying the comity between teachers with this blog. But that begs the question. Why am I the one being shat upon? 

I sat though a 3020-a process in which colleagues of mine testified against me. Does this promote comity amongst teachers? Some of these teachers were at an invitation only happy hour four years ago. What about others within the district that have gone through the 3020-a process and have had teachers testify against them? One can say that goes against the standards are comity. Yet there is silence. 

What about chapter leaders that do the principal's bidding? Is it safe to assume one looks the other way at this non-comity issue?

I'm going to reiterate what I wrote on Thursday. We as teachers have enough anxiety worrying about the crap we get from the DOE day in and day out. But in a weird way, it is to be expected. What we should not expect nor tolerate? It's is being treated by those who we look towards to protect us and to act in our best behaving as the DOE. 

Sadly, it is all too often becoming the norm that the very people teachers are looking to comfort us, to fight for us,  and to protect us are seemingly turning against us. I'm not the only one in which this is happening. Teachers being attacked and screamed at on the street for exercising their rights. Teachers verbally abused in bars. 

We know how to fight back against those that have it ingrained in the job description to do us bad. But how do we fight back against those who are there to protect us but literally are doing all they can to target specific teachers and doing us harm?

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Don't Be a Pinocchio

 I've wrote a couple of posts in the last month or so about liars and talking smack behind one's back.  In fact I shared about how SBSB super groupie Trixie and how someone went behind her back. I can empathize with her. I know the feeling. Due to a former groupie going behind my back. The feeling sucks. As the saying goes, "Say anything you want about me as long as it is true."

But that is small potatoes. 

We all have people that we put our trust in. To share things confidentially. A lawyer, a clergy person, a medical doctor, a therapist, a union representative. Those relationships and what is said are sacrosanct. 

So when somebody calls me misogynistic or claims that I have bad mouthed colleagues since 2016 every spring due to "getting phone calls every April and May like clockwork" that I have besmirched a colleague I work with "yet again," I feel I need to speak up. 

Let's take the first accusation. That I am misogynist. What would trigger such a person to claim that? This blog post from February of 2021. Read it. Yeah, I am snarky. I am sarcastic. One might even claim that I took God's name in vain. But I where was I misogynist? Please. If you make an accusation, OWN IT! PROVE IT! 

Let's move on. 

So apparently this person is "getting phone calls every April and May like clockwork." Again, where is the proof?  I come from a place where if one makes an accusation you back it up. 

I went back in the blog and checked out all blog posts from  2016-2022. Checking March, April and May of each year. Nothing. Here are links for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Check out March-April for each year. Or just look to the right -----> and check out the blog archive. 

I can't find one blog post in which I besmirched a teacher I had worked with. Yes, there are several blog posts about a former candidate for UFT President, but I neither taught with this person nor care what this person thinks. Even the blog post from February 2021 I just stated the facts. I didn't editorialize.

And guess what? I am not the only gadfly that this person has talked smacked and took their tongue and told fibs about. Is it a coincidence that this gadfly is Jewish? There can be a perception that this person telling lies and creating accusations might have anti-Jewish leanings.

We as teachers have to constantly live in fear and worry about being targeted by the DOE day after day. To have to live with those same feelings from someone that we put our trust in, look to for guidance, for empathy, to a shoulder have this happen damaging.

 


Sunday, June 5, 2022

A Semi Stream of Consciousness About Retiring Coming Closer

 Last year I was excited and looking forward to the end of the school year. For those that didn't know or are new readers to the blog, I was excitedly counting down the days to the last day. I had personal a reason in which I won't delve much into other than to say I had an Albatross which I needed gone. It took longer than I had hoped.

So this year? I have mixed feelings. The school year is soon  to be over and the next school year is around the corner. But, it is one more year closer to being a retired retired. One more year older. 

I was having a tough time with this retirement thingy yesterday. My son had decided to stay through June upstate and I was bitching about it yesterday (not to him). But it was hitting me that next year he graduates and he'll soon be on his own. He turns twenty one at the end of the month, and time is flowing faster and faster.

Hey, I am sorry if I am getting mushy with "feelings," and whatnot. But the best way to feel better sometimes is to share. One former SBSB groupie whilst sharing feelings told me to "be a man." I think being a man is talking about your feelings. I mean I can be some mama's boy musclehead with tattoos and deep insecurity instead. That for sure is not a man. But I'll much, much rather be me.

However, I have digressed. Back to this retirement thingy.

One thing I am contemplating is working for the Post Office. I actually ran into my letter carrier last night and we had a discussion. He told me that one is never too old for the Post Office, that do not be a letter carrier, but rather, mail handler. I can do that. Along with my pension I'll start at over $19/hr plus overtime at the PO. Not bad. But the thoughts of working for someone, especially a Post Office manager, doesn't appeal to me much. 

