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!