Saturday, January 29, 2022

Mulgrew's Big Mistake With Retirees Will Hurt Him

 One does much thinking when one is snowed in. For some reason, yesterday's blog post (for whatever reason), kept popping into my head. Something is in the air I haven't seen in the twelve years I have been participating in elections. What could it be and why has it happened?

The answer is simple. Mulgrew and Mulgrew. It comes down to his hubris and tone deafness. There are many examples, in fact too many, over the years. But one example stands out among all others. 

To me it boils down to how Medicare (Dis)advantage has been handled by him. Of course, his handling of COVID has left a lot to desire. But at least in 2020 and through last school year I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. I saw something different coming from him, though it turned out to be fleeting. But I want to focus on the handling of Medicare (Dis)advantage and how this is just a continuation of how he is clueless.

In my opinion and I am going to be a retired soon, retirees simply don't want their pensions and health care fucked with (pardon my french). They don't want surprises. How simple can it be? I am thinking ahead to my retirement. All will care about from the UFT is my pension and my health care. 

There are many types of retirees. Some are quite wealthy. Some are living check to check. Some are healthy. Some aren't. What Mulgrew has done is bring all those with many different agendas and lives together and they have banded together to oppose this joke Medicare and Mulgrew. 

If Medicare (Dis)advantage was inevitable as Mulgrew has claimed, why then was there a lack of transparency. Were retirees kept up to date during negotiations? Was the input of a diverse group of retirees, including those that opposed Mulgrew asked for? If not, how come? If so, how much input was asked for and received?

Does Mulgrew realize the tsuris he has laid on the retirees? Seriously, does he? 

If Medicare (Dis)advantage was inevitable as Mulgrew has claimed, why was there a rush to have retirees sign up by January 1, sight unseen? I wouldn't sign my name to anything without reading it first, how could Mulgrew have accepted this without a complete list of providers? Shouldn't one want to know what they are signing up for? Heck, why wasn't Medicare (Dis)advantage rolled out over a period of time?

Did Mulgrew try to lead in finding serious savings in the traditional Medicare coverage? From what was explained to me, Medicare pays 80 percent and Emblem 20 percent. There weren't any savings to be had? 

The big question to Mulgrew is why there was ZERO transparency. Give an answer!

We have lacked transparency coming from 52 Broadway time and time again. Mulgrew might just have finally touched the proverbial third rail.

Trust me. Free Fitbits, food delivered to hospitals, and rides to providers is not enough to sell Medicare (Dis)advantage. This might not be Joe Namath Medicare (Dis)advantage as Mulgrew claims, but it is at the very least Al Woodall's version. 

Retirees vote. Retirees are pissed.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Fear Emanating from Unity/UFT

Smell that? It's fear and it's emanating from 52 Broadway. The green cloud of fear is hovering over UFT headquarters. For first time in years there is a real chance of Unity losing control of the UFT as well as the rank and file. Unity might become irrelevant.

I got involved for the first time in the UFT elections in 2010 and been involved one way or the other in every election since. Something different is happening in 2022. 

The retirees are beyond pissed. What was once a reliable sure fire  vote for Unity now seems completely fractured. How can anyone that is being forced into Medicare (Dis)advantage vote against their interests? If Mulgrew and Unity have already thrown the retirees under the bus what would stop Mulgrew again? 

The trolls are also coming out. In the past, there wasn't any Unity trolling on Twitter. But as I mentioned on Sunday, this election cycle there is. Let's not forget others who are on the UFT payroll using their own UFT Twitter accounts to bash and scare the rank and file. 

In fact looking back at the Unity/UFT in 2019 there weren't any attacks against the opposition. Yet in 2022 as I shared last week there is an attack. One thing I noticed, there the comment section is turned off on that blog, I wonder why. But here it is that blog post again. Read the fear.

The scuttlebutt I am hearing, as well as being shared with The Crack Team, from the rank and file is different this year than in the past. This year there appears to be many more teachers fed up with the direction of the union. But along with that there is more knowledge and interest in the election.

And how can we forget this harbinger of what's to come? November's loss of control of the Delegate Assembly. Desperation and confusion combined. 

Reports are coming in to the SBSB newsroom of petitioners being harassed. Also, teachers who wish to pass out United for Change flyers being told they are not allowed.What does Unity fear?