A friend of mine and myself have always discussed opening a deli. But it's all about location.The food business is risky.

Car sales or some other kind of sales job seems enticing. Or I can be a greeter at Wal Mart.

One thing that keeps going through my head is to be creative. Something I should've focused on at SUNY-Purchase. 

I'll figure this thing out soon. 

I will not move to Florida under any circumstances. No 4:30 dinners for me!!

But retirement is coming. I'll be 65 in seven years. There better not be Medicare (Dis)Advantage awaiting me.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Blaming the Teachers Again While Children Are Slaughtered While Incompetent Cops Do Nothing

 The massacre in Uvalde, Texas, was horrific. I can't imagine what the parents of the children are going through. I am sick of the gun culture in this country and sick of this phallic desperate need for guns. I have no problem with anyone owning a firearm. But there have to be background checks and more regulation
for owners and sellers. Why does anyone need an AR-15 other than making up for some Freudian physical shortcoming?

I was in my fourth year of teaching when Columbine occurred. It was shocking at the time. Twenty four years later and too many mass school shootings later as well I am now completely numb. I've gone from, "How can this happen?" to "I'm not surprised it has happened again." But as long as the ammosexuals are appeased and the fear of the NRA continues to pervade, it's going to happen again. And again. And again. 

But guess who is getting blamed. Teachers! Anyone surprised? From yesterday's Washington Post Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw blabbered...

...video surveillance shows a teacher propping open an exterior door at 11:27 a.m. May 24. That was right around the time Ramos had crashed a truck into a nearby ditch, and then emerged shooting at bystanders. The teacher then went to their classroom to retrieve a cellphone and at 11:30, though it’s not clear from where, they called 911. Within two minutes, Ramos was firing at the school building, and a school police officer had arrived on the scene. McCraw did not say what happened to the teacher...

Let's go to the video tape. Fellow blogger, honorary Crack Team member and SBSB fanboi NYCDoenuts shared his opinion in a tweet. An opinion I 100% agree with. He and I both want proof! Where's the proof? Show the video. Name the teacher. If the teacher did this, it shouldn't there be a crime? We demand proof!

Yep, let's blame the teachers. But in the meantime... LET'S ARM THE TEACHERS (smh)! Yes, the same teachers who have are being blamed for the non existent teaching of Critical Race Theory. The same teachers who are not allowed to say gay in Florida. The same teachers who are supposedly grooming four year olds. The same teachers that will soon need pre-approval from parents for lesson plans. The way to solve this problem is for teachers to carry? Where's the money going to come from? Will teachers be trained? Who will supply the guns? 

But...but... we can do like Ted Cruz said. Only one door per building. Good idea. That'll work well for fire drills, dismissal, and all other times. 

 But Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw as he blabbered whilst scapegoating teachers; two teachers died were slaughtered in that school. I will bet everything I have that those two teachers did everything tin their power to come between the students and the the bullets. 

Who were the heroes? The teachers. The cops were the ones that were chicken shit. 

I'm sick of this shit. It's senseless. These shooters hate life so much just go in the bathroom and put the barrel of the AR-15 in their mouths and pull the trigger. It worked for Pyle. 


https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1530219824156139523?s=20&t=_x56KIbx75lNgOY9KCSqTAhttps://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1530219824156139523?s=20&t=_x56KIbx75lNgOY9KCSqTA

https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1530219824156139523?s=20&t=_x56KIbx75lNgOY9KCSqTA

Monday, May 23, 2022

Lying Liars and the Lies They Lie About

 I want to make sure that whoever is reading this that this blog post is not about any current or former teacher. Nor a female. So it is not misogynistic. Just making sure. My name came up at the exec board tonight and I just want to get something off my chest. 

Liars suck. Pathological liars suck more. Liars who lie to build themselves up suck even more.Talking smack behind my back whilst creating a fantastical story line sucks even even more. An SBSB groupie once said, "Say anything you want to about me as long as it is true." Good words to live by.

I am done with the pathological liar. Why do they think they can get away with it? Lying about what they own, where they've been, how they feel, injuries or surgeries they didn't have. Even colleges or fraternities someone might have been a part of. All these lies are pretty verifiable and one tends to feel sorry for a person having to create this fabulist world. Texas

But not for someone just making up lies about you behind your back and being nothing more than a yentashel. Oops, is that a anti-Semitic remark or am I a self loathing Jew? I feel the PC police will soon be knocking on my door.

I got to tell this story of a pathological liar. It's funny as hell. 

