Thursday, November 18, 2010

UFT Delegate Assembly Craps out on Black Waiver, Unity Frays at the Edges

Just back from taking my wide out to a fancy brunch - at Costco. We must have hit the clam dip booth 10 times. If I can break through the heartburn I have a report from yesterday's UFT Delegate Assembly.

It was nice to see a bunch of Jim Callaghan supporters out in front of 52 Broadway yesterday with signs and a leaflet. I hope people took note.

You really have to sit through a UFT Delegate Assembly and listen carefully to get an insight to the thinking that goes on at the top levels of the union. Over the past few years I have never had the patience to put up with it and focused more on socializing and organizing. But this time I went upstairs to watch on the TV monitors in the hallway - they no longer allow visitors to even set foot in the hall and if they could get away with stopping me they would keep me off the 2nd floor too - but I just tell them to call the cops to have me removed and they shut up.

You know I'm not a hater but I get closest when dealing with Unity hacks because my dues pays these fuckers. I can do a post or two on some recent encounters but there are more important issues. Like how will the leadership figure out a way to try to make it look like they don't like the Black appointment while in fact doing nothing to make it look to the ed deformers, who they really care about, that they're OK with it - wink, wink.

So there was a reso we handed out calling on the UFT to oppose the Black waiver. This reso was based on Black's involvement with Coca Cola and anti-labor practices which have been condemned and I urge you to read it: Resolution for UFT DA: Reject Waiver and Black.

But it never got to the floor. The UFT had its own reso, which when I read it I smacked myself in the head so hard I had temporary amnesia with side effects- like, while Mulgarten was talking on the TV screen he morphed into Randi, who in another deja view moment showed up as the mystery guest at the Gotham School fundraiser a few hours later. They were hoping for Cathie Black but ended up with Randi.

Mulgrew tolds us how he met Black. "She has nice shoes." Hmmm, Mulgrew have a foot fetish? Well, not to worry, he will end up licking her boots at some point. Wait 'till we see 10,000 less teachers and 52 Broadway becomes the incredible shrinking building.

The Whereases start out saying all sorts of good stuff. Like the Chancellor "should have a full and thorough understanding of teaching and learning" blah, blah, blah. Then they shift into the usual obfuscation/waffling tone about NY State Law on chancellor qualifications and the waiver law and the role of the State Ed Commissioner. Then it goes on to talk about the secretive process that Bloomberg engaged in as he tried to thwart the intent of the mayoral control law - which by the way we all told them when they supported the renewal last year he would do anyway. Ho, hum. Then comes the part about State Ed Comm chairman David Steiner, who Mulgrew seems to have a man crush on, "has announced the formation of an independent panel, including educators (my bold), to evaluate the request for a waiver...."

So you see, kiddies, they have actual educators so not to worry. So here comes the kicker:

be it RESOLVED, that the UFT support the process established by [Steiner] as a credible and fair procedure for deciding on the request for a waiver from qualifications for chancellor...promulgated in state education law.

But, but, but - after all you said you are also saying you would go along with Black if they so decide. You could hear the sound of teeth grinding all over the place.

So, there was no real debate as the Unity leadership decided to amend their own reso with Leo Ugh! Casey leading the charge. This 3 part piece of crap calls for, among other things, changing the law in the future to include a nationwide search for a chancellor - sort of like looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

So then it gets interesting. Dave Pecoraro, a long-time Unity parrot at DA's is also chapter leader at the soon to close Beach Channel HS in Rockaway. Dave may be a Unity parrot but he is not a hack. He is a passionate chapter leader and fighter against the school closing and he and ICE's James Eterno built somewhat of an alliance last year as leaders of the 2 large Queens high schools targeted for closing. And the 2 schools the UFT sold out by making a deal with the DOE to allow new schools to open and help kill the incoming freshman classes. Dave was in action at Monday night's meeting with the Queens HS Supt which I taped. A lot of people in the opposition and even in Unity don't like Dave but he's grown on me.

So, he gets up and does something Unity people never do. He adds to their reso: The UFT will oppose the waiver for Black if she does not personally visit every single school on the DOE's list of schools targeted for possible closing. He argues that since she is new to the scene she should these schools first hand. Not radical but interesting. Of course they vote this down.

So far there has not been a person who spoke up and opposed the reso and low and behold a Unity guy gets up and says he is against. Why? Well, he says with some degree of passion, they have closed over 100 schools and what's the point of the whole thing if you turn down Dave's amendment? This is Unity and a sign the waffles and obfuscations on school closings and charter school invasions are wearing the Unity rank and file at the edges.

Mulgrew: There's only one name I don't want to hear. I didn't say it. She doesn't need a waiver.
At least it's not Rhee -  and Unity people go around repeating it

But not to worry. You've been hearing the Unity Klones whispering the R word, while shaking. We could get Rheeeee if Black fails. Oooooooh! We scared. Mulgrew goes all cute. "There are some people who don't even need a waiver. I won't mention her name." The whole place goes weak at the knees at the thought of Rhee, who was just run out of DC on a rail, one of the key reasons being that the Black community was outraged at Rhee's slights, some even bringing up the race issue - some historical antagonisms between Koreans and Blacks - remember the Brooklyn Korean grocery incident when Dinkins was mayor. Maybe that's why he endorsed Black - fear of Rhee. But the idea of Rhee coming in here as the big bad wolf is unlikely. But also the fact that the UFT leadership fears her so is a sign of their weakness.

Can't you just see people all over using the coming of Rhee as a threat to get what they want? Take a cut in salary of Rhee is coming.

Mulgrew on Value-added
"If we lose the case and the scores are publicized, we have to be out there to support them."

At this point I was sorry I didn't bring a nail gun to shoot myself through the ear.

Then it was off to the Gotham School party with Eva, hubbie Eric and loads of charter school slugs. And Randi too. Report coming - once I extract that nail.

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