Will UFC win? It'll be hard. It can be done. But even in losing, as one near octogenarian fanboi has explained...

"If Unity gets less than 60 percent of the vote, real damage will be done."

Fear is in the air. So is change. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Unity/UFT Created Drama™

 This is definitely a "can't help but looking while driving by a car accident moment." Unity/UFT has a blog. I hadn't known that, and I will welcome their blog to my blog roll. But we here at SBSB are disappointed, yet wonder why, the Unity/UFT blog has yet to enable the ability for one to leave comments. Would this not be a lively venue to debate the issues of the day? A place for Unity/UFT to have unfettered access into the minds of the rank and file?

The Crack Team has come across this most recent blog post of Unity/UFT entitled; "UNITY/UFT: Doing the Work Without the Drama!" Really? For real? Are you kidding? 

¡Uno momento por favor!

This blog post is so easy to take apart line by line, idea by idea. But let's just focuson two points being propagandized by Unity/UFT for now.

No drama? Let's just take a look at the first sentence of the blog post...

We have said it before and we will say it again – we sincerely believe in working together in UNITY. 

Where was this so called "working together" that the blog post espouses in switching retirees who were expecting Medicare when they were to retire over to the Medicare (Dis)advantage

There are tens of thousands of retirees right now that are scared shitless of what is about to happen. There are retirees with serious health issues that are extremely scared that the doctors and medical providers that will no longer be available to them. And don't forget their spouses as well.   They are being forced to blindly sign up for this abomination of a health plan, whilst those that control the union can only say, "Trust us."

What about those retirees who are fixed incomes? Living month to month by the seat of their pants, now must pay hundreds of dollars a month to keep their Medicare as they knew it? That they must choose between eating or dying. 

What of the retired teacher who dreamed of retiring to Wyoming? Think there will be doctors there that will be on NYC's Medicare (Dis)advantage? Doubtful, very doubtful.

There is no working together with retirees. There is only, "This is the plan. You can like it or lump it." That is not working together. That is not we teach our students. Why does Unity/UFT act in such a manner? Unity/UFT has created drama and perpetuated drama. 

Unity/UFT is taking it's most loyal voting bloc and who just happen to be the most vulnerable members and throwing them under the bus. Why would retirees wish to vote for Unity? 

Yet another contradictory and tone deaf statement from the blog...

No drama or theatre of the absurd. No spreading of misinformation. We speak to facts and facts only.

Really, Gracie? No theater of the absurd? No spreading of misinformation? Facts only? 

Then explain this Twitter troll:

I know, I know. The profile for the trolls says, "views are my own." But there is a pretty good idea who this person might be. This blog has been trolled by this person troll. So has another blog. But I enjoy his tweets and the comments. Keeps me and others laughing. 

Unity/UFT is projecting the drama they claim to hate.

Friday, January 21, 2022

I'm With Dan Alicea, Live on 99.5 WBAI-FM on January 22

 It's finally happened! Tomorrow afternoon I will be appearing on Dan Alicea's radio program "Talk Out of School," on 99.5 WBAI-FM tomorrow afternoon, January 22 at 1 PM (Streaming here).

As per Dan Alicea on Facebook; 

Join us for conversations with NYC educators about what’s going on in the DOE!

Listen to tomorrow, Sat, 1/22 at 1 pm @WBAI 99 FM. Or listen online at

We will discuss the new video and audio podcast show “ Grading the Drama: DOE Unplugged” with its hosts, Matt & Abby.

** They will grade the DOE’s pandemic response and Michael Mulgrew’s job performance as of late! Don’t miss it. ***

Also, we begin a series that will dig into the life, myths & plight of our city’s ATR teachers with Kathleen McCormack Perez & Peter Zucker

Yeah, lots of myths and of course plight with us ATRs. The life of an ATR is not as glamorous as it appears. 

And for further listening I appeared as a guest on a podcast hosted by Lydia Howrilka, Johnny Hinesley, and Eric Severson. It can be heard right here

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Lunch Teacher is Back in the News

 On December 10 there was a UFTSolidarity/United for Change Happy Hour at the G Bar on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

I am there for a bit when I see a blast from the past. One of Lord Palpatine's Sith Apprentices. Hmm, I wonder thinking to myself, why would Darth Whatevertheirname be here? To spy? To chastise me for something I had written almost three years ago? 