About ten years ago I got together with a friend of mine who lived on the same street as me and moved to Arizona in 7th grade. We hadn't seen each other for almost 35 years. Anyway, one of the first things he says to me after 35 years is that he played shortstop for Texas A&M in the mid 80's. The same team that Chuck Knoblauch was on. So sad. So untrue. So pathetic. So verifiable.

Want to talk smack about me, say it to my face. Don't make up shit I said or did. Shit, I always find out. And don't talk smack about my friends either.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

What the Coalition Can Do Going Forward

The amazing UFT election season is over. Unity got 66 percent of the vote. Will there be a coup at the top of Unity? It remains to be seen. What should happen next?

A former groupie (Oh well. There are many more groupies out there) told me just before the election that if Unity were to win  the Coalition must not only stay together but must--and I am paraphrasing here--act as a shadow union and respond to each and every move by Unity as well be a de facto "shadow government."

So what can, as well as should, the Coalition do as the loyal opposition? 

The First DA in September

Resolution to make all Delegate Assembly meetings open to the rank and file through online and/or through the phone. It is time for the all dues paying members to see how Unity controls the DA and clamps down on issues that do not toe the party line. 

Second, a resolution to make all voting at the DA to make voting secret. The technology is there. It's been used to for those voting by phone. Time for the same for in person voting. Get a few kids from Stuyvesant to create an app or add to the UFT app and let all vote their conscience. Update 5/22 It has come to my attention that the DA now has secret voting. My apologies for being incorrect.

Executive Board

Same goes with the executive board. It's time that all members can see and hear what is going on there. Plus, for those that wish to speak before board and unable to schlep to 52 Broadway phone and/or video must be codiciled within the UFT constitution.

A Long Campaign

The campaign for 2025 begins today. The Coalition did a great job with only very little time as a coalition. Yes, 2025 is three years away but it will be here before we know it. 

Stay on the Offensive

Fuck pissing of Unity and the UFT. Do it to them before they do it to you. Make everything public that the coalition is doing and thinking. Put them back on their heels.

Raise Money

This will be hard but there needs to be money in the coffers. A source of funds. Find a celebrity sugar daddy. Why...?

Because We Are About to Get Screwed

On the next contract. Yep, we are. We need to get the word out there how crappy it will be. The work that the Coalition put into the election will be needed to share with the rank and file how crappy the new contract will be. Flyers and Happy Hours will be needed.

Medicare (Dis)Advantage

Shackles are now off of Mulgrew. See above.

Don't Give Up

Be persistent. Be a thorn in the buttocks of Unity/UFT. Think steps ahead. Make Unity/UFT be reactive to the Coalition. 

 Yard Signs!!! 

I know I sound like a broken record... But while I am on the point let's visit some things I have said in the past:

Speak to one teacher ask them to speak to ten teachers. Give them enough leaflets, information, websites, emails, to share with their colleagues. United for Change must think of itself as Amway or Mary Kay.

I've said it before, and I will say it again. I have a friend who is in direct mail. Let's see what he can do for UFC. 

But don't go inside. The UFT represents nurses at (I forget how many) city hospitals. Don't go in the operating room but rather linger outside and follow some of the above ideas. And go to other non education places that the UFT represents. 

Unless we try we will never know if any of the above will work. 



Monday, May 16, 2022

Thoughts on Retiring

 Retirement is creeping up on me. I'm 58, and I don't want to be like Willie Mays sticking around too long and falling down in the World Series. I'm getting to be an old fart. There are teachers in my school who weren't born yet when I started in 1995. 

My answer to  the question "when will you retire?" has been "not until my son at least graduates college." He graduates in a year. In four years, on time. Part of me wishes he would be on the 13 year plan like myself. 

I keep getting this thought in my mind of a high school math teacher of mine. Hans Frigo invested heavily in stocks to prepare for his retirement. He would never shut up about this. Six months after he retired he was walking his poodle and dropped dead. Good thing he retired. 

It's starting to hit me that soon all I have known for twenty six years will be gone. Not that I am going to miss it and not that I will not not work. Hell, I made it to having the age and the years. I remember when I came back from my suspension in 2015 and I just wanted to get to 2021. And I did, with room to spare. With my mouth I was concerned. So were others. But I did it. I got there.

I need at least a year to decompress from the DOE. My way of decompressing after my 3020a hearings was to hit iHop on Central Ave and just eat pancakes. My fantasy is to live in the Adirondacks and live off the land for a year. Sadly, that is impractical so choice #2 will have to suffice. Live in Corning NY for a year. Sell cars or work at Wal Mart as a greeter. 

