Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The AFT/UFT/Unity Caucus Leadership: Dupes or Vichy?

 A few weeks ago a young teacher asked Why? at a meeting. Why would the union not fight charters and school closings vehemently since the ultimate goal was to undermine and weaken the union? I attempted to give a quick answer in this post: Why?

But we need to do a much deeper analysis to get to the crux of the matter. Many people in the opposition or even those not in the opposition offer up ideas like: "Write to Mulgrew and tell him what's going on." Or "pressure the leadership from the bottom to get them to act." I take a contrary view. They will never act and if they do it will be to undermine whatever actions that might really work in the interests of the rank and file. Why? Ahhh, that is the question.

UFT critic bloggers like Chaz and Reality-Based Educator at Perdido Street School have suggestions for the UFT/AFT:

Chaz wish list for how the UFT should approach 2011:
1. A contract that includes the "City pattern" with no givebacks!.
2. No ATR time limit, ever!
3. No changing the "last in, first out" layoff list.
4. No weakening of our "due process" rights.
5. The right to a fair and independent investigation for alleged misconduct.
6. Elimination of the PIP+ termination program.
7. Teacher input into the teacher evaluation program.
RBE adds a few more items to the list and expands the wish list to the AFT as well:  Some New Year's Wishes For The UFT/AFT
RBE closes with:
Not that the UFT or AFT will follow any of these as they sell members down the river on test scores, TDR's, school closures, merit pay, and the rest. But at least we can offer some alternatives to the current jive the UFT and AFT offer.
But WHY won't will they sell members down the river when the end game of ed deform is their weakening and possible elimination? Even Peter Lamphere and Lee Sustar the Socialist Worker
with a wide-ranging piece don't really get to the crux of the WHY?

I'm going to take some shots at answering the WHY question in some upcoming posts which may take us on a tour through UFT/AFT history. 
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/


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