It turned out to be the latter. I was confronted concerning the blog post I had written regarding how the Lunch Teacher was thrown under the bus by colleagues. I had moved on and wasn't obsessing about it for nearly three years. I have better things to do.

So later that night I called a meeting of The Crack Team and we promptly convened at the local Burger King. Over some fries and several Whoppers, we decided it was time to reach out to the Lunch Teacher and get an update on her what she has been up to. 

After commiserating with the Lunch Teacher not only myself and The Crack Team aghast, but quite faklempt as well. Seems her and food do not go well together. 

Seems that just before Thanksgiving the Lunch Teacher was being observed. In fact the students were so well behaved during the observation because they knew (and were looking forward to as well) there was to be a Thanksgiving celebration that day.

Regrettably, the class eats lunch first thing in the morning. One student was quite hungry. He had stomach pangs. Poor kid. He was hungry. He's little. He asked the Lunch Teacher for some food, like a cookie or a treat. Just something to tide his hunger over. Because the Lunch Teacher cares and loves her students so much she obliged. It turned out to be her undoing.

She got a developing for class management due to this act of kindness. So she should have the student to suffer? To starve? But if she had  refused the student's request, it would have been the same outcome. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. 

More to come on the Lunch Teacher.....

Saturday, January 1, 2022

What the UFT Must Do Now To Make Members Feel Somewhat Safer

So we are walking into the bowels of death on Monday. "But," the UFT says, "we have a plan! And we are now on top of things!" 

Yeah. Sure. Right. 

But what should the UFT do? The members know.

The Crack Team met with it's favorite near octogenarian earlier and we spit balled some ideas.

1. Set Up Member Hotline!

Why this hasn't been done yet goes beyond reason. A hotline number and/or form on UFT website should be set up posthaste so members can report themselves, students, what they hear or whatever is happening in their school. Other members asnd I do not trust, nor should we, information we get from our administrations, the DOE, the Union, and the Situation Room. Then with the information gleaned investigate, investigate, investigate!! Maybe the PR person on Twitter can spend time investigating. Or Hedley Lamar from District 25 can.

2. Cases On UFT Website

Look at SUNY Albany. They have a COVID dashboard. Listing cases among students and teachers, as well as those in quarantine as well as recovered.  This is what the UFT should have on its website. 

3. Where Are The Outbreaks?

Screw the Situation Room's friggin map. It's time for the UFT to have a real time map with real time information. 

4. Attendance Rates

List all attendance rates daily for students and staff. Updated daily!

5. Answer This Question

How can schools not be breeding grounds for COVID? One person from the union can answer this in the comments section. Maybe Hedley Lamar from District 25 can. 

6. Stop The PR Crap!

On Twitter we see several spewing the propaganda line of the DOE. Usually from a person who has never ever in their life set foot in a classroom nor wouldn't know what to do if they were in one. Or trolling like Hedley Lamar. 

7. Hold Principals Accountable 

Too many principals are sweeping positive tests under the rug. They are playing God. 

8. Testing In Schools

On the UFT COVID dashboard, there should be how many tests for the days system wide, borough wide, district wide, and for each school. Positive and negative results should be reported.

9. Complete Transparency

It is time now to know who is in charge of the Situation Room, who works there, and what qualifications one must have to work for the Situation room. Heck, where is it located?

Oh yeah. And from the UFT as well.  

Will the UFT implement any of these ideas? Doubtful. These ideas make too much sense. One thing we will hear is this: "We can't push back too hard. We need our seat at the table." 

Here's the dirty little secret the UFT doesn't know. The seat at the table is at the kid's table. All the other unions are at the grownups table. Not the UFT. I sat many a Passover at the kids table. We got the brisket last. The kugel last. 

The UFT's table is a Passover sedar. And guess who the City and DOE have looking for the Afikomen every year? Yep, got that right. And like usual the UFT falls for the same bit every year. For the last 8 years after finding the Afikomen, Uncle Bill told Mulgrew the dollar was in his pants pocket. This year, it will be Uncle Eric doing the same. And guess what? Mulgrew ain't grabbing no dollar.