But other than that I don't see me having any connection to anything or anyone with the DOE. That is except blogging and staying involved with Solidarity, United for Change or whatever incarnation of the two there is. I am ready for the 2025 election!

There are people I will never see nor speak to again and there are those I will continue the relationships with. Less stress is what I am looking for. It's amazing how my glucose level rises during the week. 

Which brings me to a Billy Joel song that almost everyone in 1982 had quoted in their high school year books. Which reminds me, I want to see Billy Joel again.

Say a word out of line and you find
That the friends you had are gone

Forever, forever
So many faces in and out of my life
Some will last, some will just be now and then

Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again


Thursday, May 12, 2022

SBSB Groupie Trixie the Teacher Has Been Thrown Under the Bus, Stabbed in the Back, or Just Had Smack Talked About Her Behind Her Back

 Trixie, the SBSB groupie has just shared some disturbing news that has befell her. We thank Trixie for feeling that she has a safe place here. She asked me to post this episode that happened to her recently and is hoping to hear from readers for advice.

For those that don't recall, Trixie is a teacher at the Speed Racer Elementary School and was expecting to teach widgets but in October for some reason or another it was decided for her to teach Nuclear Fission. Then a few weeks later she got schpritzed in the eye with hand sanitizer by a student. And then faced COVID death due to an entire grade being isolated without any news being shared with the rest of the school. However, what Trixie just shared was her greatest indignity of all. 

What could that be? Trixie and The Crack Team are still crunching the numbers but it somehow in someway runs the gamut of being thrown under the bus to being stabbed in the back to having smack talked about her. Worse, it was from someone that was at one point her closest friend in the DOE. Someone that didn't teach at her school and though they were no longer friends this just was not right. 

It's too bad because Trixie did not deserve it. In fact Trixie was shocked when she found out and at the same time hurt. But Trixie is a trooper. She's not even going to waste her time talking this this person. She just wanted me to share this and get it off her chest.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

It's Time I Get Something of My Chest About Myself (You Won't Be Surprised. I Think)

I've had this on my mind for some time. I have written this out in my mind time after time again. But I am going to say this straightforward. Like pulling a band aid off. But I am going to share this as a kind of stream of consciousnesses.

I am a 58 year old male and gosh darn I have Adult ADHD. I am sure there are some of you who know me well, and unwell, that this doesn't surprise you. I am not asking for sympathy. Nor am I asking for pity. I am asking for to understand. You don't have to agree or disagree. I am not making any excuses, but rather an explanation. 

It's very difficult for me to get organized and stay on task. Then again, if I am extremely "into" what I am doing it is very easy to stay or task and I'm a little bit more organized. I don't think I have ever fulfilled all I can as a teacher due to the ADHD. 

Along with the ADHD comes anxiety. It's like the chicken or the egg. Which came first? Does the ADHD bring on the anxiety or vice versa? It's very easy for me to get overwhelmed. 

I was on the thirteen year plan to graduate college. In fact I barely graduated high school. The last two and a half years of high school I really didn't give a crap. 

I can be quote impatient. I sometimes speak my mind at the wrong time. I tend to piss people off. My son says I remind him of Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

And let's not forget the impulsivity!!!!! Oy vey! It always seems like a good idea at first.

Money and me don't get along. 

Driving and me weren't the best of friends. There was a time in my twenties in which getting pulled over was a natural occurrence. Though I have overcome that. 

I can have four hundred things going on in my head at once. It isn't pleasant. When I get anxious I tend to continuously swirl over something.

I get distracted easily. But as I said earlier, I can easily get hyper focused. 

Sitting in one place for too long is problematic

My mind is very creative. If I had to do it over I would do something creative. When I retire I want to do something creative. Or sell cars. I think I would have made a great salesman. Selling cars or something.

I see thing others don't see. I have zero linear thought.

I love golf and can focus. I love baseball but can't watch a game anymore. I get too bored. 

ADHD is not compatible with stupid authority.

ADHD is compatible with passion. Which sometimes can not be good. 

Why haven't I gone on meds for this? Nope. Don't want to.

I think my biggest issue with my ADHD can be following through. I need to wait for the last minute to get the focus to to do something. Sometimes I don't follow through because it is not high up on my list. It doesn't mean I think any less of the person I promised something to, but just the way my mind works. It is important. But Wrath of Khan had distracted me.

I am able to focus better when I am under a gun. However, if I am getting outside crap from someone that does not motivate me. I think that is the issue I have had with the DOE all these years. 

This is how it is for me. I am what I am. Every day I have to work hard to get through it. I know there are many who are reading this that will get it. And some who won't. Too bad. I don't care. 


