SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: UFT Unity The Smell of Fear

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.


Anonymous said...

Retirees are totally going to vote against Unity which is a great thing. However, what has me spooked is the timing of the election in regards to the next contract. If Mulgrew wins again before a contract is done, he will have absolutely no reason to try and push for a decent contract. Thoughts on the timing of all of this?

Pete Zucker said...

I am more concerned that there will be a new contract announcement before voting begins.

Anonymous said...

85 seems old enough, not like them dieing at 85 instead of 88 or 93 is really a tragedy. Anything past 78 just seems selfish and ego driven. Very few people matter enough to justify living that long.

Anonymous said...

I don't think retirees will vote against unity. They may have been mad about medicare disadvantage but now the court settled in retirees favor, they can go back to retirement life