 


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Unity Must Remove Mulgrew in a Coup

 It's coming down to crunch time. UFT election Ballots are due a week from Monday, May 9. The counting of those ballots I believe, will be the next day. Then we wait. Will UFC win? Will Unity win in a landslide or will it be close?

From Norm's blog of April 4...

But if the votes come out and Unity wins, but takes a big hit on the numbers – and that’s what I think will happen, will that send a clear message? Will Unity adjust some of its policies? Will they find a new leader?

But if Unity gets into mid-60s or less, which would be an overwhelming win in normal elections, in the UFT that opens up real danger signs for Unity. 

Norm and I had this same discussion back in January.  I had blogged that fear has encapsulated Unity and  last month that it appears that the smell wafting from Unity is one of fear.  

Will there be reform within the UFT if Unity does wind? Not with the recent percentage of votes it has had in recent elections. Winning with those numbers will just let those at the UFT to unclench their sphincters and continue on as they have in the past, even if they lose the high school executive board. 

But, what if Unity wins and the vote total is sixty percent or less? Or if the retirees (which about 15k voted for Unity in 2019) turns to United for Change, yet Unity still wins? Will there be reforms? 

Overall, there won't be any real reforms. At least not with the current leadership in charge. What will be needed will be a scapegoat. And that scapegoat should be and will be Mike Mulgrew. 

But Mulgrew will not fall on his sword as he should. That would be the grown up thing to do. The responsible thing to do. But it shan't happen. 

What should happen, and what does The Crack Team thinks will happen? A simple Coup d'état of the presidency of the UFT is all that is needed. Mind you, we here at SBSB are not advocating for any violence or revolution within Unity ranks. Rather, a peaceful coup in which several of those at Unity tell Mulgrew his time is up and it is time to move on to something else. 

Find an Elba for Mulgrew. Staten Island is already an island so that is a good start. But seriously. Give him a retirement party, the gold watch and what not and let him live off his DOE and UFT pensions. If they want, give him a gig at AFT headquarters in Washington or something. There are some really good people within the UFT and the get besmirched with guilt by association with his name. I wouldn't doubt they are thinking the same way. 

One way or the other Mulgrew must go. And if it is not by outright victory of United for Change then those within Unity have to do what is ethically and morally right.



Monday, April 18, 2022

The Obliviousness of Mike Mulgrew

UPDATE: I made BIG MISTAKE! I conflated the original quote from Mulgrew vas one incident. I misread and took when he said he was traveling to school nearby as him being in the Bronx. I was it was pointed out to me, I edited this blog post, I was incorrect, I take responsibility, and I apologize.

 Sometimes being a leader is not just being a leader of those who elected you, but being seen as a leader to those who haven't elected you or even to those who don't know you. That is the hard part. That takes time and effort. And sometimes it is needed. 

On April 8 Angellyh Yambo,  a 16 year old student at University Prep Charter High School in the Bronx, was shot and killed in the Bronx walking home. I can't imagine the devastation and the pain the family must be going through. 

I had not known until I read Arthur's blog with his DA board minutes of April 13 that the teachers at UP are represented by the UFT. As per Mulgrew during his opening soliloquy...

Last Friday was horrendous shooting of three students. UFT-represented charter run by group of teachers--We have a better procedure with NYPD to get people home. We've had people there all week... Thanks Jeff Povalitus  and safety team.

Jeff is a stand up guy. If Jeff is involved, you know something will turn out well. 

But one thing bothers me.

Mulgrew could have made an appearance. He is the UFT President and this not only affected it's members, but the community of University Prep. Again, never missing a chance to miss an opportunity. 

I have seen the UFT first hand when it comes to a student dying. This school year a 4th grade student in my school died from an asthma attack at home. The UFT was there in force. They did what was needed to be done. I can give credit where credit is due. 

But a student being gunned down on St Ann's Ave is different. This cries out for leadership to be seen and heard. Maybe Mulgrew to visit the school was too much of a schlep from Staten Island. In a way I can empathize with him. For me, going to Staten Island from White Plains is too much. Do I go through Jersey or Brooklyn? But make to Mulgrew.

He just doesn't get what being a leader entails. He just doesn't understand what optics mean. He doesn't get how to schmooze. He doesn't get that for whatever reason some look to him for leadership. And it appears he only will do the right thing if there is something in it for him or if there is some sycophant involved. 

What harm would it do for Mulgrew to appear in the Bronx and show that he is there for the entire University Prep community? 

If Mulgrew can't do the obvious things, what makes you think Mulgrew can do what's right when everything is all higgely piggedly.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

This Sums Up Why Mike Mulgrew Must No Longer Be UFT President

 I have said it time and time again. If a principal were caught in the act murdering someone, and smoke still coming out of the barrel, with a sizeable blood splatter, nothing would happen to that principal. Well nothing negative at least. 

That principal would be "promoted" to a nice cushy office job at Tweed, be given a raise, and other perks. There wouldn't even be 3020a charges. It would be swept under the rug, never to be spoken of again.

Yet if a teacher were to fart the wrong way, that teacher would be summarily sent to the Rubber Room and brought up on 3020a charges. Then have more inane charges added and face the whims of an "impartial" arbitrator of whether or not they would keep their job. What gives? 

In today's Post it was reported that...

Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir, who was removed as principal of Maspeth High School last July, won’t return to any city school as a principal, according to a settlement of misconduct charges. But he can stay on the Department of Education payroll for another seven years.

Under Abdul-Mutakabbir, Maspeth HS created fake classes, awarded credits to failing students, and fixed grades to push kids out the door, the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools found..

In fact, read the SCI report here. It's really more perverse. But it is easy to ruminate over how yet another NYCDOE principal escaped the clutches of accountability or how there are two sets of rules; one for teachers and one for administrators. That's not my beef for today.

My beef today is the silence coming from Mike Mulgrew. The man who never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

I have written this blog since August 29, 2008. I have written about teachers being charged and/or losing their jobs nearly fourteen years. There are teachers who have been accused of doing one tenth of what the principal of Maspeth HS has done only to find themselves at the risk of losing their jobs. 

Where is the outrage from Mulgrew how the members he represents are the sacrificial lambs of the DOE? Where are Mulgrew's words denouncing how Principal Abdul-Mutakabbir's grifting and possibly criminal behavior? Where is the defense of teachers as Abdul-Mutakabbir  gets rewarded while teachers all over the city have suffered for years with such inane 3020a charges? Never once does Mulgrew come out and say, "THIS IS ENOUGH!!!" NOT ONCE! Nor will Mulgrew ever. Mulgrew does not get our plight. Our hurt. Our suffering.

Look through these pages. How many corrupt and incompetent administrators have graced these pages? One of my favorites, Greg Papadopoulos former AP at the former IS 162 in the Bronx. Greg stole time. He did programming at home and his pal, Principal Marilyn Manzolillo signed off on his time sheets and he was rewarded with comp time. Former District 7 superintendent Yolanda Torres gave him a letter to file. And remember this. Yolanda for her incompetence of running District 7 was rewarded with a cushy Tweed gig.

Burt back to Mulgrew. This is his problem. His tone deafness. His lack of connection to the rank and file. It's as if Mulgrew is in this so called gilded tower of his on 52 Broadway or somewhere in Staten Island as he looks down upon us and literally sees what he can get away with not doing. 

How difficult for Mulgrew--at the very least--to come out with a press release denouncing the how teachers are unjustly facing discipline versus administrators. Better would be to get in front of the cameras and show some emotion!

I think the real reason why Mulgrew keeps his mouth shut is even more deviant. Years ago, I think it was 2007, Leroy Barr stopped by when I was in the Rubber Room. I asked him point blank why the UFT is silent as administrators continue to harass teachers. His answer?

"They are fellow union members. We can't go after them." I wonder if CSA Mark Cannizzaro ever reciprocated with his members?

Friday, April 15, 2022

Unity Members and Supporters Seem to be Splitting Ballots!

Yes, the ballots are out. I got my ballot in the mail on Monday. Simple for me. I am voting the UFC slate. No vote splitting for me. In 2019 I did not vote slate and vote for both Solidarity candidates and deserved candidates from Unity. In fact Chaz the Blogger was known to do this (here and here). Even NYCDOEnuts is doing so this year (here and here). I disagreed with them but as those who knew Chaz and know NYCDOEnuts know both men of their convictions. 

But something is amiss out there. Word has been filtering into the SBSB news room as well as to members of The Crack Team that a another form of ballot splitting occuring. Which can be quite ominous for the Unity ticket.

From what we here have heard is that many members of Unity are fed up with Mulgrew. That this year nstead of voting for the Unity slate,  these people with be voting  Camille Eterno for president and voting for the rest of Unity. 

Of course this is anecdotal, and some of it has come to us as second hand. But where there is smoke there is fire. So far in this election cycle we are seeing things never before seen from Unity. There have been attacks upon the opposition on Twitter and a professionally created web page. We have seen talking points and slogans that seem to have originated with focus groups and let's not forget one more thing; The smell of real fear coming from Unity. 

Now of course we don't know how many in Unity are ballot splitting. We don't know if those that are taking this path are "official" members of Unity or just regular rank and file teachers like you and me. Heck, we don't even know if its a few dozen or so who are doing this or if there are hundreds. There is no way to know. But what we do know this years election cycle is different than in years past. 

What does this say about Unity if that many are fed up with Mulgrew? Look long term. The worst thing for Unity would not be for it to lose the election, but to get under sixty percent of the vote. At least a total lost there probably will be people willing to fall upon there swords and have the foresight to reform the caucus. But if Unity stays in control and loses a significant percentage of votes the bloodletting can and will begin. It's time for the Unity house of cards to have some damage.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

When UFC Wins There Must be a Forensic Audit of UFT Books

 On or about July 1 when United for Change wins the election there will lots to do. Hopefully, UFC and the new leadership will hit the ground running. But there is one thing that must be done immediately. 

There must be a forensic audit of the financials of the United Federation of Teachers. It's time to know
exactly where our dues monies have gone. Who know what will be found.

Are there off shore accounts in Switzerland? Cayman Islands? Which politicians have been paid off or donated to? What "perks" have been giving to UFT leadership over the years? 

Where are the real estate holdings? Are there cars? Trips to Hawaii? Vegas? The rank and file demands to know where the dollars went and also to whom.

There is one problem. As I was discussing with near octogenarian fanboi yesterday, there is too much time between when the elections results are announced and July 1. What does that mean?

Those six weeks are more than enough time for UFT Unity to shred papers, burn papers, silence and the possible disappearance of the accountants, destroy hard drives. Remember, always follow the money.


Monday, April 11, 2022

A Past Look at UFT Doing the Work

 UFT Unity has that market researched line; "We do the Work." So before you check that box for for the Unity slate let's see what kind of work they have done. 

In 2002 looked the other way as mayoral control of the city schools happened. It was downhill after this.

In 2005 we lost seniority transfer, grieving letters to file unless it was a contract violation,gained the Open Market transfer system. Letters to file no longer were removed once you left s school. Before this if you were in a bad situation you could find another school and go there. But not anymore, especially with fair student funding coming into play. Veteran teachers were shit out of luck. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers. 

What did the above begat? It begatted the Bloomberg Doctrine of "all you need is a heartbeat and you too can be a principal." We got the brand new Leadership Academy where even though one had six months in education one can become a principal. Like this little turd blossom. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers.

 It begatted (haha) thousands of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool. Too many teachers in fact. Worse yet, too many older teachers with institutional experience and large salaries. That begat Rubber Rooms gone wild. The warehousing of "teachers" who need to be made examples of. I'll never forget a teacher walking into the Rubber Room in disbelief muttering, " I'm here because I had a Coke in my hand." Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers. 

What did that begat? It begatted hundred of teachers being brought up on bullshit 3020a charges. See above. Losing seniority transfer, grieving letters, and fair student funding that. Teachers were literally dying. Nothing. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers.

What did that begat? It begatted the war on teachers and education. Charters, testing, tenure going from three years to four. APPR. Danielson. Oh yeah, "we got you eight strands, be happy." Fuck that. Guess what? APPR is still a weapon. In fact a worse weapon. At least everyone with a U could fight it. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers.

What did that begat? It begatted the war on teachers and education. Going from 2009 to 2014 without a contract. Oh yeah, the retro was to be paid out over six years. Unless you were terminated, quit, or dropped dead. So money you earned you would not be allowed to have. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers.

What did that begat? It begatted abusive administrators, overwork, an unenforced contract, three hundred lawyers at Tweed. It begatted worn out teachers. It begatted teachers who feel the union doesn't have it's back. Thatis unless the union will know it will win and the stack is decked in its favor beforehand. We basically have a risk adverse union. Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over teachers.

More begatting. The worst, the absolute worst. The backroom dealing and scheming of Mulgrew going behind the backs of the retirees and nearly forcing them into some untested, shell company, death watch. How dare Mulgrew force retirees into some untested, unseen, fake Medicare? Hear that? That's the thud of the UFT bus driving over retirees and then backing up the bus.

Worse, we have a union that has collapsed upon itself. Too much inter-marrying amongst the union leadership all the way down to the schools. The UFT has lost touch with itself and with the rank and file. The UFT would rather lose power to a bunch of upstarts instead of looking in the mirror and seeing what it can do to reform itself. History is replete with this happening to the monarchies of Europe. There must be one history teacher in the upper echelon of the UFT.

This is not Mulgrew's union or Unity's union. It is your union and our union. A revolution is coming.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Westchester County United for Change Happy Hour April 9, 2022

This Saturday, April 9, for the first time, there will be a United for Change Westchester Happy Hour/Get Together or whatever you want to call it.

Come meet some great people, learn about United for Change, meet VP for High Schools Candidate Jonathan Halabi (at press time The Crack Team is working on getting other UFC celebrities to make an appearance) and many others. Learn what you can do to facilitate change in our union and how we can have a more proactive union.

Festivities are at the Saw Mill Tavern, 925 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley, NY 10502 from 3 PM to 5 PM, Saturday, April 9, 2022

I've been there often. Seen many bands play there and my 35th high school reunion was there. 

Saw Mill Tavern is in a strip mall so there is plenty of parking. if you are coming by car it accessible to the New York State Thruway, the Saw Mill Parkway, and the Sprain Parkway. If you decide to use public transportation the #6 bus of the Bee-Line stops right in front or you can take Metro North to either Dobbs Ferry or Hartsdale and grab a cab from either station. 

If you want to come with your significant other and make it a weekend Ardsley boasts two fine motels. The Ardsley Acres Motel and the Apple Motor Inn. Spend a night in Ardsley. See the sights and sounds of Ardsley as well.

Come and have fun and meet some great people!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

UFT Unity The Smell of Fear

 Smell that? It's fear. Desperation. It's exuding from 52 Broadway.

This is my fifth go round of being involved one way or the other with these union elections. What I've seen from the UFT Unity caucus this year is unprecedented.


The Crack Team assembled this afternoon to see if my hypothesis is correct. They crunched the data and looked back at the last two election cycles, 2016 and 2019, to use as a control group. They decided not to use 2010 because it was too far back and social media was still in its infancy and 2013 was excluded due to it being MORE was still in its infancy (I'm not trying to disparage MORE here, in fact I forget if MORE ran anyone in this election).

If we look at 2016 MORE was building up steam and was well organized. But there was also Solidarity which, if memory serves, was running in its first election. 

Both opposition groups were pretty much at loggerheads then and one could reasonably say they split ticket, however MORE did win the high school seats. But, could be seen as a wake up call for UFT Unity, but it wasn't. In the past, the opposition had won high school seats and in my opinion UFT Unity just dealt with it.

In 2019, was a real hullabaloo. MORE was in disarray and not really trying (Again, I am not disparaging MORE) and Solidarity was trying to pick up the pieces from... how do I say this? Shit happening. Yet, with all this Solidarity made a surprise second place showing. 

So this is the extreme brief take as well as history on the previous two elections. I am sure there are many who can fill in the missing pieces in the comments section and I welcome them to.

Social media started to "take off" as well in the previous two elections. Even on the UFT Unity side. The Crack Team did a search on Twitter for January 1-May 15 for both years. In both those election cycles the UFT Unity Twitter account was basically used to tout Unity and to get out the vote (Click here and here for search of UFT Unity tweets for those years). As you can see, nothing even mentioning opposition groups. 

This year, things apparently have changed. The UFT Unity twitter account seems to be mirroring the same type of tweets by United for Change in which executive board members and other candidates are introduced. Usage of Unity's "blog" and/or website to dig at the opposition. Mayhem at the Delegate Assemblies. UFT officers attacking the rank and file. Claiming others are not doing the work when others are not in power to. 

Even a plethora of disingenuous blog posts.

Why is UFT Unity running scared? Two reasons I have noticed. 

Anecdotally, in speaking with in service members I personally (Again this is from my personal experience. There is nothing scientific about this data ) am hearing from many disaffected members of the rank and file. Members are done with the lack of leadership from COVID, to constant abuse by administrators, to bogus AARP ratings, to justs a general mistrust of the union leadership in particular how out of touch Mike Mulgrew is. 

But that is not UFT Unity's biggest problem. Like a boil on the buttocks of the UFT that needs to be either lanced or popped the faction that was most loyal and actually votes is fed up. Care to guess? 

The retirees.

How the gosh darn does one turn against their most loyal votes as Mulgrew has by shoving Medicare (Dis)Advantage down retirees throats? Where is the logic? Why is this done without ANY input from retirees? Why is this done with nothing but, "Trust us, it'll be great," when there is nothing but a blank paper to show?

How can Mulgrew force retirees into Medicare (Dis)Advantage buy claiming, "You will be able to continue with your own medical providers," when there is no list of doctors, therapists, hospitals, that are on the plan! How does this make any sense? 

What does Mulgrew have to say to an 85 year old retiree who lives on a fixed income, as several medical ailments and is being forced to choose between Medicare (Dis)Advantage in which the retiree has no idea what to expect or paying $190 a month to keep their Medicare.

Yeah, I know a judge just sided with the retirees. But does anyone really trust Mulgrew? I know I don't. 

UFT Unity is in a lose lose situation. If the percentage of their vote dips below 65 percent there will be a bloodletting in Unity and if not we will have a hobbled union when contract negotiations start in earnest.